Lightning in a Dessert Carton

Ben & Jerry’s struck marketing gold back when they took an idea from an ice cream shop bulletin board and turned it into one of their top three selling ice cream flavors of all time.

For Ben & Jerry’s, a fringe brand rapidly gaining mainstream appeal, the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia had a near perfect mix of alternative-culture street-credibility and mainstream acceptance. In many ways, Garcia was to music as Ben & Jerry’s was to ice cream.

The bulletin board suggestion for the “Cherry” Garcia ice cream flavor was a viral marketing dream waiting to explode – the perfect pun blended with the ultimate un-spokesperson. Creating the right mix of cherries and chocolate chunks to make the flavor a hit was almost secondary to preparing the company for the pop cultural storm that awaited. They had captured lightning in a dessert carton.

Cherry Garcia might have lucked into passion and volume thanks to a clever corkboard note and a counter-cultural marketing tsunami (experiencing advantages one might say are “atypical” to most flavor development plans). But passion and volume are the two most important ingredients in Decision Insight’s proprietary “Non-TURF” Flavor Analysis.

Decision Insight’s Flavor Analysis answers three key questions:

  1. What current flavors must remain in the line?
  2. What current flavors could be discontinued?
  3. What new flavors should be added to the line?

Using a series of simple exercises, we can efficiently evaluate a large quantity of products (we’ve tested over 100 flavors at a time). The process provides a clear framework for our clients to give every variety a “green light,” “yellow light” or “red light.” Operational factors can be combined with the consumer insights to begin to narrow down the set – and provide the intelligence needed to make informed go-forward flavor decisions.

Read more about DI & Flavor Analysis here or contact Leslie Downie if you’d like to set up a meeting with our team.