Oct 31, 2023 - Business

Foreign wars hit Chicago food companies

Grocery shelves with packages of various Oreos.

Oreos are among the snacks made by Mondelēz. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Overseas conflicts are driving protests against McDonald's and Mondelēz.

Driving the news: Protesters have vandalized some McDonald's locations in the Middle East, and some people have called for a global boycott of the chain after a McDonald's franchisee announced free meals for Israeli soldiers, per Reuters.

What they're saying: McDonald's declined to comment to Axios on the free meals, but a source close to the company told Reuters that the franchisee giving away meals in Israel is an independent business owner who licenses the brand.

  • Claims that McDonald's had recently introduced blue and white food wrappers to support Israel have been circulating on social media. The company tells Axios it has used the wrappers for years for various products and that none of the colors are intended to make any political statement.

Meanwhile, the local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America is holding a demonstration today outside Mondelēz headquarters in Fulton Market to protest the snack giant's continued business presence in Russia.

  • The group chose Halloween because Mondelēz, which makes Oreos, also owns candy brands including Cadbury, Sour Patch and Milka.
  • Mondelēz didn't respond to Axios' request for comment.

The big picture: Yale University runs a program tracking companies still operating in Russia and gives Mondelēz a D grade for continuing "substantive" business there.

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