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  • Häagen-Dazs launches ‘The Rose Project’: A global initiative with a $100k bursary to support women who Don’t Hold Back, honouring its trailblazing co-founder, Rose Mattus.
  • Celebrations on International Women’s Day itself will include a free scoop of Rose’s beloved Vanilla ice cream across Häagen-Dazs Shops for consumers around the world in its biggest global giveaway.

 1 March 2023; Reuben Mattus made the ice cream, but Rose Mattus made Haagen-Dazs. This International Women’s Day in support of the theme, Embrace Equity, Häagen-Dazs is proud to be celebrating its pioneering female founder, with a global initiative to shine a light on her unsung contribution to the brand and her #DontHoldBack ethos.

On 8th March, Häagen-Dazs, a Global Iconic Brand with over 800 Shops in more than 40 countries, will offer in selected geographies, its Biggest Free Scoop Giveaway, which will be the first of its kind as a global Shops initiative. Häagen-Dazs Vanilla ice cream will be renamed to the ‘Founder’s Favourite’, in recognition of Rose’s life-long love of our iconic original flavour since 1960!

The ‘Founder’s Favourite’ will be offered as a Free Scoop to consumers to mark International Women’s Day in over 100 selected Häagen-Dazs Shops across Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. In Dubai, enjoy a free scoop at our participating shops in Circle Mall, Dubai Hills, Dubai Mall, Kite Beach, Mall of the Emirates and Silicon Central on the 8th of March.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Lead-KV-550x389.jpg

A global rebrand honouring Rose’s contribution will see ‘Rose Mättus – Woman Founded Business Established 1960’ accompanying the iconic Häagen-Dazs logo across multiple touch points in Shops and on digital and social platforms.

The campaign marks the launch of ‘The Rose Project’ an initiative honouring Rose’s legacy, which pledges $100,000 in bursaries to support trailblazing women around the world who Don’t Hold Back. People around the world will have the opportunity to nominate themselves or other unsung women who deserve recognition for their trailblazing efforts, achievements and societal contributions. From these nominations, a shortlist of 50 ‘WOMEN WHO DON’T HOLD BACK’ will be selected for their commendable efforts and put forward for the opportunity to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 each. The bursary fund will enable these five Rose Project Honourees to continue their exceptional work and unleash their potential or even give to a cause they’re passionate about.

Aurélie Lory, Franchise Managing Director at Häagen-Dazs Shops, said: “​​In 2021, we launched our Women Who Don’t Hold Back campaign shining a light on female trailblazers around the globe, but now it’s time to recognise our own remarkable female founder. Reuben Mattus made our flavours but Rose Mattus made us famous! By telling Rose’s untold story as a marketing pioneer who built our brand as a true partner to her inventor husband and helped create our Shops business with her daughter Doris, we hope to use this year’s IWD celebration as a beacon for #EmbraceEquity. Furthermore, Rose’s beloved Vanilla flavour will be celebrated in Shops around the world with our biggest global ice cream scoop giveaway so that everyone can enjoy our iconic ‘Founder’s Favourite’.

We hope that Rose Mattus’ story inspires talented and often unsung women to share their own and also put others forward for the grants. The launch of The Rose Project directly puts our purpose to action with the long-term commitment to supporting women and gender equity going well beyond International Women’s Day.”

A limited-edition run of 1960 Häagen-Dazs ‘Founder’s Favourite’ Vanilla take-home pints has been created with a commemorative Rose Mattus design. The pints will be available in all celebrating Shops around the world across the month of March.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pint-Limited-Ed-550x550.jpg

About Rose Mattus  

Häagen-Dazs was created in 1960 in New York by Rose and Reuben Mattus with a mission to make extraordinary ice cream. Rose Mattus is one of those indomitable women who stand behind great men without whom their men never achieve their ‘greatness’. Born in Manchester, England, her story begins across the ocean in Brooklyn, where as a young girl, she marries her high school sweetheart Reuben and joins his family ice cream business in South Bronx.

With the sustained ambition to make formidable ice cream, the couple established Häagen-Dazs in 1960 while overcoming the constraints of being from an immigrant background in the mid-twentieth century. They launched with three original flavours-chocolate, coffee and vanilla which was Rose’s personal favourite and one of the brand’s best-sellers to date whose recipe still hasn’t changed since then.

While Reuben focussed on making the ice cream, Rose ran the business and was the pioneer behind its marketing strategy sampling the product in high end establishments of Manhattan and creating loyalty with customers and building brand love and word-of-mouth with consumers without spending any advertising dollars. She created a true cult following by marketing a luxury product to an alternate connoisseur crowd with new tastes and preferences. In 1976, Rose with her daughter Doris brought Häagen-Dazs to new heights with the opening of the brand’s first retail shop in Brooklyn, and in the next few years, they developed a Shops franchising network coast-to-coast to expand the business nationally and even internationally. She was eventually recognised alongside Doris with an award for ‘Outstanding Entrepreneurship’ by the National Association of Women Business Owners, and as a family, they remained engaged in philanthropic activities in particular supporting education.

Sales whiz, marketing maestro, and a true business partner to her inventor husband, Rose truly shaped the Häagen-Dazs brand building it into what it is today, yet she remains an unrecognised hero next to Reuben who was widely acknowledged and celebrated for the brand creation. Until 8th March 2023, when Haagen-Dazs proudly honours and celebrates her legacy as a woman-founded business since 1960.