Ben ; Jerrys Homemade, Inc.
1.Company Name: Ben ; Jerrys Homemade, Inc.
2.Location (Headquarters): South Burlington, Vermont
3.Name of President or CEO: Yves Couette
4.Annual Sales: 237 million dollars-1999
5.Total Assets as of most recent date: $154,763,000.00
6.Industry in which the company competes: Ice cream/frozen desserts
7.Largest selling product/service: Ice Cream (specifically Cherry Garcia)
Ben ; Jerrys Homemade, Inc., whose Standard Industrial Classification is ice cream and frozen desserts, competes in a very competitive packaged ice cream industry.
There are many competitors operating in the ice cream industry. These include Haagen-Daz, Dreyers/Edys, Columbo, Healthy Choice, and Starbucks.
There are several factors that drive the ice cream industry. Competition, a major factor, pushes each company in the industry to achieve perfection in the product being manufactured. The goal is to make the product stand out among others. Quantity is an important feature in competition. The ability to introduce innovative new flavors on a regular basis gives consumers options. Quality is another important feature. For example, Super premium ice creams made with natural ingredients are best sellers all over the world.Location, an economic factor, allows the products to be available to many consumers and not just a small portion. Also, the distribution of a good world wide, or even countrywide, helps to promote the product. Another economic factor is community involvement. Showing the consumers of a product that a company cares about the community help boost sales and promotes a positive reputation for that company.
The outlook for sales, revenue growth, and profits for the ice cream industry seem very promising. There has been an increase in sales due to growth in the United States and the United Kingdom marketplace. Decreased dairy costs and an increase in selling price have resulted in higher gross profits for the industry. Also, there have been greater investments in international operations, making for dramatic sale increases. Stock markets are a growing trend in the United States and other countries. These help companies in the ice cream industry grow at a rapid pace, building a strong foundation of capital for that company.
There are some barriers for entry and growth in the industry. Due to very aggressive competition, it is very hard for a company to enter successfully in the industry unless it produces something very appealing to consumers. This is difficult due to the wide array of flavors and products already offered. The leading ice cream companies also have many contacts and markets set up all over the world. These companies most likely would not break relationships with their contacts and turn to a brand new, unskilled company. Due to seasonal changes, sales drop during the winter months and without a successful summer, it is hard for a company to grow.
There are some economic developments that may significantly affect the industry. For example, advancements in technology have led to a decrease in agricultural jobs. Without farming, dairy products, needed for the ice cream industry, are harder to attain. If there were a decrease in international demand, the industry would suffer severely because many companies have contacts overseas. Also, bacteria found in milk could lead to a scare that would decrease the amount of dairy products purchased worldwide.
Technology has played a very important part in the industry. Marketing techniques such as Information Resources, Inc. has enabled companies to better serve the consumers. Computerized inspection and quality control have helped quicken the distribution and manufacturing processes, increasing sales.
The industry is affected by government regulation. All companies in the ice cream industry must meet the policies issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture for the state it is located in. It must obtain licenses from certain states where the product is sold. Criteria for labeling low fat/low cholesterol and other health-oriented foods were revised in 1994 and made more stringent by the FDA.
Ben ; Jerrys Homemade, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of super premium ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. The company uses natural ingredients in its products and refrains from using milk and cream containing the synthetic hormone, rBGH. The companys philosophy includes being down to earth, humorous and having fun, nontraditional, alternative, and active.
The company distributes its products all over the world primarily through independent ice cream distributors. Its target markets include New England, New York, Florida, Texas, the West Coast, the Mid-Atlantic region, and parts of the Midwest. Non target markets that the company competes in include other markets in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Singapore, Peru, and Lebanon. Ben ; Jerrys sells its products in packaged pints, quarts, half gallons, single-serve containers, and novelty products which primarily sell in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and the company-owned franchised scoop shops.
Ben ; Jerrys has a three-part mission statement. This includes a product mission, to make, distribute, and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream; an economic mission, to operate the company on a sound financial basisincreasing values for our shareholders and creating career opportunities and financial rewards for our employees; and a social mission, to operate the Company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in the structure of society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life of a broad community: local, national, and international.1
7.5% of the Companys pretax profits are donated to special causes through the Ben ; Jerrys Foundation. It also donates products to communities and events in areas all over Vermont. Ben ; Jerrys was also the first United States ice cream company to use environmentally friendly containers that contain completely bleach-free cardboard.
