The UK food producer Finnebrogue, which owns the Better Naked brand, has renamed its plant-based Kiev to Kyiv in solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they continue to defend against Putin’s invasion.
Finnebrogue has also pledged 50% of its profits from sales of the Better Naked Kyiv in 2022 to the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine, starting with an immediate £10,000 donation to UNICEF and the Red Cross.
‘Kiev’ was the standardised spelling for the Ukrainian capital under Soviet rule, but recent Russian aggression has seen more Western institutions heed calls to abandon it in favour of the Ukrainian alternative.
The much loved dish of chicken surrounding garlic butter and coated in breadcrumbs bears the name Kiev, the city it originates from. Now the food producer Finnebrogue has renamed the plant-based chicken “Kyiv” it sells under its Better Naked brand in several British supermarkets.
Finnebrogue chief strategy officer Jago Pearson commented: “The world is appalled by the disgraceful events being perpetrated by the Putin regime in Ukraine. All our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people as they defend their homeland and stand up for the principles of self-determination and free, liberal democracy.”
“So many of us in the UK feel utterly helpless, but still determined to do what little we can. That’s why at Finnebrogue we are donating to the humanitarian effort and renaming our Better Naked Chicken Kyiv in recognition of the Ukrainian people’s brave defence of their proud nation.”
UNICEF boss Catherine Russell has said UNICEF is ramping up its support across the country as families seek safety and refuge. Thousands of people – most of whom are women and children – are fleeing to neighbouring countries in freezing conditions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is also responding to the emerging humanitarian crisis. It is helping to provide food, water, first aid, medicines, warm clothes and shelter.
The UK Government has been referring to its embassy as being based in ‘Kyiv’ for years since 2014. Ukraine’s capital is known as Київ in Ukrainian and Киев in Russian. Both terms do not have a direct translation into the Roman alphabet, with Kiev, Kyiv, Kyyiv or Kiyev all being possibilities. But the spelling ‘Kiev’ is intrinsically linked with the old USSR.
It was not until the Maidan uprising of 2014 the issue hit the public consciousness, with the ousting of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych and the creation of a new administration seeking closer ties to the West. Young Ukrainians see ‘Kiev’ as a relic of the Soviet past, and this view is now shared by the government, which launched a ‘KyivNotKiev’ campaign in 2018.
The Better Naked plant-based Kyiv is a vegan take on the dish traditionally made from chicken fillet rolled around garlic butter and coated with bread crumbs. The Better Naked plant-based Chicken Kyiv is made instead using pea protein and is on sale in several UK supermarkets, including Waitrose, Morrisons and Ocado.
50% of Finnebrogue’s profits from these sales will now be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort via Unicef and the Red Cross.