When Jerry and Ben started this company in 1978, their goal was to make the best possible ice cream in the nicest way possible. Becoming a recognized figure in the music world was just the cherry on top. Let’s take a trip back in time and revisit some of the moments that have helped cement Ben & Jerry’s place as the rockingest ice cream brand around.
1987: Cherry Garcia® Takes the Stage
When two Deadheads suggested we pay homage to the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, we said, “groovy,” got to work and launched Cherry Garcia®. It was the first ice cream flavor to be named for a rock legend, but it wouldn’t be the last.
1988: The Newport Folk Festival Needs a Hero
The Newport Folk Festival was an institution in trouble. It struggled in the 60s, disappeared in the 70s, and though it was reborn in 1985, it seemed doomed to die off once more. Enter Ben & Jerry’s. We became the festival’s main sponsor in 1988, kept it rolling through 1999, and even produced 3 live albums that you can still find on eBay!
1991: One World, One Heart Festival is Born
It was cool to sponsor someone else’s festival, but we always wanted to hold our own. So we did. Starting in 1991, we put on free festivals in Vermont, Chicago, and San Francisco. Each one brought people together in the name of music, arts, crafts and social action.
1997: Phish Food® Goes on Tour
We love the Vermont-based band, Phish. Their music makes us smile, dance and groove with our friends. To celebrate their awesomeness, we launched Phish Food® ice cream. A portion of royalties from every pint sold goes to the WaterWheel Foundation which helps take care of Vermont’s Lake Champlain region.
2002: This Is One Sweet Whirled®
Impossible to fight climate change with ice cream, you say? Pshaw! We started doing just that when we launched this flavor in partnership with the Dave Matthews Band® and SaveOurEnvironment.org.
2005: The Fight Against Climate Change Rages On
Our partnership with Dave Matthews Band® and SaveOurEvnironment.org hits the road! Magic Brownies™ is launched to accompany the DMB Lick Global Warming Tour.
Glastonberry was created in the United Kingdom to pay homage to the Glastonbury Music Festival held in Pilton, Somerset, England. The Festival draws over 175,000 people annually to see the biggest names in music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.
2007: Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler™
Willie Nelson has always been a man after our own hearts. By combining music and activism through the founding of Farm Aid, the Red Headed Stranger earned himself a flavor among some of music’s other legends.
2007: Getting Down With Guster
We partnered with Guster and launched the “Eco-Mission with Guster” virtual road trip game. Players had a chance to win a trip and tickets to see the nation’s first 100% carbon-neutral festival: Colorado’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival. You can still play the game here!
2007: A Little Silhouetto
In the United Kingdom, we released Bohemian Raspberry in homage of the British rock band, Queen. The royal flavor supported the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which is responsible for raising awareness and funding charities globally in the worldwide fight against AIDS.
2008: You May Say That We Are Dreamers But we’re not the only ones.
When the message is peace, who better to spread the word than John Lennon? That’s why we partnered with The John Lennon Estate and the nonprofit group Peace One Day to launch Imagine Whirled Peace®.
2008: A Knight’s Welcome
It took Sir Elton John a long time to make it to Vermont, but once he got here we welcomed him with Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road™, a Scoop Shop exclusive flavor.
2010-2014: Campus Consciousness Tours
Part music tour, part environmental campaign, all sorts of amazing. We toured our nation’s colleges with some of the hottest bands to help inspire and mobilize students to take social action.
2010: A Festival in Every Bite
It wasn’t easy to capture the festival magic in a pint, but we think we did a pretty good job when we partnered with Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo’s Coffee Caramel Buzz (formerly Bonnaroo Buzz™) flavor mixed coffee, toffee, and malt kissed with whiskey and caramel for a rocking taste of Tennessee.
2012: Needs More Cowbell
Remember we said we loved Phish? Here’s one more reason: Jon Fishman, their drummer, came to Vermont to help us celebrate the 15th anniversary of Phish Food. He led an estimated 1,600 clangers in the world’s largest cowbell ensemble.
2014 and Beyond
Music is in our cones, and it will continue to be a part of our flavors and event planning for many years to come. But what bands will we immortalize? Which festivals will we visit? Only time will tell, ice cream friends, so we hope you stick with us for the rest of our musical journey!