Even before the latest outbreak of gun violence on American streets — the mass shooting over the weekend in Southern California — major consumer brands were already facing pressure to stake out positions on gun control as part of a trend in which companies promote social causes along with their products.
Earlier this month, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) issued a statement asking customers to leave their guns at home. Starbucks (NYSE:SBUX) and Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK) had previously asked patrons not to carry guns while dining. Analysts suggest such public stances could become a new normal, with major brands effectively shaping policies in reaction to changing public values.
“This move is all about how these companies want to position their brands,” said Nick Setyan, restaurant analyst at Wedbush Securities. “The overarching trend today is brand evolution towards a more sustainable planet, peaceful world.”
Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee retailer, has been one of the first to adopt a no-guns-on-the-premise stance.