Ben and Jerry's - The Journey To Japan
Ben and Jerry's Homemade, Inc. originated as an ice cream shop founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in Burlington Vermont in 1978. It produced a line of ice creams regarded as "super premium" on account of their containing at least 12% butterfat (compared with about 6-10% for regular ice creams) and their high density.
Haagen-Dazs (founded in New Jersey in 1961) was the only major competitor in the super premium market. While Haagen-Dazs promoted a sophisticated image, Ben and Jerry's promoted a funky (embodied by its flavor names), caring, image with a strong social mission.
By 1994 sales were $149 million and distribution was in every state of the union as well as a few foreign countries. About this time, though, sales growth began to slow down and net income slid from a high of $7.2 million in 1993 to a loss in 1994..
While Ben and Jerry's unquestionably held the 2nd largest market share of the American super premium market (at 34% compared to Haagen-Dazs’ 44%), the company had started to lose its market share
Through the mid 1990s, the company had grown with very little promotional strategy, and with only haphazard dabbling in foreign markets. The early growth was largely propelled by its founders' quirky style and social activism which brought the company considerable publicity and customer loyalty. The company's first outside CEO, appointed in 1996, was unable to turn the company around, and a new CEO, Perry Odak, was brought in in early 1997. Ben and Jerry's Pre-1997 Foreign Activity
Ben and Jerry's had been slow to embrace foreign markets, which accounted for only $6 million of sales in 1997. Co-founder Ben Cohen was disinclined toward growth for growth’s sake, so the company’s few adventures overseas were limited to opportunistic arrangements often proposed by acquaintances of Cohen through his social activism.
By 1997, Haagen-Dazs, on the other hand, was in...
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