Saturday 22 June 2024

Poll: Muslim countries lead way in BOYCOTTING brands that support Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza

 Muslim nations are leading the way when it comes to boycotting a brand regarded as helping Israel in its genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the results of a new poll.

The current edition of the annual Trust Barometer report from public relations firm Edelman polled 15,000 consumers across 15 countries. The nations surveyed include France, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the United States. According to the poll's outcome, there was a clear divide over how the war is causing consumers worldwide to make a stand with their wallets.

While Edelman's poll didn't state which side respondents sided with in the war, it found that the top five countries engaged in boycotting brands over Israel's actions in Gaza were as follows:

  1. Saudi Arabia
  2. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  3. Indonesia
  4. India
  5. Germany

Of this list of five, three are Muslim-majority nations – Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the last two countries located in the oil-rich Gulf region. India also has a considerable Muslim minority while Germany capped off the list.

Saudi Arabia saw the highest number of respondents– 71 percent – stating that they were boycotting brands over their recognized support for one side. The kingdom's population is strongly pro-Palestine, according to the Middle East Eye (MEE). Meanwhile, 57 percent of respondents in the UAE said they were boycotting purported pro-Israel brands in support of Palestine.

In Indonesia, more than one in two people also said they were boycotting brands. The largest archipelago in the world located in Southeast Asia also happens to be the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.

The survey also discovered that geopolitics is having a significant effect on brand choice with 78 percent of customers saying they will not purchase from a brand because of where it is based. Overall, 60 percent of customers around the world are choosing brands based upon their politics, a two percent rise from last year.

People in other countries ditching pro-Israel brands for local counterparts

The number of respondents from Arab and Muslim countries who are boycotting products over the war on Gaza is considerably greater than the worldwide average of 37 percent, somewhat more than one in three respondents.

A separate MEE report has shown that consumers in Oman, a major Western partner, have been boycotting western goods over the support the U.S. and its allies have given Israel. They have changed from drinks like Mountain Dew to Kinsa, a Saudi drink brand. In Pakistan, local brands have begun making local products to replace Western soft drinks and cosmetics.

The Edelman poll also picked up on increasing consumer nationalism in Gulf states. Most respondents also stated trust ranks before customer service, reputation and convenience when purchasing a brand's product.

True enough, Western corporate boardrooms are feeling the impact of boycotts as well.

In March, retail giant Alshaya Group, which owns the rights to Starbucks in the Middle East, decided to start laying off more than 2,000 employees in the region and North Africa, or four percent of its total personnel, due to consumer boycotts related to Gaza.  

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski also announced early this year that sales had been weaker in Muslim-majority nations like Malaysia and Indonesia in addition to the Middle East. The fast food giant caused outrage among pro-Palestine activists in October when its Israel franchise declared it was providing free meals to Israeli soldiers in its branches in the country.

"The ongoing impact of the war on these franchisees' local business is disheartening and ill-founded," Kempczinski said on June 10 while talking to analysts on the corporation's conference call.

In Pakistan, the franchise decreased its prices and was compelled to issue a statement withdrawing themselves from McDonald's in Israel.

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