SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT. — Ben & Jerry’s is breaking into the frozen novelty category with new Pint Slices: round, single-servings of its ice cream enrobed in a chocolate coating.
“We know our fans love our pint flavors, they love our big chunks, and 82% of our fans already enjoy novelties,” said Dave Stever, chief marketing officer for Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever P.L.C. “Now we want them to enjoy ours.”
Inspired by what the company deems "the best part of the pint," the new offering mirrors a wedge cut out of the middle of the pint. The idea for the treats stemmed from the company’s practice of cutting open pints to ensure an optimum amount of ingredients are included and evenly distributed.
“It’s incredible when you see our ice cream opened up from the middle versus the view from the top that you get as a person eating the ice cream,” said Dena Wimette, global innovation manager for Ben & Jerry’s. “Once you open it up, you get to see how many chunks are in there, how many swirls. It’s something we often do as a team between marketing and R.&D. to do quality control. One day I think one of us was like, goodness, all these chunks in a bar — that would be incredible … so we started playing around with how to take a slice of our pint and turn it into a more handheld or portable treat for our fans.”
Consumers have been slicing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pints for years to make ice cream sandwiches, Ms. Wimette said, an idea she said was fueled by an article the company posted in 2014 featuring how to do so. After the post, the idea took off on social media.
“We’re always looking at how to take our pints and do fun and interesting things there,” she said. “The slices started here. At Ben & Jerry’s we’re always playing in the kitchen and looking at new and exciting ways that we can take ice cream to our fans.”
Each Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slice is wrapped in an easy-open pouch that doubles as a mess protector, but that’s not how the company originally envisioned the slices would be served. When Ben & Jerry’s first developed the idea, the company tried to make the treat a stick bar.
“We worked in our factories to try to put a stick in, but with all the chunks and swirls, there was just no way to make it fit,” Ms. Wimette said. “That’s how it became more of a stickless pint slice versus your traditional stick bar. That way we can fit more in.”Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slices are made with Fairtrade certified, non-G.M.O. sourced ingredients and are available in the company’s four top-selling pint flavors: Available in chocolate fudge brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough, vanilla peanut butter cup and Americone Dream.