Ben & Jerry's

B&J redirects here. For the beverage company see Bartles and Jaymes.
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc.
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded Burlington, Vermont (1978)
Headquarters South Burlington, Vermont, US
Key people Jostein Solheim (CEO)[1]
Ben Cohen co-founder
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder
Products Ice cream
Parent Unilever NV
Website benjerry.com

Ben & Jerry's is an American ice cream company, a division of the British-Dutch Unilever conglomerate, that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream novelty products, manufactured by Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings, Inc., headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, United States, with the main factory in Waterbury. It is best known as an ice cream brand, founded in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont.

Contents

History

Ben Cohen (right) and Jerry Greenfield (left) in 2010

In 1977 lifelong friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed a correspondence course on ice cream making from the Pennsylvania State University's Creamery. On May 5, 1978, with a $12,000[2] investment the pair opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. In 1979, they marked their anniversary by holding the first-ever free cone day, now an international annual celebration.

In 1980, Ben and Jerry rented space in an old spool and bobbin mill on South Champlain Street in Burlington and began packing their ice cream in pints. In 1981, the first Ben and Jerry's franchise opened on Route 7 in Shelburne, Vermont. In 1983, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used to build “the world’s largest ice cream sundae” in St. Albans, Vermont; the sundae weighed 27,102 pounds. That same year, the cows on their cartons were redesigned by local artist, Woody Jackson.[3]

In 1984, Häagen-Dazs wanted to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry’s in Boston, prompting Ben & Jerry’s to file suit against the parent company, Pillsbury, in its now famous “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign. In 1987, Häagen-Dazs again tried to enforce exclusive distribution, and Ben & Jerry’s filed its second lawsuit against the Pillsbury Company. In 1985, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was established at the end of the year with a gift from Ben & Jerry's to fund community-oriented projects; it was then provided with 7.5% of the company’s annual pre-tax profits. In 1986, Ben & Jerry’s launched its “Cowmobile”, a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in a unique, cross-country “marketing drive”—driven and served by Ben and Jerry themselves. The “Cowmobile” burned to the ground outside of Cleveland four months later, but there were no injuries. Ben said it looked like “the world’s largest baked Alaska.”[4]

In 1988, the pair won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons Of The Year, awarded by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Also that year, the first brownies were ordered from Greyston Bakery, which led to the development of the popular Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor.[5] In 1992, Ben & Jerry’s joined in a co-operative campaign with the national non-profit Children's Defense Fund; the campaign goal was to bring children’s basic needs to the top of the national agenda. Over 70,000 postcards were sent to Congress concerning kids and other national issues.

Ben & Jerry's ice-cream branch at the United Square Shopping Mall in Singapore.

In April 2000, Ben & Jerry's sold the company to British-Dutch multinational food giant Unilever.[6] Unilever said it hopes to carry on the tradition of engaging "in these critical, global economic and social missions." Although the founders' names are still attached to the product, they do not hold any board or management position and are not involved in day-to-day management of the company.[citation needed]

In 2000, Jostein Solheim, a Unilever executive from Norway, became the new CEO of the company and had this to say about the transition: "My mantra that I've repeated a hundred times since starting at Ben & Jerry's is: ‘Change is a wonderful thing,'" he said. "The world needs dramatic change to address the social and environmental challenges we are facing. Values led businesses can play a critical role in driving that positive change. We need to lead by example, and prove to the world that this is the best way to run a business. Historically, this company has been and must continue to be a pioneer to continually challenge how business can be a force for good and address inequities inherent in global business."[7]

In 2001, Ben & Jerry's U.S. completed transition to "Eco-Pint" packaging, which packaged all pint flavors in environmentally friendly unbleached paperboard Eco-Pint containers, a decision it later reversed. The use of brown-kraft unbleached paperboard had been a critical first step toward a totally biodegradable pint made without added chlorine. However, due to what they described as increasing supply, quality, and cost challenges, Ben & Jerry's discontinued their use of the Eco-Pint in 2006, transitioning to a pint container made out of a bleached paperboard that it said was more readily available with superior forming characteristics.

