Values before Profits

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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From the beginning, the men applied their countercultural values to the enterprise. They believed that no one in the company should earn more than five times the entry-level staff’s salary. They put a profit-sharing plan in place almost before there were profits. One of the more popular company benefits was free ice cream. Each employee could have up to three pints a day.

The business was thriving and competitors noticed. When the Pillsbury corporation tried to freeze Ben & Jerry’s out of some supermarkets to protect its Häagen-Dazs brand in 1984, the company fought back with a successful “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign. Cohen and Greenfield were seen as young entrepreneurs standing up to a corporate giant. The case, which was settled out of court, was a public relations triumph for Ben & Jerry’s. See häagen-dazs.