Publication Details

Richards, Z., Thomas, S. L., Randle, M. & Pettigrew, S. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility programs of Big Food in Australia: a content analysis of industry documents. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39 (6), 550-556.


Objective: To examine Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tactics by identifying the key characteristics of CSR strategies as described in the corporate documents of selected 'Big Food' companies. Methods: A mixed methods content analysis was used to analyse the information contained on Australian Big Food company websites. Data sources included company CSR reports and web-based content that related to CSR initiatives employed in Australia. Results: A total of 256 CSR activities were identified across six organisations. Of these, the majority related to the categories of environment (30.5%), responsibility to consumers (25.0%) or community (19.5%). Conclusions: Big Food companies appear to be using CSR activities to: 1) build brand image through initiatives associated with the environment and responsibility to consumers; 2) target parents and children through community activities; and 3) align themselves with respected organisations and events in an effort to transfer their positive image attributes to their own brands. Implications: Results highlight the type of CSR strategies Big Food companies are employing. These findings serve as a guide to mapping and monitoring CSR as a specific form of marketing.



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