Marketing and corporate social responsibility within food stores

David Hillier, Peter Jones, Daphne Comfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer an exploratory case study of how the UK's top ten food retailers are employing corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a means of marketing to customers while they are within stores. Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with a short review of the characteristics and origins of CSR and it is followed by a literature review of current thinking on the relationships between marketing and CSR and a brief outline of the structure of food retailing in the UK. Data obtained from an internet search and a simple walk through visual inspection and information collection survey conducted within the largest store operated by each of the top ten retailers within the towns of Cheltenham and Gloucester, UK provides the empirical material for the case study. Findings – The survey revealed that the principal CSR themes being employed within stores were value for money, support for local food producers, Fairtrade, healthy living and healthy eating, commitment to organic products, charitable donations and initiatives to support the local community. Practical implications – That there was considerable variation in the extent to which the top ten retailers were using CSR themes in marketing communications within stores. Originality/value – Outlines the relationships between marketing and CSR and gives a brief summary of the structure of food retailing in the UK and will be of interest to those involved in those fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582 - 593
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • corporate social responsibility
  • food industry
  • marketing
  • retailers,
  • united kingdom


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