CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS
For years, we ’ ve known that folks who love what ’ south in our ice cream are probably to care just adenine much about what ’ s behind it. They read the message on our packages, hang out at the Ben & Jerry ’ s web site, dig up our media coverage — for better and for worse — and speak out about how they feel. For this we ’ re grateful .
We try to hold up our end of the bargain by keeping our caller values front and center in our ongoing dialogue with consumers.
Reading: 2006 SEAR Report | Ben & Jerry’s
Social Mission Campaigns
While Ben & Jerry ’ second has constantly been a brand built for playfulness, we do take a phone number of substantive issues identical seriously. sustainable agriculture ; care for our environment ; social justice and equality ; peace without violence are among them. Learning to stand up for the values we believe in has been a travel. Along the way, we think we ’ ve made some noise with issue-based campaigns, hopefully motivated natural process, and possibly even inspired a few solutions .
In 2006, we took on several issues, boastfully and little. hera ’ s a quick summation of the roads we followed. Click through to learn more .
AMERICAN PIE TOUR
We hit the road in 2006 on an eight-city enlistment to promote common sense priorities in the U.S. federal budget, asking Americans to support the basic needs of children rather of new nuclear weapons systems. We supported the go with an interactional web site and our american Pie frost cream — and paid the postage on thousands of postcards to Congress .
For over a ten, Ben & Jerry ’ second has spoken up for common feel, progressive priorities in the federal budget. In fact, one separate of our company ’ second statement of values says, “ We believe government resources are more productively used in meeting homo needs than in construction and maintaining weapons systems. ”
In 2006, we looked at the $ 30 billion in the U.S. budget earmarked for nuclear weapons spending — while millions of american english children are living in poverty or without health indemnity — and we decided the fourth dimension was correct to speak out on this crucial emergence once again .
In May, we launched the American Pie Campaign. We churned up a specify batch of american Pie ice cream and used the pint package to raise awareness about federal outgo priorities. The pint lid itself features a proto-indo european chart of the federal discretionary budget .
With our partners at The Children ’ mho Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Defense Information, the National Priorities Project, and True Majority, we besides launched an synergistic american Pie web site to educate visitors about the federal budget and the basic unmet needs of millions of children in America .
just for the locate, we created an original american Pie quiz game, a short circuit Kids Count Flash movie, a budget allotment crippled, a link to co-founder Ben Cohen ’ s BB Demonstration, and a connect to the Children ’ mho Defense Fund, where people could take action by contacting Congress. The site peaked at 105,000 page views in July and averaged about 45,000 per calendar month from May to September .
Just in meter for summer, we hit the road with a mobile american Pie Tour, spending five days in Washington, DC ; Boston ; Chicago ; San Francisco ; Denver ; and Portland, OR. In each city, the enlistment featured games, educational materials, postcard write stations, and free samples of american Pie. In all, we scooped over 11,000 free samples of ice rink cream and collected 2,450 postcards to send to Congress in support of common sense budget priorities. Children ’ s Defense Fund representatives participated in respective events, and co-founders Ben and Jerry even joined us for our stop consonant in Washington, DC .
We besides activated the crusade in Ben & Jerry ’ s Scoop Shops around the country. In many of our stores, table peak easel boards featured american Pie messaging and scoopers distributed Federal Spending position papers with tear-away postcards to Congress .
COOL YOUR JETS
With a web page and a campaign in our Scoop Shops, we reached out to our consumers and invited them to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their long-distance publicize change of location in our Cool Your Jets plan. As a company, we ’ ve been purchasing carbon offsets since 2002, and we want to spread the discussion far and wide about this authoritative tool in the crusade against global warm .
Since 2002, Ben & Jerry ’ second has been educating people around the earth about the challenge of global warm through our Lick Global Warming Campaign. We ’ ve besides been investing in carbon paper offsets to reduce our party ’ second contribution to ball-shaped thaw .
In 2006, we brought these two capital ideas together through our Cool Your Jets program. together with our friends at NativeEnergy in the U.S. and myclimate in Europe, we provided an easy, on-line way for people to “ cool their jets ” by purchasing carbon paper offsets to counter the greenhouse natural gas emissions from their airplane travel .
Thousands of folks visited the site in 2006 to learn about carbon offset, and many of them followed the links to my climate and NativeEnergy to purchase carbon offsets. In all, our Cool Your Jets initiative inspired 482,000 pounds of carbon offsets for 443,600 miles of airplane locomotion in fair a few months .
