An Open Letter to Ben & Jerry

Dear Ben and/or Jerry,

Listen, I get it, guys. We are America’s hat. We live in a country that is under snow 95% of the year. The other 5% consists entirely of room temperature water hatching mosquitos. Sure, we’re the second largest country on earth, but I can appreciate why you might not view Canada as a market to conquer. Still, it doesn’t help that the majority of our media is siphoned from our southern neighbours. We get to watch your sultry actresses spoon Americone Dream into their mouths while battling eyelashes at their White Russian scooping sugar daddies. I have to say, it sort of sucks. I know, I know. It’s a matter of priorities. You probably make a lot of money one the steadily expanding bellies of the American market.

Please, Ben & Jerry, take a minute to consider my plea for you to expand your Canadian market by introducing flavours that, while old hat to you, would be new and marvellous to us.

Just think about it for a second. As a country, Canada is full of fabulous people. And the one’s that aren’t fabulous but also Canadian have basically become Americans anyway (see: Celine Dion, Justin Bieber). We are a kind, generous folk who appreciate both ice cream and puns. We are the ideal market with which to share some of these brilliant flavours. Hazed and Confused? Karamel Sutra? These witticisms are right up our alley!

‘But Kathleen,’ you might say. ‘You yourself told us Canada is a cold place. Surely you don’t need more cold things, such as ice cream which, by its very nature is cold and also mentions how cold it is in its very name!’

                Our constant battle against the frigid temperatures of our 11 month-long winters is exactly why we need more Ben and Jerry flavours. The only thing that keeps us going is imbibing in quality food. We are the number one consumer of hot chocolate in the world! Probably. I don’t actually know. And each year each Canadian consumes approximately sixteen metric tons of cream through our Tim Hortons consumption. We are made to indulge in the delicate combination of sugar, egg yolks, cream, and chocolate. I myself am currently smearing a concoction of mousse and white chocolate on my face as part of my beauty regime. Your product belongs in us.

‘But we are American!’ you proclaim. ‘We make ice cream with American puns! How can we ever make ice cream for a Canadian audience?’

Never fear, I reply. I gathered a focus group who assisted in creating several concept titles that can be applied to these marvellous new flavours. Take for instance Vancouver Choc-chunks, the first of your NHL series of ice creams. Follow it up with Caramelly Flames, Montreal Coneadians and the Winnipeg Jams. You are already halfway there! But maybe you think the idea of licensing with the NHL makes the whole concept dead in the water. Not so fast! Do you have any idea how obsessed we are with hockey up here? You don’t. No one does. Hockey isn’t just a game to Canadians. It is a religious, cult-like rite of passage that every Canadian partakes in. Slap a team logo on a pint of ice cream and you have literally just guaranteed millions of sales. Literally.

If the NHL themed pint of creamy delight (pause for laughter) isn’t doing it for you, consider this: We do not have many celebrities, but those we have are renowned for something in particular, and it is on that singular something that you can easily build up a particular name.

  • Celine’s Pralines and Cream
  • Wayne Gretzky’s The Grape One (and think about the cross promotion you could achieve with your NHL flavours!)
  • Little Mousse on the Prairie
  • PEI Pie
  • Loonies and Toonies (which would ideally contain a butterscotch swirl in milk chocolate ice cream with walnut chunks)
  • Timmy’s Caffeinated Crunch
  • Bieber’s Berry Burst (I know, I know. We all feel that way about him, but just imagine how much it would annoy him to have a berry ice cream named after him? You should do it for that reason alone.)

We are a country rich with opportunities to give witty names to ice cream, and our stomachs are so very empty. Six or seven flavors can only sustain us for so long. Please don’t think I am ungrateful; I could eat Cherry Garcia all day long, but I have no emotional connection to it. I don’t buy a pint of Cherry Garcia and think to myself “Ah yes, what a truly Canadian treat for me to eat. Ho ho ho! And that rhyming! How droll!”

I recently learned you have an ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough in it. Excuse me? Peanut butter cookie dough? Where the hell is my peanut butter cookie dough? Do you realize how many people, stoned or otherwise, would flock to expensive Korean corner stores to purchased ridiculously over-priced pints of ice cream to satisfy their cravings if peanut butter cookie dough was on the table. I would eat it all the time. Literally. All the time.

And I’ll never get to try Americone Dream. Why is that, guys? Do I not have dreams? Do I not crave waffle pieces covered in caramel or whatever it is? I don’t know because I have never had the opportunity to try it. Do I not deserve to indulge in a bit more Stephen Colbert commercialization? Is my life not emptier for the whole within my soul that can only be filled with chocolate and cream and chunks of things? I crave the chunks. I crave all the chunks.

Maybe you are concerned, maybe you think because Target failed, so too will any venture outside the realm of what is considered ‘normal’ and ‘common’ to Canadians. Target was doomed from the start, but you, you could change the entire Canadian economy just by being as fabulous up here as you are down there.

I’m begging you, Ben & Jerry’s. Look at your neighbours to the north, hear our cries of desperation as we drool hungrily over the images of these remarkable flavours. Why do you refuse to share with us? Is it our accents? Our use of eh? Is it because of the War of 1812 because we warned you what would happen if you tried to invade. We did.

                Please, please. Consider what it does to us, seeing these delicious advertisements day after day, knowing that we are so close and yet so far. It is like a knife. A knife stabbed repeatedly into our kidneys and then packed with salted fish and vinegar. It hurts, is what I’m getting at. It hurts a whole lot. What do we have to do to convince you that we are worth it?

Most Sincerely (and very peanut butter cookie doughy),

Kathleen Sawisky,

Integrity Commissioner

PS: We also love beards.

2 comments

  1. This must be some kind of great irony, if Canada don’t have Ben & Jerry, yet the louse little grocery store on the Swedish countryside about two miles from where I live sells Ben & Jerry. Albeit, of course, to three or four times the price of Swedish ice cream.

    (Is it normal on the North American part of the world to pay 5$ worth of currency for a container of ice cream measuring about a teacup’s size? Because here we usually get a full litre for such money, though I suppose import costs may play a part)

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