About this Ice Cream Business
Ben and Jerry’s is an American ice cream mogul whose core lies in the creation of delectable ice cream in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. The company was founded in 1978 by a couple of childhood friends and 30 years later, the company, which is now a division of Unilever, is located in more than 30 countries worldwide. (Unilever, n.d.)
Ben and Jerry’s combine simple satisfaction of customer’s demand for diverse flavors with the distinct focus on minimizing the negative impacts of basing operations on dairy products. Their current mission is centered on a value that consists of three parts which must be coherently linked to the major stakeholders for the organization to operate responsibly. (Jerry’s, 2014)
In 2000, the franchise was acquired by Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch conglomerate which can be stated as a competitive acquisition which allowed the increased capitalization of the American company as far as capital for research and development is concerned and allowed for Unilever to subsidize its innovative branch to Ben and Jerry’s.
Despite this acquisition, Ben and Jerry’s values as far as sustainably and responsibly producing unique products, have not been diluted by an otherwise profit oriented ownership. The firm believes in positively influencing remands to policies and laws which can ultimately contribute to a better environment for the future.
According to Ben and Jerry’s the company’s mission 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” (Ben & Jerry’s, n.d.).
The ice cream company is operating on a three-part mission, which aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that is connected to their business, such as suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees and customers. Furthermore, it aims to guide the decision making of Ben & Jerry’s (Ben & Jerry’s, n.d.).
The product mission is to make, distribute and sell ice cream that contains natural ingredients and that respect the earth and environment (Ben & Jerry’s, n.d.).
The economic mission aims for a sustainable financial growth, which means that the company is operating on a sustainable financial basis increasing value for stakeholders and expanding opportunities for development. Furthermore, it aims for a career growth for its employees (Ben & Jerry’s, n.d.).
A further mission of Ben & Jerry’s is the social mission, which compels the company in innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally (Ben & Jerry’s, n.d.).
For planning Ben and Jerry’s always inserts their concern for the environment into its strategic and operating plans. When striving for goals they always implement their financial and social goals. To attain these goals Ben and Jerry’s focusses on keeping loyal customers. They will create an economic demand for the product by creating new flavors based on the environmental situation they are involved in for example their Rainforest Crunch flavor which they made especially to raise awareness for the rain-deforestation problem that the world faces (Cohen, 1998). Furthermore the marketing team of Ben and Jerry’s meets up once a year to create new flavors based on their Suggest a flavor page from which they can determine what the consumers are eating and requesting (Lupo, 2014).
Ben and Jerry’s has turned into a more centralized structure. This means that the communication goes from the top which is the CEO down the line through the managers and then towards the employees. There have been some issues with the organization of Ben and Jerry’s. They implemented a 5:1 salary ratio which means that nobody is allowed to make more than 5 times the amount of any other employee in the company has been ineffective and has made recruiting a difficult task. (Edwards, 2011)
Ben and Jerry’s has gone through some changes in leadership in the past years. After their takeover by Unilever, the CEO Paul Polman has implemented some new leadership styles which allowed Ben and Jerry’s to focus on profitability and social responsibility at the same time. The leadership style that Ben and Jerry’s uses is more of an authoritative leadership style. It is an authoritative leadership style because the leader mobilizes his team towards a common goal which in this case is profitability and maintaining their environmentally friendly status. (Benincasa, 2012).
For Total quality management within the company Ben and Jerry’s provides trainings to new employees or to employees which have been promoted to a higher position.