Haagen-Dazs Case Study

Sydney Flock

Crisis Management and Strategies

7/4/2012

 

Haagen–Dazs and Honey Bees

            The Haagen-Dazs and Honeybees crisis is a crisis that is unique in it’s own way.  The honeybee crisis began in 2006 when a massive amount of honeybees disappeared across the United States.  Approximately one third of the hives in the United States disappeared.  Since then the rate of the decline has increased up to 36 percent until the winter of 2007.  (honeybeecrisis.com) Since then there has been a massive movement to spread awareness of the disappearance of honeybees.  One of the main advocates for supporting the honeybee crisis is the Haagen-Dazs ice cream company.  The Haagen-Dazs ice cream company started in Bronx, New York in the 1920’s.  They gradually became a bigger organization, and launched their campaign for the honeybee crisis in 2008.  They used this opportunity to not only raise awareness of the honeybee disappearance, but they also spread the Haagen-Dazs name in a proactive and positive way. 
            When most people think of honeybees they think of pests that can cause someone a lot of pain if they are bitten.  Lately, the world has became much more aware of what the honeybee does, and if it were to disappear what it would do to our world.   There are a lot of foods that rely on work of bees to survive.  Foods such as apples, asparagus, avocados, berries, broccoli, celery, cherries, citrus fruit, coffee, cucumbers, kiwi, melons, peaches, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and many different kinds of nuts that will disappear if the honeybee crisis is not resolved.  Not only will the world see a shortage or a disappearance of this food, but this will also affect the livelihoods of people around the world.  The people who farm all of these crops and foods will struggle, and livestock farmers will struggle with a shortage of feed to take care of their animals.  The honeybee crisis is what is called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD.  The Haagen-Dazs ice cream company developed a project called corporate social responsibility or CSR.  This project demonstrates to its consumers that the company is a good citizen concerned about issues that affect us all and that profit is not everything. 

            Haagen-Dazs Company was not at first affected by the honeybee crisis, but it slowly became more tainted with the disappearance of all the bees. The honeybee crisis is a big risk for the ice cream business because there is ingredients in more than 40% of Haagen-Dazs ice cream that require honeybee pollination. Haagen-Dazs ice cream used handpicked vanilla beans from Madagascar, dark chocolate from Belgium, and coffee beans from South America.  Haagen-Dazs was first based on using the world’s finest and richest ingredients, and that has not changed since it was first established.  Therefore Haagen-Dazs will be affected as the products they used around the world slowly diminish.  Those are the negative affects of the honeybee crisis.  Because Haagen-Dazs decided to help with the honeybee crisis they allowed themselves to build a positive relationship with all of their consumers and the general public.  “ The Haagen-Dazs brand saw an opportunity to use the power and popularity of its ice cream brand to educate consumers on the vital importance of honeybees, and, in doing so, underscore its commitment to using only 100% of all natural ingredients in its ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and snack products”. 

             Strategies:

  1. Haagen-Dazs launched the Haagen-Dazs loves honeybees campaign in 2008
  2. Campaign objectives: 1) Drive sales and increase 2008 revenue growth by more than 1% over 2007.  2) increase awareness of the honeybee issue and the HD loves HB campaign; 3) increase consumer media impressions on the brand by 25% over 2007 levels with a total media goal of 125 million impressions in the first year of the campaign.  4) to convince consumers to plant bee-friendly habitats with a first-year goal of planting 1 million bee-friendly flowers;  5) drive unique visitors to the website to help the honeybees.com, aiming for an average of five page views per visit; 6)to increase consumer recommendations of the Haagen-Dazs brand. 
  3. Donate money to the research facilities towards finding a resolution to the honeybee crisis. 
  4. Haagen-Dazs launched a new ice cream flavor called vanilla honeybee. 

Consequences: 

  1. There was a 5.2% April sales increase; and 4% growth sustained from April to July 2008.
  2. There were more than 277 million media impressions, worth nearly 1.5 million in advertising equivalencies.
  3. In a media audit, more than 93% of  all media coverage was positive
  4. A strong 12-point increase in level or PR and “buzz” was achieved over previous quarters.
  5. According to an end of the year survey; it showed a large increase in honeybee awareness, knowledge and brand recall, an eight-point increase in accurate identification of the issue.
  6. Over 1 million seeds were distributed; more than 1,200,000 bee-friendly flower seeds were distributed to community groups and individuals. 
  7. 469,798 unique visitors swarmed helpthehoneybees.com and engagement was high.
  8. More than 950 consumers contacted Haagen-Dazs with suggestions, and Haagen-Dazs had a 13% increase in brand advocacy. 

Like I said earlier on in this case study, this is a very unique crisis and different form of public relations crisis management.  Haagen-Dazs saw the honeybee crisis as an opportunity to represent their brand in a very good way, and they took full advantage of that opportunity.  Granted, they worked very hard on their goals, but it was also kind of a win win situation for Haagen-Dazs.  Because, Haagen-Dazs was not trying to cover their own behind, and save their name I didn’t see a chance for the company to make a mistake.  I’m sure a lot of other companies that want to be recognized more in a positive way should and will take a course of action just like Haagen-Dazs did but with a different kind of crisis.  I think that it is great that Haagen-Dazs raised money for the honeybee crisis, and that they raised awareness of their brand. 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Haagen-Dazs Case Study

  1. danceadams says:

    You made some very valid points. However, did you consider that when part of the Haagen Daz strategy was to educate their consumer base on the crisis, that the results could have been an air of disingenuous feelings portrayed by the company? And perhaps the only reason for the success of this particular campaign was due to their key demographics propensity towards trendy environmental issues?

  2. lynnluig says:

    Great point Dance! Yet another reason the honey bee crisis was a perfect cause for Haagen Dazs to support (good intentions or not). They were smart to choose a cause that they new their current customers would be interested in.

  3. karobinson5 says:

    HD used a potential crisis to profit. I believe they had good intentions to make a profit. Other companies should be careful of this use of a crisis. With increased awareness and social media, this could backfire for the next company that attempts it. It was good that their crisis management plan was in place, but their socially responsible media campaign for the honey bees yielded a profit, just as the company expected. Good press, good reputation, and doing a good service for the honey bee ended with a good profit.

  4. MattB says:

    Haagen Dazs is owned by General Mills, one of the worlds largest consumers of GMO foods. Neonicitinoids used in conjunction with GMOs are the cause of colony collapse disorder. Haagen dazs is covering their ass with this, they just hope you never find out about it.

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