The company has two stocks; Class A common stock and Class B stock. Class A is traded on NASDAQ and Class B is non-transferable.
The companys net sales in 1999 rose 13.3% to 237 million dollars. This was up from 209 million dollars in 1998. Total worldwide pint volume has increased 8.9% since 1998 and total worldwide 2 gallon container products increased 16.7% from 1998. Packaged sales rose 2% from 1998 to 1999. International Sales rose 8 million dollars from 1998 to1999. Overall sales from 1998 to 1999 increased and the same goes for every previous year. Cost of sales increased nine million dollars or 6.7% in 1999 since 1998 and overall gross profit increased from 34.9% to 38.7%. Selling expenses increased 23% to 78.6 million dollars in 1999 from 63.9 million dollars in 1998. This increased net sales almost 3% from 1998 to 1999.
Ben ; Jerrys profits have grown dramatically since the company was established. This is due to the growth of the company, which started with the two founders, Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen. It now employs over 800 people. Also, market growth from the United States to other countries has promoted the products worldwide and has led to profit growth. Skilled marketing departments and researching departments have helped the company make pertinent decisions in expanding the production line, increasing gross profits.
Ben ; Jerrys company homepage address is www.benjerry.com. The site is very informative, offering information in all aspects of the business and industry. It also has a very fun and creative side for kids, offering games, cards, and pictures.
The company homepage is divided into six main categories, the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Japan, and Company Information. The sites dedicated to countries outside the United States offer events put on by the company, flavors offered, galleries, information about the Ben ; Jerrys sites in those countries, and games for children.
The United States category, which is the main category, has complete explanations of how the company began, where it began, and who began it. It explains how the company began in a rented gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Both Ben and Jerrys autobiographys are also on the site. There is a page explaining the Ben ; Jerrys Foundation, who it involves, and what it does. The company is very involved with Vermont communities and frequently provides free products for large events and sponsors events that promote dairy, community involvement, and family related activities. You can even sign a guest book and order ice cream online from the site. The mission statement of the company and the company philosophy are also listed. Online tours are available, which thoroughly explain the process of how the ice cream is produced, where it comes from, and where it is distributed. Job Opportunities are also listed on the site.
A research library is offered specifically for people doing school related projects on the company. If theres a question unanswered, Ben ; Jerrys will do its best to answer it. There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, which lists all the questions that have been asked by consumers, students, and people interested in the company. There is also a database where you can enter keywords and questions to find specific and quick answers to your questions. Not only does the company list at least four ways to contact them, but it also has a list of what they cant tell you so you dont waste your time searching for information that isnt available to the public.
Another library included in the site is a financial library. This includes annual reports and quarterly statements from the last five years. Investor FAQs are also listed in this library. Under the Form 10-K405, which is found in the financial library, there is complete information about how the company is run, the members of the company, marketing techniques and risks, legal proceedings, charts on annual sales and total assets, financial data, and relationships.
Many links are listed that help to break down project searches. One link is specifically dedicated to what the media has said about the company and includes video clips. Another link includes news-search links, which contains newspaper and journal articles on the company from all around the world. A timeline link includes every outstanding event that has occurred within the company from the time it started to its current standing.
Also, a whole page is dedicated to the explanation of the companys conversion to environmentally safe packaging. The company feels very strongly about protecting the environment both locally and worldwide. This message is conveyed in the website and a very positive, friendly atmosphere is felt while surfing the site.
1.Ben ; Jerrys Homemade, Inc., 1994-2001, http://www.benjerry.com (April 2001)
3.Cohen, Ben. Ben ; Jerrys Double-Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too. (New York, 1995)
4.Dairy Foods Magazine, 1998-2001, http://www.dairyfoods.com/ (April 2001)
5.Findarticles.com,http://www.findarticles.com/ff_1/mgUGQ/2000_March_6/59816136/print.jhtml (March 2000)
6.Fortune 500, 2001, http://www.fortune.com/fortune.fortunes500/500list.html (April 2001)
7.Hoovers Online, http://www.hoovers.com (April 2001)
8.Thomas Food Industry Register, 2001, http://www.tfir.com/ (April 2001)
9.Primark Global Access, http://ga.primark.com/ga/dga.asp (April 2001)