Ben & Jerry's agrees to stop labeling its ice cream as 'all natural'

By David Kiefaber on Wed Sep 29 2010

Ben-and-Jerry

Ben & Jerry's is no longer promoting its ice cream as "all natural," thanks to some meddling by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who told the company last month that "all-natural" food doesn't contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or similar ickies. How they came to this decision is uncertain, as the FDA hasn't made any real effort to define "natural," but Ben & Jerry's agreed to remove the "all-natural" label anyway. I personally don't care what's in Americone Dream as long as the taste doesn't change, and I'm probably better off not knowing (which is also how I feel about most cajun food). I suppose it is weird to claim you have all-natural flavors when there's no real consensus on what those are, but I can't see people caring too much. The suburban eco-hippies who flock to Ben & Jerry's have been projecting their beliefs on the company for too long to stop now. Via Consumerist.

Sure, ice cream is hot these days, but it's still not good for you

By T.L. Stanley on Fri Aug 13 2010

Ice-cream

There's an ice-cream renaissance going on this summer, with double-digit spikes in sales attributed to a couple of factors: record heat in much of the country, and a stubborn recession that makes a cold treat one of the few indulgences people can actually afford. So, it's classic supply and demand, with a little nostalgia and comfort thrown in. All good? Not so fast. The Daily Beast had to go and spoil things by doing some math and figuring out the precise unhealthiness of such frosty sweets as Baskin-Robbins's Fudge Brownie 31 Below and TCBY's large Toffee White Chocolate Crunch Vanilla Bean Shiver. (The former weighs in at a whopping 1,900 calories, 39 grams of saturated fat and 1,350 milligrams of sodium; the latter is 1,600 calories, 40 grams of fat and 231 grams of carbs.) The site lists the top 40 offenders in terms of their ability to throw you into a diabetic coma. (You'll be fat while you're there, too.) Not surprisingly, most of the top 40 have syrup, Oreos, peanut-butter cups, brownies, nuts and the like as add-ons to the basic ice cream, though Chevy's restaurants just jumps straight to the deep frying. Maybe you should reconsider the lowly Popsicle.

TCBY jets into the future with its own ultramodern interior design

By Robert Klara on Fri Jul 23 2010

TCBY

Those of you who follow the intersecting planes of cutting-edge interior design and, uh, cheeseburgers will probably remember how McDonald's started redoing its restaurants in 2006 into Euro-chic nooks (see the four images below) with wood-slat room dividers, amoeba-shaped couches and avant-garde muraling (all courtesy of French tastemaker Philippe Avanzi, though executed in the U.S. by Lippincott Mercer). The idea wasn't just to update the look of restaurants that hadn't had a facelift since 1976 but to cater to the visual discernment of the digital generation by creating "linger zones" with puffy couches and WiFi connections to go with those nifty new Asian salads.
  Well, add another restaurant chain to list of those out to woo the eyes and palettes of the digi-kid crowd. TCBY, the brand that introduced the swirly stuff now known as fro-yo back in 1981, last week opened up a new prototype store in Salt Lake City (see above) that's not only based on a self-service model (think of the labor savings!) but has given more work to those Jetsons-loving interior designers—StruckAxiom, in this case—who'll tell you the Atomic era has returned in the form of Saarinen tulip chairs and pink and purple mushroomy things. According to TCBY, the new digs "synch up nicely with a shift in the consumer mindset, particularly among Gen X and Y." And why not? "Y" is already in the brand name, after all.

Mcds

Ben & Jerry's iPhone app adds trippy augmented-reality element

By Elaine Wong on Mon Jul 12 2010

BJs

Ben & Jerry's has updated an iPhone application that brings the ice-cream experience to life, literally. The maker of such flavors as Phish and Chunky Monkey added a new augmented-reality feature called Moo Vision to its Scoop of Happiness app. As of launch time, there are four "dioramas" that come to life when you hold a pint of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Milk & Cookies to your iPhone. The images include cage-free chickens, cows, cocoa farmers and Big Apple landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Upon collecting all four dioramas, iPhone users get a special downloadable Ben & Jerry's mobile wallpaper. The app also allows people to link to social-networking sites like Facebook (to show off one's collection). At moment, we're just happy knowing our favorite ice-cream elements can jump off the screen.

