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Ben & Jerry’s | Success Story of the Multinational Ice Cream Brand



Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s is one of the world’s most prominent ice cream brands. Founded in 1978, Ben & Jerry’s manufactures delectable flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. It has been a part of the food industry for over four decades. The brand sells iconic and exclusive flavors like Brownie Batter Core, Chunky Monkey, Americone Dream, Phish Food, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cherry Garcia, and Honey Coffee. Ben & Jerry’s is famous for its deliciousness and creamy texture. Every day, the company makes nearly one million pints of ice cream.


Ben & Jerry’s is America’s beloved ice cream brand. Headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s sells over fifty flavors of ice cream. It is available in 38 countries. Founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry’s annual sales are more than $400 million. It is America’s leading ice cream brand. The brand uses high-quality ingredients and often creates unique flavors. In 2000, British company Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s. From South Korea to Jamaica, the company’s delectable ice cream has significantly influenced the ice cream world. 


On the 18th of March 1951, Ben Cohen was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He attended Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, NY, for schooling. When he was in seventh grade, he met Jerry Greenfield. They attended gym classes together. Both remained friends until graduation. While Ben was in his senior year of high school, he started working as an ice cream man. He used to drive an ice cream truck and sell ice cream to kids. Later, he started distributing ice cream to fellow ice cream truck drivers. After graduation, Ben enrolled at Colgate University in Hamilton. However, he dropped out of the university after a year to pursue pottery. Simultaneously, he did several odd jobs to make a living. Ben worked as a cashier, security guard, pottery wheels deliverer, taxi driver, floor cleaner, and assistant superintendent. Later, he became a craft teacher at Highland Community School.

On the 14th of March 1951, Jerry Greenfield was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Jerry grew up on Long Island. He wanted to become a doctor. Consequently, Jerry enrolled at Oberlin College in Ohio to pursue a pre-med curriculum. While studying at Oberlin, he started working at the college cafeteria. He worked there as an ice cream scooper. After graduating in 1973, Jerry could not get into medical school. Later, he decided to return to New York. He lived with Ben and worked as a lab technician. Jerry reapplied to medical school in 1974 but failed to get admitted. After that, he moved to North Carolina. He continued the lab technician job. In 1977, Ben told Jerry about the rewarding social life of Saratoga, California. The duo decided to live in Saratoga to make a living and establish a business.  

Beginning of Ben & Jerry’s

In 1977, Ben and Jerry did several jobs to save money to establish a business. Initially, they wanted to open a bagel shop in Saratoga. However, someone else took the place they wanted to lease. Consequently, the duo decided to open a store in Burlington. It was approximately a hundred miles away from Saratoga. Ben and Jerry decided to start the bagel business but soon realized that bagel-making equipment was costly. Simultaneously, they noticed that there was no ice cream parlor in town. The duo felt they could establish a flourishing ice cream business. They were determined to open an ice cream shop. However, they did not know how to make them. Consequently, they took an ice cream-making correspondence course. After completing the course, they used their savings to lease and renovate an abandoned gas station. Finally, on the 5th of May 1978, Ben and Jerry opened their first ice cream parlor.

Initial Years

Initially, Ben and Jerry sold ice creams, crêpes, and soups. Burlington was a cold region. As a result, the duo felt that ice creams needed an accompaniment. Ben was responsible for the crêpes and soups, whereas Jerry made ice creams. They had only one five-gallon ice cream maker. Ben and Jerry churned out unique flavors of ice creams every day. Chunky Monkey and Health Bar Crunch were one of them. Soon, they started gaining recognition across the town. A year passed, and Ben and Jerry held a “free cone day” event on the shop’s first anniversary. 

Pathway to Success

Two years after its establishment, Ben & Jerry’s started selling its ice cream in pints. In 1981, the brand opened its first franchise store in Shelburne, Vermont. The following year, Ben and Jerry decided to demolish their first ice cream parlor to create a parking lot. Simultaneously, they opened a new Ben & Jerry’s outlet on Church Street, Burlington. Within ten years of establishment, the brand had made significant progress. In 1991, they released the iconic chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in pints. By 1994, Ben & Jerry’s started appearing in the United Kingdom market. The company made a prominent name in the food world. Consequently, Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s. Presently, they sell over fifty delicious flavors. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is accessible in 38 countries. It stands prominently in the confectionary world with its usage of premium-quality ingredients and unique flavors.

Also read: Lindt | Success Story of the Swiss Chocolatier Company

When was Ben & Jerry’s established?

Ben & Jerry’s was established in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont, USA. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield set up the ice cream shop by renovating an abandoned gas station. Initially, they sold ice creams, crêpes, and soups. Within a year, the ice cream parlor had gained recognition across the town.

Who is the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s?

Matthew McCarthy is the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s. Matthew was the vice president of Unilever’s North American Food Division until 2018. Besides being Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Matthew is also a member of the company’s independent Board of Directors.

What is the net worth of Ben & Jerry’s?

Ben & Jerry’s net worth is estimated to be $500 million. Every year, the company sells over 400 million units of ice cream. It has been a part of the food industry for over four decades. 

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