The Five Stages of Flavour Grief: What to do when your Favourite Flavour is Retired to the Flavour Graveyard

01 October 2015

Let’s be honest: not all ice cream euphoria is created equal. Some flavours will be around forever (unless there’s a global cookie dough shortage). But others, well, we’re sad to admit that some flavours just don’t have what it takes to survive, and they’ve since gone past the swirly gates and laid to rest in the Flavour Graveyard. With influences stretching from around the world … from Dublin Mudslide to White Russian to Tennessee Mud and beyond … more than a few Ben & Jerry’s flavours have been retired over the years. If your favourite flavour happens to be one of them, rest assured you’re not alone. Many of us have experienced the five stages of flavour grief. Let these words be your guide back to the land of acceptance, and possibly even move on to a new favourite flavour!

Ben & Jerry's - Flavour Graveyard Grief

Stage 1: Denial

Surely your local shop’s freezer just needs to be re-stocked. Or maybe it’s sold out, because [insert your favourite flavour] must certainly be the best-selling flavour of all time, right? You spend your days washing and re-washing your favourite spoon while dreaming of your next bite. Every time you spot someone eating ice cream, you instinctively analyse the swirls and chunks with the hope of spotting your true love. It can’t be gone. Tomorrow, surely, your flavour will make its return.

Ben & Jerry's - Flavour Graveyard Grief

Stage 2: Anger

Ok, this is getting serious. A whole month without those spectacular swirls and cheer-inducing chunks. How does the world expect you to function? You’ve spoken your mind to every shop manager in town. You’ve written complaint letters, and called Ben & Jerry’s consumer team. You’ve lurked ominously in the freezer aisle day after day, desperate to find a glimmer of hope in the form of a lonely tub hiding behind another flavour. You even bent your favourite spoon in a fit of rage. “Don’t these people get it!? Getting another flavour just isn’t the same!”

Ben & Jerry's - Flavour Graveyard Grief

Stage 3: Bargaining

Things are getting desperate. This can’t be the end. You wonder if it’s just been a bad dream. It’s not. But there must be something you can do! What if you promise to buy more? You’ll tell all your friends to do the same! You think to yourself, “If only I could go back in time and tell everyone I've ever come in contact with how great my favourite flavour was, then I could save it.” Sadly, time travel is not an option yet, and not everyone was a fan of your fallen flavour.

Ben & Jerry's - Flavour Graveyard Grief

Stage 4: Depression

What is a world without the tastiest ice cream ever? Who are all of these functional people, walking around as if nothing is wrong with their dessert life? Why even go to work tomorrow? You’re left with empty hours in your week which could have been spent keeping your ice cream supply fully stocked. Your freezer is a shadow of its former self, and not just because the light burned out last week. Your remaining spoons have even lost their lustre and you consider bending those ones in half as well, but you don’t have the energy. Just curl up on the couch and watch three more episodes of … oh, it doesn’t even matter … I’m sure that glowing screen will fill the tub-sized hole in your heart. 

Ben & Jerry's - Flavour Graveyard Grief

Stage 5: Acceptance

Ok, it’s time to turn the corner. Look in the mirror and repeat after me: “There are other euphoric Ben & Jerry’s flavours, and I will find a new favourite.” Good, that’s good. See? It’s not so hard. How about you try unbending a few of your unfortunate looking spoons? See, isn’t that nice? Your shiny spoons are like new again. You visit the Ben & Jerry’s Flavour Graveyard to pay your final respects to an old friend. Last but not least, you hop online to check the Flavour Page and … hey, check that out … a few brand new flavours alongside some classics. Where to begin? Welcome to the first day of your new life of ice cream bliss. Your new favourite flavour is out there. Go get it!