In 1961, he formed a company and turned his attention to creating a luxury ice cream using only fresh cream, real fruit and natural ingredients.
Mattus mixed very little air into his ice cream, and to give it a rich taste it was made with high butterfat content.
He just made three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and coffee. In a twist of marketing genius he decided to give his product a Scandinavian-sounding name Häagen-Dazs. By the early 1970s, Häagen-Dazs was being distributed in supermarkets throughout the country.
Mattus started small, and jealously guarded the ‘family business’ image. The firm prospered and spawned imitators. In1976, Reuben’s daughter opened the first independent Häagen-Dazs store and it was an immediate successes.
In 1982 Häagen-Dazs began selling its ice cream abroad in countries ranging from Japan to Germany.
At its peak in 1982, Häagen-Dazs sold sixty-five million pints a year and was worth $115 million before it was sold to the Pillsbury Corporation in 1983. The company introduced an ice-cream bar in 1986, frozen yoghurt in 1991 and sorbet in 1993.
Häagen-Dazs brand is owned worldwide by General Mills. In the United States and Canada only Häagen-Dazs is marketed by Nestlé.
Business history of Häagen-Dazs