I have never bought Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And I never will.
The Limited Batch flavor – chocolate ice cream with white and dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts and fudge-covered almonds – is part of the company’s campaign to “lick injustice and champion those fighting to create a more just and equitable nation for us all,” it said Tuesday.
Ben & Jerry’s is donating $25,000 to each of four organizations working on behalf of people of color, Native Americans’ environmental justice and women – Color Of Change, Honor the Earth, Women’s March and Neta.
“The company cannot be silent in the face of President Trump’s policies that attack and attempt to roll back decades of progress on racial and gender equity, climate change, LGBTQ rights and refugee and immigrant rights – all issues that have been at the core of the company’s social mission for 40 years,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement.
The White House could not immediately be reached for comment.
The ice-cream maker made the announcement in the National Press Club’s First Amendment Room in Washington, D.C.
Ben & Jerry’s, which Unilever acquired in 2000, has used its sweet treats to promote its social justice agenda before. For example, Chubby Hubby became Hubby Hubby in 2009 to celebrate same sex marriage in Vermont, Chocolate Fudge Brownie was temporarily renamed Food Fight Fudge Brownie to support GMO labeling and EmpowerMint in 2016 was used to promote voting rights, the company said.
A half-cup serving of Pecan Resist contains 300 calories, 20 grams of fat and 25 grams of sugar, according to the flavor’s nutrition label.
A quick note for flavor-watchers: Pecan Resist was previously called New York Super Fudge Chunk. The flavor is sold only at participating Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops and through the company’s website.
Bay Area artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez designed the Pecan Resist pint. The carton reads, “Welcome to the resistance. Together, Pecan Resist!…We celebrate the diversity of our glorious nation & raise our spoons in solidarity for all Americans. Take a stand & join those on the front lines.”
A URL on the package directs people to information about the four organizations to which Ben & Jerry’s donated money.
Dipayan Biswas, a University of South Florida professor of marketing, said the new flavor will foster loyalty from some customers and prompt others to boycott Ben & Jerry’s – like what happened to Chick-fil-A in 2012 after CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage (yeah, that boycott really did in Chick-fil-A, didn’t it? /sarc).
“Paradoxically, it makes good business sense. Brands, like politicians, often do well when they’re more polarizing,” he said. “A lot of people hate them for that. That’s fine. They get loyalty from other segments.”
But Biswas said he doesn’t know if the ice cream flavor will effect the change the company wants it to. “Research shows words have subliminal impact,” he said. “When you see the brand name, in this case, it can subtly remind people of certain things. I’m not sure it will (inspire) action.”