Ben and Jerry’s Goes Vegan

Ask and you shall receive!  Did you know Ben and Jerry’s received a petition with over 23K signatures to create a non dairy ice cream line?  Well they did, and I was lucky enough to visit their headquarters in Vermont this past week to find out the scoop!


Image credit: Ben and Jerry’s

There are 4 non dairy flavors in the line so far.

  • Fudge Brownie
  • PB & Cookies
  • Chunky Monkey
  • Coffee Caramel

Not only were we able to sample all the flavors, but we also got to develop our own ice cream flavor in their test kitchen!  More on that later in the post.

Ben and Jerry's Test Kitchen

I love these trips because it gives me the chance to connect with some other bloggers.  I met Becky from Glue and Glitter, Janne from Sweet Potato Soul, Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen, Rika and Doni from Vegan Miam, Madeline from A Graduated Kitchen, Hannah from Bittersweet, and Carlo and Carmella from The Food Duo. Please check out their blogs if you get a chance.  Very talented and nice people.

Ben and Jerry's Bloggers

As you can see it was very cold.  I am so not used to that anymore!  Haha.

I want to thank the staff at Ben and Jerry’s for their amazing hospitality.  Not only did they put us up in the fabulous Hotel Vermont, but they also lined up some amazing vegan food.  The way they spoke about the company, showed the amazing pride they have.  Ben and Jerry’s is a pretty awesome company to work for.

Ben and Jerry's Trip 1

Some random facts about Ben and Jerry’s:

  • You can bring your dog to work
  • There is a gym and yoga room on site
  • Casual dress attire
  • Each employee gets to bring home 3 pints of ice cream per day

They also take pride in the companies they deal with.  One of those companies is Greyston Bakery, the company that makes the brownies for the chocolate brownie ice cream and the non dairy chocolate brownie frozen dessert.  They have an open hiring policy, which can provide jobs to those without experience, despite having past history of drug dealing and incarceration.  We had the pleasure of hearing one of their employees speak about his transformation thanks to the company.  You can read more about their mission here.  They are also partnering with Whole Foods to make a vegan brownie available in all their stores by April of this year.  Yay!

So about that non dairy ice cream.  Every single non dairy ice cream flavor is almond milk based, fair trade, vegan and Non GMO.  Here is how I ranked the flavors:

PB & Cookies:  This was absolute fave!  It’s a vanilla base with big chunks of sandwich cookies and swirls of peanut butter.  Definitely shines as what Ben and Jerry’s is best known for.

Coffee Caramel:  I loved this one as well.  Rich coffee flavor with chocolate chunks and caramel.  Who doesn’t like caramel and coffee together?

Chunky Monkey: I was never a fan of this flavor when I ate the regular ice cream, so it was not my fave.  I am not saying it wasn’t good, I am just saying I am not a fan of a super strong banana flavor in my ice cream.

Chocolate Brownie: I LOVED the chocolate brownie chunks in this.  Those bites were very rich, but the ice cream itself was lacking something for me.  Maybe it was a certain mouth feel?  Not terrible, just not my fave.

One of the cool things we did there, was create our own vegan ice cream flavor in their test kitchen!  We broke into teams, created the flavor, created a marketing poster, and pitched our idea to the marketing team!  It was really fun. My team spotted a locally source peach bourbon jam in their kitchen, and we based an ice cream around it.  The ingredients we used were, vegan vanilla milk base, peach bourbon jam, roasted pecans, cinnamon and caramel. This is ours pictured below.  Look at all that caramel goodness!

Southern Roots Ice Cream

It was so delicious! I am going to have to re-create it at home for you guys to try. 🙂  The marketing department voted on the best flavor, and our team won!  So cool.

