For their new beer, Ben & Jerry's has signed a contract with New Belgian Brewing, a small US company that specialises in Belgium-inspired brews. Both New Belgian Brewing and Ben & Jerry's are using the same marketing strategy: they let other companies, like charities, have a share of their profits, to give their brand a positive image.
Raising public awareness about the world's problems is a good thing. But selling alcohol alongside sweets, that's something else. By associating an ice cream company with beer, it might become very easy for kids to take the next step and start drinking alcohol.
The public is used to unusual flavours in Ben & Jerry's products, but watchdog 'Alcohol Justice' is not happy. They say the decision is made based on nothing but profit-seeking. According to USA Today, Alcohol Justice CEO Bruce Lee Livingston said that "it's a crass, corporate greedy move to put a brand name like Ben & Jerry's on a beer. It's bad for children - who will start looking at beer as the next step after ice cream."
Ben & Jerry's has not responded to the criticism. In a recent press release, the company simply said that the cooperative project with New Belgian was an effort to "focus on environmental awareness".