Case Study: Mcdonald's
Responsibility case study: mcdonald’s Unit 1 Case Study Kelli D - Case Study: Mcdonald's introduction. Martin Columbia Southern University Characterize the four I’s. a. Issues: Obesity 64% of American adults are overweight or obese (Baron, p20). Economists took into consideration several factors: calorie intake, BMI, and work activities. These factors contribute to the failure to provide nutritional information about menu items (McDonald’s has recently added nutritional information on each item on the menu).
The news media gave significant coverage to the fast food and obesity issues; therefore the issue became the subject of films, jokes, and recently our nation’s first lady (Michelle Obama) and Beyonce. “ The Menu Education and Labeling Act (MEAL) stated that the name of the food on any menu, the number of calories, grams of saturated fat plus tans fat, and milligrams of sodium contained in a serving of the food be present on every menu. ” (MEAL) Filmmaking Activism
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A film was made to bring attention to obesity, and McDonald’s was the target. The filmmaker focused on McDonald’s for 30 days for all of his meals and gained 25 pounds, and later received health warnings from his doctor (San Francisco Chronicle). “In response to the film, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) supported preparation of a film by Soso Whaley in which for two 30 day periods she ate only at McDonald’s. She lost 18 pounds by controlling her calorie intake.
The CEI stated, Whatley’s documentary project, focusing on personal responsibility, obesity, and public health, is taking on the increasing victim mentality being fostered by public health activists and the dishonest bashing of the fast food industry” (CEI). Mad Cow Disease “In December 2003, the first case of mad cow disease documented in the United States was detected in Washington state in a downer cow that had been purchased from Canada. The FDA immediately began an informational campaign, as did the beef industry and the food and restaurant industries, to assure the public that there was no threat to humans.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) had been preparing for such an event by providing information to the public on been safety” (Baron, p23). McDonald’s later stated that they had not purchased meat from the donor cattle nor parts, and the recall of beef had no connection to their beef suppliers. In the past, McDonald’s dealt with mad cow disease in other countries, because of their previous experience, it allowed them to prepare for possible events that may affect the United States. b.
Interest: Special interest groups pursue issues because of the benefits that accrue to their members, case in point, trial lawyers association. Politicians from both sides differ on this issue. Republicans wanted to protect the fast food industry, passed the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (The Cheeseburger Bill) and the democrats who argued “It protects an industry that doesn’t need to be protected at this particular point and we’re dealing with a problem that doesn’t exist”. Representative James McGovern (D-MA). The Cheeseburger Bill
This bill was argued by the restaurant and food industry and stated that “obesity was a matter of individual responsibility and lobbied Congress for protection from obesity lawsuits. In 2004, the House quickly passed the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, dubbed the cheeseburger bill, on a 276-139 vote (Baron, p21). Meal and Nutrition Menu Education and Labeling Act (MEAL) was created because of the overwhelming amount of attention given to the obesity issue. The bill required each chain to disclose: the number of calories, grams of saturated fat plus trans fat, , and milligrams of sodium contained in a serving of the food.
Healthy Lifestyles “As a result of the concern about obesity, McDonald’s suspended its promotion of supersize meals and developed a “healthy lifestyles program, initially offering additional items, including fruit and salads. In April 2004 the company launched a lifestyles platform to address obesity and physical well-being. The platform included new food choices and ordering options such as the Go Active adult Happy Meal, education and easily accessible nutrition information and physical activity including the distribution of 15 million stepometers and walking/fitness booklets” (Baron, p22)
Children’s Advertising McDonald’s chose to promote barbie dolls and backpacks, and plastic toy promotions to coincide with movie release; This has been a concern of children advocates, hence there is no McDonald’s advertisements aired during children’s television programs. c. Institutions McDonald’s adopted new standards for its beef suppliers, including minimum space standards for cattle in feedlots, due to being targeted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Suppliers “As a result of treatment of workers in overseas factories, McDonald’s developed a code of conduct for their suppliers.
The code covered employment practices pertaining to the use of prison and forced labor, child labor, working hours, compensation, nondiscrimination, and the workplace environment. McDonald’s refused to do business with suppliers that did not abide by the code and reserved the right to conduct unannounced inspections of suppliers’facilities” (Baron, p24) d. Information Refers to what interests and institutional officeholders know about an issue, the consequences of alternative courses of action. McDonalds established Sustainable Use Guiding Principles to govern their use of antibiotics in food animals.
The Environment McDonald’s refuses to purchase beef from rainforest, or recently deforested rainforest land. 2. What is the time frame of each issue? McDonalds must address each issue in a timely manner, Burger King fell from the number two burger giant to number three after decades of holding that spot. Unfortunately McDonalds is so big, and has held the number one spot for so long, a lot of people want to get a piece of their corporate money. McDonalds must address issues like their treatment of food animals, to antibiotics to offering alternative choices to burger and fries.
3. Which issues should have the highest priority? McDonalds needs to focus on children’s advertising and healthy lifestyles. I think if they find a way to make healthy eating habits appeal to parents and the children, the company will create a win-win scenario. McDonald’s should also find a way to implement healthy families in the workplace. Since this is a fast food environment, maybe they should offer discounted gym memberships to their workers to combat obesity in the workplace. 4. What overall strategies should McDonald’s adapt for dealing with these nonmarket issues?
I would take a top down approach based on importance. Obesity is #1 on the radar, they can’t change their recipes, but they have been allowed the customer to consider their food choice before purchasing by obeying the MEAL ACT. I would also continue to focus on creating an acceptable relationship with PETA based on the new standards adapted by food chain. References: Baron, David P. (2010). Business and its Environment (6th edition) Banzhaf, John (2004). San Francisco Chronicle. Film documentary.