Every Ben & Jerry’s flavor has a story. Some, like Vanilla, are pretty straightforward and, well, vanilla. Others, like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, are tales of inventive innovation that changed the ice cream world forever. And then there’s Wavy Gravy, our legendary cult classic named after the iconic 1960's activist and Woodstock emcee.
The flavor first burst onto the ice cream scene in 1993, but its journey began nearly two years prior when Ben approached Wavy Gravy in San Francisco.
“I was giving a performance for homeless children,” said Wavy. “Ben Cohen emerged from the fog with his idea for naming a flavor after me. Then, these smoking boxes started arriving. The Federal Express driver thought they were bombs. Actually, they were test pints of Wavy Gravy from Vermont in dry ice.”
Through the deliciously delectable process of trial and error, the euphoric combination of Caramel & Cashew Brazil Nut Ice Cream with a Hazelnut Fudge Swirl & Roasted Almonds rose to the top. Pints were packed, smiles were spread, and the Wavy Gravy flavor took its rightful place in the grocer’s freezers.
Ice cream lovers across the country embraced the new flavor. Its zanily delicious taste profile embodied its namesake, and every bite seemed to help resurrect the spirit of Woodstock.
Unfortunately, the initial success didn’t last. Fans moved on to different flavors and Wavy Gravy was retired in 2001. It moved from the freezer to the flavor graveyard, joining its cousins Peanut Butter and Jelly, White Russian, Dastardly Mash, and others.
But all was not lost! In 2005, our Raise-a-Flavor contest gave fans a chance to bring their favorite flavor back from the dead for a limited time. Competition was fierce. Fans wrote articles and created websites expounding the merits of their favorite flavor. In the end, though, the push for Wavy Gravy was just too powerful.
The flavor received more than twice as many votes as the runner-up, easily earning the right to once again fill the cones and sundaes in Scoop Shops across the country.
While its resurrection was short-lived, love for the flavor lives on. Wavy Gravy is gone but not forgotten, and as our fans have shown in the past, it’s just a vote away from reclaiming its place on the ice cream throne.