The McDonald's 'Beef Fries' Controversy


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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : BECG017 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Ethics in Business
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1993 - 2001
Pub. Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : McDonald's, Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal
Industry : Food, Beverages and Tobacco
Countries : India

Abstract:

The case examines the controversy involving the global fast food major McDonald's, which was accused of wrongfully selling its French fries as 100% vegetarian products when they contained beef flavoring.

It explores in detail the events that led to the controversy and the company's reactions to the allegations.

The case also discusses the eventual settlement of the lawsuit with the company paying damages to vegetarian groups and accepting that it had gone wrong.

Issues:

Corporate owning up responsibility for a mistake and making amends to those affected, Legal, ethical, social and moral implications of a decision taken by a company

Contents:

  Page No.
A Controversy Erupts 1
Background Note 2
The Troubled History 3
The Beef Fries Controversy 4
The Aftermath 7
Exhibits 9

Keywords:

McDonald, French fries, 100% vegetarian, beef, allegations, lawsuit, paying damages, vegetarian, cases, case study

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