Did you know that it’s National Ice Cream month in the U.S.? Fans of Ben & Jerry’s like Dan Eslinger from Louisville, Kentucky are cognizant and observant, and just the kind of brand enthusiast the ice cream maker loves back.
Eslinger’s wife, Erin, posted his picture on her Facebook page, as he proudly displayed his collection of the different Ben & Jerry’s pint cups he’s consumed since 1999. The “Wall of Fame container pyramid” represents flavors now in B&J's ice cream graveyard up to and includes recent releases available at today’s Scoop Shops. Eslinger has tried them all.
In appreciation, the company sent shirts, coupons, and an autographed Ben & Jerry’s Frisbee to Eslinger, followed by a call from the company’s Cofounder Jerry Greenfield and a personal invitation to visit B&J's Vermont HQ with his wife, Erin.
It will be Eslinger’s second visit, the first being more than a decade ago when Dan showed off his ice cream acumen. "Every question that the tour guide asked, of course, I knew the answer... Other people weren't speaking up, so I tried to give other people an opportunity, but when he asked what flavor was the chocolate peanut butter filled pretzels going into, I had to answer Chubby Hubby!"
Other fan-inspired flavors include: Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. “How fortunate are we to have supporters who share their love, their names, and their ideas for our flavor combinations?” stated Dave Stever, Ben & Jerry's CMO for the past quarter-century. “We’re always thankful for having the most passionate, intense, and crazy fans in the world. They make all the difference.”
National Ice Cream Month occurs in July, so designated by Ronald Reagan in 1984 — the third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day — to recognize Americans love affair with the treat consumed by 90% of the U.S. population.
That's why Ben & Jerry's scoop truck is popping up across American this summer, giving away samples of its new Greek Frozen Yogurt. And in a Starbucks-like cause marketing push, the progressive (and Unilever-owned) ice cream maker's latest social mission is to get the corporate money out of politics via getthedoughout.org, a movement it's been promoting at festivals such as Bonnaroo.
Still, it's all about doling out ice cream and happiness wherever it can, and acknowledging its fans, including sharing a "fan foto" of the week on its Facebook page and polling customers for new flavor ideas and feedback. “Our goal is to love our fans more than they love us,” added Stever.