The Häagen-Dazs brand is celebrating a milestone birthday, and consumers are invited to share in the fun.

On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Häagen-Dazs will celebrate 50 years of ice cream with its annual Free Flavor Day.

From 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in any participating Häagen-Dazs Shop across the country, ice cream lovers can wish the brand a “Happy Birthday” and enjoy a free scoop of one of three original all-natural ice cream flavors: Häagen-Dazs Chocolate, Coffee, or Vanilla.

“This is a huge milestone for us, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 50th birthday with our loyal fans,” says Häagen-Dazs Shops Brand Manager Julie Michelutti. “Free Flavor Day gives us an opportunity to give back to our dedicated supporters who have made us the successful ice cream brand we are today.”

Häagen-Dazs ice cream reflects decades of passion and creativity that began in the early 1920s when Reuben Mattus, a young entrepreneur with a passion for quality and a vision for creating the finest ice cream, sold fruit ice and ice cream pops from a horse-drawn wagon on the bustling streets of New York.

The Häagen-Dazs brand officially launched in 1960 with three classic all-natural ice cream flavors – Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla – still popular favorites today. At first, Häagen-Dazs was only available in packages at gourmet shops in New York City, but soon distribution expanded throughout the East Coast. By 1973, Häagen-Dazs products were enjoyed by discerning customers across the U.S. In 1976, Mattus’ daughter, Doris, opened the first Häagen-Dazs Scoop Shop in Brooklyn, New York. It was an immediate success, and its popularity led to a rapid expansion of shops across the country.

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