Industry News | November 11, 2009

Ben & Jerry's Announces Fan-Concocted Flavor

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Ben & Jerry’s turned a fan’s flavor dream into a reality with the “Do The World A Flavor” competition. Wisconsin resident Toni Gunnison was named the winner after concocting a caramel ice cream with praline almonds and a caramel swirl. The flavor, which integrates Fair Trade almonds, was named “Almond Delight” by its creator.

The Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, flavor creator was awarded the grand prize on a recent trip to the Dominican Republic. Fifteen finalists from different countries spent a week with Fair Trade farmers at Conocado, a Fair Trade chocolate cooperative, with co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, creating their suggested Fair Trade flavors under the watchful eyes of Ben & Jerry’s research and development “flavor gurus.” They also participated in a local community project, building a playground for the local children of Yabon.

“I’m shocked. There were so many great flavors from the other contestants,” Gunnison says, noting that the most important part of the week was in performing the community service. “I think it’s not only important for businesses to give back to the community, but individuals should as well.”

Gunnison’s nutty and creamy creation was picked from 100,000 flavor suggestions. The 90-day-long “Do The World A Flavor” competition was held in the spring of 2009. Ben & Jerry’s has turned fans’ suggestions into global successes before, including flavors such as Cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby.

“Ben & Jerry’s has the best fans out there,” says chief flavor guru Arnold Carbone. “Having one of them create our next special batch and add another fair trade ingredient to the lineup we use is fairly nuts to some, but business as usual for us.”

The Vermont-based ice cream company stated that they would need to tweak the name, to avoid any possible trademark issues, and dubbed the concoction “Dulce Almond.” Dulce Almond will be available as a special batch flavor at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide on a limited-time only basis in 2010.