REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Target Exclusive Flavors (Berry Voluntary & Brownie Chew Gooder)

Target’s exclusive Ben & Jerry’s flavors — Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder — are supposed to promote volunteerism. But the only things Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has encouraged me to do are: buy more of it, exercise so that I don’t get fat from eating it and not let the dishes pile up in the sink so that I will always have a clean spoon handy to eat their ice cream.

Now I don’t have time to volunteer because my Hulu and Netflix Instant Watch queues are extremely long. Seriously, this season of ABC’s Wipeout isn’t going to watch itself. It’s also going to take time away from the 12 hours a day I spend in front of a computer, writing reviews and watching cat videos on YouTube. However, because I was on my computer while eating both of these flavors, I visited the volunteering website printed on each of the one pint tubs:

When I searched for volunteer opportunities on my rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I mostly found posts about hosting exchange students from other countries, which I am even less inclined to do because that means I would not only have to give up time, but also space. And I have no space to give because my rental agreement says I can’t have the following things in my apartment that start with the letter P: pets, plants and phoreign exchange students.

I guess I just don’t have the heart for volunteering. Or maybe the saturated fat in all the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream I eat is clogging my heart, which is preventing me from volunteering.

Now I feel bad about it. But do you know what makes me feel better?

Ice cream.

But the only ice cream I have are the Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder, and if I eat them I’ll feel good for a little while, but then feel bad because they remind me that I’m not volunteering. It’s a vicious cycle of yum and guilt.

Of course, to get rid of the guilt, I could just sign up to volunteer for something, like help clean a beach or work at a soup kitchen. Or I could blame Target and Ben & Jerry’s for not giving a portion of the profits from each ice cream sold to a worthy cause, which would allow me to make a difference by eating their ice cream in front of my computer in only my boxer briefs.

If that were the case, it would encourage me to buy more of both flavors. But just promoting volunteerism doesn’t cut it because I think both flavors are two of the least exciting Ben & Jerry’s flavors I’ve tasted.

Berry Voluntary consists of raspberry cheesecake ice cream with white chocolatey chunks and raspberry swirls. There’s definitely a tart cheesecake flavor to it, but at times I swear it tastes like a milder version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. The white chocolatey chunks don’t do much to enhance the ice cream’s flavor. All they seem to do is get in the way of my spoon, like big rocks do when serial killers bury bodies in their backyard. It’s a good flavor, but not good enough to encourage me to buy it again, if I have the option of choosing between it and Cherry Garcia.

As for Brownie Chew Gooder, it’s made up of vanilla caramel ice cream with fudge brownies and a caramel swirl. It’s also good, but not one of Ben & Jerry’s best. Some of the brownie pieces in the ice cream were frickin’ big one inch squares, and they were chewy, but not the good kind of chewy you’d expect in an ice cream. They’re a little grainy and tough to bite through. The caramel ice cream and caramel swirls make the whole thing taste a little cloying. With all of that caramel, perhaps Brownie Chew Gooder should be renamed to Goody Too Much Caramel.

Get it? Goody Two Shoes…Goody Too Much Caramel.

Oh my goodness, I’ve had too much sugar.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – Berry Voluntary – 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium and 6% vitamin C. Brownie Chew Gooder – 250 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium and 4% iron.)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Target Exclusive Flavors (Berry Voluntary & Brownie Chew Gooder)
Price: $4.14 each
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Berry Voluntary)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Brownie Chew Gooder)
Pros: Both are good, but not Ben & Jerry’s best. Berry Voluntary at times tastes like Cherry Garcia, but also has a nice, slightly tart cheesecake flavor. Brownie pieces in Brownie Chew Gooder are frickin’ big. Hulu and Netflix Instant Watch. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream encouraging me to exercise and wash dishes.
Cons: Two of the least exciting Ben & Jerry flavors I’ve tasted. Brownie Chew Gooder can be a little cloying due to caramel ice cream and caramel swirls. Brownie chunks in the Brownie Chew Gooder were a little tough. White chocolatey chunks in Berry Voluntary did little to enhance flavor. My ability to come up with Ben & Jerry flavor names. My unwillingness to volunteer.

12 thoughts to “REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Target Exclusive Flavors (Berry Voluntary & Brownie Chew Gooder)”

  1. I can’t figure out how ice cream is supposed to make people volunteer. Perhaps if they offered free ice cream for volunteering.

    1. You get a free pint if you sign up to volunteer, plus you can email free pint coupons to five friends (who will also be asked to sign up and volunteer)

  2. “like big rocks do when serial killers bury bodies in their backyard”

    the berry voluntary sounds delicious. i want to try it.

  3. Marvo had to channel his inner Adam Ant for this review.

    You don’t drink, don’t smoke
    What do you do?
    Subtle Innuendos follow
    There must be something inside

  4. Yeah this ice cream makes no sense. I volunteer and I would love to get free ice cream. However, I get a $4 meal voucher to use in the caferetia at the hospital that has no Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. 🙁

  5. Having never had Cherry Garcia (I know, I’m some sort of freakish outcast), I think the Berry Voluntary sounds delicious. I’m definitely on track with you about the volunteering thing, though. How ridiculous to spit out a product that has a charitable tie-in and not kick back any of your proceeds to said act. It makes no sense and it makes Target and Ben & Jerry’s look like they’re whacking off to their own senses of self-piety.

  6. Best B&J is and always will be: Chunkey Monkey.
    anyways we don’t get that stuff on this side of the pond.
    The flavors they make are a bit too much sometomes.

    Marvo, you ever considered bundling your reviews into a book?

  7. Been following your site for quite some time, and for once, I think i have to disagree with you on something. That Berry Voluntary is the most awesome thing Ben&Jerry’s has made yet, but then, it could be my unnatural love of anything raspberry flavored speaking rather than any sort of rational thought.

  8. Out of this brand I’ve always loved chunky monkey. Darned it, I wish I had some now. Though I’ve fallen in love with some simpler Hagen Dasz flavors. Then again, I haven’t tried any other flavors other than Americone Dream and that was obviously because that was Colbert’s flavor.

  9. It’s interesting to me that Target is employing this new way of garnering attention for noble things, when others have been calling for a boycott of Target since it provides money to right-wing political campaigns. Hmmm…could this be the reason why they have started this “help others” campaign? Either way, I’ll still try the flavors ’cause I’m a sucker for ice cream.

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