Friday, March 1, 2024

McDonald’s misses sales target, blames Israel’s war in Gaza

McDonald’s, one of the most iconic US brands, attributes its failure to meet the first quarterly sales target in almost four years to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza. This decline follows a call for a McDonald’s boycott by customers in Muslim countries, sparked by the Israeli franchisee’s donation of thousands of free meals to the Israeli military.

CEO Chris Kempczinski stated on Monday that the war adversely impacted sales in Middle Eastern countries, as well as in other Muslim-majority nations like Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kempczinski said during a conference call, “As long as this conflict persists, we don’t anticipate significant improvement. It’s a human tragedy, and that weighs on brands like ours.”

Sales growth for McDonald’s division covering the Middle East, China, and India from October to December only reached 0.7 percent, falling significantly below the market expectation of 5.5 percent.

McDonald’s is only one of several United States brands hit by boycotts and protests over their perceived support for Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Following the outrage, McDonald’s franchises in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Turkey issued statements distancing themselves from the free food campaign in Israel and collectively pledged aid worth $3m to Gaza.

On social media sites, lists are going around of brands accused of supporting Israel although the ties are often not clearly explained. The push is part of a larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel-friendly brands since 2005.

Last week, cafe chain Starbucks revised its annual sales forecast downward, citing a decline in business in the Middle East. The apprehension began after the coffee giant filed a lawsuit against its workers for a pro-Palestinain social media post.

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