Friday, June 10, 2011

Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard, Waterbury, Vermont

"The most playfully gruesome aspect of the factory is [Ben & Jerry's] Flavor Graveyard, on a hill in back of the plant, beyond the bulk milk tanks.

The Graveyard exists because of Ben & Jerry's never-ending experimentation with odd ice cream flavors; some are just too odd for their own good. Each year eight to twelve -- those with the lowest sales -- are "killed" and become candidates for this fatland Boot Hill. The company has eliminated over 200 flavors, but the Graveyard hosts 27 graves so far, perhaps enough to get the point across.

It is a tranquil place,surrounded by a plastic white picket fence, and people walk among the fake tombstone placards in quiet reverence. Some look for some past favorite flavor that faltered in the mass market.

Over here is interred Peanut Butter & Jelly (1998-1999). Over there lies Miz Jelena's Sweet Potato Pie (1992-1993). We can only hazard poor guesses about what went awry for Bovinity Divinity(1998-2001). And way over yonder is Coffee! Coffee! Buzz Buzz Buzz (1996-1999), a casualty that, in hindsight, should have been ample warning preceding the meltdown. The gravestones feature illustrated lids for each fallen flavor, a scoop and cone ascending on little angel wings."

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