Consumer Boycotts Only Minimally Effective Against Large Kosher Brands


supermarketTel Aviv – Willl social media break the backs of large food manufacturers who refuse to lower prices or for that matter are said to subscribe to policies that allegedly violate the rights of workers?

In Israel, with only days remaining before the holiday of Purim, Strauss products were enjoying brisk sales despite an organized consumer boycott that included publicizing evidence that Strauss products were cheaper abroad than in Israel. Organizers were hoping to achieve the same level of success that a social media led boycott had with dairy prices last year. That boycott led to a 15% price drop which is largely still in effect. Reached by KosherToday, several of the large retailers in Israel claimed that the success with dairy would not carry over to other products. Most said that shoppers were still buying “based on quality and price, particularly with such icons as Strauss.”

The same was true in the US with the vilified brands produced by Agriprocessor following an unprecedented raid by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Postville, Iowa in 2008 and more recently against Flaum’s (and its Sony & Joe’s brand) accused of underpaying its workers in a dispute that dates back to 2005. In both cases, when products produced by these companies were on the shelves, consumers still bought the products based on quality and price.

“The key to preventing a backlash from price increases is to not let the hike become emotional to customers,” according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Clear explanations for why the price increase is needed is vital, and using details such as cost increases, the lack of increases in the past or previous attempts to keep prices low ultimately result in more consumer acceptance. Utilizing this advice, retail and wholesale bakers in New York City may want to alert customers about recent higher costs for ingredients such as flour, sugar, raisins, nuts and some chocolates. Factors including poor harvests and strong overseas demand have driven flour prices up 38% in less than two years.

{Kosher Today/ Newscenter}