Humans have always adored their dogs, but in the age of COVID-19, to simply ‘adore’ our dogs would be an understatement. In fact, according to a study conducted by veterinary scientist Liat Morgan and colleagues, dog adoption in 2020 has “boomed.” With an increase in furry companions comes an increase in a specific industry’s production. Hello, more very necessary furry companion accessories and treats. We love to share what we love with who we love, and Ben & Jerry’s decided to create something we love to share even if we shouldn’t (according to that Oreo advert). Any guesses what that is? Pup friendly ice cream, baby!
The Vermont-based, Unilever-owned (British), ice cream company has publicly announced that it’s introducing a line of frozen dog treats, which marks its first official dip into the lucrative pet food market. These special doggo desserts will be sold in 118 millilitre (4 ounce) cups and will be thrust upon the US grocery aisles before January 2021 comes to an end.
There will be two flavours to start with, ‘Pontch’s Mix’, which is a combination of peanut butter and pretzel swirls, and ‘Rosie’s Mix’, which is a pumpkin and mini cookie sunflower butter-based delight. Both flavours have been named after two of the many Ben & Jerry’s office dogs and the company calls them K9-to-5ers.
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Ben & Jerry’s stated that according to its research, millennials in particular spend lavishly on their pets and regularly look for pet products with human-grade ingredients. Lindsay Bumps, a global marketing specialist with the company said that they had been eyeing out the growth in pet spending and in anticipation of opportunity, started developing Ben & Jerry’s dog treats early last year. The brand hasn’t taken it lightly either, Bumps happens to also be a veterinary technician, so nutritionists and regulatory consultants have very much been a part of this journey.
“This is an opportunity for people to treat their dogs as they’re treating themselves when they grab a pint off the shelf,” she said. Bumps also explained that the pivot to pets doesn’t mean that Ben & Jerry’s is seeing a slowdown on the human side, so relax, human. It’s chill. In fact, Unilever stated that ice cream sales for home consumption grew more than 10 per cent in the most recent quarter as consumers sought more indulgent treats during the pandemic. Glad to know the rest of the world was Bridget Jones-ing with me.
The ice creams all fall into the ‘dairy free’ category with their sunflower butter bases, and each of the flavours are found alongside their signature human counterparts—food envy no more. Not even for the human, I might add, because these Doggie Desserts are good for all ice cream lovers. The company is actually using bases that are already being used in some vegan varieties, so you can be a good boi too!