Market Research Report for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream By: Swati Sugandh Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Incorporated started in 1978 when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield bought their first ice cream scoop shop in Burlington, Vermont. Since then, Ben & Jerry’s has grown from being only offered in Vermont to other States and Countries around the world. Throughout the growth of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. , many movements have been made in aspects of ingredients, packaging, advertising, and image.
An example of these movements is branching out from common Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to Greek and Sorbet types of desserts. The support of Farm Aid and Fair Trade are two imperative factors in regards to image and ingredients for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. In today’s society, customer awareness is vital in promoting anyone’s product in the instance for Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. their web site has been able to inform awareness of the variety of premium flavors they offer, their memorabilia available in their online store, and all the benefits that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream offers their customers.
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. recognizes that the majority of their loyal customers are women between the ages of twenty to forty years old. Due to that fact most of the advertising done to promote Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is done in the areas that would reach this target market. Although Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. has many strengths there are some areas that Ben & Jerry’s could grow in and develop in order to reach future customers to widen their target market. Overall, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. s a well known company that has been around for many years and will continue to be due to their dedication to their unique flavors and types of ice cream and frozen desserts. For the continual growth of Ben & Jerry’s the company is always discovering alternative ways to make and promote their company at all aspects of the creation of the perfect pint of premium ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. strives to “create prosperity for everyone that’s connected to their business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike” (Ben &
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Jerry’s). There are many ways that Ben & Jerry’s has accomplished meeting these goals. First is their growing Fair Trade movement, this movement is about empowering small farmers in developing countries to compete and thrive in the global marketplace. Ben & Jerry’s buy’s cocoa, vanilla, sugar, coffee, and bananas from many different parts of the world. Additional ways that Ben& Jerry’s upholds their goals are by using cage-free and free-range eggs, and by their Caring Dairy program that only uses cows that have no rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone).
The containers of Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream is Forest Stewardship Council certified which means, “that the paperboard comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife habitat, maintenance of biodiversity, avoidance of genetically modified tree species, and protection of traditional and civil rights, among other Rainforest Alliance criteria for healthy forests” (SEAR). Ben & Jerry’s offers over 30 different flavors of ice cream; they also have other types of ice desserts such as sherbet, and Greek yogurt for all customers to enjoy their favorite flavor and type.
Ben & Jerry’s is a multinational corporation with their products offered all around the world. Although Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. has many strengths, they still have the weakness of the price of their product compared to their competitors. An example of this is one pint of Ben & Jerry’s is about five dollars, but for a half gallon of ice cream from Blue Bell it is only about seven dollars. Therefore, Ben & Jerry’s has to deal with many would be buyers that say I get more for my money from other ice cream sellers.
Another weakness is that although Ben and Jerry’s offer many unique flavors, many customers prefer original flavors. Ben & Jerry’s have started to rectify this particular weakness by now offering original flavors with better ingredients to enhance the flavor. Lastly, Ben & Jerry’s is available to buy at many grocery stores; however, at those said locations many only offer a small portion of the flavors that Ben & Jerry’s offers. Thus, some customers never get to have the chance of trying many of the flavors. Even though Ben & Jerry’s is a multinational corporation with many ocations, and their products are around the world, there are still some opportunities that Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. could take advantage of. First off, Ben & Jerry’s could stand to update their advertising in the sense of some commercials, and social media campaigns. By doing this, they could inform people that do not know about their ice cream and all they offer, including a gift shop at certain locations and online. Second, Ben & Jerry’s could consider branching out and offering ice cream sandwiches and a half gallon of ice cream.
This would allow them to reach people in the summer time that want a grab and run outside type of treat or, by offering the half gallon they could reach people that eat ice cream frequently and feel like a pint is too small. Society is a major threat for Ben & Jerry’s right now in the sense that society dictates that one should be very conscience of eating right and being thin. Ben & Jerry’s is held responsible for encouraging people to eat unhealthy with promoting ice cream, and therefore blamed for the “obesity epidemic”.
To help promote a better image Ben & Jerry’s have started to offer the Greek yogurt ice cream. Another threat like many other markets is competition as stated earlier many competitors offer a larger quantity for close or equal amount of money. To try to counter this threat Ben & Jerry’s has started offering coupons. While considering all these strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats Ben & Jerry’s must always consider their target market which ranges from twenty to forty year old women, and anyone who has a sweet tooth. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. trives to make sure there is absolutely no discrimination whether based on economic status, age, gender, or race. Customers of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to try Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by having it available in all grocery stores in order to make them lifetime customers. Although society is changing Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. does recognize that women are still the primary grocery shopper for families, therefore leading them to be a good portion of the target market. “The women being targeted are 20-40 years of age who’ll probably have a family size of two to five.
The average family income is $30,000 plus”(Allen 20). Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. are targeting these types of women because they tend to care more about what products they are putting into their own bodies and those of their families. Since Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is made with the most eco-friendly and organic ingredients most women tend to appreciate it compared to other types of ice creams that might not use the best ingredients, they also tend to not gain as much value when they buy competitors ice cream.
Even though Ben & Jerry’s target market is women, they are still trying to reach every possible customer by offering something for every type of ice cream consumer, in hopes of widening our target market. To ensure Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. is promoting their product to the before mentioned target market, we use the best ingredients to ensure the value of the unique and innovative flavors of ice cream are made organically by using cage free humane eggs and steroid free milk from farms in Vermont and other states.