On Earth Day in 2005, when a vote in the U.S. Senate proposed the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, Ben & Jerry's launched a protest by creating the largest ever Baked Alaska, which weighed 900 pounds, and placed it in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.[8][9]

In March 2009, "CyClone Dairy" launched an advertising campaign and a website to promote its milk products, which purportedly came exclusively from cloned cows.[10] On April 1, 2009 (April Fool's Day), Ben & Jerry's announced that it was behind this fake company. Ben & Jerry's had created the tongue-in-cheek hoax to raise awareness of the increasing presence of products from cloned animals within American food,[11][12] and to campaign for a tracking system of cloned-animal products.[13] The hoax was revealed on April Fool's Day with the message: "We believe you should have the right to choose which foods you eat – and not to eat cloned foods if you don’t want to. And that's why Ben & Jerry’s believes we need a national clone tracking system, so people and companies can know where their food is coming from."[14]

Original flavors and sundaes

A pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream

Chubby Hubby consists of vanilla malt ice cream swirled with fudge and peanut butter, and containing pretzel nuggets covered in fudge and filled with peanut butter. For the month of September 2009, Ben and Jerry's, in partnership with Freedom to Marry, renamed Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby, in celebration of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the company's home state of Vermont. The carton featured the image of two men getting married beneath a rainbow.[15][16][17]

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield appeared on the The Colbert Report on March 5, 2007 to promote their new ice cream flavor, Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream, and their grassroots education and advocacy project, TrueMajority.

The company renamed a flavor, Yes Pecan, in reference to Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. They later decided in January 2009 to donate all proceeds made on the sale of that flavor to the Common Cause Education Fund.[18]

On March 2, 2011 Cohen and Greenfield appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and unveiled their new flavor of ice cream, Late Night Snack, whose carton features a picture of Jimmy Fallon on it.[19]

The Vermonster is a large ice cream sundae found in Ben & Jerry's "scoop shops", which is served in a "Vermonster Bucket", and consists of 20 scoops of ice cream, a fudge brownie, 4 bananas, 3 cookies, 4 toppings, 4 ladles of hot fudge, whipped cream. It contains 14,000 Calories, and 500 grams of fat.[20]

Free Cone Day

Girl in cow costume promoting Free Cone Day outside a Ben & Jerry's shop in Stockholm, Sweden

Free Cone Day is an annual event held between late March and early May, in which Ben & Jerry's scoop shops give out free ice cream cups and cones. The most recent event took place on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 from noon to 8 pm.

Over one million free cones are given away each year, prompting the company's ad slogan "Be One In A Million." Charitable organizations are often present at the stores each year and enjoy a significant amount of fundraising success. Oftentimes, local celebrities show up at various stores, promoting the day and the charities there.[21] Sometimes the event is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day and sometimes volunteers are on hand with clipboards and voter registration forms to help those who would like to register to vote.

The first Free Cone Day was held on Saturday, May 5, 1979 by Ben and Jerry as a customer and staff appreciation event for the first anniversary of their store's opening.

Cultural significance and reach

The interior of the Ben & Jerry's in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Ben & Jerry's was the first brand-name ice cream to be taken into space aboard the Space Shuttle. Most of the cruise ships of the Royal Caribbean International have a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop on board.[22]

Controversies

Rumors have suggested that Ben & Jerry's supported the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia Police officer Daniel Faulkner. Despite several appeals, Abu-Jamal's conviction has been upheld. As a result of this alleged support, e-mails claimed that the Fraternal Order of Police called for a boycott of Ben & Jerry's products.[23] The Ben & Jerry's website denies that the company has had any connection with the case; however, it adds that Cohen did sign a petition as a private citizen asking that "the system of American justice be followed fully in the case."[24]

The company raised controversy in 2006 after releasing a flavor of ice cream called "Black and Tan." It had named the flavor after the alcoholic drink made by mixing stout with pale ale. However, outrage stemmed from the fact that Black and Tans was also a name given to the irregular force of British ex-servicemen recruited during the Irish War of Independence and renowned for their brutality.[25]

In September 2010, the company agreed to stop labeling their ice cream and frozen yogurt as "all natural." The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer-advocacy group, had urged Ben & Jerry's to stop labeling their ice cream as "all natural" due to the company's use of corn syrup, alkalised cocoa, and other chemically modified ingredients.[26][27]

Global locations

Ben and Jerry's has locations around the world.[28]

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Madagascar
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Wages

Ben & Jerry's used to have a policy that no employee's rate of pay shall exceed seven times that of entry-level employees. In 1995, entry-level employees were paid $8 hourly, and the highest paid employee was President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Lacey, who earned $150,000 annually. When Ben Cohen resigned as Chief Executive Officer and Ben & Jerry's announced the search for a new CEO in 1995, the company ended the seven-to-one-ratio policy.[29]

In 2006 Ben & Jerry's started selling their first Fairtrade certified ice cream. The company has promised that all the ingredients they use that can be Fairtrade certified will be certified by the end of 2011[30]

