Baskin-Robbins is a global
chain of ice cream parlors founded
by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1953, from
the merging of their respective ice cream parlors, in Glendale,
It claims to be the world's largest ice
cream franchise, with more than 5,800 locations, 2,800 of which are
located in the United States. Baskin-Robbins sells ice cream in over 30
countries, including Canada, Japan, Mexico, The
Republic, Bahrain, The
Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, South
Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Panama and Taiwan.
The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors started as separate ventures
from Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, owning Burt's Ice Cream
and Snowbird Ice Cream
Snowbird Ice Cream featured 21 flavors, a novel concept for the
time. When the separate companies merged in 1953, this concept grew
to 31 flavors.
Baskin-Robbins is known for its "31 flavors" slogan. The idea for
having 31 flavors came from the Carson-Roberts advertising agency
(which later became Ogilvy &
) in 1953, along with the slogan "Count the Flavors.
Where flavor counts." 31 was also more than the 28 flavors then
famously offered at Howard
restaurants. Burt and Irv also believed that people
should be able to sample flavors until they found one they wanted
to buy ― hence the iconic small pink spoon. During a now famous
promotion, Amy Boggioni led a group of three who finished 31 scoops
of all 31 flavors in under 31 minutes.
, Burt and Irv opened six stores, the first
franchise covering the sale of ice cream was executed May 20
, for the store at
1130 South Adams in Glendale (Store #1). Burt and Irv were
brothers-in-law. In 1949
, the company’s own
production facility opened in Burbank. They made the decision to
sell the stores to the managers, thus becoming one of the first
franchised food service businesses . In 1953
Baskin-Robbins hired Carson-Roberts Advertising who recommended
adoption of the 31 as well as the pink (cherry) and brown
(chocolate) polka dots and typeface that were reminiscent of the
circus. The first store that adopted the new 31 look
was 804 North Glendale Ave. in Glendale, California in March of 1953.
corporate firm was Huntington Ice Cream Company. The name succeeded
The Baskin-Robbins Partnership and was eventually changed back to
on November 26
Baskin-Robbins company was also the first to introduce ice cream cakes
to the public
To this day Baskin Robbins often incorporate the number 31 in its
promotion despite now surpassing that number in terms of their
total selection of flavors. For example, in Malaysia this includes giving a 31% off their hand-packed
ice cream every 31st in any given month in a year which invariably
causes a long queue at their outlets.
Baskin-Robbins was owned by the founders until purchased in
(just prior to Burt
's death) by the United
(United Fruit). In 1972
company went public for the only time in its history when United
Brands sold 17% in an IPO. A year later (1973
the British food company J.
Lyons and Co.
Baskin-Robbins from United Brands and all the public stock. J.
merged with Allied
Allied-Lyons in 1978.
merged with Pedro Domecq S.A. in 1994
became Allied Domecq
, and Dunkin'
now comprise Dunkin'
Dunkin' Brands was part of Allied Domecq until its
purchase in 2006
by a group of private equity
firms - Bain Capital
, Thomas Lee and
The Carlyle Group
In 1999, Baskin-Robbins terminated approximately 200 domestic
franchisee agreements in Southern markets they deemed
"nonstrategic." The terminated shop owners were all notified of the
agreement cancellation via a conference call. Over forty of the
former franchisees united to form a new company, KaleidoScoops
, which operates as a cooperative
and is based in Aurora, Illinois.
Other former Baskin-Robbins franchisees converted their stores to
franchises of McConnell's of Santa Barbara and The Ice Cream
Baskin-Robbins has maintained solid, controlled growth over the
last several years through development of stores that combine Dunkin'
. Recently the company
announced plans to aggressively grow their standalone locations
again and is currently actively seeking franchises .
Robbins died at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California on May 5, 2008, at age 90.
Baskin-Robbins has been criticized for selling shakes with an
extremely high caloric amount. For instance the Baskin-Robbins
Large (32oz) Heath Bar Shake
- 2,310 Calories
- 108 g Fat (64 g Saturated)
- 266 g Sugar
Son of founder Irv Robbins, the author John Robbins
, in his book Diet for
a New America
, advocates against the use of dairy products,
and attributes the early deaths and health problems of many in his
family to the consumption of ice cream .
Original 31 flavors
The original flavors when Baskin-Robbins first opened in 1945 were:
- (opening of first store planned to 2010)
- (on US military bases)
- Baskin-Robbins About Us
- This page, http://www.dunkinbrands.com/aboutus/history.html ,
at the Dunkin' Brands site (last updated in 2004), confirms the
Baskin-Robbins founding date, the J. Lyons purchase (and date), the
Allied Breweries merger (and date), and the Pedro Domecq merger
(and date). Quotes: "1946: Baskin-Robbins is founded by Burt
Baskins and Irv Robbins."; "1973: London-based J. Lyons & Co.,
Ltd., purchased Baskin-Robbins."; "1978: J. Lyons is purchased by
Allied Breweries, creating Allied Lyons."; "1994: Allied Lyons
partners with Pedro Domecq, the leading spirits marketer in Spain
and Mexico, to form Allied Domecq."
- Spector, Amy. "Ex-Baskin-Robbins franchisees sue chain, open
scoop shops." Nation's Restaurant News,
- Co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores dies
at 90, Yahoo News, 2008-5-5