Ben & Jerry’s has finally jumped on the non-dairy train, unleashing a new line of vegan ice cream options. The company, based in South Burlington, Vermont, is known for its plethora of wacky flavors, but has always served up ice creams with a milkfat base. As of this Wednesday, they’re finally adding dairy-free flavors to the market.
The new ice creams come in four different flavors: P.B. & Cookies, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chunky Monkey. Each flavor will made with almond milk instead of cream.
It’s about time, too. Ben & Jerry’s is certainly not the first brand to put out vegan ice cream, but they are one of the most popular brands on the market. Both dairy-free and vegan consumers have been quite vocal about their preferences, which factors into one of the reasons behind the new flavors.
Spokeswoman Lindsay Bumps is quoted on USA Today:
“We’ve definitely had a large demand from our consumers to have a non-dairy offering,” she says. The announcement comes after a change.org petition calling on Ben & Jerry’s to create non-dairy ice creams garnered more than 28,400 supporters last year. The company has been testing vegan versions of its famous pints for nearly three years.
Offering vegan options is likely to please a wide demographic. Whether it’s for the animals, personal health, or the environment, many individuals are choosing to live a life free of animal products.
Developing the new flavors was no easy task. Kirsten Schimoler, known as Ben & Jerry’s “flavor guru,” experimented with numerous concoctions. While Schimoler and her team tried out various milk substitutes, almond proved to be the most fitting.
Forbes.com reports on Schimoler’s flavor-testing process:
Some experiments resulted in textures that were too slimy. Coconut oil actually seemed to make the ice cream smear like lip balm. “We had everything from: it’s too icy; it’s too firm; there’s too much fat in it and you get that chapstick mouthful.”
“It’s amazing how changing one little thing about the recipe, you’ll think, ‘Oh this will make it better,’” she said. “Then you wind up five steps behind where you were.”
Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie are vegan alternatives to the preexisting Ben & Jerry’s classics, while the other two flavors are exclusive to the vegan line. P.B. & Cookies combines chocolate sandwich cookies with crunchy peanut butter, creating a treat reminiscent of The Parent Trap. (Does anyone else remember when Lindsay Lohan dunked an Oreo into a thing of Skippy?) Coffee Caramel Fudge features chocolate fudge chunks swirled with rich caramel, all mixed into a Fairtrade coffee base.
If those flavors don’t jive with your taste buds, don’t worry. Ben & Jerry’s plans on adding more flavors to the vegan line in the future.
All of the flavors will be available for purchase by the pint, and P.B. & Cookies will be also be scooped up in most Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops. You can expect the new flavors to hit markets and grocery stores over the next four to six weeks. Sounds like we’ve got some “research” to do.
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com.