Ben & Jerry’s has been making delicious ice cream since the company was founded by school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, back in 1978. Their aim is (and always has been!) to make the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way.
Ben & Jerry’s is a pioneering ice cream brand claiming the title of many firsts including, in 2015 when it when it introduced the world’s first Fairtrade vanilla ice cream and went on to source Fairtrade ingredients throughout its ice cream. Fairtrade means farmers get a fair price for the goods they make and helps to tackle the root cause of social injustice in supply chains: poverty.
In 2022 Ben & Jerry’s became the first ice cream company to commit to Tony’s Open Chain which means the cocoa beans that make its chocolate ice cream are fully traceable to provide more justice for cocoa farmers.
The Ben & Jerry’s story began in 1978, when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, two school friends with a mutual dislike for gym class and a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State opened their first ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.
Ben and Jerry agreed that it was no fun being in business just to earn a living – they wanted to strike the perfect balance of joy and justice by making the world’s most delicious ice cream while using the business to make the world a better place.
Their recipe was a joyful concoction of values-sourced ingredients including fresh Vermont milk, cream and generous portions of, well, whatever chunky, swirly ingredients took their fancy on any given day, and a justice driven agenda to build awareness and support for the activism causes they felt strongly about.
Ben and Jerry survived their first year of ice cream making through Vermont’s cold winter. Over the years more and more people discovered the delights of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so fast forward to 1986 and Ben and Jerry opened their first factory in Waterbury, Vermont. By the end of the 80s, they had over 80 ice cream scoop shops in 18 American states.
It was around this time too that the best friends decided to put their beliefs in writing, that making the best possible ice cream should be done in the nicest possible way and created their three-part mission statement – an approach to business that still lives strong today.
The following decade Ben & Jerry’s went global, popping up in the UK by 1994, then Ireland in 2000, closely followed by the rest of Europe. The company was acquired by Unilever in 2000, offering lovers of Ben & Jerry’s even more euphoric ice cream in 43 countries across the world.
With iconic flavours such as Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, values-led tubs with a mission at the core like Sunny Honey Home and Cone Together, and unique favour names fans know and love including, Phish Food and Karamel Sutra, Ben & Jerry’s has built a reputation over the years as a fun-loving company with a unique and creative approach to business.
As pioneers in ice cream innovation, Ben & Jerry’s continues to expand its portfolio of ice cream flavours, including the most recent introduction of its Sundaes range –creamy ice cream topped with a never-before-seen whipped topping and packed full of gooey sauce, chocolatey chunks and more layers than you can shake your spoon at.
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