Chubby Hubby. Cherry Garcia. Chunky Monkey. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Ever heard of ‘em?
Aside from starting with “Ch” they all have something else in common. All of these iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors were suggested by fans.
“How fortunate are we to have supporters who share their love, their names, and their ideas for our flavor combinations?” asked Dave Stever, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer who has worked for the progressive ice cream maker for almost a quarter of a century. “We’re always thankful for having the most passionate, intense, and crazy fans in the world. They make all the difference,” Stever added.
Dan Eslinger (pictured above) from Louisville, Kentucky is one of those fans. Earlier this spring Eslinger’s wife, Erin, posted his picture on her Facebook page which garnered the attention of Ben & Jerry’s at the company’s headquarters in Vermont. The photo shows Dan, the ice cream man, proudly standing in front of his collection of Ben & Jerry’s pint cups he’s kept since 1999. The Wall of Fame container pyramid is a veritable who’s who of the iconic chunk and swirl filled product line-up. Some of the combinations are in the company’s flavor graveyard now and others continue to be offered on shelves and in Scoop Shops today. From Wavy Gravy to the company’s current Greek Frozen Yogurts, Eslinger has tried them all.
In appreciation the ice cream maker forwarded shirts, coupons, and an autographed Ben & Jerry’s Frisbee to Eslinger a disc golf player. Ben & Jerry’s surprised Eslinger recently with a call from the company’s Cofounder Jerry Greenfield and an invitation to visit Vermont with Erin. Dan shared that he had visited Vermont to take the tour over a decade ago where he displayed his Ben & Jerry’s acumen. Said Eslinger: “Every question that the tour guide asked, of course, I knew the answer… Other people weren’t speaking up, so I tried to give other people an opportunity, but when he asked what flavor was the chocolate peanut butter filled pretzels going into, I had to answer “Chubby Hubby!”
It’s not uncommon for Ben & Jerry’s to reach out to its fans in person, via its own Consumer Services Department, at neighborhood Scoop Shops, or especially online in the company’s official social media spaces like Facebook to have an actual two-way conversation. “Our goal is to love our fans more than they love us,” said Stever who attested that with fans like Eslinger the goal is not as easy as it sounds, “but our fans are worth it,” Stever added.
For more information on where to find your local Scoop Shop or your favorite flavor on shelf, visit www.benjerry.com. To check out the company’s current social mission focus to get corporate money out of politics go to www.getthedoughout.org.
Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2011 totaled $1.98 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.
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