Book Review

Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop; How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor

Details Genre: Nonfiction

Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoopis subtitled How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor — or, how a growing ice-cream business licked its problems and survived the crunch of competition to land at the top of the cone, uh, heap. There are interesting sprinkles: Ben & Jerry's makes highly flavored ice cream chunked full of cookies and candy because Ben's sinus problem means he can't taste anything mild and smooth. And the company's agenda of socially responsible causes led to an antinuclear billboard saying "Stop Seabrook, Keep Our Customers Alive and Licking." But such morsels aside, Ben & Jerry's ex-CEO Fred "Chico" Lager has written a self-serving parfait that shows how gosh-darn wonderful the company is — a kind of boastful annual report with anecdotes. His sales reports, meeting summaries, personnel problems, and business-speak ("With the emergence of frozen yogurt, we reconfigured the market data...") just aren't as enjoyable to read as Chunky Monkey ice cream is to eat. C

Originally posted Jun 10, 1994 Published in issue #226 Jun 10, 1994 Order article reprints