Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 473–484 | Cite as

“Not Buying Cottage Cheese”: Motivations for Consumer Protest-the Case of the 2011 Protest in Israel

  • Shay Hershkovitz
Original Paper


The 2011 Israeli consumer protest was groundbreaking: It enjoyed mass public support and had dramatic influence on the behaviour of Israeli companies and consumers alike. Most observers view this protest as a reaction to economic inequality in Israeli society, the increased cost of living, and public antipathy towards large businesses and the wealthy elite controlling them. However, this overlooks the wider political and cultural context: the decline in traditional political participation and the growing “openness” of brands to consumers, which can be referred to as the “prosumption turn.” By specifically analyzing the 2011 consumer protest against Israeli dairy companies, this article demonstrates how motivations for a consumerist act (boycott or buycott) can be linked to a broader, indirect context.


Boycott Buycott Prosumption Israel Protest Consumption Co-creation 


  1. Abosag, I. (2010). Dancing with macro-boycotters: The case of Arla foods. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 28, 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amsterdamsky, S. (2015). 41%—Troubled by the cost of living. YNET, 5 March 2015.Google Scholar
  3. Arian, A., & Shamir, M. (2007). Introduction. In A. Arian & M. Shamir (Eds.), The Israeli elections 2006 (pp. 1–27). Jerusalem: The Israeli Institute of Democracy.Google Scholar
  4. Arian, A., Atmor, N., & Hadar, Y. (2006). Democracy index 2006. Jerusalem: The Israeli Institute of Democracy.Google Scholar
  5. Barnea, S., Dreishfitz, S., & Kenig, O. (2011). Regime stability—A working paper. Jerusalem: The Israeli Institute of Democracy.Google Scholar
  6. Barnes, S. H., & Kaase, M. (1979). Political action: Mass participation in five western democracies. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Belk, R. (2007). Why not share rather than own? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 611, 126–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ben-Israel, A. (2011). Zehavit Cohen quits “Tnuva” and Psagot chairmanship. Globes, 2 September 2011.Google Scholar
  10. Braunsberger, K., & Buckler, B. (2011). What motivates consumers to participate in boycotts: Lessons from the ongoing Canadian seafood boycott. Journal of Business Research, 64, 96--102.Google Scholar
  11. Burbach, R. (2001). Globalization and postmodern politics: From zapatistas to high-tech robber barons. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cova, B., Dalli, D., & Zwick, D. (2011). Critical perspectives on consumers’ role as ‘producers’: Broadening the debate on value co-creation in marketing processes. Marketing Theory, 11, 231–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Danaher, K., & Mark, J. (2003). Insurrection: Citizen challenges to corporate power. New-York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Doner, S. (2005). Not a knockout, but still a win. YNET, 14 January 2005.Google Scholar
  15. Efrati, I. (2005). Castro gives up: Will stop marketing furs. YNET, 15 September 2005.Google Scholar
  16. Filc, D., & Ram, U. (2012). The rise and fall of the social protest (so far): A socio-political analysis. Theory and Critique, 41, 1–10.Google Scholar
  17. Friedman, M. (1999). Consumer boycott: Effecting change through the marketplace and the media. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Gabizon, Y. (2011). Apax’s profit from “Tnuva”: A billion dollars in three years. The Marker, 27 April 2011.Google Scholar
  19. Gabriel, Y., & Lang, T. (2006). The unmanageable consumer. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Glickman, L. B. (2001). The strike in the temple of consumption: Consumer activism and twentieth-century American political culture. The Journal of American History, 88, 99–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haiman-Reisch, N. (2009). A decade of elections. Jerusalem: The Israeli institute of Democracy.Google Scholar
  22. Hawkins, R. A. (2010). Boycotts, buycotts and consumer activism in a global context: An overview. Management and Organizational History, 5, 123–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hayut, I. (2011). McKinsey to “Tnuva”: raise prices, demand is inelastic. Globes, 26 June 2011.Google Scholar
  24. Hendel, I., Lach, S., & Spiegel, Y. (2016). Consumers activism: the cottage cheese boycott. Accessed 8 January 2017 from:
  25. Holland, J. (2015). Social impact “buycotts”: a tool for innovation, impact, and engagement to teach integrated marketing communications. Marketing Education Review, 26, 33–38.Google Scholar
  26. Huston, L. & Sakkab, N. (2006). Connect and develop: Inside Procter and Gamble’s new model for innovation. Harvard Business Review, 84. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  27. IBM (2016). Innovation jam. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  28. Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and post-modernization: cultural, economic and political change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Israeli Knesset (2006). Percentage of voters in previous elections. Accessed 3 June 2016 from:
