Nearly 130,000 people have already watched Sydney-based blogger Walaa Abu Eid's video, in which he served a homemade version of the Starbucks drink, joining the wider boycott movement against the coffee chain.
The movement developed out of trademark disputes with the United Workers Union, in which Starbucks sued the union because it used the company's logo and name to advocate for Palestinians at X last October. According to the union, the company accused them of supporting terrorism.
Starbucks recently reported that its first-quarter results did not meet the level that analysts had expected: in the three-month period through January 2024, global traffic increased only 5% compared to the same period a year earlier, which is less than the expected 6% increase of 4%. According to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan, this is partly due to negative trade impacts in the Middle East and misconceptions about the conflict, which are also affecting US sales.
McDonald's is also suffering, as sales were much lower than analysts' expectations, especially in the Middle East and Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. This decline is due in part to calls from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
As analysts point out, Starbucks and McDonald's are trying to navigate a sensitive political climate and changing consumer preferences, the success of which also depends on how long the conflict in the Middle East lasts.
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