Baskin-Robbins gets animated for summer advertising campaign

Posted on Tue Jun 8 2010

Baskin-Robbins is putting cartoons to work in its new summer ad campaign. A new character, Humphrey Hound, will be introduced this month to promote the ice-cream brand's June flavor, Baseball Nut. No, that's really what they called it. They're rolling out four more characters, presumably with alliterative names, at intervals throughout the rest of the year. They're also moving into supermarkets in the U.K., specifically the Morrisons chain, which marks B-R's first major offensive against entrenched supermarket standards like Häagen-Dazs. It's a little early for serious predictions of how well the new cartoon mascots will perform, but B-R sure picked a good summer to work on their brand visibility. Baltimore feels like the surface of Venus these days, and I don't think the rest of the East Coast has been much cooler. As long as Humphrey and pals aren't too corny, they should do all right. Baskin needs to get some more movie placement, though. They can't coast on Shrek 2 forever.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Klondike bars worth untold amounts of embarrassment and pain

Posted on Wed Feb 17 2010

This ad from Unilever for its Klondike bars, shown during yesterday's Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, definitely reminded us of Steve Carrell and his waxing scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Building on its "What would you do-o-o, for a Klondike bar jingle," the packaged-goods maker launched this ad, among others, in 2009, showing a man going through waxing extremes to celebrate the Klondike bar's "thicker, more chocolately shell." The spot, which elicited giggles from yesterday's gathering of analysts, marketers, investors and press, shows the guy first getting a chest wax (while eating a regular Klondike bar), and then attempting a, uh, bikini wax, upon learning his favorite ice-cream brand just got chocolatier. What will he have to do if the Klondike becomes triple chocolatier? Full-body wax? We cringe just thinking of it!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

A mystery is solved, as Pinkberry reveals just what it's made of

Posted on Thu Aug 20 2009

Pinkberry

We all know what a strawberry is, and a blueberry, too. But what's a "Pinkberry"? Actually, that's just the problem. Pinkberry is a frozen-dessert chain that made a huge splash in L.A. and New York about two years ago, drawing lines that wrapped around the block, with dreamy-eyed fans awaiting their fix of the smooth, creamy ... whatever the hell it was. The company kept mum about what was in its exhilarative soft-serve. Most fans guessed it was just frozen yogurt. But then the Los Angeles Times sent a cup to a lab, and reported that the stuff didn't contain enough active yogurt cultures to officially be called fro yo. (Sorry, yo.) But now, it seems like the case is finally closed. The notoriously reticent Pinkberry just unveiled a new Web site, Pinkberry.com, designed by L.A. firm Ferroconcrete. And the recipe book's wide open. Aside from the ingredients you'd expect to find in the swirly treat (guar gum, citric acid, all your old favorites), there's not one but three active yogurt cultures—enough, in fact, to win the seal of approval from the National Yogurt Association. It's won another seal of approval, too. Its fans now purportedly include Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas. And indeed, here's footage of Joe eating his s. thermophilus, l. bulgaricus and l. acidophilus.

—Posted by Robert Klara

Fathers likely to act like total morons around Girl Scout Blizzards

Posted on Mon Jun 29 2009

Sorry guys, but you can't have a Girl Scout Blizzard unless you're a girl. That, unfortunately, is what this father finds out in a new TV commercial for Dairy Queen by Grey, New York. The trouble starts when Katie shows her daddy what she drew today: a family trip to DQ. Except, as Daddy points out, "Hey, wait a minute. Why doesn't Daddy have a blizzard?" "They're Girl Scout Cookie Blizzards. You're a boy," Katie replies matter-of-factly. The man walks away and returns with a freshly drawn Blizzard on a Post-it note. When his wife chides him for his silly behavior and tries to take it from him, he grabs it and stuffs it in his mouth. "Mmm," he says, satisfied. Voiceover: "Everybody wants one. The new Girl Scouts Tagalong Blizzard. Creamy DQ soft serve and real pieces of peanut butter cookies." Yum. Is there going to be one for Boy Scouts soon?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

You can do a whole lot more for a Klondike bar in new campaign

Posted on Mon Jun 22 2009

Finally, some good old-fashioned Klondike entertainment. The Unilever ice-cream brand is out with a new campaign promoting the addition of 25 percent more chocolate coating to six of its bars. In addition to the disturbing TV spot shown here, it has launched a video-game microsite created by Story Worldwide. Over at Klondikebar.com, visitors can play "The Adventures of Khaki Pants Pete" and drool over Klondike bars in his mini-fridge. Chapter one, the first of a four-part series, shows Pete moving into his family's new suburban home, only to lose his "man card." Klondike fans must help him get it back. (The trick is to get Pete to maneuver through a series of "somewhat uncomfortable, yet hilarious" situations.) Still to come: a Facebook app and "Man on the Street"-type Klondike videos. Ah, what won't we do for a Klondike bar?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Breyers commercial gives the '70s a hug with Ace's 'How Long?'

Posted on Thu May 7 2009

Breyers Ice Cream has found an ace in the hole. When I say ace, I am, of course, talking about Ace, the soft-rock supergroup that penned the haunting yet groovy song "How Long?" To promote its "smooth and dreamy" ice cream, Breyers selected this smooth and dreamy song, which went to No. 3 on the U.S. charts in 1975. Song selection for TV commercials is a tricky thing. That's why most brands seem to say, "Screw it, let's just use Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life.' " But Breyers made a perfect pick for the over-35 crowd who grew up listening to the song on 8-track. As the summer months hit and they're looking for a sweet treat at the supermarket, these consumers might just find this song stuck in their head as they scan the frozen-food aisle.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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