We believe offsets are an significant joyride in the contend against global calefacient. They provide an effective and cheap way to neutralize the carbon generated from air travel and the consumption of fossil fuels — by providing the fund for new cleaner, green energy projects that rely on wreathe, solar and other renewable department of energy sources. Our global Cool Your Jets partners take advantage of alone projects located around the earth while our uranium partners support inspiring projects in North America .
To help get the give voice out about Cool Your Jets, Ben & Jerry ’ sulfur teamed up with Lonely Planet and REI on a national program designed to educate consumers about the issue of global calefacient and steps everyone can take to reduce their carbon paper footprint. lonely Planet created “ Planet Chill ”, a 12-page sustainable locomotion mini guide which was distributed at Ben & Jerry ’ s Scoop Shops, Borders Book Stores, REI retail locations and on LonelyPlanet.com. The guide educated consumers about ball-shaped warming and directed them to the Cool Your Jets page on the Ben & Jerry ’ s web site to offset their travel .
We ’ ll keep Cool Your Jets going in 2007, and we plan to expand the site to help people offset their car and train travel arsenic well .
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
We were sol inspired by Al Gore ’ s documentary film on global warm that we decided to bring the film to as many young people as possible. We sponsored Truth on Campus, which supported screenings to college audiences across the country, and developed our very own contest for Vermont high school students around the launch of the DVD. Ben & Jerry ’ s Scoop Shops helped spread the word, besides .
We were so inspired by An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore ’ second 2006 objective film on ball-shaped thaw, that we decided to bring the DVD interpretation to as many people as possible in our own backyard and around the area. We know we ’ ll need an train nation to efficaciously deal with the challenge of global warm now and in the future .
Working with the Vermont Department of Education and Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Ben & Jerry ’ sulfur provided a unblock DVD of the film to every eminent school in Vermont. Along with the DVD, we kicked off an Environmental Community Action Contest open to every high school scholar in Vermont. We asked students to send us their plan to “ Green Up Vermont ” and help slow global calefacient. The scholar submitting the strongest plan will receive a $ 2,000 accord to use in implementing their platform in 2007 .
Reaching out to the college consultation, we besides sponsored Truth on Campus, a collaborative attempt of nonprofits and like-minded companies to support screenings of An Inconvenient Truth on hundreds of college campuses across the country in the descent of 2006. truth on Campus besides helps students and colleges take carry through to address the climate challenge .
As for folks we couldn ’ thyroxine reach through school, we thought we might reach them through their taste bud. So we concocted a special menu token for our Scoop Shops called “ The Waffle Truth ” ( cousin to An Inconvenient Truth ? ) and used it to promote the DVD free of the movie. Posters of this limited hesitate cone ice-cream sundae in approximately 300 of our Scoop Shops drove dealings to LickGlobalWarming.org where consumers could learn more .
FAIR TRADE MONTH
During Fair Trade Month ( October ), we used our web site, our Scoop Shops, and our Fair Trade Certified Coffee methamphetamine cream to raise awareness among consumers about how buy Fair Trade ingredients improves the quality of life for farmers in the break world .
In October 2006, Ben & Jerry ’ sulfur joined our partners at Transfair USA to celebrate Fair Trade Month with a home plan designed to generate awareness of Fair Trade Certified products .
We sent a Chunkmail message to our die-hard fans and created messaging for Ben & Jerry ’ s Scoop Shops to drive traffic to a dedicated Fair Trade foliate on our web site. About 10,000 people found their way to the site. once there, visitors could learn more about the Fair Trade campaign, Transfair USA, and Ben & Jerry ’ s Fair Trade buying. In summation, web visitors could enter to win a guide go of Costa Rica, including visits to three Fair Trade Certified farms .
here in our own backyard of Burlington, Vermont, we sponsored the solicit of an etown radio program on the national of Fair Trade and scooped our Fair Trade Certified Coffee frost cream at the event. We besides sampled our chocolate ice cream at Burlington ’ s October premier of the film Black Gold, which offers a sober up look at challenges and opportunities in the global coffee bean diligence .
Ben & Jerry ’ randomness believes that Fair Trade documentation is an important room to insure that our buy is making a positive impact in producing areas of developing countries. By guaranteeing farmers higher prices for their harvests, Fair Trade certification enables farmers to reinvest in their farming and their communities .
