Unilever Stock Plunges $2.5 Billion as Boycott Calls Target Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Unilever, the multinational company that owns Ben & Jerry’s, has experienced a staggering $2.5 billion drop in market capitalization as
Unilever, the multinational company that owns Ben & Jerry’s, has experienced a staggering $2.5 billion drop in market capitalization as boycott demands surge after the Vermont-based ice cream maker’s tweet on July 4th.
The controversial tweet condemned the United States for existing on “stolen Indigenous land,” leading to a wave of backlash.
During Thursday’s opening bell, Unilever’s shares slid by as much as 1% after a previous day’s closure with a 0.5% decline. The stock price of the Anglo-Dutch firm has fallen to approximately $51 from Monday’s closing at $52.28. The decline in share value has resulted in Unilever’s market capitalization decreasing from around $133.5 billion to $131 billion.
Ben & Jerry’s, which was acquired by Unilever but retains an independent board voicing its political views, argued that the July 4th celebrations distract from the nation’s birth and urged a commitment to return stolen Indigenous land. The tweet and accompanying statement led social media users to call for a boycott of the ice cream brand.
The fallout from the tweet follows previous boycott calls against Ben & Jerry’s for its refusal to sell ice cream in Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The company even sued its corporate parent when it sold the brand to a local Israeli licensee who resumed sales under the Ben & Jerry’s name.
Amid the current controversy, Unilever has faced accusations of hypocrisy for continuing to sell its products, including Cornetto ice cream, in Russia while criticizing the United States for its actions.
Defending its decision, Unilever cited the complexities of leaving the country and the potential negative impact on its employees and brands if it were to exit the Russian market.