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Häagen-Dazs logo
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded Bronx, New York (1961)
Founder(s) Reuben and Rose Mattus
Headquarters Oakland, California, U.S.
Products Ice cream
Parent General Mills

Häagen-Dazs locations worldwide

Häagen-Dazs’ first store at 120 Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York

Chocolate Decadence, Häagen-Dazs, VivoCity, Singapore

Häagen-Dazs (play /ˈhɑːɡəndɑːs/) is a brand of ice cream, established by Jewish-Polish immigrants Reuben and Rose Mattus in the Bronx, New York, in 1961. Starting with only three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee, the company opened its first retail store in Brooklyn, New York, on November 15, 1976.[1] The business grew, and created franchises throughout the United States and many other countries around the world.[2] Häagen-Dazs produces ice cream, ice cream bars, ice cream cakes, sorbet and frozen yogurt.[3] Häagen-Dazs products in the US are distributed by Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc.[4]



[edit] Overview

The ice cream comes in many different flavors and is a “super-premium” brand, meaning it is quite dense (very little air is mixed in during manufacture), uses no emulsifiers or stabilizers other than egg yolks, and has a high butterfat content. Häagen-Dazs is also meant to be kept at a temperature that is substantially lower than most ice creams in order to keep its intended firmness. It is sold both in grocery stores and in dedicated retail outlets serving ice cream cones, sundaes, and so on.

[edit] Name

The name Häagen-Dazs is simply two made-up words meant to look Scandinavian to American eyes – although in fact the digraphs “äa” and “zs” are not part of any native words in any of the Scandinavian languages. This practice is known in the marketing industry as foreign branding. Mattus thought that Denmark was known for its dairy products and had a positive image in the U.S.[5] He included an outline map of Denmark on early labels, as well as the name of Copenhagen.[6] His daughter Doris Hurley reported in the PBS documentary An Ice Cream Show (1999) that her father sat at the kitchen table for hours saying nonsensical words until he came up with a combination he liked. The reason he chose this method was so that the name would be unique and original.[7]

[edit] Business history

In 1980, Häagen-Dazs unsuccessfully sued Frusen Glädjé, an ice cream maker, whose name without the acute accent is Swedish for “frozen delight”.[8]

Häagen-Dazs was bought by Pillsbury in 1983. General Mills bought Pillsbury in 2001.[9][10] However, in the United States and Canada, Häagen-Dazs products are produced by Nestlé subsidiary Dreyer’s, which acquired the rights as part of the General Mills-Pillsbury deal.[11][12] The brand name is still owned by General Mills but is licensed to Nestlé in the US and Canada.

To offset increasing costs of their ingredients and the delivery of the product, Häagen-Dazs announced that in January 2009 it would be reducing the size of their ice cream cartons in the US from 16 US fl oz (470 ml) to 14 US fl oz (410 ml).[13] Additionally they announced that in March 2009 they would be shrinking the 32 US fl oz (950 ml) container to 28 US fl oz (830 ml).[14] In response, Ben & Jerry’s said that they would not be changing the sizes of their cartons.[13][15]

[edit] Public relations

In 2009, a sign that appeared to invite only foreigners to a newly opened Häagen-Dazs in New Delhi, India, led to complaints. The Indian subsidiary removed it and apologized.[16][17]

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