Ben & Jerry’s is the pint of ice cream that has always been there for us, whether we were getting over a bad breakup, celebrating the legalization of gay marriage, or reminiscing about our favorite Saturday Night Live skit. One thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most iconic ice cream brands out there. Last year, when we set out to determine once and for all what America’s favorite (and least favorite) Ben & Jerry’s flavors are, we had no idea the competition would be so fierce.
As the poll results stand, Ben & Jerry’s fans are so divided that the winning flavor and losing flavor are one and the same: Cherry Garcia. Named after the late great Jerry Garcia, it was introduced in 1987 and is one of the company’s oldest original flavors. In case you’ve been living under a dairy-free rock, Cherry Garcia is made with cherry ice cream, cherries, and fudge flakes. Apparently cherries and chocolate are divisive in the world of ice cream, since our more than 1,000 respondents simultaneously love and hate the iconic flavor.
Here are the top 10 flavors in ascending order:
#10 Chocolate Fudge Brownie
#9 Chubby Hubby
#8 Chocolate Chip Cookie
#7 New York Super Fudge Chunk
#6 Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
#5 Americone Dream
#3 Chunky Monkey
#2 Phish Food
#1 Cherry Garcia
And for the five least favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors…
#5 Banana Split
#4 Chunky Monkey
#2 Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz
#1 Cherry Garcia
For fun, we also asked our readers which flavors they would bring back from the Ben & Jerry’s flavor graveyard, where melted ice cream dreams go to die. As it turns out, people really really miss Heath Bar Crunch, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownie, and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.
We also asked Ben & Jerry’s fans to come up with some creative ice cream flavors on their own, and we got some pretty creative responses. Some of our favorite survey answers that we’d love to see in real-life pint form include cookie dough with a peanut butter core, green tea, Bailey’s Irish cream with cinnamon, apple pie with graham cracker pieces, chocolate-covered pretzel, and maple French toast.
We tried the 10 most popular Ben and Jerry's flavors—and this is the best one
Updated September 20, 2019
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There comes a day in everyone’s life when they experience the truest form of joy. For some, this may be their wedding or the birth of their child. For me, it was the day my boss told me I could taste test Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
My B&J addiction didn’t actually begin until midway through college, and back then, I could stop myself and not eat the entire container. I had control those days—not anymore though. Fast forward to yesterday, my roommates and I literally ordered three pints of Ben and Jerry’s through GoPuff at 11 p.m. because someone mentioned it and then we all started craving it. On a Monday night, people—we have a problem. While my coworkers have tested ice cream makers and swear it's actually easy to make your own, I’d rather pay someone to bring perfectly crafted dairy heaven right to my doorstep, thank you very much.
Picking the flavors
Once my boss gave me the go-ahead to move forward with this test, I reached out to Ben and Jerry’s for the top 10 Ben and Jerry’s flavors of 2019. Now, by narrowing it down to the top all-time flavors instead of naming some crazy rare flavor that won’t be available in three months, we are only considering the ones that Ben and Jerry’s data analysts saw to be the most highly consumed flavors on the market today—ones that probably won’t be going away anytime soon. A lot of our editors were also upset at this list, particularly Executive Editor TJ Donegan, who wouldn’t stop pestering me about how Milk and Cookies is downright the best flavor and doesn’t get enough credit. Regardless, this is the list of our taste-tested Top 10 Ben and Jerry's Flavors:
This is our list of the Top 10 Ben and Jerry's flavors, in order!
How we tested
We’ve done it with chips, Oreos, and even healthy ice cream. The blind taste test works and it keeps our testers honest—for the most part. This one was slightly harder because our office is apparently full of people who can identify Ben and Jerry’s flavors just from a glance.
I had our office rank each flavor on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, based on taste, texture, appearance, and overall thoughts. We then calculated each factor’s score for all the ice cream, and averaged them together to get the overall score of said ice cream. Which flavor reigned supreme? Which one fell flat on its face? Are these all really so good that they beat out all the peanut-butter-based ice creams? Here’s what we found:
The Winner: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was our winner overall, and our Top Texture winner.
Overall Score: 8.19 out of 10
This wasn’t too surprising since this is a classic flavor, but I was disappointed at how standard our tastes were. This flavor won overall in Best Texture with it’s “gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough.” Invented in 1984, Ben and Jerry’s made the world’s first batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and hasn’t stopped since. One tester wrote that it had the “perfect ratio of chunks to ice cream.” Some people complained that it was too sweet, but that’s not in my vocabulary. Overall, it’s not shocking that this won overall because Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is something we’ve all had from Ben and Jerry’s and will have again sometime soon (to be honest, I’ll probably go get a pint after writing this).
Is America's Favorite Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Changing Ingredients?
While your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's ice cream may vary between Cherry Garcia, Hazed & Confused, or another concoction, one thing will remain consistent: all ice cream from the admirable company will use GMO-free ingredients by the end of the year. It's no surprise that Vermont-based Ben & Jerry's, owned by Unilever (OTC:UN) , is pursuing a supply chain largely void of ingredients sourced from biotech crops. After all, Vermont was the first state to pass legislation requiring the labeling of some foods containing such ingredients.
