SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- As expected, Ben & Jerry's Homemade here "went private" last month, with the global Unilever purchasing all outstanding shares for $43.60 per share, or $326 million.
an Lee Holden. "We will have our own board of directors and our own chief executive officer," current CEO Perry Odak said.
Unilever is based in Rotterdam and London, with two co-chairmen. "This should mean no change whatsoever; we'll continue to operate as we always have," Holden said. Unilever is the world's largest ice cream company, with brands including Good Humor and Breyers.
In December, Ben & Jerry's had said it was weighing offers to be acquired. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of the company, will continue to be involved, although it was not immediately clear what their roles will be.
Ben & Jerry's had already released its spring line, called 2 Twisted, wherein two classic flavors are twisted together to create a new one, in pints. For example, the new flavor Half Baked is made by combining Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Entangled Mints is made by mixing Mint Chocolate Cookie with Marble Mint Chunk. The public's response to these new twists on flavors has been "unbelievably positive," according to Holden. Ben & Jerry's was founded in 1978 and went public in 1985. "Now we've gone from thousands of stockholders to just one," as Holden said.
HT Reps Speak to Frozen Food Council of North Carolina
Johnny Harris, dairy category manager at Harris Teeter, along with frozen category manager Travis Hubbard, were guest speakers during a recent meeting of the Frozen Food Council of North Carolina. Items that were discussed included category reviews at Harris Teeter, and upcoming events surrounding dairy month in June and national ice cream month in July, which will include supporting the Habitat for Humanity organization and circulating 1.2 million direct mail pieces to consumers.