Purpose is a concept much bandied about these days. So much so that cynics might expect it to be a passing fad — or at least something devalued by overuse like its predecessor, corporate social responsibility. However, there are some businesses — often in sectors much less fashionable than those technology fields where the players make so much fuss about their principles — that have quietly stuck to operating in the “right” way for years.
Take the J.M. Smucker Company, which is best known for its Smucker’s market-leading range of fruit spreads, but also owns the leading peanut butter brand Jif, Folgers coffee and many other familiar names in kitchen cupboards and, thanks to acquisition, has a pet-food business that is its largest category by sales.