Some consumers will blindly applaud the company's decision, but the new ice cream lineup won't completely meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for organic foods or the increasingly popular Non-GMO Project, which certifies ingredients and products as completely free of genetically modified organisms. The same market conditions contributing to that fine print in the company's GMO-free campaign have already been realized by consumer food favorites such as Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) .
More important, shaking up the supply chain will have unintended consequences that will increase the pressure on Unilever at the most inopportune time and threatens agreements with longtime suppliers such as Hershey (NYSE:HSY) . There are several ways in which the decision by Ben & Jerry's opposes the internal direction of Unilever when it comes to sustainably sourcing ingredients and premium pricing. Here are three major challenges facing Ben & Jerry's switch to non-GMO ingredients.
Challenge 1: Sourcing of non-GMO ingredients
Ben & Jerry's wasn't the first company to go GMO-free and then get smacked with reality, and it surely won't be the last. When consumer groups called on Starbucks to offer organic dairy milk to complement the soy milk option for European consumers, they were met with a pretty blunt answer: "No." Was Starbucks turning its back on consumers? Not really . The company simply realized that the market for organic dairy milk was not large enough to meet its needs
Ice cream obviously contains a good amount of dairy milk, which is exactly why Ben & Jerry's cannot source its dairy from organic sources. Instead, the company's GMO-free pledge only includes the ingredients in the cookies and fruits blended into its ice cream. That's problematic for several reasons. First, organic ingredients cost 25%-50% more than those from conventional sources. Second, it cancels supply agreements with long-standing partners such as Hershey. For instance, the toffee in Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch used to be supplied by Hershey, but was made with soy lecithin and corn syrup that are almost always genetically altered -- so it got the ax.
The irony of this image is that your ice cream will still contain dairy produced by cows fed GMO animal feed. Source: Ben & Jerry's.
Third, the ice cream lineup won't actually be GMO-free or organic (not the same thing, by the way). Ben & Jerry's argues that the corn, not the cows or the milk they produce, is genetically modified. While the company uses the Caring Dairy rating system for sourcing its dairy milk, national standards, as well as those of the Non-GMO Project, require organic dairy products to be sourced from livestock fed organic animal feed. Conjuring up a definition of GMO-free that meets the company's specific needs puts it in an interesting position with anti-GMO activist groups.
Challenge 2: Consumer rejection
Changing ingredients also risks changing the product's taste, which depends on a variety of production factors, not the molecular similarity of ingredients. Unfortunately, groups of consumers have already voiced disappointment with some of the 14 flavors that have already been switched to Ben & Jerry's version of "GMO-free." For instance, customers have disliked the new Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch and demanded the old ingredients be used again. I'll bet Hershey agrees.
Challenge 3: Unilever's differing internal strategy
Unilever had high hopes last year for its premium ice cream brands -- Ben & Jerry's, Cornetto, Magnum, and Fruttare -- but they failed to deliver. Intensely competitive markets and a slow start to the summer in Europe and the United States were cited as the two of the major culprits. The company responded by doubling its efforts to support its ice cream brands, including using premium ingredients to capture higher margins and establishing stores in shopping malls and entertainment events.
I imagine Ben & Jerry's received permission from Unilever to go "GMO-free," but I don't think the decision aligns with its parent company's strategic vision. It's difficult to see how alienating customers and using more expensive ingredients while pledging not to increase prices will deliver stronger margins. There's also the delicate tightrope of alienating suppliers -- some of which play key roles in other Unilever products -- although consequences could be mitigated by Unilever's pledge to source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, which is sure to shake up supply chains more broadly. However, that pledge also includes sourcing from production methods that employ biotech crops and synthetic biology. In the end, Ben & Jerry's may be making its business expendable in the eyes of its parent.
Ben & Jerry's decision to go "GMO-free" seems to be based in political strategy (it's perhaps the most identifiable business in Vermont) rather than on good business strategy. Whatever the intention, it's not without risks and consequences. The incomplete supply chain shake-up alienates customers and places the ice cream manufacturer in a food system no-man's land: not completely reliant on biotech crops, but not satisfactorily meeting non-GMO guidelines, either. This has the possibility to do more harm than good for the brand.
The biggest risks may be encountered by Unilever, which is trying to expand margins and grow its premium ice cream brands. The fact that Ben & Jerry's and Unilever have differing views of supply chain sourcing isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is when Unilever is part of the coalition suing Vermont over its GMO-labeling law. In fact, for the reasons outlined above, I wouldn't be surprised if Unilever looks to sell the brand. Will anti-GMO activist groups applaud Ben & Jerry's decision, or criticize it as incomplete while reminding consumers of its parent company's industry obligations? I think all indications point to the latter, which could substantially harm the creator of Cherry Garcia.
