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Case
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Reference no. 703-015-1
Published by: IBS Center for Management Research
Published in: 2003

Abstract

The case examines the growing impact of junk foods on American society. It examines the role played by food companies in the increase in the obesity growth rate in the US and Canada. The case discusses how Kraft Foods, the number one food products company in the US, faced criticism during the early 21 century for encouraging unhealthy eating habits and which led to numerous health problems. It then describes the anti-obesity initiatives undertaken by the company to quell the criticism. The case also discusses the responsibility of companies towards their consumers and society as a whole from an ethical dimension. Finally, it examines the role of consumers and the government in the increase in the obesity growth rate, and discusses ways in which this crisis could be handled. The case is structured to enable students to: (1) understand what junk foods are and the dangers associated with consuming such food products in large quantities; (2) explore the reasons behind the growing popularity of junk foods in the US and Canada, and the impact of this trend on the health of consumers (focusing on obesity); (3) understand the social and corporate obligations of food companies to be 'honest' about their products and services and to design marketing campaigns that do not exploit customers; (4) examine the moral and ethical responsibilities of food companies to safeguard the health of their customers and encourage healthy eating habits; and (5) examine the anti-obesity initiatives undertaken by Kraft Foods and critically discuss the role of consumers and the government in the rising obesity growth rate. The case is intended for MBA/PGDBM level students as part of the business ethics curriculum.
Location:
Industry:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2000-2003

About

Abstract

The case examines the growing impact of junk foods on American society. It examines the role played by food companies in the increase in the obesity growth rate in the US and Canada. The case discusses how Kraft Foods, the number one food products company in the US, faced criticism during the early 21 century for encouraging unhealthy eating habits and which led to numerous health problems. It then describes the anti-obesity initiatives undertaken by the company to quell the criticism. The case also discusses the responsibility of companies towards their consumers and society as a whole from an ethical dimension. Finally, it examines the role of consumers and the government in the increase in the obesity growth rate, and discusses ways in which this crisis could be handled. The case is structured to enable students to: (1) understand what junk foods are and the dangers associated with consuming such food products in large quantities; (2) explore the reasons behind the growing popularity of junk foods in the US and Canada, and the impact of this trend on the health of consumers (focusing on obesity); (3) understand the social and corporate obligations of food companies to be 'honest' about their products and services and to design marketing campaigns that do not exploit customers; (4) examine the moral and ethical responsibilities of food companies to safeguard the health of their customers and encourage healthy eating habits; and (5) examine the anti-obesity initiatives undertaken by Kraft Foods and critically discuss the role of consumers and the government in the rising obesity growth rate. The case is intended for MBA/PGDBM level students as part of the business ethics curriculum.

Settings

Location:
Industry:
Size:
Large
Other setting(s):
2000-2003

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