Egypt changes name to dodge consumer boycott
28 April 2002
Following mounting consumer pressures, the American McDonalds
fast-food chain has reportedly decided to change its brand name
in Egypt to Manfoods, in an attempt to dodge a consumers boycott
launched against corporations identified as conducting business
in the Jewish state, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.
In light of American support for Israel, popular committees in
Egypt have lately been calling to widen the boycott against US-made
products and services. The recent campaign launched against American
companies includes the distribution leaflets and stickers to schoolchildren
and SMS messages sent to cellular phones. The blacklist includes
McDonalds, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
American cigarette manufacturers, Heinz and many more.
Over the past weeks, McDonalds Egypt has posted announcements
in local newspapers denying rumors that its workers have donated
a days-pay for Israel. Other ads condemned Israeli raids in
the Palestinian occupied territories. At the same time, Egyptian
police forces have been ordered to guard the entrances to McDonalds
restaurants, after stone throwing incidents have taken place in
recent weeks, as well as the arson of a Kentucky Fried Chicken branch.
The Egyptian-owned Manfoods is the sole agent of the McDonald's
franchise in Egypt. Manfoods holds a 40 percent stake in the joint
stock company McDonald's Egypt, while McDonald's International and
Egypts Orascom Group hold the remaining 40 and 20 percent
respectively. The company employs 3,000 workers in Egypt.
Last year, McDonalds Egypt added McFelafel to its menu, in
an attempt to attract local customers. However, the move, which
was accompanied by an extensive advertising campaign, eventually
failed and brought to an end. (menareport.com)