The Division of Social Classes with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

SOC 101

6/30/10

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

This ice cream is all natural, premium ice cream that can be found at nearly every grocery store today. There are lots of different flavors to choose from, each one being unique, amazingly tasty, and full of flavor. While still only being available in pint sizes, these ice creams usually costs just as much or even more than a half-gallon of the other brands like Tillamook, Dreyer’s, and Breyer’s. It probably costs just as much as a gallon of the generic brands as well. Yet, the Ben & Jerry’s company is still in business, owns its own scoop shops, and people buy this ice cream on a regular basis.

While I’m sure this product is most likely bought among different ranges of the social class spectrum, I’ve decided to focus on the middle-class, mainly because I think that this is the class that this ice cream is mostly targeted towards.

I believe that this product does a great job at dividing social classes. In my opinion, I think that lower classes would go for the generic ice cream because it gets you more for your money and still tastes good, although it doesn’t necessarily taste as good as Ben & Jerry’s (If I only had an extra $5 and a whole family that was craving ice cream, would I buy a pint of ice cream or a whole gallon?). Upper-middle and elite classes might buy this from time to time (who doesn’t have a favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor?) but then again, they might just have their own personal chefs make ice cream to their specifications.

I think that the middle-class may buy this ice cream to show that they are “better” than the generic brands and deserve ice cream that holds more prestige than the lower quality brands. They probably also buy this ice cream because, in my opinion, it tastes way better then all of the other store brands. Also, the ice cream is all natural, and the dairy farmers that supply the dairy products for the ice cream “pledge” not to use rBST to treat their cows, which makes the people who buy this ice cream feel like it is healthier than the other brands. I think there is also something about buying this premium ice cream that people like. If you’re at the store and see someone with a few Ben & Jerry’s in their cart, you normally say to yourself something like, “Dang, that guy must be loaded!” At least, I do. Some people may also buy this ice cream for attention at the grocery store, although I think this is a very small factor.

In short, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream divides the low-class generic shopper from the middle-class, “premium food” shopper because it is premium, all natural ice cream. And with a nation that loves ice cream, this stuff is a step ahead of the rest.