How Ben & Jerry's Carefully Crafts Its Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's has built an ice cream empire out of its commitment to high-quality ice cream and unique, creative flavors. When Ben & Jerry's launched in 1978, super-premium ice cream made up a paltry 11% of U.S. ice cream sales, which were dominated by big name stead fasts like Breyers (via Time). Their massive growth over the next 10 years was built around a cadre of what were unusual flavors at the time, first Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in 1984, then Cherry Garcia in 1987, but went on to become timeless favorites of Ben & Jerry's ever-growing fanbase (via Thrillist).

Since that breakthrough, Ben & Jerry's has stayed committed to experimentation, releasing a steady drumbeat of new flavors, such as Phish Food, that have become mainstays themselves. According to Fast Company, this comes from a long creative process that involves brainstorming ideas, getting out into the world to seek flavor inspiration from cities and cocktails, and then testing dozens of new concepts each year. All through that time they have maintained a too-rare focus on consistent quality, sourcing their milk from a local dairy co-op less than two miles from their Vermont factory (via Business Insider). 

So when it comes to one of their most iconic seasonal flavors, you can taste both the quality and the creative inspiration.

Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Cheesecake uses real pumpkin and natural ingredients

By now we all know that pumpkin spice often does not have any pumpkin in it, and that's not a problem for anyone who likes cinnamon and nutmeg, but that is not the kind of flavoring that satisfies the Vermont creamery. According to Ben & Jerry's, their pumpkin cheesecake is made with the real deal. That is no small ask, as high demand for this seasonal gourd means they have to get their order in place a year in advance. Combine that with fair-trade ingredients and cage-free eggs, and you have a comforting fall treat that has been in demand every year since its debut in 2007.

There is clearly real love for Pumpkin Cheesecake, as Ben & Jerry's has not been hesitant to kill off great flavors in the past, attested to by the presence of crème brûlée in their flavor graveyard. The American obsession with pumpkin flavors is strong, and undoubtedly the uniqueness of actually having real pumpkin in the pint has gone a long way towards keeping Pumpkin Cheesecake on the shelves. Those natural ingredients mean it's one of the few pumpkin products that can stand alongside real homemade fall desserts themselves and not come off like a saccharine spice-bomb in comparison. 

We only wish Ben & Jerry's was as consistently committed to bringing back old flavors as they are to turning out great new ones, because honestly Wavy Gravy sounds darn good.