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Ben & Jerry’s Launches Ice Cream Flavor Contest

By Mar 16, 2006

Famous for Chunky Monkey and Phish Food flavors, Ben and Jerry’s is turning over its ice cream-making talent to consumers with a new contest to create an original flavor for the brand.

Through the Do Us A Flavor contest, which launched last week, ice cream lovers can step into the role of Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Gurus and make their own ice cream flavor. To enter, consumers log on to BenJerry.com/scoop_shops/dousaflavor and submit their flavor name and description in 100 words or less (photo is optional).

On the site, consumers can get their creative juices flowing from Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Generator, a section that guides people to build their creation.

Consumers can also “meet” the company’s actual Flavor Guru team online by clicking on a dedicated section on the Web site. The site contains information about employees’ families, hobbies, favorite food, fondest memory and a list of their favorite (non-ice cream) recipes.

“We get so many flavor ideas from customers all the time,” says Ben and Jerry spokesperson Maree Gaetani. “We thought it would really be fun for people to get an idea of what goes into making an ice cream flavor.”

The efforts marks the first time Ben and Jerry’s has offered its flavor contest nationally. The company is running a similar contest in England, Holland, France and Germany, Gaetani said.

Ben and Jerry’s will select five finalists in September to visit the company’s Waterbury, VT, plant to participate in a Flavor Finals showdown. In October, a panel of judges will rate each creation based on creativity, flavor profile and brand.

One top winner will receive an ice cream party for 20 people at a local Ben & Jerry’s shop featuring the winning flavor. All entrants will receive Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop coupons.

Despite the success of Cherry Garcia, not every Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor has rated high with customers. Gaetani acknowledged there have been a few ice cream flavor flops along the way. The company provided a list of past test flavors that didn’t pass, reminding consumers not to get too creative with their entries. Test flavors include Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Chips and Dip, Licorice, Pepperoni Pizza with Anchovy Swirl and Lemon Peppermint Carob Chip.

The sweepstakes runs through July 31. Online materials, in-store signage and e-mail blasts support. Marden-Kane, Inc., Manhasset, NY, handles sweepstakes administration.

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