  31. Jubas, K. (2007). Conceptual confusion in democratic societies—Understandings and limitations of consumer-citizenship. Journal of Consumer Culture, 7, 231–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. June, L. (2008). Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 and 12 get Artist Makeovers. Engadget. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  33. Kozinets, R., Hemetsberger, A., & Hope, J. (2008). The wisdom of consuming crowds: Collective innovation in the age of networked marketing. Journal of Macromarketing, 28, 339–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lash, S., & Featherstone, M. (2002). Recognition and difference. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Mayer, R. (1976). The socially conscious consumer: Another look at the data. Journal of Consumer Research, 9, 113–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Micheletti, M. (2002). Consumer choice as political participation. Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, 3, 218–234.Google Scholar
  37. Micheletti, M. (2003). Political virtue and shopping: Individuals, consumerism, and collective action. New-York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nelson, M., Rademacher, M., & Paek, H. (2007). Downshifting consumer—Upshifting citizen? An examination of a local freecycle community. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 611, 141–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nisan, Y.(2011). Economic committee: Cottage cheese prices must be regulated. Globes, 19 June 2011.Google Scholar
  40. Norris, P. (1999). The growth of critical citizens. In P. Norris (Ed.), Critical citizens: Global support for democratic government (pp. 1–27). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pongsakornrungsilp, S., & Shroeder, J. (2011). Understanding value co-creation in a co-consuming brand community. Marketing Theory, 11, 303–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2000). Co-opting customer competence. Harvard Business Review, 78, 79–87.Google Scholar
  43. Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The future of competition: Co-creating unique value with customers. Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  44. Ritzer, G. (1993). The McDonaldization of society. California: Pine Forge.Google Scholar
  45. Reshef, M. (2012). 61% of Israelis think the social protest has failed. Walla News, 13 December 2012.Google Scholar
  46. Ritzer, G., & Jurgenson, N. (2008). Producer, consumer…prosumer? Boston, USA: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
  47. Schmelzer, M. (2010). Marketing morals, moralizing markets: Assessing the effectiveness of fair trade as a form of boycott. Management and Organizational History, 5, 221–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schudson, M. (2006). The troubling equivalence of citizen and consumer. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 608, 193–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schudson, M. (2007). Citizens, consumers, and the good society. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 611, 236–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sharp, D., & Salomon, M. (2008). User-led innovation: A new framework for co-creating business and social value. Smart Internet Technology CRC. Accessed 10 November 2016 from
  51. Simon, B. (2011). Not going to Starbucks: Boycotts and the out-scouring of politics in the branded world. Journal of Consumer Culture, 11, 145–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stolle, D., Hooghe, M., & Micheletti, M. (2005). Politics in the supermarket: Political consumerism as a form of political participation. International Political Science Review, 26, 245–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Strauss Corporation. (2011). Strauss Website Media Section. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  54. Strauss Corporation. (2016). Strauss + website. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  55. Tessier, S. (2007). Rethinking the food chain: Farmworkers and the taco bell boycott. Journal of Developing Societies, 23, 89–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. The Taub center for social policy studies in Israel. (2015). State of the Nation Report 2015. Accessed 10 November 2016 from:
  57. Toffler, A. (1980). Future shock. New-York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  58. Toker, N. (2012). Advertisement in crises: An 11% decline in advertisement budget. The Marker, 29 March 2012.Google Scholar
  59. Tormey, S. (2007). Consumption, resistance and everyday life: Ruptures and continuities. Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioural sciences, 30, 263–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tzoref, A. (2011). We have already invented everything. Now it is your turn. The Marker, 19 January 2011.Google Scholar
  61. Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2004). Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Warren, C. (2009). Audi taps its Facebook fans to help design car of the future. Mashable. Accessed 16 November 2016 from:
  63. Yasur, E. (2012a). Brands are taking fire. Ynet, 24 February 2012.Google Scholar
  64. Yasur, O. )2012b). Arik Schor: Tnuva opens a new page in its relations with consumers. Ynet, 17 June 2012.Google Scholar
  65. Ynet. (2011). The miracle of summer 2011. Ynet, 4 September 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Security Studies MA Program, Department of Political ScienceTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations