Figure 2: Global Sales of Food and Beverage Transnationals (as % of total sales), 2000- 2007
Nestlé McDonald's Yum! PepsiCo Kraft
2003 2004 Ye a rs
Source: Company Annual Reports Note: International is everything other than the U.S. except for Nestlé which is everything other than Europe. For McDonald’s, “Corporate” and “Other” sales are counted as U.S. For Nestlé, “Pharma” and “Other Food & Beverages” are counted as International. Nestlé sales since 2002 only include Food and Beverages. McDonald’s 2000 includes franchise sales and not solely franchise revenue
We provide below a more detailed examination of McDonald’s and PepsiCo’s global expansion, marketing campaigns, and lead-firm status in the fast-food and manufacturing food sectors. As countries undergo the process of development and globalization, they become exposed to Western products and brand diffusion, and the technologies that are needed to support these burgeoning forms of food consumption. However, the corporate social responsibility initiatives and nutrition and wellness programs that all the food TNCs are embracing may be a key leverage point where interventions can be made, although further analysis is needed to understand their effectiveness and the companies’ actual commitment to healthy products.
Academics and activists have questioned the commitment of TNCs to providing healthier food options for consumers and to revamping their business practices. Brownell writes that while companies may be making limited food changes, they vocally espouse and fund a “politics of private regulation” that portrays companies as “blameless” and “victims,” whereas obese individuals are remonstrated for the unhealthy choices they make (Brownell 2004; 2005). For