Ben & Jerry’s: Top 14 ice creams from a peculiar company

OK, I gladly admit; this post is more a fun post than a discipline post in operations management… Just like the products from Ben & Jerry’s are much more fun than many other manufactured products. Here’s my list of 14 favorites (yes, they are all favorites). Which are yours?

Photo: Ben & Jerry’s pints of fun: No. 9, No. 11 and No. 5 of 14 tested flavors

Introduction: B&J
Even if Ben & Jerry’s is much about fun, it is deadly serious about its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The company, founded in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in Vermont, has a long-standing record of noble contribution outside of business. Yes, off course business itself may profit from such a strategy in the long-term, but to become famous for such efforts takes more than just the standard CSR package. Ben & Jerry’s engaged in CSR long before it became a given. It has over the last 20 years fought for children’s rights, helped disadvantaged urban youth, fought for gender equality, implemented environment-friendly actions in their supply chain, criticized the move towards genetically engineered animals, and worked for more fair trade. Their last cry-out is their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement (c.f. my OWS blogpost here). If you pay attention to it, you will notice that they from time to time even given their new releases names that have hidden political and social agendas. Today Ben & Jerry’s is fully owned by Unilever and managed by my fellow countryman Jostein Solheim. What is it with Norwegians and ice cream; don’t we ever get enough of the cold stuff?

Photo: The researcher in action. (c) better-operations.com

Research methodology
Well, I don’t. To find my personal favorite I have undertaken a fun “research project” over the last 4 months. Of course, I went scientifically to work*. To be sure that the final list makes up my rightfully prioritized list, I always kept a “reference pint of ice cream”. I did however allow the reference pint to change over the months, which means that once an ice cream had been tested towards a reference pint, it could become the reference pint for the next new ice cream. Elegant, eh? Tastings where undertaken whenever I fancied some ice cream, which varied from once to four-five times a week. To keep track of my opinions the tasted ice creams were put into the “research database” – a numbered list I kept on my iPad. The research project started the 1st of September and officially ended the 31st of December 2011. Even if I would love to include all B&J’s flavors, I decided to go for 10+. Another great feature of B&J is their continuous product launches which makes it hard but fun to keep up with their products. Enough about the boring methodology details…

Photo: Ben & Jerry’s best flavor: Cherry Garcia

Conclusions
Here’s my list of top-14 Ben & Jerry’s**:

  1. Cherry Garcia
  2. Mint Chocolate Chunk
  3. Dulce Delish
  4. Chunky Monkey
  5. Half Baked
  6. Imagine Whirled Peace
  7. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  8. Boston Cream Pie
  9. Peach Cobbler
  10. Mint Chocolate Cookie
  11. Phish Food
  12. Strawberry Cheesecake
  13. Vanilla Caramel Fudge
  14. Late Night Snack

A nice list, isn’t it? Which are your B&J favorites?

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* This research project has been undertaken based on my primary research philosophy:

If it’s not fun, why do it?” (Jerry Greenfield, co-founder J&B)

** These are the 14 flavors I’ve tested “scientifically”. There are a total of 35+ altering variants of B&J variants. Mr Solheim; if you read this,I will be thrilled if you would please ship me the remainder of the total sample. Thanks in advance.

Acknowledgements

Ben & Jerry homepage, Ben & Jerry on Wikipedia, and the refrigerated counter at Whole Foods Market Foggy Bottom, Washington DC.

3 thoughts on “Ben & Jerry’s: Top 14 ice creams from a peculiar company

  1. Ben & Jerrys is very popular in ireland and the rest of Europe but for buying pint tubs in supermarkets there are no more than 5 flavours to choose from, I would love to have the top 14 flavours available here in any size tubs! Milk and cookies or Boston cream pie or Cinnabon to name a few

    • Thanks for your comment Aaron. I’m in sympathy with your ideas. Living in the US for one year I surely take advantage of all the available flavors. I’ll write an update when I’ve done some more testing. Meanwhile you can also follow B&J’s tweets at @benandjerrys.

  2. I’ll give your for the methodology, but I sense that something is wrong when Chocolate Fudge Brownie is all the way down on 7th! And where is cookie dough? More research is required!

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