There was no doubt self-righteous pleasure among those boycotting Ben & Jerry’s after the company announced in July that it would no longer sell its ice cream in the settlements. But it’s unlikely that either Ben or Jerry, much less Unilever, its corporate parent, lost much sleep over it.
The headlines are uncomfortable for Unilever, but it’s unlikely a consumer boycott will put a dent in sales, and certainly not for very long. In fact, for Ben & Jerry’s, a boycott by settlement supporters is great PR, a boost for the brand image the company so carefully cultivates of being politically progressive. What could be better for a left-wing ice cream maker than to be spurned by right-wing consumers?