abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

8 Apr 2024

Israel/OPT: Ongoing attacks on Gaza sees escalating calls for consumers to boycott companies linked to Israel

In response to Israel's bombardment of Gaza from October 2023, companies that have reportedly expressed support for Israel during the attacks, or have been found to have financial ties to Israel, have faced escalating calls for boycott from consumers, impacting sales and financial performance.

For example, in November 2023, it was reported that branches of McDonald's and other Western fast food chains in Egypt, Morocco and Kuwait City lay almost deserted. In January 2024, the McDonald's franchisee in Malaysia sued the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement for $1 million in damages, amid falling sales. The targeting of McDonald's and Starbucks specifically centres on Starbucks' suing of its union, allegedly over its statements in support of Palestine, and the giveaway of thousands of free meals to Israel's military by the McDonald's franchisee in Israel.

The boycotts appear to have significantly impacted the financial performance of both companies. In December 2023, Starbucks reported a loss of $11 billion in market value (nearly 10% of the company's total value) amidst the boycotts, while the chief executive of McDonald's reported in February 2024 that consumer boycotts - particularly in the Middle East - had "meaningfully impacted" sales. Share prices fell by around 4% as a result.

In December 2023, PUMA, a key target of the BDS movement for five years, announced it would stop sponsoring Israel’s national football team in 2024, though stated the decision was not related to consumer boycott calls.

Company comments can be found below.