8. Locally produced wine and beer. 9. Sustainable seafood. 10. Whole-grain items in kids’ meals.
A report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity noted that approximately 84% of parents with children aged 2 to 11 took their families to a fast food restaurant weekly. Although fast food restaurants are reevaluating their menus to include more healthful options for children, the study showed that of 3,039 kids’ meal combinations possible, only 12 met the nutritional criteria for preschool-age children and only 15 met the criteria for older children.8 Subway leveraged the story of Jared Fogle, the Indiana University student who once weighed 425 pounds. By making Subway’s healthy sandwiches a part of his daily diet, and combining them with regular exercise, Fogle was able to lose 245 pounds in a year. On March 25, 2013, a leaked internal memo showed that McDonald’s believed it would lose 22% of its 18–34-year-old customers to what’s perceived as the healthier option, sandwich chain Subway, without adding the “wrap” onto its menu.9
The FDA has also joined the fight against obesity by initiating programs to “count calories.” Its goals include pressuring fast food companies to provide more detailed and accurate information about nutrition content to their diners as well as educating consumers. With the partnership between the fast food chains and the FDA, consumers stand to be better informed about their options to become and remain healthy. Restaurants and company web sites now provide consumers with nutritional information for menu items. Restaurants have teamed up with nutritionists who can offer helpful suggestions. When presented with healthier options, it’s in the hands of consumers to make the right choices to improve their health.
5.1 Corporate Responsibility toward Consumer Stakeholders As the largest national economy in the world, the United States produced $16.2 trillion worth of goods and services (GDP) in 2012. China’s growing economy earned it the second place slot, with a GDP of 8.2 trillion in 2012.10 Consumer spending in the United States accounts for about two-thirds of total economic activity. Consumers may be the most important stakeholders of a business. If consumers do not buy, commercial businesses cease to exist. The late management guru Peter Drucker stated that the one true purpose of business is to create a customer.11 Consumer confidence and spending are also important indicators of economic activity and business prosperity. Consumer interests should be foremost when businesses are designing, delivering, and servicing products. Unfortunately, this often is not the case. As this chapter’s opening case shows, giving customers what they want may not be what they need; also, not all products are planned, produced, and delivered with consumers’ best health or safety interests in mind. Many companies have manufactured or distributed unreliable products, placing consumers at risk. The effects (and side effects) of some products have been life-threatening, and have even led to deaths, with classic cases being the alleged effects of the Merck drug Vioxx, the Bridgestone/Firestone tires on the Ford Explorer, tobacco products and cigarettes that contain nicotine, the Ford Pinto, lead-painted toys, and numerous other
Weiss, Joseph W.. <i>Business Ethics : A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach</i>, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Incorporated, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=1565988. Created from apus on 2019-06-