Here are the most popular ice cream flavors in every state, according to Twitter
Summer is pretty much here and that means many things — but our favorite thing is ice cream!
Twitter knows how we feel, so the tweet experts got down to business and figured out, based on over 30 million tweets about ice cream, which flavors were the favorites in each state in the U.S.
Now, bear in mind that chocolate and vanilla were the "control" group — they were always the most tweeted about, so you won't see them listed here (chocolate beat out vanilla in case you're wondering). But after looking at all ice cream-related Tweets from March 1 to May 18, they determined which other flavors were the most Tweeted-about.
And you might be surprised at the results! Coffee and Cookie Dough dominate in the most states, but Brownie and Strawberry had fervent supporters as well. And just look at New Jersey, Delaware and Maine — those rebels just adore Mint Chocolate!
So which state led the pack for most ice cream tweets? It's no gamble at all: Nevada!
See how your state ranked, then go out and get started on the first pint of the Memorial Day weekend, whatever flavor you choose. You can't go wrong there.
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Ben & Jerry's Wavy Gravy
For those out of the loop, Wavy Gravy wasn't Ben & Jerry getting ahead of the savory ice cream trend by mixing waves of gravy (and chunks of brisket?) into vanilla ice cream. Instead, it was another ice cream homage — to Hugh Nanton Romney Junior, who was given the nickname "Wavy Gravy" by B.B. King in the 1960's, Wavy Gravy earned fame as a poet, clown, and activist who emceed at Woodstock and was described as "clown prince of the counter culture." After years in the limelight, Wavy was approached by Ben (without Jerry) who wanted to create an ice cream in his honor.
The resulting edible tribute was as unconventionally zany and nutty as Wavy himself: caramel and cashew Brazil nut ice cream with roasted almonds and a hazelnut fudge swirl. Launched in 1993, Wavy Gravy's staying power lasted until 2001, when waning interest led to the flavor's cancellation. However, an unwavering cult following persisted and succeeded in spearheading a (temporary) 2005 Wavy Gravy revival during Ben & Jerry's Raise-a-Flavor contest, in which a majority of fans voted to bring the flavor back from the dead.
To this day, fans of the flavor continue to demand an encore and have even threatened to boycott all other flavors until their demands are met. "I will not even buy Ben & Jerry's any more," vowed a sad fan on Facebook's "Bring Back Wavy Gravy" page. "That's how much I miss my Wavy Gravy ice cream."
AMERICAN MADE VEGAN ICE CREAM ESSENTIALS
If you're looking for life altering caramel, look no further than Date Lady Coconut Date Caramel Sauce. It's the best caramel sauce I've ever had. I could eat this sauce with a spoon! It's a divine blend of organic heavy coconut cream and date syrup hand. It's made in small batches and stirred until it culminates into a thick, rich coconut caramel sauce. This date syrup is made from organic coconut cream, organic coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
Nordic Ware Ice Cream Cone Pan is an innovative pan that lets you create cone-shaped cakes that beckon a fresh scoop on top. Made of nonstick cast aluminum, the pan features six cone-shaped wells with waffle detailing. Top your baked cones with your favorite ice cream toppings to resemble classic soft-serve cones. Nordic Ware, creators of the original Bundt® pan, is a family-owned company since 1946 and makes American made kitchenware.
Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop is the classic ice cream scoop I still remember the one my grandmother used. The scoop of choice in American ice-cream parlors since 1935, this handy tool carves out plump round scoops. Its unique handle draws on the natural warmth of your hand to ease molding the frozen treats.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post which USA Love List is proud to share with you because, sponsored or not, we only share stuff we love.
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Coffee Maker
If you're like us, you love your cup of caffeine in the morning, but did you know that Hawaii is one of only two states in the USA that's able to grow coffee commercially? (The other state is California.)
Shop this Hamilton Beach single-cup and pot coffee brewer so you can savor your cup of joe in whatever way you're feeling that morning . or afternoon, we're not judging.
Ben & Jerry's Dropped Three Flavors Inspired By Your Favorite Cereals
Ben & Jerry's is never short on creative ideas. From filling pints with a core of gooey caramel to "flipping" its most famous original flavors to dunking "pint slices" in chocolate, the brand has consistently (and happily) surprised us for years. Now the ice cream masterminds have infused not one but three new flavors with your favorite cereals &mdash and it's sending us back to childhood in the best way.
The "Cereal Splashback" lineup &mdash which will be available exclusive at scoop shops and not the frozen aisle &mdash includes Fruit Loot, Frozen Flakes, and Cocoa Loco. They're officially available beginning today and are obvious riffs on Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Cocoa Puffs, respectively.
We got a first taste of these breakfast-y new flavors and we were pretty impressed. Here's how editors rated each flavor:
Frozen Flakes: 4/5
Of all the flavors, this was by far the best. It tasted almost identical to the leftover milk after chowing down on a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Plus, the bits of cereal swirled throughout were still crunchy &mdash we just wish they were a bit bigger.