Friday, November 25, 2011

Burger King and the New BK Crown Get it Right

Much of business ethics deals with the way in which organizations conduct business and interact with their various stakeholder groups. Not much is said about what I like to call "product ethics" -- the ethical implications of products themselves, apart from the ways in which they are produced, transported or sold. Burger King's new BK Crown program serves as a shining example of solid product ethics.

Burger King's new kids' meal, named the BK Crown, breaks all the rules of fast-food children's menus. For decades fast-food chains have contributed to shockingly high rates of childhood obesity and health-related issues in children who are fed fast-food poison throughout their developmental years. Rather than pumping as many calories and as much sugar as they can into children, Burger King will now serve healthy meals consisting of chicken products, fruit and white milk (as Jamie Oliver does a fist-pump) -- all part of a truly balanced diet. Not content to stop at excellent nutrition, a BK Crown meal includes brain-stimulating games and puzzles, and the opportunity to choose which of three ways Burger King will donate to charitable causes.

Let's not miss the deep implications of this product package. Left to themselves, American children will invariably choose the most unhealthy foods and the least educational activities possible, and will act out of purely selfish motives most of the time. This kids' meal introduces children to the possibility of eating healthy, having fun while learning and giving thought to needy causes around the world. This is product ethics at its finest. I bought a few Whoppers this week (which I have not done in many years) simply to show my gratitude for a fast-food company that is genuinely trying to make a positive difference in American society.

In what ways do your products and services truly serve ethical or progressive purposes?

Further Reading:
BK Crown 
USA Today: Burger King Ups the Ante in the Fight for Kid Customers