01 October 2015
Our Dearly Departed
Ben & Jerry’s is known for outrageous, chunky, funky flavours. But outrageous flavour experimentation comes with some risks, and flavours can meet their untimely end even without using a spoon. That’s okay with us, because ice cream flavours, like everything else, have a beginning and an end. Tears of sadness are shed for our dearly departed flavours, and we receive several thousand requests each year from our fans begging us to “rein-cone-ate” their favourite fallen flavour. Ice cream miracles are known to happen though, and yes, flavours really do come back from the grave from time to time!
For those that don’t, we make sure they have a happy resting place befitting their place in Ben & Jerry’s history.
The Flavour Graveyard
Enter the Flavour Graveyard, where we pay tribute to the flavours that are no longer bites on your spoon … because they’ve bitten the dust. We’ve heard our fans’ cries of, “WHY?” as they go through the stages of grief when a flavour they love passes on. We know it’s a difficult time, which is why we offer a place to visit and mourn these losses.
The Flavour Graveyard exists in two incarnations: on Ben & Jerry’s websites around the world, and also at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, Vermont. Yes, there is an actual Flavour Graveyard on a hill overlooking our factory, complete with granite headstones and witty epitaphs for each flavour.
The physical Flavour Graveyard was erected in 1997 and originally contained just 4 flavours, which only existed in the United States: Dastardly Mash, Economic Crunch, Ethan Almond and Tuskegee Chunk. Since then, the Graveyard has grown to include 35 flavours, including Wavy Gravy, Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato Pie, Dublin Mudslide, Holy Cannoli and many more (mostly) beloved departees. With over 300,000 annual visitors to the factory, we’re guessing that as many as a quarter-million mourners pay their respects at the Flavour Graveyard each year. And considering the countless online visitors to the digital Flavour Graveyard, that’s a heck of a lot of sweet sorrow!
Oh, and what’s buried beneath the headstones you might ask? Just warm memories of the flavours we miss most, and the cold reality of their unpopular demise. While there’s more than one way for a flavour to end up in the Graveyard, the sad truth is that while it may have been your favourite flavour, not everyone was a fan of these not-so-best-sellers, and they were retired to make room for a new flavour.
Our First Flavour Funeral
Recently, when the US flavour What a Cluster - peanut butter ice cream with caramel cluster pieces, marshmallow swirls & peanut buttery swirls - melted into oblivion, we decided to go a step further and hold an actual funeral at the Flavour Graveyard. And because we love our flavours so very much, this wasn’t like flushing your Phish Food down the toilet (no offence to your goldfish). We wanted pay our respects with along with mourners from miles away, and a memorial fit for ice cream royalty. Let us lower our spoons in a moment of silence.