On Twitter, hundreds of users have asked popular grocers including Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Morrisons to adopt the new spelling.
Kyiv, the name of Ukraine’s capital city, is a spelling derived from the Ukrainian language name Київ, while Kiev is from the Russian language name Киев.
The requests come as the war in Ukraine enters its seventh day, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of the country on Thursday 24 February.
“In solidarity with and as a small gesture to Ukraine and not Russia, perhaps it is time to rebrand to a chicken kyiv?” one person said.
Another wrote: “Why not rebrand your chicken kievs as chicken kyiv and donate proceeds from sales to Ukraine? #kievsforkyiv.”
“A small thing, but @Tesco, @Morrisons, @sainsburys, @asda, @marksandspencer, @IcelandFoods when you have your next production run, how about rebranding a certain chicken dish you sell to kyiv,” a third person said.
In a statement to The Independent, Marks & Spencer said it will not be changing the name of its products.
“Marks & Spencer will always use the Kyiv spelling whenever and wherever we are talking about the Ukrainian city,” a spokesperson said.
“However, ‘chicken kiev’ has been in use for over 100 years and has been recognised by our customers since M&S brought the product to the high street in the 1970s.
“Our priority is to act now and make a difference with meaningful support to those most in need. That’s why we have donated to our partner Unicef UK’s emergency appeal to help protect children in Ukraine and give them access to the supplies they need, including clean drinking water and blankets.
“We’re helping customers show their support and from last Saturday, Marks & Spencer is doubling donations for any customer who selects Unicef UK as their chosen Sparks charity.”
Others members of the food industry have heeded the calls.
In a tweet posted on Monday 1 March, James Chiavarini, owner of Il Portico, said the chicken kyiv was back on the restaurant’s menu for the first time in 40 years, with a new name.
“With every order we will donate £5 to the Red Cross in Ukraine,” he added.
Additionally, Finnebrogue Artisan, the maker of Better Naked Food, has rebranded its plant-based version of the dish to chicken kyiv.
The Independent has contacted Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Morrisons for comment.
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