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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, Californiamarker. 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 Canadamarker, Japanmarker, Mexicomarker, The Dominican Republicmarker, Bahrainmarker, The United Kingdommarker, the United Arab Emiratesmarker, Egyptmarker, Saudi Arabiamarker, Australia, the Philippinesmarker, Thailandmarker, Vietnammarker, Indonesiamarker, Malaysiamarker, Chinamarker, Bangladeshmarker, South Koreamarker, Indiamarker, Sri Lankamarker, Pakistanmarker, Panamamarker and Taiwanmarker.

The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors started as separate ventures from Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, owning Burt's Ice Cream Shop and Snowbird Ice Cream respectively. 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 & Mather) 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 Johnson's 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.

Corporate history

1948, Burt and Irv opened six stores, the first franchise covering the sale of ice cream was executed May 20, 1948, 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, Californiamarker in March of 1953. Between 1949 and 1962, the corporate firm was Huntington Ice Cream Company. The name succeeded The Baskin-Robbins Partnership and was eventually changed back to Baskin-Robbins, Inc. on November 26, 1962. The 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 Malaysiamarker 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 1967 (just prior to Burt Baskin's death) by the United Brands Company (United Fruit). In 1972, the 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. purchased Baskin-Robbins from United Brands and all the public stock. J. Lyons then merged with Allied Breweriesmarker, becoming Allied-Lyons in 1978. Allied-Lyons then merged with Pedro Domecq S.A. in 1994 and became Allied Domecq. Baskin-Robbins, Togo's, and Dunkin' Donuts now comprise Dunkin' Brands, Inc. 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 Club.

Baskin-Robbins has maintained solid, controlled growth over the last several years through development of stores that combine Dunkin' Donuts and Togo's. Recently the company announced plans to aggressively grow their standalone locations again and is currently actively seeking franchises .

Irv Robbins died at Eisenhower Medical Centermarker in Rancho Mirage, Californiamarker 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 has;
  • 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:

Current flavors

Classic Flavors

Seasonal Flavors

Regional Flavors

Bright Choices

Global locations


  • (opening of first store planned to 2010)
  • (on US military bases)

Middle East

North America

South America


Baskin-Robbins locations

See also


  1. Baskin-Robbins About Us
  3. This page, , 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."
  4. Spector, Amy. "Ex-Baskin-Robbins franchisees sue chain, open scoop shops." Nation's Restaurant News, 2001-06-18, p. 4.
  5. Co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores dies at 90, Yahoo News, 2008-5-5

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