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Ultra-Orthodox warms to ice cream, but Baskin Robbins it ain’t
The opening of a kosher ice cream shop may have proved a hit. But many international franchises face opposition when looking to launch operations in Israel.
March 15, 2010 6:18 by kippreport
Ice cream has been around, in one form or another, for thousands of years. But only now, it seems, are ultra-Orthodox Jews catching on.
For a huge frenzy was stirred with the arrival of a kosher ice-cream shop in Jerusalem last week, according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
“More than 6,000 people gathered outside the ice cream store, waiting for a free sample for six hours, from Friday morning until just before Shabbat. Yeshiva students, rabbis, women and children began crowding outside the store at 6am, waiting for its doors to open,” said the newspaper.
“Such a long queue? For ice cream?”, pondered a secular man passing the crowd, quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth. And he had a point: while ice cream may have a long history, it is not known to be an early morning treat. Very few queue for it at 6am.
Yet despite this apparent healthy demand, it would be premature to expect hundreds of Baskin Robbins outlets to open up shop in Israel. The opening of a single kosher ice cream shop may have proved a hit, but many international franchises face opposition when looking to launch operations in Israel. In the early 2000s, for example, several high-profile franchises went bankrupt.
Politics does, of course, weigh heavily. Last week, for example, Swedish fashion chain H&M opened its first store in Israel, leading to several Palestinian groups in Scandinavia to call for a boycott H&M, urging the company to postpone the opening until Israel respects international law.