Since 2001, investment analysts in Great Britain have argued that food companies must take responsibility for their contribution to obesity or risk losing business over the long term. The investment analysis, from JP Morgan in the UK, says some companies (Danone, Unilever, Nestlé) are making some progress in some ways, particularly in Europe, but most say they are doing more than they really are–more show than tell. The analysts’ recommendation: food companies should do more–much more–to demonstrate their commitment to the health of their consumers.
But how can they, especially in the U.S., where Wall Street cares about only one thing: growth and more growth. I don’t see how companies can make real progress until the investment system changes. A somewhat better junk food is still a junk food, alas.