Ice Cream For Breakfast: Ben And Jerry Lend Sweet Support To Bernie Sanders

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield passed out cups of coffee-flavored ice cream as they sought support for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders at Boston's luxurious Lenox Hotel on February 23.

According to the Wall Street Journal, candidate Sanders was not in attendance at the Tuesday morning meal, but some 50 local business owners and self-described "one-percenters" were on hand to hear the founders of Vermont's most famous creamery offer kudos to the candidate they hope to send to the Oval Office next November.

One such attendee was Dan Wolf. The Massachusetts state senator and self-described "member of the one percent" showed off a lapel pin that boasted "Tax me!" Wolf, a long time Sanders supporter and CEO of a regional airline company, told everyone within earshot that "[Sanders] is not somebody who actually threatens us."

Ben and Jerry's Back Bay breakfast rally occurred precisely one week before Massachusetts' March 1 primary election, and it wasn't the first time that Ben and Jerry put their product where their political mouth is.

The pair proffered frosty refreshment to warmly-bundled Bernie supporters at a recent rally in Exeter, New Hampshire. Attendance was sparse due to severe weather, but the folks who did manage to make the event were enthusiastic about their candidate.

Ben Cohen introduced Bernie Sanders to the smattering of stalwart souls who braved the February 5 blizzard to support the progressive presidential hopeful.

"He's the only presidential candidate I've ever created an ice cream flavor for! The man [Bernie Sanders] has even made Hillary Clinton want to be a progressive."
The flavor, dubbed Bernie's Yearning, is not available in stores, nor is it an official Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. flavor. Packaged in a very limited edition (each carton is numbered and signed) under the Ben's Best label, the minty green ice cream is topped by a substantial layer of hard chocolate that, according to the label, represents the overwhelming disparity of economic gains made by Americans in recent years.

The pint-size package instructs eaters to "whack" the thick chocolate to bits with the back of a spoon, allow the ice cream to soften, then stir the shattered candy into the squishy ice cream, and share the tasty concoction with one's fellow Americans.

While making it clear that they are acting as private citizens and not as representatives of the Unilever-owned frozen dessert company, Ben and Jerry do tend to show up at political events with enough eponymous ice cream to feed a crowd.

In 2005, the left-leaning, forward-thinking ice creamery built a nine-hundred pound Baked Alaska and served it outside the U.S. Capital to garner support for environmental service groups Alaska Wilderness League and Greenpeace and to protest arctic oil drilling, according to info obtained from the Ben and Jerry website.

During the height of 2011's Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, the progressive ice cream company showed up in Zucotti Park to serve scoops and show solidarity with Occupiers.

The year 2013 saw the Ben and Jerry ice cream company commit to solidarity with growing consumer demand for GMO transparency and labeling legislation.

Related Ben and Jerry News

Earlier this month, the beloved Vermont-based Ben and Jerry ice cream company announced a brand new line of non-dairy frozen desserts. Technically, the four flavors can't be called "ice cream," but the latest no-milk versions of Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge, and P.B. and Cookies started flying off supermarket shelves on February 3.

Food attorney Michelle Simon told Al Jazeera America
"It's great that Ben & Jerry's has recognized the growing demand for nondairy ice cream. With more consumers seeking out plant-based versions of dairy foods such as ice cream, it's a smart business move that makes the company's fun flavors accessible to everyone. We will probably soon see other industry giants following their lead."
If the first few weeks of 2016 are an indication, we can expect to see plenty more of Ben and Jerry supporting causes and candidates in the months leading up to November's presidential election.

[Photo by John Minchillo / AP Images]