Lastly, one of the things I wanted to mention was that Ben and Jerry’s is very focused on sustainability.  In fact, they tax themselves $10 for every ton of carbon they omit.  They use that money to help sustainability in other areas. They made no point to hide the fact that their dairy line is a HUGE impact on the size of their carbon foot print.  They have a goal to reduce their carbon foot print by 80% and part of that plan includes making MORE plant based ice cream and LESS dairy ice cream.  So supporting the plant based ice cream line can really help. I am sure they are already drumming up new flavors now.  As always, they listen to your suggestions, so don’t hesitate to email them with requests.  🙂  There is actually a form on their website for flavor suggestions.  You can check it out here.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trip to Vermont from Ben and Jerry’s.  All opinions are my own.  The end.

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18 thoughts to “Ben and Jerry’s Goes Vegan”

  1. That is awesome! I couldn't believe one of the mainstream chains did listen to people and made vegan ice cream lol. Great changes coming for health conscious people. I do not buy any ice cream unless organic and plant-based mostly. I would love to go on a trip like this. So much fun!!!
    1. Thanks Olena! It was a blast! I normally don't eat sweets like this on a regular basis, but I did try it and it was yummy!
  2. I was excited to learn that a local supermarket near me had these in stock, so I headed over to pick up a pint. The idea of a almond milk based frozen treat was very appealing. I left empty-handed. Once reviewing the ingredients, I discovered that it contained carrageenan. I decided to try a coconut based one instead. Sharon's Chocolate Sorbet was very yummy and no carrageenan that I could tell.
    1. The only one I saw carrageenan as an ingredient was the coffee version. The rest didn't have any. I am definitely not saying to eat this daily or anything, but it's a step in the right direction for more vegan options. :)
      1. Thanks, Melissa. Yes, I think it was the coffee version. Good to know. I'll check the other varieties. And, I agree, nice to see companies offering vegan options. Love your blog!
  3. Congrats on winning with your ice cream! It sounds pretty tasty, and I look forward to seeing your recipe whenever it pops up. :) I've seen scattered mentions of B&J's vegan stuff, but this is the most I've read on the subject. I'm particularly interested because my boyfriend's digestive system is in terrible condition after years of heavy drinking--on top of being unable to handle even a little bit of dairy. Are the add-ins all vegan, too? I would presume such, but crazier things have happened. This is also the most I've heard about the company itself. Though I should probably do some independent investigation, I like what I'm hearing. Their mission of greater sustainability and lower carbon emissions sounds fantastic. I really appreciate that, and I'd like to support their efforts through supporting this new vegan line. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still upsetting to the boyfriend's system... We tried some So Delicious coconut ice cream and that jacked him up even though there's absolutely no dairy in it. Seems like it gets trickier every day purchasing pre-made anything for him... I'm so happy to hear you got hit opportunity, and thank you so much for sharing!
    1. Thanks Sherwood! Feel free to further investigate on their website. They are very transparent. That was one of the things I was most impressed by!
  4. I've been reading a lot about their new vegan options and being fairly new to this I am really excited to try it however it is yet to be available anywhere in my area :-( Hopefully they'll increase the market or the stores will get them soon.
  5. My husband and I were in Memphis recently and we saw a Ben and Jerrys store so we went in and tried your recommended PB and Cookie. It was awesome but oh my goodness the amount of sugar in there. I didn't think to look ahead of time but 22 grams of sugar for 1/4 a small carton. That's 88 grams per container. For some reason I thought it was a healthy treat because it was "vegan" but I'll never do that to myself again. I had such a sugar high followed by an extreme low. All within the first hour. Our home had been sugar free for two years now so my body got an overload it wasn't used to.
    1. Yes the sugar count is high. Definitely not an everyday food. Not all foods labeled vegan are healthy, so definitely check the labels. :) I personally didn't have more than a tiny sample of this, so I felt okay after. :)
  6. Wow, you made me want to move to Vermont just so I can work for B&J's. I hope no one used the marshmallows in their vegan ice cream! I'm a little worried to see that marshmallows were offered as an optional additive to vegan ice cream.
    1. I didn't use any marshmallows in making the ice cream. They do make vegan marshmallows too, though. Could have been the case.

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