Ben & Jerry’s is lifting the curtain on its newest production – a delicious partnership with Ava DuVernay. Yes, “Queen Sugar” is no longer simply a show by Ava DuVernay, it may be a moniker befitting of the award-winning director, filmmaker and TV producer herself.
Ben & Jerry’s proudly presents “Lights! Caramel! Action! directed by Ava DuVernay,” featuring an ensemble cast of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. The flavor, in both ice cream and almond milk based Non-Dairy versions, will begin shipping across the country in January 2023. Quite a foodie feature, for a first foray into flavor-hood, fully directed by Ava who personally curated the flavor creation with the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus.
Ava’s proceeds of Lights! Caramel! Action! will benefit her non-profit ARRAY Alliance. Through the social impact work of ARRAY Alliance, DuVernay’s mission is to amplify and elevate the work of artists of color and women directors, create inclusive film sets, provide grants, mentorship and education for people from underrepresented communities who want to work in the film industry. Founded in 2011 by DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.
“Ice cream is a simple joy of life. A comfort food that I’ve turned to on many days – making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter,” said DuVernay. “Partnering with Ben & Jerry’s, a company that I’ve long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride. I had the opportunity to work with food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients that I personally love for a cause close to my heart. Beyond being downright delicious, proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will help ARRAY Alliance further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor.”
The Lights! Caramel! Action! flavor is no limited run! It is a full-time addition to Ben & Jerry’s flavor line-up and will be featured across the United States at its franchised Scoop Shops as well as on shelves in pints at an MSRP of $6.49.
While the flavor is quite a mouthful, so is the intent from Ben & Jerry’s on the importance of this partnership. “Framing this up as a new flavor for the first Black woman to be a featured partner on our pints doesn’t do Ava justice,” said Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry’s CEO. “We are humbled by this partnership, impressed by her work sharing not only the struggle but the joy in the justice, and we are inspired by her commitment and vision,” added McCarthy.
DuVernay is the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as a director in any feature category. DuVernay is currently writing, directing and producing the narrative film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s bestseller “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent