The Five Stages of Flavor Grief

October 11, 2016

How Do You Cope When Your Favorite Flavor is Retired?

Let’s be honest: not all ice cream euphoria is created equal. Some flavors will be around forever (unless there’s a global cookie dough shortage). But others, well, we’re sad to admit that some flavors just don’t have what it takes to survive, and they’ve since gone past the swirly gates and laid to rest in the Flavor Graveyard. With influences stretching from around the world … from Dublin Mudslide to White Russian to Tennessee Mud and beyond … more than a few Ben & Jerry’s flavors have been retired over the years. If your favorite flavor happens to be one of them, rest assured you’re not alone. Many of us have experienced the five stages of flavor grief. Let these words be your guide back to the land of acceptance, and possibly even move on to a new favorite flavor!

Ben & Jerry's - Flavor Graveyard

Stage 1: Denial

Surely your grocer’s freezer just needs to be re-stocked. Or maybe it’s sold out, because [insert your favorite flavor] must certainly be the best-selling flavor of all time, right? You spend your days washing and re-washing your favorite spoon while dreaming of your next bite. Every time you spot someone eating ice cream, you instinctively analyze the swirls and chunks with the hope of spotting your true love. It can’t be gone. Tomorrow, surely, your flavor will make its return.

Ben & Jerry's  Ice Cream Cone

Stage 2: Anger

Ok, this is getting serious. A whole month without those spectacular swirls and cheer-inducing chunks. How does the world expect you to function? You’ve spoken your mind to every grocery store manager in town. You’ve written complaint letters, and called Ben & Jerry’s consumer team. You’ve lurked ominously in the freezer aisle day after day, desperate to find a glimmer of hope in the form of a lonely pint hiding behind another flavor. You even bent your favorite spoon in a fit of rage. “Don’t these people get it!? Getting another flavor just isn’t the same!”

Stage 3: Bargaining

Things are getting desperate. This can’t be the end. You wonder if it’s just been a bad dream. It’s not. But there must be something you can do! What if you promise to buy more? You’ll tell all your friends to do the same! You think to yourself, “If only I could go back in time and tell everyone I've ever come in contact with how great my favorite flavor was, then I could save it.” Sadly, time travel is not an option yet, and not everyone was a fan of your fallen flavor.

A pint of Phish Food with kleenex and a women crying

Stage 4: Depression

What is a world without the tastiest ice cream ever? Who are all of these functional people, walking around as if nothing is wrong with their dessert life? Why even go to work tomorrow? You’re left with empty hours in your week which could have been spent keeping your ice cream supply fully stocked. Your freezer is a shadow of its former self, and not just because the light burnt out last week. Your remaining spoons have even lost their luster and you consider bending those ones in half as well, but you don’t have the energy. Just curl up on the couch and watch three more episodes of … oh, it doesn’t even matter … I’m sure that glowing screen will fill the pint-sized hole in your heart. 

A man and women at a grave with flowers

Stage 5: Acceptance

Ok, it’s time to turn the corner. Look in the mirror and repeat after me: “There are other euphoric Ben & Jerry’s flavors, and I will find a new favorite.” Good, that’s good. See? It’s not so hard. How about you try unbending a few of your unfortunate looking spoons? See, isn’t that nice? Your shiny spoons are like new again. You visit the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard to pay your final respects to an old friend. Last but not least, you hop online to check the Flavor Page and … hey, check that out … a few brand new flavors alongside some classics. Where to begin? Welcome to the first day of your new life of ice cream bliss. Your new favorite flavor is out there. Go get it!