The Real Reason Ben & Jerry's Has Such Big Chunks In Its Flavors

According to Statista, Ben & Jerry's was the most popular name-brand ice cream in 2021, with $936 million in U.S. sales. With an abundance of flavors to choose from, it's no surprise Ben & Jerry's is the country's most favored ice cream brand. Some fans are so passionate about Ben & Jerry's ice cream that there's even a Ben & Jerry's flavor graveyard for discontinued products. The top five Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors of 2021 were Tonight Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cherry Garcia, and Half Baked (via Ben & Jerry's).

All these flavors (and all Ben & Jerry's flavors!) have one thing in common: huge chunks of mix-ins. Whether it's the fudge brownie pieces, the marshmallow swirls, or the cookie dough chunks, each Ben & Jerry's ice cream pint is packed with texture and unique flavor combinations. But why does Ben & Jerry's ice cream have such big chunks in its ice cream? We can thank the first half of the iconic duo, Ben Cohen.

Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen has anosmia

In an interview with Delish, Ben & Jerry's co-founder, Ben Cohen, revealed he's had a condition known as anosmia since he was a child. According to WebMD, anosmia is a "complete loss of smell," which also directly impacts the sense of taste. Anosmia affects "hundreds of thousands of Americans ... each year." A few causes include the common cold, damage to the nose or nerves responsible for smell, old age, and medical diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

For Cohen, texture is vital when it comes to enjoying ice cream, and he's been creating his own flavor chunks since he was "elementary age." Whenever his family would enjoy ice cream together, he would "get some cookies or candies and put them in the dish and bust them up with [his] spoon and mix it around." He further shared, "It just seemed like second nature to me to do that when we started the business."

Cohen's condition proved quite challenging when he and co-founder Jerry Greenfield began creating their flavors. Oftentimes, Cohen couldn't differentiate between them, so Greenfield would amp up the flavor until Cohen could taste it. The duo even got into a disagreement about how big the chocolate chunks should be. Greenfield favored smaller chunks since it would simplify production; however, the pair "compromised" by "making a whole lot of really big chunks." If you're curious about which flavor has the best chunks, here's every Ben & Jerry's flavor ranked.