We are excited to be increasing our company ’ south Fair Trade buying in 2007, and we ’ re pleased to help spread the news about this growing apparent motion .
SMALL AND MID-SIZED FAMILY FARMS
We launched this campaign in 2005 in collaboration with the Union of concerned Scientists and the National Farmers Union, pushing for a national grow policy that creates a level act discipline for small and mid-sized family farmers as they compete against industrial agriculture. In 2006, Congress did move to extend the basic guard net for America ’ randomness farmers.
A distribute of what ’ s good about Vermont — and Ben & Jerry ’ s — comes from family farms. We ’ rhenium grateful for their contribution. We ’ re besides concerned about their survival under blackmail from giant industrial farm operations, encroaching urban development and economic shifts that urge farmers to get big or get out .
In 2006, we continued our campaign to raise awareness about the predicament of class farms with a syndicate Farms web page on the Ben & Jerry ’ s site. On this site, visitors could learn more about key issues, discover how Ben & Jerry ’ s supports syndicate farmers with our buying, find timely carry through steps to take on behalf of small and mid-sized kin farms, and connect to our partners at the National Farmers Union ( NFU ) and the Union of concerned Scientists ( UCS ) .
Our cry to Action for most of 2006 urged Congress to craft a 2007 Farm Bill that will protect minor and mid-sized farms while limiting the expansion of industrial agribusiness. Without an active agent attempt to drive visitors to this page, web dealings was light .
The Edible Social Mission
MILKSHAKES – NEW FOR 2006!
In 2006, Ben & Jerry ’ randomness introduced a newfangled line of bottle milkshakes in three of our classical flavors : Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, and Cherry Garcia. The milkshakes are marketed under a multi-year license agreement with the Pepsi Cola Company. Made with milk from cows who are never treated with rBGH, and packed in reclaimable glass bottles, these new milkshakes are veracious in lineage with our long-held ship’s company values. even better, Ben & Jerry ’ mho has dedicated a helping of the proceeds from these milkshakes to the buy of carbon paper offsets through Clean Air, Cool Planet, which provides fund for the construction of new renewable energy projects. In 2006, these carbon paper offsets totaled $ 102,107 .
Sharing ice cream is an unqualified estimable thing, and so is sharing some of the money we make on sales of our ice cream with groups out to make a difference. In 2006, three flavors of Ben & Jerry ’ randomness produced royalties to support causes closely aligned with our values .
Although legendary Vermont band Phish played their last concert in 2004, their quenchless energy lives on through Ben & Jerry ’ s Phish Food ice rink cream and freeze yogurt. These flavors pay a royalty to the Waterwheel Foundation which is dedicated to the protective covering and preservation of Lake Champlain and its landmark. In 2006, royalties totaled $ 303,310 .
Dave Matthews Band’s Magic Brownies™
As the independent course in our ongoing Lick Global Warming campaign, Dave ’ s Magic Brownies combines the emotional state of Dave Matthews Band, the razzle-dazzle of chocolate and raspberries, and the conscience of Mother Earth in one space. A share of every sale of Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies goes to Dave Matthews Band ’ s Bama Works Fund to support the work of nonprofit organization groups taking carry through against global warming. In 2006, this season produced royalties of $ 53,010 for Bama Works .
Continuing a relationship we ’ ve had for many years, sales of our Butter Pecan frosting cream paid out royalties of $ 67,785 to the Tom Joyner Foundation in 2006. Tom Joyner hosts a top-rated, nationally syndicated good morning radio usher and a television receiver show that airs in over 30 states. The Tom Joyner Foundation is a nonprofit organization foundation that provides aid to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities .
Organic Ice Cream
Since 2003, our line-up has included four organic frosting cream flavors ( Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Strawberry, Sweet Cream & Cookies, and Vanilla ) which are distributed chiefly to natural foods stores in selected markets. We think the broader adoption of constituent methods in department of agriculture is a step in the right direction towards a more environmentally sound food system. While our organic channel performs at a lower rate than we had hoped, we ’ re pleased to be sourcing ingredients for these flavors that are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers .
Body & Soul
Knowing that some folks are looking for healthier alternatives in their diets but distillery seek frost cream from time to time, we launched a credit line called Body & Soul in iconic Ben & Jerry ’ mho flavors in 2005. These flavors have 25 % less adipose tissue, sugar and calories than their full fat counterparts but remain 100 % all natural and certifiably Ben & Jerry ’ randomness .
