Ben & Jerry’s has officially entered the pet food business with the Monday launch of its new line of frozen dog treats called Doggie Desserts.
Created in honor of the canines that frequent Ben & Jerry’s pet-friendly corporate office in Vermont, Canada, Doggie Desserts are the first ice cream products in the company’s 42-year history that are especially made for an animal.
“We know our fans love their dogs and treat them like family. We created this product line so pups can enjoy something even better than belly rubs,” Ben & Jerry’s global marketing specialist and certified veterinary technician Lindsay Bumps said in a statement. “Doggie Desserts are the sweetest treat they’ll ever put their paws on.”
Set to go on sale in U.S. groceries and pet stores later this January, Doggie Desserts are available in two flavors that are both made with a base of sunflower butter and other ingredients used in Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy human desserts.
The first flavor is called Pontch’s Mix. Named after a little French bulldog who is a fixture in the company’s Burlington office, the flavor features frozen peanut butter and pretzel swirls.
An ode to a rescue mutt, the other flavor is dubbed as Rosie’s Batch, which features creamy pumpkin and pup-friendly mini cookies.
Available in individual 4-ounce mini cups ($2.99) and in packs of four ($4.99), Ben & Jerry’s Doggie Desserts will be placed near the popsicles in grocery store frozen food aisles, a few doors down from the company’s human ice cream.
The launch of Doggie Desserts makes Ben & Jerry’s the latest food company to pivot to pets. It follows the footsteps of General Mills which purchased the Blue Buffalo pet food brand in 2018, and J.M. Smucker Co. which bought Big Heart Pet Brands in 2015 and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in 2018. Nestle, who has owned the Purina brand since 2001, also acquired the British natural pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen last April.
Bumps revealed that Ben & Jerry’s began developing its Doggie Desserts product line early last year after noticing the exponential growth in Americans’ pet spending. According to data firm Euromonitor, spending on dog treats in the U.S. jumped 44% to $5.5 billion between 2015 and 2020.
Aside from Doggie Desserts, which are now available for pre-order on Ben & Jerry’s online store, the company has also partnered with different pet suppliers to create a tie-dye dog leash ($29.95), a dog bowl ($11.95), and a custom plush ice cream cone dog toy ($15.95).