The Business of Food

Common core standards:

Next Generation Science Standards


Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem

Time: 1hr


To explain some of the advertising methods used by the fast food industry.

To understand the potential consequences of fast food on health.

To discuss the difference between health food and fast food advertising.

Key words: Vocab Tree

advertising; target audience

(Using Key words: Students can create a glossary, in books or on wall in classroom. Students are encouraged to practice using vocab in written or verbal sentences – perhaps writing example sentences and displaying them. Students could earn points for using the vocab in novel sentences each week)


  • PowerPoint- ‘The Business of Food’
  • Examples of current food advertisements PDF- ‘Fast Food Advertisements’



Ask students to name and describe some fast food advertisements they have seen, heard, read, etc. Ask them to describe why they like these advertisements and why they think they are effective. How do these ads make them feel? Who is the particular audience for the ads they are describing? Then ask the students to describe an ad for a food they consider healthy. How do these ads differ from the health food ads they have seen? Be sure to write down key words and ideas on the board so they can be referenced later.

Group Activity

(Show PowerPoint)

Have each group imagine they are a part of a nation wide campaign to redesign the image of health food. This ad will be seen across the US and will be used to promote healthy eating. It’s your student’s job to create a marketing campaign that is effective and can compete with current food advertisements. Have each group pick a food item they feel needs an “image makeover” (Broccoli, Cabbage, etc.) and have them create a marketing strategy that draws in the American public.

Have each group refer to the key points discussed and collected earlier in the lesson while they are creating their food campaign. What has been effective in food advertising? How can I apply these strategies to my campaign? What should health food advertisements be doing differently? How will my ad get people excited about healthy eating? What do I like and dislike about the ads I see on TV? Who am I marketing to? What would they like to see in an ad? How do I want the potential customer to feel when they see my ad?

Allow for 15 minutes of brainstorming and creativity and then have the students present their campaigns expressing their take on health food advertising.

Class Activity

Have each group present their advertisement to the class as if they were in a professional atmosphere selling a campaign .

Further Activity

Why stop with the classroom? Have the students create videos, blogs, social media pages etc.. to continue their campaign to promote healthy eating. Allow students the opportunity to take this activity to the next step and make their ideas in the classroom become a reality that others can view and enjoy!


Who do food advertisements generally target? (Preschoolers, children, and teens)

How do these ads play a role in eating habits? (Increased exposure to fast food ads can increase fast food consumption)

How does health food advertising compare to fast food advertising? (Fast food industries tend to have a larger marketing budget, more effective advertising)

Healthy Growing Session (if participating):

Students develop and design advertisements for their Healthy Growing products/services.

Now that your students are experts in advertising, have them create a new campaign promoting their own garden. Have them use social media outlets, monthly newsletters, hand out pamphlets, organize an event, or any idea they come up with. Let the students use these outlets to tell family and friends about what they are learning with Healthy Growing and Healthy Planet and how they are making a difference in promoting healthy lifestyles.


Lesson Plan: The Business of Food

Fast Food Advertisements

The Business of Food Powerpoint