After slow sales of the agate line in 2005, we kept only two flavors, Body & Soul Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, in limit distribution for 2006, and these will be discontinued in 2007. We recognize that it ’ s not the first meter we ’ ve met with a halfhearted response when we introduced lighter options to our season line-up, and, unchastened, we ’ ll be trying again with a raw “ Lighten Up ! ” line in 2007 in a diverseness of different flavors. We ’ ra motivated to keep working in our kitchen to come up with recipes and formulations that meet our stern standards and the expectations of frost cream lovers who are watching their calories. however, we ’ ll besides take it as a compliment that our traditionalist fans are looking for the real conduct when they peer into the deep-freeze .
Putting the “Elation” in Public Relations
We ’ ra fortunate to have a post that maintains a deep sense of integrity and an godless sense of humor, both weave tightly into the identical fabric of our ship’s company. Co-founder Jerry Greenfield truly did say, “ If it ’ s not fun, why do it ? ” and co-founder Ben Cohen very did say, “ Business has a province to give rear to the community. ”
so when it comes to populace Relations, we try to live up to the ideals of both of our founders. That means keeping things playfulness, representing the activities of our party honestly, and articulating our company ’ mho values along the way. The daily work in our PR Department includes media relations, community relations, and handling numerous requests for information from a wide assortment of people and organizations. The PR crew besides manages product placements in television and movies, making sure our products are represented well through those media .
In 2006, the Public Relations Department played a central function in the success of the business, across a wide range of initiatives. PR was active in supporting the organization ’ s strategic design, event-based and guerrilla market campaigns, social mission initiatives, and ongoing community connections. besides in 2006, the PR Director ’ s placement was combined with that of Social Mission Director and given a buttocks at the table of the MOM ( Managers of the Mission, our senior leadership team ) elevating the two functions within the organization .
populace Relations shot a sharp-tipped arrow of coverage into another bull ’ s-eye of results in 2006. With entire impressions in the 2 billion range, the department ’ s efforts seem to have resonated with both consumers and the media. We had many top moments to celebrate in 2006 and we had some bumps in the road from which we learned good lessons .
newly released flavors including Turtle Soup and Black & Tan were well received stateside, while the latter created a bit of an international flap. Black & Tan was modeled after a popular one-half dark/half fall beer served in public house in the U.S. and around the universe. Abroad, however, irish media and citizens alike informed us that the term was besides used to refer to much-maligned british paramilitary troops sent to defeat the irish Republican Army in the early on 1920s. We apologized for the misconstrue to those offended by the unintended minus association and explained that it was a relish produced only for the U.S. marketplace, in which the meaning was entirely different than the diachronic connotations in the United Kingdom. As a global stigmatize now, it ’ s clear that we need to be more mindful of electric potential cross-cultural misunderstandings when we plan for intersection launches .
One new spirit that garnered batch of positive media attention was american english Pie, the centerpiece of our Social Mission campaign to draw attention to union budget priorities. Co-founders Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen willingly carried this campaign on their shoulders, embarking on an East Coast media tour that resulted in especial coverage from The Washington Post, Boston Globe, CNN, Time, and local media throughout the region. Ben and Jerry were fantastic spokesmen for the campaign to prioritize the basic unmet needs of children over spend on nuclear weapons programs, and the public seemed as tidal bore to eat up the message as they did the spirit .
Another highlight of the year, which brought out our impertinent side, was our Do Us A Flavor contest in the summer of 2006. Using a web-based ‘ spirit generator ’ cock on our web site, we sent out an open invitation to Ben & Jerry ’ second fans around the world to create their identical own frost cream spirit. We thought the 90-day contest would appeal to a few thousand of our most hard-core fans, but when we received 14,000 suggestions in just the beginning few weeks, we realized we ’ vitamin d badly underestimated the invoke of the contest. We ended up with a whopping 40,000 entries, ranging from a dill pickle season to the winner, Puttin ’ on the Ritz. We brought five finalists to Vermont for the concluding estimate, which gathered some fun national media coverage .
