Court Issues Injunction Against Haagen-Dazs Forcing Out Ben & Jerry’s
WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) _ Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. has won a court injunction barring Haagen-Dazs Co. Inc. from trying to force Ben & Jerry’s ice cream off supermarket shelves.
The court order, issued Monday afternoon, stems from a lawsuit Ben & Jerry’s filed last week that alleges Haagen-Dazs and its parent company, Pillsbury Co., are trying to prevent distributors from selling Ben & Jerry’s.
In Minneapolis, a spokesman for Pillsbury said the order has been appealed.
The Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s charged Nov. 16 that Pillsbury and Haagen- Dazs were violating a 1985 agreement that prevents Haagen-Dazs from pressuring ice cream distributors not to sell Ben & Jerry’s.
The accord resulted when Ben & Jerry’s learned that Haagen-Dazs had told some New England distributors that if they sold other super premium ice cream products, including Ben & Jerry’s, they would lose access to Haagen-Dazs.
The case was brought in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, and the injuction prevents Haagen-Dazs from implementing a policy to force distributors not to carry Ben & Jerry’s super premium ice cream, said Ben & Jerry’s spokesman David Barash.
The injuction also requires Pillsbury to ″use its best efforts″ to ensure that Haagen-Dazs complies with its obligation under the injuction, Barash said.
The earlier 1984 feud between then-upstart Ben & Jerry’s and the nation’s largest maker of super premium ice cream drew national attention to the phrase ″What’s the Doughboy afraid of?″ The Ben & Jerry’s slogan was in reference to Pillsbury’s familiar marketing symbol.
Last week, Pillsbury indicated that the agreement with Ben & Jerry’s had expired.
Ben & Jerry’s, now the nation’s third largest distributor of super premium ice cream, recorded sales last year of $20 million. The company expects sales to reach $28 million this year.