As much as we wish every flavor our Flavor Gurus whip up could be as beloved as Cherry Garcia and Half Baked, we know that fans are pretty picky when it comes to their favorite cold dessert. But still, we like to be bold. We like to push the boundaries of ice cream greatness, and nobody’s ever done that by coloring inside the lines.
So, we don’t think of these flavor flops as failures. Far from it — we think of them as necessary steps on the way to flavor greatness. And sometimes we like to have a little giggle at them, too.
1. Sugar Plum (1989-1990)
Looking back, we’re not sure how this combo of plum and caramel ice creams passed the initial taste tests. And apparently fans weren’t sure either, because in the first three weeks that it was on store shelves, it sold only one pint. Flavor Guru Peter Lind called it “the worst flavor we ever had.”
2. Fred & Ginger (1988)
This flavor featured ginger ice cream with chocolate bowties and was a not-so-subtle homage to dance duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Apparently it needed to keep practicing its dance steps, though, because of the 47 Scoop Shops that carried it, only two re-ordered when they ran out.
3. Mocha Walnut (1981)
“Mocha Walnut is my all-time favorite flavor,” says Ben, “But when we packed it in pints it turned out to be our all-time worst selling ice cream. Jerry is fond of saying that there is no accounting for taste.” We’re not sure what went wrong, but ice cream lovers were not interested in this coffee-packed pint.
4. Black & Tan (2006)
Cream stout ice cream swirled with chocolate ice cream — sounds pretty good, right? We made this flavor to invoke the beverage popular in pubs in the UK, a mixture of stout and pale ale all in the same pint glass. Sadly, though, we had forgotten our British history and did not think of the drink’s namesake: the paramilitary police force of British World War I veterans recruited during the Irish war of independence. Irish ice cream fans reminded us of the unsavory connection, and we apologized.
5. Piña Colada (2013)
If you like coconut ice cream with pineapple chunks (and getting caught in the rain), you would have loved this fruity flavor. We sure did, but we can’t understand why fans didn’t. Maybe it was the lack of rum. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.
6. Hazelnut Flavors (1988-2015)
For some reason, our fans have never been nutty for hazelnuts. We tried Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl in 1988, but it fell flat. Hazelnut lasted a bit longer (1988 to 1991), but still didn’t impress fans. We waited 9 years to try hazelnuts again, and launched Coffee Hazelnut Swirl in 2000, which didn’t last long. And, most recently, Hazed & Confused Core debuted in 2014, lasting only a year. Alright, alright, we’ll take the hint.
7. The Original Cores Trio (Except Karamel Sutra) (2002)
When the Cores line first launched in 2002, Karamel Sutra had two wingmen: Fudge Central and Peanut Butter Me Up. Sadly, Peanut Butter Me Up only lasted two years, and Fudge Central discoed after three. We’re not sure why Karamel Sutra has stood the test of time, but it has to have something to do with that caramel core.
8. Aloha Macadamia (2001-2002)
When we said “aloha” to Aloha Macadamia in 2001, we thought it was a surefire hit. But apparently fans didn’t agree, because a year later, we were saying “aloha” all over again, but this time with a macadamia-nut-sized tear in our eyes. We get it, ice cream lovers, exotic nuts aren’t your style.
9. Most of the 2Twisted Flavors (2000)
At the turn of the century, we decided to do something a little bit crazy: we paired up some of our most compatible flavors, gave them a new name, and sold them swirled together in the same pint. So, Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch and New York Super Fudge Chunk became Everything But The… Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie became the iconic Half Baked. But those were the only ones to stand the test of time. Entangled Mints (Mint Chocolate Cookie and Marble Mint Chunk), Monkey Wrench (Peanut Butter Cup and Chunky Monkey), Pulp Addiction (Orange & Cream and Chocolate Orange Fudge), and Urban Jumble (Coconut Almond Fudge Chip and New York Super Fudge Chunk) all went the way of the dodo.
10. Oh Pear (1997)
Fresh pear ice cream with a hint of almond and a light fudge swirl sounded great to our Flavor Gurus, but apparently fans couldn’t ‘pear’ it. Oh Pear was so unpopular it left store shelves within the year, never to return again. We’ve learned our lesson: no more pears.