The egg we use in our ice rink cream created the most challenging PR moment in 2006. The Humane Society of the United States contacted us about the fact that our eggs came from conventional testis farms that employed caged management of their egg-laying hens. With this motivate, we looked into the topic to better understand it. As we reviewed the issue and possibilities for transitioning to cage-free egg suppliers, the clock was ticking. HSUS kept the heat on through a web-based crusade that started late in the summer and continued into fall. The campaign put Ben & Jerry ’ south in an unfavorable alight and gathered some uncomfortable media attention arsenic well. After we completed our due diligence on the issue, we did end up in the topographic point we wanted, committing to a sum transition to certified-humane cage-free eggs over a four year period, starting in 2007. In the end, the know pointed out the challenges of working within a larger, more building complex supply chain, in which it can be harder to navigate unanticipated issues agilely and expediently .
From Your Lips to Our Ears
The Ben & Jerry ’ s Consumer Services Team knows firsthand what therefore much of the research shows : Ben & Jerry ’ south ice cream fans are likely to develop a personal kinship with our brand. indeed when the phone rings or the mail box fills up, we embrace the luck to make a real joining with our consumers. We ’ ve found most folks to be thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate about our frosting cream and the values of our company. But regardless of the nature of the communication, we strive to listen carefully and capture the messages we receive in a format to ensure that consumer voices are heard within our company. Most of all, we welcome our customers to keep in touch .
Messages from 2006
Over 60,000 people took the time to contact us about our caller ’ south products, practices, and Social Mission activities in 2006, up importantly from final class. The good news is that many of these contacts contained praise for Ben & Jerry ’ sulfur, offering us compliments on our products, our environmental practices, or our social Mission .
however, the majority of our contacts for the entire year came in a two-month period at the end of the summer when many consumers, spurred on by the Humane Society of the United States, called or wrote to encourage us to source the egg we use in our ice cream from cage-free suppliers. Our Consumer Services department answered many telephone calls on this subject and received about excessively many e-mails and comments in our on-line comment box to count. We even opened a few antique letters from folks encouraging us to make the switch to cage-free. On the phone, some people were understand and took the meter to talk with us about the challenges involved in making the switch. other callers shared their thoughts and hung up promptly, and some were precisely downright ill-mannered .
The message got through, though, and in October, Ben & Jerry ’ sulfur announced it will transition to using entirely Certified Humane cage-free eggs over a four-year period beginning in 2007. It ’ s honest to say that consumer voices raised the visibility of this publish within our company and sped up a decision that we had been contemplating for some fourth dimension. In the months that followed, we ’ re please to say that we got many calls thanking us for being one of the first major food manufacturers in the U.S. to informant cage-free eggs. When it was all said and done, contacts regarding Animal Rights were up an astounding 44,666.66 % over last year. now, that ’ s a spike !
On all other issues, consumer contacts were up 7 % in 2006. e-mail contacts increased 13 %, letters declined 12.6 %, and telephone calls were basically compressed. Our faq page saw less activity in 2006 than in 2005, down 15 % from 2005 numbers. however, searches for our FAQ pages were up 8 %, which is an indicator that our consumers are finding what they are looking for more well without having to ask for help .
The top three complaints we heard from consumers were the comply :
- Product texture/temperature abuse (exposure to temperature fluctuations): We saw an increase of about 0.5% in the number of texture complaints over last year. This is a sign that our ice cream is being handled carefully in both our distribution chain and retail outlets, as sales have increased faster than the rate of complaints.
- Ratio/Size (add-ins/ingredient issues): We experienced a 4.5% decrease in complaints about goodies in the mix (too small, too big, not enough, poor distribution or missing), a good sign that most people are finding what they expect when they crack open their pint.
- Franchise/Scoop Shop Complaints: We received an 11% increase in consumer contacts about their experience in Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, with comments on everything from store cleanliness to customer service. Although that number is higher than we’d like, the feedback is important, and we work to address each issue as quickly as we can.
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- Product: We saw a 68% increase in the number of contacts praising our products. We heard from folks about favorite flavors, we received lots of pictures of people and other creatures enjoying our products, and we were contacted by many students doing projects. It’s always great to hear that folks love our products and want to know more about them!
- Environmental: The number of contacts in this category increased by 19% over 2005. People expressed approval of our environmental efforts, with our Lick Global Warming campaign being one of the top areas of focus. We’re thrilled to see an expanding national consciousness around global warming in particular, and this higher level of consumer interest encourages us to stay on the cutting edge of the movement to address climate change.
- Social Mission: Social Mission compliments were up 40% in 2006 but still well off of years prior to 2005. Comments received praised our American Pie Campaign about federal budget priorities, our support for small-scale family farms, and our Company Social Mission in general.