Ben & Jerry’s Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation
Burlington, VT (March 17, 2011) - If you’re a chunk spelunker who has taken the time to dig out the ooey-gooey, oh-so-doughy cookie dough gobs in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, you are not alone. Whether you dig in secret so no one can steal your gobs, dig as soon as you get home from the grocery store with your newly-purchased pint – hey, we’ve been there! – or cheer your friends and family on as they dig, you’re one of many who enjoys the delicious chunks. This March, Ben & Jerry’s salutes all of you spelunkers as it celebrates Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough’s 20th Birthday.
Just over 20 years ago, scoopers at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops – acting on an anonymous tip from a fan – posed this classic question: what if they put cookie dough into ice cream? It was a revolutionary idea in the world of ice cream at that time, and one that would become one of Ben & Jerry’s best-loved flavors!
Peter Lind, a longtime Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru, was one of the Gurus who worked to develop the flavor. “Everybody wanted to roll in the Dough! But we just couldn’t make it fast enough because the process of making it was so labor intensive,” said Lind.
Today, Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Feeder machinery helps put big chunks into lots of different flavors, but back then, the standard machines couldn’t handle the raw gobs of dough! “We would buy the cookie dough in these huge blocks and take out these big knives and throw the chunks in at the last minute. Yes, every batch of Cookie Dough ice cream was hand made in a batch freezer!,” said Lind.
Lind knew that there must be an easier way to produce the ice cream. He contacted Rhino Foods, another progressive, local Vermont business that produced cheesecake, baked goods, and other mix-ins for frozen desserts. Ted Castle, the owner, was a former All-American hockey player at the University of Vermont. “We started thinking, what if we make the gobs tiny like little pucks and slapshot ‘em in?,” said Lind. Their idea, plus a few secret techniques, combined with a committed effort from our Production crew led to success at the Chunk Feeder. On March 20th, 1991 Ben & Jerry’s rolled the first pints of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream off the line. It was the first time that Cookie Dough was able to be produced quickly and in large quantities!
“It took us months to figure out the entire process, but it was worth it!” said Lind. “ Nowadays we explain the process we use to make the flavor to someone and they say, ‘well that makes sense,’ but at the time we really didn’t know! It was unchartered territory.”
Now, two decades later, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is still a fan favorite. It is one of only three flavors to be featured in pints, quarts, mini cups, and in scoop shops and ranks among the top performing flavors every year. Happy Birthday, Cookie Dough!
To learn more about Ben & Jerry’s and its flavors, visit www.benjerry.com(Link opens in a new window).
To learn more about Rhino Foods, visit www.rhinofoods.com(Link opens in a new window).
About Ben & Jerry’s
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 2009 totaled over $1.7 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(Link opens in a new window).
*The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.