Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Food and Beverage
Founded 1945 (1945)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Headquarters 130 Royall Street, Canton, Massachusetts, United States
Area served
Key people
Nigel Travis (Chairman and CEO, Dunkin' Brands[1])
  • Ice cream
  • Frozen Beverages
  • Ice Cream Cakes
  • Frozen Treats
Parent Dunkin' Brands

Baskin-Robbins is the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops and is based in Canton, Massachusetts.[2] It was founded in 1945 by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in Glendale, California.

The company is known for its "31 flavors" slogan, with the idea that a customer could have a different flavor every day of any month. The slogan came from the Carson-Roberts advertising agency (which later merged into Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953. Baskin and Robbins believed that people should be able to sample flavors until they found one they wanted to buy, hence their famous small pink spoons. The company has introduced more than 1,000 flavors since 1945.[2]


Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by brothers-in-law Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins from the merging of their respective ice cream parlors, in Glendale, California. It claims to be the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty stores,[3] with 7,300 locations, including nearly 2,500 shops in the United States and over 4,800 located internationally as of December 28, 2013.[4] Baskin-Robbins sells ice cream in nearly 50 countries. The company has been headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts since 2004 after moving from Randolph, Massachusetts.[5]

The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors started as separate ventures of Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, who owned Burton's Ice Cream Shop (opened in 1945) and Snowbird Ice Cream (opened in 1946), respectively.[2] Snowbird Ice Cream offered 21 flavors, a novel concept at that time. When the separate companies merged in 1953, the number of flavors was expanded to 31 flavors.[2][6]

By 1948, Burt and Irv had 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). In 1949, the company’s production facility opened in Burbank. Burt and Irv made the decision to sell the stores to the managers. In 1953, Baskin-Robbins hired Carson-Roberts Advertising who recommended adoption of the number 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 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. In the 1970s, the chain went international, opening stores in Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Australia.[7] Baskin-Robbins also was the first to introduce ice cream cakes to the public.[6] Baskin-Robbins often still incorporates 31 in its promotions despite offering more flavors. For example, in Malaysia this includes giving 31% off their hand-packed ice cream on the 31st of a month, which invariably causes queues at their outlets.

A 1967 Baskin-Robbins store in Portland, Oregon, that retains its original look, a design typical of the chain's outlets in the 1960s

Baskin-Robbins was owned by its founders until it was acquired in 1967 (just prior to Burt Baskin's death) by the United Brands Company (United Fruit). In 1972, the company went public for the first time in its history when United Brands sold 17% in an IPO. A year later, British food company J. Lyons and Co. purchased Baskin-Robbins from United Brands and all public stock. J. Lyons then merged with Allied Breweries, becoming Allied-Lyons in 1978. Allied-Lyons then merged with Pedro Domecq S.A. in 1994, becoming Allied Domecq. Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts 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.[8]

In August 2012, Dunkin' Brands became completely independent of the private equity firms.[9]

In 2008, Baskin-Robbins launched its first full menu of better-for-you frozen treats called "BRight Choices" and removed all artificial trans fats from its ice cream. BRight Choices provides a variety of options for guests looking for a lighter treat.[10]

Irv Robbins died at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California on May 5, 2008, at age 90.[11]

The franchise model created by Burt and Irv decades ago is still used by Baskin-Robbins today. Baskin-Robbins is nearly 100% franchised, with each owner holding a stake in the business' success, while product development and merchandising are handled at Dunkin' Brands' headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts.[3]

While Baskin-Robbins struggled in the early years of the 2000s to retain business with competitors such as frozen yogurt shops, 2013 saw a turnaround in the company's fortunes, with four new U.S. stores opened. An additional five to ten shops were planned to open in 2014,[12] however, Baskin Robbins ultimately surpassed that goal with a grand total of 17 net new openings throughout 2014,[13] and continued growth of the brand with 15 new stores opened in 2015. Many new Baskin' Robbins shops are co-branded with Dunkin' Donuts, including California's first co-branded location of the two in San Diego, which opened in March 2014.

In 2014, Baskin-Robbins also began selling its ice cream for the first time in supermarkets nationwide.[14]


Baskin-Robbins outlet at Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia

Baskin-Robbins has more than 7,300 shop locations in nearly 50 countries outside the U.S., including locations in: Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Colombia, Curaçao, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Maarten, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Yemen. International locations feature flavors of ice cream popular to the tastes of each country, such as Red Bean, Green Tea, Litchi Gold, Black Currant, Cantaloupe, and Coconut Grove.[15]

See also


  1. "Dunkin' Brands - People". Dunkin' Brands. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Our History." Baskin-Robbins' web site. Accessed 25 Feb. 2013.
  3. 1 2 "About Baskin-Robbins".
  4. "DNKN-2013.12.28-10K".
  5. Staff (2013). "History: Dunkin' Brands". Dunkin' Brands. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Baskin-Robbins' 31 original flavors." LA Times. 2013. Accessed 25 Feb. 2013.
  7. "Baskin-Robbins Japan Celebrates the Opening of Its 1,000th Store".
  8. This page,, at the Dunkin' Brands site, 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."
  9. Retrieved September 4, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. "Baskin-Robbins intros BRight Choices treats".
  11. "Co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores dies at 90". USA Today. AP. May 6, 2008. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  12. Kate Taylor (24 February 2014). "How Baskin-Robbins Is Trying Not to Disappear". Entrepreneur.
  13. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (12 January 2015). "Dunkin' Brands Announces 2014 Domestic Restaurant Growth".
  15. "Baskin Robbins International".

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