Ben and Jerry’s is an ice cream company based in the United States of America. It was founded by two old friends namely Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield after successfully graduating from the University of Pennsylvania State University’s Creamery.
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The two friends started the company in 1978 with $12000 as capital.
In 1979 the organization held its first anniversary by offering cone for free. This anniversary is still observed to date.
Its products consist of frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sorbet among many others. Since the year 2000, the company has advanced its brands by introducing new brands like the chunky monkey, phish food and cherry Garcia (Ben & Jerry).
According to observations made in 2007, the company was rated among the most environmental mindful manufacturers.
The SWOT analysis was carried through examining the documentation, including internet search, of the company and analyzing the marketing strategies used by the marketing team.
Unstructured interviews were carried out in the various areas, especially through the social networks sites to gain general customer awareness about Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream. The following paragraphs analyze the findings.
According to Paynter, the Company was able to build its credibility by listening to suggestions and complains from its customers (1). This has led to the creation of brands that are tailored to meet consumer needs.
Their initiative in social obligation in protecting the environment has contributed to building trust and recognition of the organization’s name. A good example of the organization’s efforts in conserving the environment is the introduction of unbleached packaging containers.
These environment conservation initiatives have been employed in their corporate affairs which in return gives the company an upper hand. Even after the company was absorbed by Unilever the company is still active in its obligation towards social accountability.
The company has also managed to secure a commendable market share in a market that is dominated by two companies.
By the year 2000, the market share of the company was equal to that of its competitor, Haggen-days, at 42% but it then reduced to 36% which was still below its competitor which had increased to 44%. The emergence of new markets has been hindered by their products being niche.
The company’s administration has failed to abide by the ethics of professionalism which has led to some members like the former CFO being arraigned in court where he was found guilty of misusing company resources.
The company’s focus on its social obligation can make the company disregard the changing trends in the market. Their vendors command high bargaining authority due to the complexity of the company’s order which causes price fluctuations.
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Opportunities and External Factors
The company has several changes such as providing manufacturing healthy products, i.e., fat-free ice cream and frozen yogurt products.
By obtaining slim-fast and quality foods will help the company to penetrate through the European markets where the population is very sensitive about maintaining its weight.
According to benjerry.com the increase in demand for premium ice in Asia provides an opening for the company to expand its markets to areas that were earlier neglected like South America.
Nestle and Dean Foods pose a great threat to the survival of the company. The consumer priorities are changing to consider products that aid in weight loss which are highly recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
Demand for milk has increased while dairy farming has reduced which has led to an increase in the prices of dairy products (Novak, 1).
The company should hire personnel that have relevant skills and who are concerned about the welfare of the company rather than their interests. The company should come up with products that are not meant for specific markets.
Furthermore, the company should pay more attention towards its growth rather than its social obligation because if the social obligation outweighs company objectives the company’s growth will be stunted.
Ben & Jerry’s. Company History. Web.
Novak, Jill. “Ben and Jerry’s SWOT”. Marketing Teacher. 2010. Web.
Payner, Ben. “Cloned Beef (and pork and milk): It’s what’s For Dinner” Wired Magazine. 15.11. 2007. Web.