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May 31, 2016 5:56 pm

SodaStream CEO: To Improve Your Company’s Sales, Get Attacked by BDS Movement

avatar by Lea Speyer

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SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. Photo: SodaStream.

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. Photo: SodaStream.

While the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aims to hurt Israeli companies, the movement’s actions have actually had the opposite effect, the head of a major Israeli company told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Ambassadors Against BDS International Summit at the United Nations, Daniel Birnbaum, the CEO of popular home soda-maker SodaStream, said that when people ask him whether there is a correlation between BDS and his company’s profits, his answer is always yes.

“The more active the BDS movement was in a certain market of ours, the more successful we have been,” he said. “In the course of the last six to seven years, when BDS was attacking SodaStream, we grew from a $90 million revenue company to more than $400 million. I encourage any company that wants to grow its sales to be attacked by the BDS movement.”

SodaStream made headlines in January 2014 when Hollywood actress and company spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson was harshly criticized by the BDS movement for a Super Bowl commercial endorsing the product. At the time, SodaStream operated one of its factories in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the West Bank. It has since shut the plant down and moved inside the Green Line to a larger facility, which, Birnbaum said, was not done “because of BDS.”

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Birnbaum told The Algemeiner that those countries which led the boycott against SodaStream also happen to represent the company’s most lucrative markets. “Specifically in the Nordic markets, where they embrace the rhetoric of BDS to a greater extent than other countries in the world, they did not want to receive any product manufactured by our Palestinian and Jewish employees in our West Bank factory,” he said. “The Nordic media actually led the boycott of SodaStream during the years 2009 to around 2015.”

“The Nordic market insisted we get our products from the mother of human rights, China,” he said, where “apparently, the organs of dying prisoners who are to be executed are removed from their bodies while the prisoners are still alive and then sold. So China’s behavior is fine for the Nordic markets.”

As a consequence, Birnbaum said, “we supplied product from China and SodaStream did very well in these markets during these years.” Today, SodaStream has about a 20 percent household penetration in Finland and Sweden, “which means that one in every five households in these countries have a SodaStream machine in use,” he said, adding, “There is your correlation for you.”

SodaStream’s newest factory, located in the Negev Desert, now supplies all products for the company’s Nordic markets, Birnbaum said. “In this new factory, we have Israelis, Israeli Arabs and Bedouins working side by side, in peace and harmony, and we hear no more issues about boycotts from Nordic markets. Hopefully this is a chapter that belongs in history and from which we can move forward.”  

In February, SodaStream was forced to lay off its final 74 Palestinian workers who were the target of the BDS movement.

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  • Despite being a worldwide food, snack, and beverage juggernaut, PepsiCo is known for one thing, above all—the cool, dark

  • Frank Adam

    No such thing as bad publicity !

  • o j

    A chapter that belongs in history from which we can move forward. Well said from an occupying murderous forces perspective.

  • nat cheiman

    Nice story of how BDS got palestinians working for Soda stream, unemployed

  • Sorry, but I have no respect for SodaStream. They bowed down to BDS and ran away from Shomron. The CEO is also a trouble maker. He always repeatedly wants the government to bend the rules for him. Among other things, he wanted to bring 20 000 Muslim refugees here – as if we don’t have enough. Their move from Shomron cost large numbers of Palestinians their jobs. No, he just does these things for marketing and getting free media attention. DON’T SUPPORT HIM

    • Diane Hewitt

      Guess you just didn’t bother to read the article before responding.

  • BDS is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and no matter what Israelis may do, this does not give BDS the right to be Judge, Jury and Executioner. Close then down as they are economic terrorists and self righteous bigots.

  • Ha! BDS is a Israeli invention!

    • BDS is an Israeli-ARAB invention!!!!! Barghouti!

      • BDS has been invented by Omar Barghouti and the PA.

        Supported, at least politically, by the “new Israel fund”, the NIF. NIF=Nottorious:Infamous:Fiendish.

        More and well documented information see: http://www.financingtheflames.com

        Other “Jewish” organizations supporting BDS are: Jews for Piss, JStreet, JCall.

  • My congratulations to SodaStream fighting of BDS!

    If I need SodaStream products in Israel, I order from abroad thru amazon.

    Usually products from SodaStream are not always available in Israeli shops and the customer service is unacceptable. They don’t reply emails.

  • SteveHC

    It bears repeating: “…Palestinian workers [who] were the target of the BDS movement.”

  • soda,water,beer,make them all !!!

  • Gary

    What a shame that 74 Palestinians lost their jobs due to the
    Anti Semitic and anti israel views of an organisation
    That claims that its fighting for their people’s rights
    I feel for those families because no doubt more than 74 people
    Are affected.

  • Rosewood11

    I’m glad when I see that something is made in Israel. That’s a signal to me that it is something I want to buy. I do so because I think of Israeli products as something that would be made with quality, but also because no one is going to tell me what and what not to buy.

    I also plan to buy a SodaStream just because the company does choose to be active in providing jobs to all peoples in the area of Israel where they are located. It seems to me that the BDS people are punishing the very people they should be supporting–those who wish to live in peace. Good on SodaStream.

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