Another beneficial strategy that Ben & Jerry’s offers are their availability of their products. Ben & Jerry’s initial efforts to market products involved selling their ice cream from the back of Ben's Volkswagen. In the following few years, they started selling through local independent distributors and opened franchises of their ice cream shop in several states. Then Ben ; Jerry added grocery store locations and the Ben ; Jerry’s web site, where customers can buy the premium ice cream from single serve cups to two point five gallon buckets.
Ben ; Jerry’s recently started to open Scoop Shops across the nation. These locations offer ice cream cones and unique flavors not found in most grocery stores; thus, breaking into the ice cream parlor sector. Although Ben ; Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. is not known for ice cream treats such as ice cream sandwiches or other such things; Ben ; Jerry’s does occasionally offer novelty ice cream treats, such as the “Peace Pops”. The strategy of offering Ben ; Jerry’s premium ice cream in most grocery stores and at Scoop Shops ensures availability.
Ben ; Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. has been successful in creating brand loyalty with their target market by promoting their product through online advertising, street marketing and outdoor marketing. With these three types of advertising, the first one offers coupons for loyal customers to use and future customers the opportunity to try Ben ; Jerry’s ice cream at a discounted rate. Street and outdoor marketing involves offering free ice cream to people directly, allowing Ben ; Jerry’s to find out how people feel about flavors and Ben ; Jerry’s immediately.
Similarly Ben ; Jerry’s Scoop Shops offer select deals on ice cream cones throughout the year. Another way that Ben ; Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. promotes their premium ice cream is by their “Peace, Love, and Ice Cream” campaign which was a movement that discovered the central values of all Americans. The primary goal of this campaign was to promote Ben ; Jerry’s charitable activities and target the emotions of the audience in an effort to create brand awareness and therefore increase sales within the product market.
The campaign consisted of pictures of thrills, fun and excitement, from radio to printed advertisements in hope to increase awareness about Ben ; Jerry’s environmental advocacy programs. Many networks were thrilled because the “Peace, Love, and Ice Cream” campaign was a fun movement that allowed Americans to give back to the community through consuming tasty, frozen desserts. Ben ; Jerry's continues to grow daily by developing new products, new ideas, and new flavors for their public.
Consumers around the world are well aware of Ben & Jerry’s tasty treats because of the firm’s execution of marketing concepts and bright visions. Ben & Jerry's mission of giving back to the community worked in various ways, and in turn, have evolved into one of the most prevalent ice cream companies of today. Ben ; Jerry’s product mission statement is “To make, distribute, and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients, and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment. In order to achieve their mission Ben ; Jerry’s charges a higher price to enable them to create their higher quality ice cream and allow them to have a striving and unique Research and Development department. The price decisions are well synchronized with product design, distribution, and promotion decisions to create a consistent and effective marketing program for Ben ; Jerry’s Ice Cream. The market and demand are other factors that stimulate the pricing system of Ben ; Jerry’s ice cream in the sense that the economics condition, competition costs, prices, and so forth all affect the price of Ben and Jerry’s products.
For instance, in bad economic situations, people will reduce their expenses on secondary goods, and in this case ice cream is a secondary good. Ben ; Jerry’s have very distinguished competitors like Haagen Daaz and Blue Bell that will definitely affect the price of Ben ; Jerry’s ice cream. Since Ben ; Jerry’s is recognized as a high quality manufacturer of ice cream, they tend to pay very close attention to their competitors, especially when it comes to maintaining their quality and prices.
Moreover, the prices of Ben ; Jerry’s products set correlating between their competitor’s prices and customer needs and expectations while still making a profit and abiding by their mission statement. A Ben ; Jerry’s Homemade Holding, Inc. is a company that values their brand loyal customers and is always striving to improve and better their premium ice cream. Although Ben ; Jerry’s does advertise and promote their company and product there are still ways that they could expand their scope of advertisement and perhaps include new forms of advertising.
Television is a central communication for most families; therefore, Ben ; Jerry’s could establish recognition of their product by doing product placement with popular TV shows. Another way to use a television for advertising is strictly just using commercials; this allows the opportunity to inform those who do not know what Ben ; Jerry’s offers in their ice cream. Ben ; Jerry’s company is mostly popular in the Northern United States; however, Ben ; Jerry’s could possibly shift to Southern US, and outside of the USA to broaden their customer base.
Social media marketing is becoming a necessity in advertising now that most people are connected to at least one form and owns a smart phone. By entering this form of advertising Ben ; Jerry’s could connect with a different generation and build up a following. Overall, Ben ; Jerry’s Homemade Holding, Inc. is an established premium ice cream provider and will continue to be so through their dedication to using the best ingredients, being inventive in creating new flavors, and connecting with consumers and future consumers. Works Cited Allen, Margarat, Emily Brockett, and Steven Allison. Peace, Love, and Ice Cream Campaign. " Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Company. N. p. , n. d. Web. Ben & Jerry's. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://www. benjerry. com/>. King, Rachael. "Ben ; Jerry's Imagine Peace Online. " Fast Company. N. p. , 4 Aug. 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://www. fastcompany. com/955923/ben-jerrys-imagine-peace-online>. "SEAR 2011 | Ben & Jerry's. " Ben & Jerry's. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://www. benjerry. com/cms/site/us/lang/en_US/home/company/sear-reports/sear-2011>.
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