Ben and Jerry's Case Study

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February 10th, 2009



Andrea Painter,

Anwar Taylor &

Priyanka Chigurupati

Ben & Jerry’s case study

Ben & Jerry’s was not only an industry leader in the superior †premium ice cream market, but was also commanded a very important leadership position in terms of social causes and its strong commitment to the society. The three dimensions of the mission statement are Product, Economic and Social aspects. In terms of the products, Ben & Jerry’s has about fifteen selected list of flavors, some of which were made to contribute to the society. For example, their super creamy vanilla is made with chunks of Rainforest Crunch, thereby representing an economically viable long term alternative to cutting the trees down. In terms of the economic aspects, it focused on the community by initiating its first public equity financing (75,000 shares at $10.50 a share) exclusively to the residents of Vermont and by doing this, they supported those who had first supported the company with the opportunity to profit from its success. In terms of its social aspects, Ben & Jerry’s made its corporate operating decisions in the best interest of the community welfare. They used most of their waste water (mostly milky water) to feed pigs belonging to a farmer nearby, instead of discharging in into the municipal treatment plant.

Ben & Jerry’s first public equity financing was to the residents of Vermont (mentioned above). Later, to provide greater liquidity and capital, there was a broad offering made, and the shares were traded on NASDAQ. We think this secondary equity offering was not fair because it was a private engagement towards public funding. The investors were denied a fair opportunity to invest in the company. Although Ben & Jerry’s was doing well, the...