Headquartered in New York, PepsiCo is one of the largest beverage companies in the world with operations in more than 200 countries. The products of the company include the Pepsi Cola, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker, and Gatorade brands. The company is time and again recognized globally as one of the best brands. The sustainability program of the company is called “Performance with Purpose” which focuses on the environment, employees and the product. The community issue that the company will address is childhood obesity. The company can adopt measures to fight against childhood obesity and indirectly promote its healthy fruit drink, Tropicana. By adopting this CSR program, PepsiCo will effectively conduct the CSR program at no extra cost. This is because, in any case, PepsiCo has its advertising and promotional budgets allocated for promoting Tropicana. So, in the budget of advertising the CSR activity will also be promoted.
One of the most powerful entities is corporate. This is because, they produce a major volume of production in a country, provides employment to a large population and is a significant contributor to the development of the economy of the country (Porter & Kramer, 2006). They have a significant role in contributing positively to the society by creating jobs, circulating wealth and improving the social conditions and standard of living of the people (Porter & Kramer, 2006). In spite of having the power, the success of the corporations depends on the opportunities they identify and leverage upon in the impersonal market which forms a part of the larger economy. While the societies get benefitted by the corporations, the management of the corporate traditionally works towards fulfilling the interests of the shareholders because they are the owners of the company (Greenfield, 1998). But often corporations miss out considering that the non-shareholder’s interests can help the company to improve profitability and contribute to fulfilling the shareholder’s interests. So they have a responsibility to work for the society on the social issues in the community.
The community issue that the company is going to address through a new corporate social responsibility program is childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a serious issue that affects children as well as adolescents. The child is referred as obese when the child is well above the normal weight in accordance with age and height. Childhood obesity refers to the excessive body fat of a child that effects health or wellbeing. Since it adversely affects the health of the child, it is the topic of big concern. In the current fast moving lives, where both father and mother are working, are not able to give the child time for enabling him to live a healthy life. For instance, dependency on readymade and junk food increases, no time for exercising or for outdoor activities have increased the problem of obesity. Children are the future of our nation and it is us, who need to take the pain to control it somas to give better and healthy future to children and nation, as well. The seriousness of the problem is reflected in the alarming statistics. According to CDC, 17% of the total children in US are considered obese i.e. 12.5 million of teens and children, which have affected the health of the child in the long term and short term (Ogden, et.al., 2014).
There are certain sociological theories that apply to the obesity problem in the childhood (Ogden, et.al., 2014). Such as:
- Functionalism Theory – According to this theory, it is mandatory to note the integral idea of function is related with the activities of a social group, species and social maintenance. There are some other functions as well such as economic reproduction, religion, recreation, etc. It includes laying down the general rules, for the good society.
- Symbolic Interaction – focuses on the fact that social interaction, results in shaping up the human thinking. Obesity is a social problem which has been aroused as a result of social interaction, with different societal members.
- Conflict Theory – is also related to the social problems. This theory was postulated by Karl Marx, which suggests that the conflicting interests in groups are the main causes resulting in prejudices. Virtually, all the children suffering from the obesity situation suffer from prejudices and biases. The obese children suffer from various type of discrimination which results in the development of low esteem (Ogden, et.al., 2014). As a result, obese children get isolated because of the fear of being humiliated.
Childhood obesity adversely affects the physical, emotional and social well-being of the child. The details of the effects are as follows:
- The child may suffer from Type 2 diabetes which may be reversed by adopting healthy eating habits and regularly exercising (Ogden, et.al., 2014).
- It leads to certain life threatening conditions from the early stage or metabolic syndrome like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, excessive abdominal fat, etc. (Ogden, et.al., 2014).
- Poor eating habits may also lead to arterial problems.
- It may also result in asthma or other breathing problems.
- The obese often suffer from breathing problem, during sleep. This is also referred as sleep disorder.
- It creates hormonal imbalances in the body of the obese child which may lead to puberty (Ogden, et.al., 2014).
Social and emotional effects –
- Usually obese child grows up into an obese adult and often suffer from teasing and bullying. Some of the children also face discrimination in their own family. This results in the loss of self esteem of the child and may also lead to depression.
- The obese child suffers from more anxiety and poor social skills as compared to the normal child.
