The campaign, entitled “I will not go to a supermarket for three days”, was started on social media and urged consumers to refrain from shopping at the major supermarket chains on May 10-12. It was sparked by outrage over rising food prices, dubbed “cauliflower-gate” after a viral photo of a cauliflower priced at €4.49.
Karolis Ramoška, one of the organizers of the campaign, says the boycott was a partial success and caught the attention of retailers and the government. One of the results, he said, was that the supermarkets started offering solid discounts.
“We got things moving. We will see if there is any effect in the future. If things don’t change until June, we will repeat the campaign,” Ramoška told 15min.lt.
Meanwhile Lithuania’s biggest supermarket chains say they did record a drop in the number shoppers.
For the first time, the drop could not be attributed to weather condition or economic slowdown, but rather to conscious consumer behaviour.
Maxima, the biggest chain in the country, says it observed a 5% drop during the campaign. The company’s spokeswoman Renata Saulytė says she is happy that there have been no incidents.
Berta Čaikauskaitė, spokeswoman for Iki, says footfall dropped “several percent” in the chain’s outlets, although it was more noticeable in the big supermarkets in the major cities and less so in smaller outlets.
“We have seen shoppers changing their behaviour, choosing smaller shops and buying only necessary products,” she tells 15min.lt.
Norfa says it observed a 4% drop on the first day of the campaign. Rimi supermarkets served 3% fewer shoppers than usually this time, the chain said.
“Even if every tenth shopper snubbed the supermarkets, I’d say it’s a good result,” Ramoška summarized the outcome of the boycott.