Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt: Is The Ice Cream Giant Launching A New Product Line? [UPDATED]
UPDATE: Since we posted this news, confirmation of the new Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt line has flooded in from all corners. Food Beast expressed its enthusiasm about the new product, and Perez Hilton said he was excited to try Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt but glad it hasn't yet been released nationally, because he "already used his cheat day this week." Junk Food Guy even got his hands on a carton of the Strawberry Shortcake flavor of the Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt. His blog has lots of pictures of the carton and yogurt -- and full nutritional information. The yogurt has 180 calories and six grams of protein per half cup -- not siginificantly different from the 200 calories and eight grams of protein in a half cup of Cherry Garcia (non-Greek) frozen yogurt.
Like Greek yogurt? Like Ben & Jerry's? Get ready: Ben & Jerry's has started quietly selling a new line of Greek frozen yogurt in a few locations -- and looks poised to bring the new product national as soon as next week.
The earliest online evidence for the new product came in the form of a post on blog Houston on the Cheap. The post, the product of a conversation with a local Ben & Jerry's franchise owner, mentions that Greek frozen yogurts would soon be coming to Ben & Jerry's. Writer Vicki Powers even lists the yogurt's flavors: "Banana Peanut Butter, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Blackberry Vanilla Graham Cracker, and Vanilla."
Since then, there have been stirrings of Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt on Twitter. A few users have mentioned tasting (and loving) the product -- including the official account for Ben & Jerry's in Manchester, New Hampshire, which also posted about the new line on its Facebook page:
A call to the Ben & Jerry's in Manchester confirmed that the shop has been selling all the flavors identified above since yesterday. A worker at the Ben & Jerry's in Rockefeller Center, the closest location to HuffPost Food HQ, speculated that the Greek frozen yogurt would be in stores next week.
This week, Ben & Jerry's sent out invitations to media, including HuffPost Food, for a February 22 event to announce a major new product line. The invitation refused to identify the product any further than saying that "It's really Greekin' good" and that it would put them "miles ahead of the herd." When asked to confirm reports that they would be unveiling a Greek frozen yogurt at the event, Ben & Jerry's responded, "We usually don't confirm or deny new flavors before their official unveiling, even if it is something really Greekin' good."
There's evidence that this isn't just some kind of experimental product destined just for Ben & Jerry's Scoop Stores. An intensive search of the websites for supermarket chains Hannaford's and Sweetbay reveals listings for several flavors of Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt. The flavors Hannaford's lists match up perfectly with those mentioned on Houston on the Cheap.
Representatives from Hannaford's and Sweetbay would not confirm that Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt is yet being sold in stores.
Greek yogurt has exploded in popularity over the past half-decade. And the only other major company in "the herd" that currently makes Greek frozen yogurt is Stonyfield, under its Oikos brand. The Stonyfield Greek frozen yogurt has And what other kind of Greek-themed frozen dessert would Ben & Jerry's be making? Rosemary-feta sorbet? Ouzo popsicles? Baklava ice crem? Actually, baklava ice cream would probably be pretty great -- so, Ben & Jerry's, if all these hints are elaborate red herrings covering up the news of a baklava-flavored Ben & Jerry's, bravo.
Earlier on HuffPost: