Ben and Jerry’s is offering free ice cream cones on April 9 as part of its annual tradition. From noon until 8 p.m., you can stop by a scoop shop to get a sweet pick-me-up. A list of participating shops can be found on the Ben and Jerry’s website.
It is estimated that over 1 million free cones are given away each year, in stores ranging from Copenhagen to Sydney.
For those debating which flavor of ice cream to choose, Ben and Jerry’s has listed its top flavors of 2018. The most popular was “Half Baked,” which consists of “chocolate and vanilla ice cream mixed with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownies.” Second most popular was “Cherry Garcia,” which is “cherry ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes.” Third place went to the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Other favorites in the top ten were Chocolate Fudge Brownie, The Tonight Dough, Phish Food, Americone Dream, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chunky Monkey, and Peanut Butter Cup.
The least popular, as ranked by Thrillist, are Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch, Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch, Chillin’ the Roast, and Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Ben and Jerry’s was founded in 1978 when two friends named Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started selling ice cream out of a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont. The two had taken a $5 correspondence course from Penn State in Ice Cream Making and hoped that with a $12,000 investment, they could start a successful business.
Fast forward one year later, and the business was indeed a success. In honor of their first-year anniversary, the two decided to give out free ice cream cones in appreciation. Thus, the tradition began a full 40 years ago.
Part of the success of Ben and Jerry’s is the iconic chunks of chocolate, cake, and other desserts mixed into the ice cream. This was originally done because Cohen has a medical condition called anosmia, meaning he lacks both a sense of smell and a sense of taste. The purpose of the chunks was to give Cohen a “mouth feel” of the product he was creating.
Another aspect of Ben and Jerry’s prosperity is their unabashed fun in the process of making their ice cream. In 1983, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream was used to create the “world’s largest ice cream sundae,” which ended up weighing a whopping 27,102 pounds. Even their ice cream names are fun, with titles such as “Chubby Hubby,” “Truffle Kerfuffle,” and “Oat of this Swirled.”
In addition to giving out free cones, Ben and Jerry’s is also hosting a raffle, where a lucky winner is gifted free ice cream for a year. To enter, go Ben and Jerry’s trivia page.