- Such child develops a sense of hopelessness as they lose the hope about the situation that the life can be improved. Such condition leads to depression and the depressed child looses interest in normal activities and sleep more than normal.
Obesity is a situation which can be very easily recognized but is most difficult to treat. In order to prevent the child from any of this problem the major focus needs to be given on eating healthy.
Connection to the company
PepsiCo is time and again recognized globally as one of the best brands. The company gains competitive advantage through product innovations. Over the years, the consumer preferences for beverages have changed. Increasing health consciousness has made consumers look for healthy beverage options and avoid cola drinks. In the wake of this scenario, PepsiCo is focusing heavily to promote the alternative beverage – Tropicana. Tropicana is 100 percent fruit juice beverage with no preservatives and has sugar-free variants. Initially, positioning the company as a low cost leader and the clutter breaking advertising strategy of PepsiCo were instrumental in the success of the company. But in the present scenario, clutter and noise level in media is very high. So, to break the clutter and successfully reach the target customers, the company is adopting innovative strategies. One such innovative strategy to promote is through the CSR program. The company can adopt measures to fight against childhood obesity and indirectly promote its healthy fruit drink, Tropicana. The sustainability program of the company is called “Performance with Purpose” which focuses on the environment, employees and the product. To make the strategy more effective PepsiCo needs to focus more on bringing together the need for convenience and the need for healthier food offerings (PepsiCo’s Journey Towards an Ethical and Socially Responsible Culture, n.d.). This can be done through an effective distribution strategy of Tropicana. Keeping pace with changing economic and social factors the company evolved its marketing strategy, promotional strategy and the product offerings. Celebrity endorsement has played a significant role in building the brand of PepsiCo. PepsiCo can select a sportsperson to be the celebrity spokesperson for the campaign of childhood obesity and promoting Tropicana.
How will the program operate?
The CSR activity will conduct awareness programs that will focus on making people, especially children and adolescents aware of the following aspects.
- Improving the diet and focusing on exercise is one of the best methods off getting rid of childhood obesity. It includes, buying more and more grocery foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eliminating the usage of any type convenience food. According to FITS, young children do not like to consume fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and prefer consuming too many calories in the form of added sugars and solid fats.
- Discourage the habit of eating in front of a television, computer or video game. Rather, change the style of eating like sitting together, discussing the experience, stories, etc. with the child. A researcher has found that children are spending three hours daily on an average in front of TV, computers or video games, and this sedentary behavior has increased the rate of calorie intake of children.
- Limit the eating out activity at fast food centres and cafés.
The promotional programs targeted towards the parents would focus needs to be given on physical activity among children, encouraging children to go out to the playground in their leisure time and take part in games and sports rather than sitting indoors and spending time on computers and playing video games. The emphasis needs to be given on activity and not on exercise. It is important that the parents try to identify out the physical activities preferred by their children (Ogden, et.al., 2014). Parents need to organize the fun activity with the whole family. If the parents want the child to be active, they need to be first active themselves.
How will the program be implemented?
The program will be implemented through campaigns at schools and colleges, social events and through health awareness programs. The company’s celebrity spokesperson for Tropicana will lend support to the CSR campaign through advertisements. Customer engagement initiatives can be arranged online through social media pages.
What will make it low or no cost?
This problem of childhood obesity is increasing at very alarming rate, in the US. It has lead to various social and health problems at the very early stage of childhood. It has also increased the risk (both long term and short term) at very early stage of lives. Thus, what we all must keep in mind that our today’s action towards children is affecting their health. We all have to unite, change our way of living and focus on having healthier eating habits, staying active and exercising so as to give children healthy and prosperous life. Thus, this CSR program will be very relevant for promoting the product of the company and at the same time address a very serious social issue.
Greenfield, K. (1998). The Place of Workers in Corporate Law. B.C. L. Review.
Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D. & Kit, B.K. (2014). Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311(8), pp. 806-814
Official website of PepsiCo. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pepsico.com/
PepsiCo’s Journey Towards an Ethical and Socially Responsible Culture. (n.d.).
Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative University of New Mexico.
Porter, M.E. & Kramer, M.R. (2006). Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive
Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Harvard Business Review.