References

  1. ^ "Ben & Jerry's new CEO". Ben & Jerry's Press Release. http://www.benjerry.com/our_company/press_center/press/WaltFreeseAnnouncement.html. Retrieved April 23, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream – History". Ben & Jerry's. http://www.benjerry.com/company/history/. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ Dan Chu and Martha Babcock. "The Whole Country Cowtows as Artist Woody Jackson Makes His Big Moove Toward Udder Success", People magazine, August 28, 1989
  4. ^ "Jerry Greenfield". Celebrity Websites. March, 2005. http://www.jerrygreenfield.com. Retrieved April 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Baking In The Glory". Ben & Jerry's. http://www.benjerry.co.uk/ourbrownies/. Retrieved July 21, 2008. 
  6. ^ "The Globalization of Ben & Jerry's". Common Dreams. http://www.commondreams.org/views/041300-106.htm. Retrieved April 13, 2000. 
  7. ^ "Jostein Solheim". Food Processing. http://www.foodprocessing.com/ceo/jostein_solheim.html. Retrieved April 1, 2000. 
  8. ^ http://www.benjerry.com/our_company/about_us/social_mission/social_audits/2005_sear/sear05_9.1.2.cfm
  9. ^ http://www.benjerry.com/features/baked_alaska/index.cfm
  10. ^ "Perfect Cows. Perfect Milk". Cyclone Dairy. http://www.cyclonedairy.com/. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ "FDA’S flawed approach to assessing the safety of food from animal clones" (PDF). www.centerforfoodsafety.org. March 2007. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/FINAL_FORMATTEDprime%20time.pdf. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Paynter, Ben. "Cloned Beef (and Pork and Milk): It's What's for Dinner". Wired. http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/15-11/ff_clonedmeat?currentPage=all. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Take Action: Tell Congress to create a tracking system for cloned animals!". Ga3.org. http://ga3.org/campaign/CloneTracking. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream – Cow Cloning". Ben & Jerry's. http://www.benjerry.com/activism/inside-the-pint/more-about-milk/cow-cloning/. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  15. ^ Moore, Matthew (September 2, 2009). "Ben and Jerry's renames ice cream Hubby Hubby in celebration of gay marriage". The Daily Telegraph (UK). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6125277/Ben-and-Jerrys-renames-ice-cream-Hubby-Hubby-in-celebration-of-gay-marriage.html. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  16. ^ Daley, Bill (September 2, 2009). "Hubba hubba! Hubby Hubby ice cream introduced". Chicago Tribune. (leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com). http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/thestew/2009/09/hubba-hubba-hubby-hubby-ice-cream-introduced.html. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream – Flavors – HubbyHubby". Ben & Jerry's. September 1, 2009. http://www.benjerry.com/hubbyhubby/. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Yes Pecan!: Ben & Jerry's Announces Obama Ice Cream". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/09/yes-pecan-ben-jerrys-anno_n_156674.html. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/feature/late-night-snack/
  20. ^ Walsh, Erica (October 2009). "Extreme Pig Outs: Meals That Will Blow Your Mind and Tip the Scale". Travel Channel. http://www.travelchannel.com/Places_Trips/Travel_Ideas/Food_And_Drink/Food/Extreme_Pig_Outs. 
  21. ^ http://www.vegasnews.com/6178/ben-jerry's-31st-annual-free-cone-day-serves-more-than-7300-scoops-raises-money-for-local-charities.html Retrieved September 16, 2009
  22. ^ "Onboard Experience". Royal Caribbean International. http://www.royalcaribbean.com/findacruise/experiencetypes/experiencetype/experience/home.do?br=R&exCode=115. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  23. ^ "The FOP's Boycott for Daniel Faulkner". BreakTheChain.org. http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/danielfaulkner.html. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Support Home Page". Ben & Jerry's. http://benjerry.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/benjerry.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1&p_created=915055482&p_sid=SjHqOFbj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfcm93X2NudD0yMjcsMjI3JnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  25. ^ Bowcott, Owen (April 19, 2006). "Ben & Jerry's new flavour leaves bad taste". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/apr/19/ireland. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  26. ^ Clark, Andrew (September 28, 2010). "Ben and Jerry's admits ice-cream with a liberal conscience not 'all natural'". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/sep/28/unilever-ben-jerrys-ingredients-watchdog. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Ben & Jerry's Takes 'All Natural' Claims Off Ice Cream Labels". NPR. September 27, 2010. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/09/27/130158014/ben-jerry-s-takes-all-natural-claims-off-ice-cream-labels. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  28. ^ "International Locations". Ben & Jerry's. http://www.benjerry.com/company/international/. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  29. ^ Carlin, Peter (February 5, 1995). "Pure Profit – For Small Companies That Stress Social Values as Much as the Bottom Line, Growing Up Hasn't Been an Easy Task. Just Ask Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia and Starbucks". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1995-02-05/magazine/tm-28412_1_ben-cohen. 
  30. ^ , http://www.benjerry.co.uk/fairtrade/ 

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