Founded in 1961 in Bronx, New York, Häagen-Dazs has generated a lot of ink over the years with its Northern European-inspired naming strategy. Its creamy texture and deep flavours catapulted Häagen-Dazs to the ice cream of choice for leading restaurants and cafes as well as airlines and hotels. Hooking its marketing strategies into the sensuous and hedonistic qualities of ice cream, Häagen-Dazs has been successful in making a name for itself as a guilty pleasure for adults.
Welcome to the 47th edition of magazine B.
Häagen-Dazs is a brand of ice cream that first appeared in the Bronx, New York in 1961. Because the name sounds European, Häagen-Dazs is easily mistaken for a European brand. Founders Reuben and Rose Mattus, husband and wife, hoped the company would be associated with the artisan spirit of old Europe. The compoundword “Häagen-Dazs” doesn’t mean anything but is supposed to sound Danish, as Denmark is renowned for its dairy products. As the brand name continues to arouse consumer curiosity and is often assumed to be European, it seems the company nomenclature has been successful.
When Häagen-Dazs first appeared, ice cream was a product marketed mainly toward children. However, Mr. and Mrs. Mattus sought to expand the consumer base. To appeal to a wider palate, they increased the butterfat content and removed all preservatives, releasing three basic flavors: vanilla, chocolate and coffee. They also charged a much higher price, directly targeting more sophisticated customers. As the company grew, it developed distinctive plastic lids and colored packaging and launched a marketing campaign that conveyed an image of indulgence, and thus succeeded in expanding its market from children to adults. “In the 1990s (the first time I encountered Häagen-Dazs), they were like the Armani of ice cream,” says one customer.
This path has brought Häagen-Dazs more than just commercial success. Today, whether it’s a children’s treat sold at amusement parks or a cafe indulgence served alongside coffee, Häagen-Dazs is incorporated into many desserts in a variety of restaurants and eateries. It is now common to see people complement a scoop of Häagen-Dazs with additions such as whiskey or espresso. Much like Intelligentsia Coffee and San Pellegrino, Häagen-Dazs has established itself as a formidable name in the epicurean community. The concept of a “blue ocean,” or uncontested market space, does not apply exclusively to new or sparsely populated industries. If you can reinterpret an existing product by creating a slight variation that opens up a new market, then you have in essence created a blue ocean. That is what Häagen-Dazs did by expanding the possibilities of the ice cream business. To achieve true success, rather than blindly chasing trends, it is important to pause and reflect on one’s circumstances and environment.
In one of this edition’s interviews, a French dessert chef makes an interesting comment on how the French view food: “The reason why they insist on smaller portions is their fundamental philosophy of ‘eat only as much as you can taste.’” For the French, after three mouthfuls of the same food, the palate becomes dulled. The same principle applies to desserts. Whether it’s a small luxury to savor after a meal or a moment of indulgence after a hard day, we hope that a scoop of Häagen-Dazs will enhance your taste for life.
Taehyuk Choi, Editor in Chief
Häagen-Dazs on Instagram
Tristan Choi, CEO of Fell + Cole
A look at Häagen-Dazs’ journey through its key flavors
Consumers share their favorite flavors and experiences
Sweets Bancho, food producer
How Häagen-Dazs infiltrated numerous markets
People who enjoy Häagen-Dazs in their own way
Jung-in Yoo, chef-owner of Kind
Häagen-Dazs shines on the dessert menus of restaurants and cafes
View from the Top
The super-premium image of the Häagen-Dazs brand
Images that reveal Häagen-Dazs’ hidden class
The birth of a premium ice cream for adults and its branding strategy
Advertising with seductive imagery and suggestive phrasing
Taste of Trends
Häagen-Dazs flavors reveal prevailing trends in the food and beverage industry
What Häagen-Dazs means to the rich and famous
The marketing strategies of Häagen-Dazs’ competitors
Numbers that display Häagen-Dazs’ status in the world of ice cream
- Suyong Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuk Choi
- Senior Editor
- Eunsung Park
- Jaewoo Seo, Yeongmin Kim
- Sarah Kessler Jang
- Ayoon Jung
- Sukwang Baak
- Tony Song
- Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
- JOH & Company
- Printed in the Republic of Korea
- 978-89-98415-97-6 03050
- The Emperor of Ice Cream: The True Story of Häagen-Dazs
- The Häagen Dazs Book of Ice Cream
- The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets
- The Science of Ice Cream
- Ice Cream: A Global History
- Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
- All-American Ads of the 70s