Frusen Glädjé was a company that made ice cream for the United States market, founded in 1980 by Richard E. Smith. Although the ice cream was made in the U.S., it used a quasi-Swedish name. Frusen Glädjé – correctly rendered as Frusen glädje, without the acute accent – is Swedish for "frozen joy" or "frozen delight".
After being sold several times, the brand is no longer in use.
Frusen Glädjé was produced at a Dairy Lea plant with special equipment and sold in 10 states in 1981, including New York and California. Frusen Glädjé was available in eight flavors (15 in the New York shop). Frusen Glädjé was distributed in every state by the end of 1982, reaching an annual production of 30 million pints, up from 18 million in 1981. Erhard Sommer was the company president.
Marketing materials stated, "The ice cream that appeals to the sybaritic buyer with a taste for the very finest." Television commercials typically featured the catch phrase, "I ate all the Frusen Glädjé." Another catchphrase used was "Enjoy the Guilt", which appeared in print advertising and also on small crystal ice cream bowls, which were available via mail order from the company.
Conflict with Häagen-Dazs
Another American ice cream producer, Häagen-Dazs, sued unsuccessfully in 1980 to stop Frusen Glädjé from using a "Scandinavian marketing theme". Häagen-Dazs's complaints included Frusen Glädjé's "prominently displayed list of the product's natural ingredients, a list of artificial ingredients not found in the ice cream, directions for serving and eating the ice cream (essentially that it was best served soft), and a map of Scandinavia". The court ruled against Häagen-Dazs on the grounds of unclean hands, as Häagen-Dazs had similarly marketed itself as Scandinavian (specifically Danish) without having any real connection to the region.
Acquisition by Kraft Foods
In 1985, Smith sold Frusen Glädjé to Kraft General Foods. A Kraft spokeswoman states that Kraft sold its Frusen Glädjé license to the Unilever corporation in 1993. A spokesman for Unilever claims that Frusen Glädjé was not part of the deal. The brand has since disappeared.
In popular culture
After being sold to Kraft, Frusen Glädjé was referenced a number of times in popular media: in 1987 in the movie Making Mr. Right and the book Over the Edge; their commercial was quoted in the 1988 movie Earth Girls are Easy, the 1989 movie Rude Awakening; and the 1991 book American Psycho. On television, it was mentioned in 1994 season (episode 614) and 1997 season (episode 811) of Mystery Science Theater 3000, shown in a deleted scene from the 2011 season of Family Guy, and appeared in the 2015 season (episode 1) of The Americans.
- Cuff, Daniel F.; Dee Wedemeyer (25 July 1986). "Steve's Is Latest Brand For Ice Cream Family". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Freedman, Alix M. (22 February 1981). "Rolls-Royces of Ice Cream". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Cummings, Raymond (9 July 2013). "The Vanilla Ice Cream Challenge, Part 2: Frusen Glädjé. Rating: 10 out of 10". Splice Today. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Häagen-Dazs, Inc. v. Frusen Glädjé Ltd., 493 F. Supp. 73 (Dist. Court, SD New York 1980).
- Hartill, Lane (28 September 2000). "Frusen Gldj ice cream". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Adams, Erik (28 January 2015). "The Americans: 'EST Men'". Retrieved 24 May 2015.