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You Can’t Spell Ice Cream Without Politics

Ben and Jerrys has made ice cream political with their change from "New York Super Fudge Chunk" to "PeCan Resist".

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You Can’t Spell Ice Cream Without Politics

Anton Porsche [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Anton Porsche [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Anton Porsche [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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When most people think of political movements, they think of marches, protests, and campaigns. However, few people would think of ice cream as being a way to take a stand.

    Ben & Jerry’s is a popular ice cream sold in most stores nationwide. Their company is renowned for REAL ice cream.

Ben and Jerry’s is a company that believes in 3 things: Peace, Love, and Ice cream. They are known for funny names for their flavors such as the “Tonight Dough starring Jimmy Fallon” and the “Americone Dream with Stephan Colbert.” So it became very controversial when they changed the name of a popular flavor to something political.

However, what many people don’t know about the company is that they have taken political stances in the past. For example, in 2009, they temporarily changed their flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” in support of same-sex marriage.

While the change in 2009 was a peaceful way to show love and

Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop in Williamsburg takes part in the change from “New York Super Fudge Chunk” to “PeCan Resist”.

support to those struggling for equal rights, the most recent one had much more going against it. Therefore, the public was shocked to hear that beloved flavor “New York Super Fudge Chunk” was being changed to “PeCan Resist”.

The flavor was created to show support for the people and groups that are resisting President Trump’s actions which impose on the beliefs of certain groups. A portion of the money they make from this flavor even supports the groups they stand beside. These organizations include Women’s March, Color of Change, Neta, and Honor the Earth.

Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen, founders of Ben and Jerry’s, believe in Peace, Love, and Ice Cream, and they believe Trump has imposed on this.

Ben and Jerry’s has seen what these organizations actively fighting against President Trump and has decided to take part in it. “We can peacefully resist the Trump administration’s regressive discriminatory policies and build a future that values inclusivity, equality, and justice for people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and immigrants,” said the company when explaining why they changed to PeCan Resist.

 

With such a drastic name change like this one, Ben and Jerry’s was expecting a lot of backlash. In the days following the reveal, social media erupted with comments both in support as well as strongly against the new name.

Lauren Darling, an avid lover of ice cream, is tired of politics taking over every aspect of life.

Ben and Jerry’s connoisseur, and avid inactivist, Lauren Darling was disgusted with the change saying, “I rolled my eyes and said ‘Ugh… This again.’” She believes that a big part of the country’s problem is that “Everyone is talking, and no one is actually listening.” However, despite her annoyance with the company, she “will still buy Half Baked and Tonight Dough…because they’re amazing.”

Jeff Clark, ice cream lover and strong right-wing believer, was more outright about his opinions saying, “I was bothered by the fact that [Ben and Jerry’s] was taking a political stance.” He believes this type of stance “Only creates further division in our country.” Clark has decided that he will have trouble being a customer at Ben and Jerry’s if they continue to take stances like this one.

Both Clark and Darling share one thought in common: they both think it was not a good business move for the company to make. Clark believes that it’s a bad idea for any business to do something like this and that a stance like this “will potentially alienate plus or minus 50% of their market.” In addition, Darling thinks that “Businesses should have a right to express their views and beliefs.” She continued, “However, I do think that it is risky, unhelpful, and a little annoying for businesses to do things like this.” She also believes that this does not contribute to good movement and that it continues the division across the country.

As an employee of Ben and Jerry’s, Zach Barbarji believes changing a flavor name was a good business idea, but a risky move nonetheless.

Ben and Jerry’s employee, Zach Barbarji, said that he thought “[It was] interesting, but I didn’t really care, Ben and Jerry’s being extra like that.” He believes, “It won’t change anything. I didn’t like their ice cream anyways.” Furthermore, from a business perspective, he believes that “it was smart to bring attention to their flavor.” However, since it could also cause negative publicity for the company, he also believes it was a “risky move.”

With the state that the country is in and the extremists that exist in our world, the decision that Ben and Jerry’s has made is simply dangerous. They have made a stance that roughly half of the country will be infuriated by and then they put teenagers on the front lines to deal with customer complaints and right-wing extremists. Working at a Ben and Jerry’s myself, it is somewhat stressful working alone with this issue being so fresh, especially considering the location of Williamsburg and the population that lives here.

Ben and Jerry’s has changed from a company founded on ‘Peace, Love, and Ice Cream’ to one that is about ‘Activism, Politics, and Anti-Trump’. With this change occurring, one thing is certain: Ben and Jerry’s is a catalyst that will spark change in young minds and motivate activism.

1 Comment

One Response to “You Can’t Spell Ice Cream Without Politics”

  1. Kelly on November 19th, 2018 7:29 PM

    Great article! Very thought-provoking!

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You Can’t Spell Ice Cream Without Politics