Entries in Ben & Jerry's (6)


Ben & Jerry's Brings Dissatisfied Customers to Its Factory

Ben & Jerry's(NEW YORK) -- On a warm summer day last July, Leslie Gerhat of Waltham, Mass., went to the store to purchase one of her favorite Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavors, Pistachio Pistachio.  But when she took her first spoonful, Gerhat was disappointed because the pistachios were soggy and fell apart in her mouth.

"I never had had a problem with Ben & Jerry's before," said Gerhat.  "I felt I had to let them know they had bad products out there."

Gerhat tossed the pint in the trash and headed straight to her computer, sending the Burlington, Vt.-based company an e-mail explaining the issue.  A few weeks later, Gerhat received a coupon in the mail for free ice cream, as is company policy when there's a complaint.  But it's the personal response she received seven months later that made her feel like a VIP.

"I was sitting watching the Super Bowl and received an e-mail from Ben & Jerry's inviting me to come to Vermont and take a tour of their factory," she said.

Gerhat got an opportunity to not only see how one of her favorite treats is manufactured, but share her suggestions on how to improve the product.

So on March 2, Gerhat took a three-hour chartered bus ride from Boston to Vermont with 16 other loyal Ben & Jerry's customers who had also written to the company.

"Once we arrived, we swapped our stories with employees and they explained to us how some of issues had already been addressed," said Gerhat.

The soggy pistachios, she learned, were the fault of a vendor.  Ben & Jerry's discovered that the supplier had been roasting the nuts too long.

"We worked with our supplier to make improvements," said Eric Fredette, one of the company's "Flavor Gurus."  "The pistachios are now a beautiful green and perfectly crisp."

The customers who made the trip were also given a tour of the plant floor where the ice cream is manufactured.

This was the first time Ben & Jerry's had invited customers into their factory, part of a leadership challenge from parent company Unilever to better engage in consumer feedback.

"Our goal is to always improve to try and make a better product," said spokesperson Kelly Mohr. " We don't want our customers to feel that their complaints fall into a black hole."

Hogan says they don't have any more consumer feedback trips planned, but it's not off the table because of what a positive experience the trip was for both sides.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ben & Jerry’s Releases New Cannoli Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's(NEW YORK) -- Ben and Jerry’s has released a new limited-edition ice cream flavor called Cannoli, which will be available in stores across the U.S. at the end of the month.

The ice cream comes with fudge-covered cannoli pastry chunks and mascarpone swirls. It will be available for three to four months until a new limited-edition ice cream takes its place.

This isn’t the first time the company has tried to re-create the Sicilian pastry. It launched Holy Cannoli in 1997. Made of vanilla pistachio ice cream, ricotta, chocolate-covered cannoli pieces and roasted pistachios, Holy Cannoli was withdrawn within a year.

At the Ben & Jerry’s flavor graveyard in Vermont, Holy Cannoli’s gravestone reads: “Now in front of the pearly gates, Holy Cannoli sits and waits. What brought its ruin no one knows, it must have been the pistachios.”

One Facebook user complained that authentic Italian cannoli does not use mascarpone, a main component of the new flavor.

The company responded: “We made a cannoli flavor with ricotta cheese before, and it didn’t do so hot, so we’re putting a new twist on this version. We also have a flavor called Chubby Hubby, but you don’t find any overweight spouses in it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben & Jerry’s Sues Over X-Rated DVDs

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank(NEW YORK) -- Boston Cream Pie. Peanut Butter D-Cup. Hairy Garcia.

No, these are not the latest ice-cream flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. They are the names of X-rated DVDs that have left a sour taste in the mouth of Ben & Jerry’s execs.

And so, the South Burlington, Vt., ice cream-company — a unit of Unilever NV –  has sued Rodax Distributors and Caballero Video  of North Hollywood, Calif., for trademark violation and for tainting Ben & Jerry’s  wholesome name.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Sept. 5, the distribution and sales of 10 “exploitative, hardcore pornographic” DVDs in Caballero’s Ben & Cherry’s line tarnishes Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.’s reputation by linking it with pornography.

The suit claims the DVDs’ packaging, which include images of naked men and women set against grazing cows, green grass and marshmallow-white clouds, is a direct rip-off of Ben & Jerry’s own packaging, and that the DVDs will cause “confusion, mistake or deception” among ice-cream buyers.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, along with a court order requiring Caballero to destroy the DVDs and promotional materials in question.

Neither Rodax nor Caballero returned calls from ABC News seeking comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben & Jerry’s Launches Flavor in Support of Gay Marriage

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank(LONDON) -- A longtime advocate for equal rights, Ben & Jerry’s UK has re-named its apple pie flavor “Apple-y Ever After” in support of gay marriage.  This week, the UK government is set to decide whether to make gay marriage legal.

Available in select stores in the UK, the limited-edition carton features two men atop a rainbow-detailed white cake.  The flavor features apple pie ice cream with apple chunks and pieces of pie crust.

This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has promoted marriage equality.  In 2009, the brand renamed the flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” in response to gay marriage legislation in Vermont.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben & Jerry’s Apologizes for Jeremy Lin-Inspired Ice Cream Flavor

Mike Ehrmann/Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Ben & Jerry's(BOSTON) -- Ben & Jerry’s has tweeted an apology to anyone who was offended by its new limited-edition Taste the Lin-Sanity frozen yogurt flavor.

The company tweeted, “On behalf of Ben & Jerry’s Boston Scoop Shops, we offer a heartfelt apology if anyone was offended by our handmade Linsanity flavor that we offered at our Harvard Square location. We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities, and we are huge sports fans. We were swept up in the nationwide Linsanity momentum. Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin’s accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate. We try to demonstrate our commitment as a Boston-based, valued-led business and if we failed in this instance, we offer our sincere apologies.”

Exclusively sold at the company’s Harvard Square location in Cambridge, Mass., Taste the Lin-Sanity contained vanilla frozen yogurt, lychee honey swirls and fortune-cookie pieces.

The Boston Globe reported that the fortune-cookie pieces were replaced by waffle cones after some customers protested that the fortune-cookie pieces perpetuated an Asian stereotype, while others complained the cookies were too soggy.  The lychee element, a fruit from Southeast Asia, also caused an uproar as arguments raged that Lin was not from Asia but Northern California.

The Asian American Journalist’s Association expressed disapproval of Lin’s media coverage in this statement: “Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery? In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no.”

“The flavor was a one-time batch and is not an official company flavor,” said Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman Liz Stewart.

Unfortunately, those hoping to try Taste the Lin-Sanity have missed their opportunity: “It is sold out now,” Stewart said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben & Jerry’s Launches Jeremy Lin-Inspired Ice Cream Flavor

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Ben & Jerry's(NEW YORK) -- The Linsanity craze that has dominated nearly every sports headline in the past few weeks is now covering select ice cream cartons.

The Chicago Tribune reports that “Taste the Lin-Sanity” is the latest flavor to be launched from the Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry's.

The new superstar-inspired  flavor features vanilla frozen yogurt and lychee honey swirls.

The flavor is currently available for limited release in Boston only.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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