Haagen-Dazs invented the category of luxury ice cream for adults. Before its creation, ice cream was almost always cheaply produced and cheap to buy, largely targeted at a family or kids' market. Haagen-Dazs ushered in a new age in which ice cream could be exclusive, prestigious, sophisticated and even sexy. It remains the best-selling brand in the super-premium segment despite stiff competition from other players, most notably Ben & Jerry's. Sales of both brands were affected in the 2000s by concerns over healthy eating and Haagen-Dazs' high calorific content. That prompted the launch of several low-fat variants. The ice cream is available in around 80 countries worldwide. Ownership is effectively split between General Mills and Nestle. Although the brand is actually owned by General Mills, Nestlé has an exclusive long-term license to manufacture and distribute Haagen-Dazs in its biggest market by far, North America.
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