Nestle sees 'consumer hesitancy' from consumers in Middle East, Asia since war on Gaza Strip

Nestle's CEO Mark Schneider said Friday that Western brands have seen “consumer hesitancy” in the Middle East and Asia after the “tragic events” following Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel's relentless war on Gaza. 

He said he had not seen anything that is specifically targeted at Nestle.

“It's more of a global trend overall and local companies have benefited from that. And that trend, I think for the moment continues. I don't see it particularly accelerating or decelerating, and then we'll need to see where things develop in 24,” he said.

Israel's ongoing offensive on Gaza triggered global boycott movements against several Israeli, US and European companies, including US restaurant chains McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, coffee chain Starbucks, and European-based companies Unilever and Nestle.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed more than 29,500 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

For the first time since its creation in 1948, Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, over its Gaza war.

An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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