Jun 29, 2011

Do Consumer Boycotts Work?

Do consumer boycotts work? Sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. I don't know what it depends on, perhaps it is simply dependent on which side of the fight has a stronger will, who blinks first, who calls the other's bluff.

the "cottage cheese boycott" that has been going on in Israel for the past 2 weeks or so is finally seeing some movement. After about 100,000 signed on to the Facebook page that detailed the boycott, and the manufacturers began seeing a drop in sales, they finally realized the people were serious this time. The question remains if they think the people are boycotting just the cottage cheese or will they really see, and not just say, that the cottage cheese has become the symbol for the generally rising consumer prices, especially of many basic dairy products.

Today Tnuva announced that they are slashing the price of cottage cheese by 12.5%, and the price to the consumer will be 5.9 NIS per container.

The consumer boycott worked.

or did it?

Tnuva only cut the price of cottage cheese. Are they hoping the people will be happy with that and then from now it will be back to business as usual? Do they realize that cottage cheese was only symbolic and the people want the prices of many other products cut as well/ Will the people accept this price cut and go back to buying or will they hold out for more broad price cuts?

Demands have been made by the people running the consumer boycott about which other dairy products need to have their prices lowered and to what level. The question is if the people will hold out and if the manufacturing companies will take them seriously.


  1. Hell No Hell MayoJune 29, 2011 7:25 PM

    The price of Hellman's mayo has jumped almost 30% in the last month.

    What gives?

  2. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    "Boycott" is not enough. The Israeli consumer has yet to grasp simple consumer economics: If it's too expensive right now, don't buy it. Do without it or find a substitute.

    I've heard it all too often here, "But how can you DO without ____?" Have these people never taken Home Ec?

    My mother the Home Economist, may she rest in peace, would have said that we are reaping what we have sown.

  3. Tnuva is a monopoly and should be broken up.

  4. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    Well, Tnuva, Strauss, and Tara have a lock on the market because the government hasn't allowed foreign competition.

    Were we to see a deregulation of imports, there might not be a for the government to intervene and "break up" Tnuva or any other company by force.

    Does anyone else remember the Bad Old Days of the early '80s when we could not buy imported pasta? It was no simple matter to learn to avoid the Osem noodles with s much food coloring that they turned the water in which they were boiled a vivid urine yellow. When I mentioned the health risks and asthetic detractions to the supermarket owner, he said "אין מה לעסות, ככה אנשים כאן אוהבים את זה".

    Remarkably, public tastes changed when tarriffs were reduced on imported Italian pasta.


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