Denver: Ben and Jerry's Losing its Magic Touch
Monday, October 15, 2012

By SCOOP Blog's reckoning, Ben and Jerry's is one of the most recognizable names in Ice Cream. The mega-chain's two founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, are life-long friends who followed the American Dream, founding a humble shop in Burlington, Vermont. However, Ben and Jerry's unique emphasis on quality toppings, pre-mixed into their high-quality base, quickly gained them wide distribution throughout the US. Their strategy focused on mass-producing ice cream that maintained a small-shop level of quality control, producing a pint whose flavor far surpassed the big names at the time of their founding, such as Breyer's and Good Humor. Ben and Jerry's is also known for its marketing savvy, pioneering the use of catchy flavor names like "Chunky Monkey" and "Cherries Garcia." But what is most memorable to their long-time fans has been their pioneering stance on social responsibility in business, leading the debate on issues such as environmentally-friendly packaging, use of growth hormones in cows and global warming.

But how does their ice cream stack up? In the view of this blog, not bad. Ben and Jerry's is clearly superior to most mass-produced ice creams and was one of the pioneers of the "super premium" category. It is a safe bet for picking up a scoop if you're in an unfamiliar neighborhood. That being said, it is clear that Ben and Jerry's is a mass-produced, non-artisinal product. Though they continue to churn out new, innovative flavors each year, most of their emphasis is on their mix-ins, not the ice cream itself. Given the number of ultra-super premium ice creams beginning to invade super market aisles, like Three Twins and Jeni's, it is time for Ben and Jerry's the upgrade their base formula and bring its ice cream flavors into the 21st century.

Flavor Tasting Notes


Lots of interesting flavors, but nothing truly outstanding

Sweet Cream and Cookies

This take on Cookies n' Cream is only sold in the Ben and Jerry's store. The cookies and vanilla base were completely blended together, with almost no chunks to speak of. This created a sort of milkshake effect, with the two flavors coalescing completely. The texture was ok, but the complete blending of the cookies into the cream base affected the smoothness of each bite. The density of the ice cream was definitely higher than other nationwide brands, but SCOOP Blog was not impressed.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Good, dense texture. There was an odd slurryness that developed as the ice cream warmed up that detracted from the experience. The base is a standard sweet cream, with muted flavor. Large, soft cookie bits are thrown into the mix, blending well with the texture of the cream. Unfortunately, not many bits were included in my scoop, and there was no cookie left after eating only 1/2 of bowl. The chocolate bits are small and hard, blending in poorly. It is hard to see what they add to this flavor.

Coffee

Like the Sweet Creem and Cookies flavor, you will only find Coffee in the Ben and Jerry's store. This flavor seemed slightly denser than the other flavors I tried, with a respectable texture. Most notable is the creaminess of this flavor. The flavor of the coffee itself was nothing special.

6
Final Score: 6/10

Ben and Jerry's

Denver International Airport, Concourse B