Ice cream is traditionally associated with happy times and smiling faces. Many are the businesses which have built their company around this cold treat and have grown successful businesses. Basking Robbins is one such company.
Founded by brothers-in-law Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1945, Baskin Robbins was opened under the philosophy of making a profit while bringing happiness at the same time. Two separate businesses, Burt’s Ice Cream Shop and Snowbird Ice Cream, were combined into one company in 1953. With approximately 5800 stores in 2010, Baskin Robbins is one of the most successful ice cream chains.
In honor of the company’s 65th birthday in 2010, the popular ice cream chain has decided to retire five flavors at once. While the company has steadily retired many flavors over the years, this is the first time they have put to pasture this number of flavors at the same time.
The flavors being retired in 2010 are Caramel Praline Cheesecake (1970), Campfire S’mores (1975), Apple Pie a La Mode (1976), and Superfudge Truffle (2007). The fifth, and longest lasting retiree, French Vanilla, has been in the Baskin Robbins lineup since the beginning, having been introduced in 1945. The five flavors are the latest in a long line of retirees.
The ice cream trends of Baskin Robbins throughout the decades have been inspired by seasonal holidays, movies, sports, music, television shows, Americana, politics, and of course, pop culture.
Here is a walk down memory lane illuminating a few of the unique flavors Baskin Robbins has offered throughout their 65 years:
There have been many holiday-inspired flavors over the decades including Christmas, New Years, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Halloween. Amongst the retirees are Christmas Candy, Resolution Breaker, Cranberry Sauce, Box of Chocolates, Holiday Cookie Dough, Holiday Pop-A-Razzi, Merry Mint, Nutcracker Sweet, Rudolph’s Cranberry Raspberry Sobet, Shamrock Mint Mist, Shamrock Pistachio Fudge, Somebunny Loves Me, Transylvania Twist and Trick Oreo Treat.
*Entertainment and Pop Culture.
Over the years entertainment and pop culture have inspired many a flavor. For instance, Beatle Nut coincided with Beatle Mania in 1964. Secret Bonded was created in 1965 and Baskin Robbins states “Inspiration and name for this flavor came from the famed spy movie character, James Bond. The flavor was so top secret, we can’t even tell you about it” (Baskin Robbins). There was even an ice cream flavor inspired by Elvis (Chunk A Cherry Burning Love).
In the 1980s the Miami Vice TV show was hot and the theme song was a hit. Baskin Robbins reflected this popularity with the Miami Ice flavor. A unique blend of lime ice with pink grapefruit. Other flavors gone by include flavors inspired by Bewitched, The Dating Game, Charlie Brown, Get Smart, Wheel of Fortune, Casper, various Shrek characters, Little Bear, Sinbad, and The Mask. And who can forget Sesame Sweet?
Lunar Cheesecake celebrated the first man landing on the moon in 1969 and was followed up by a second flavor in 1970 aptly titled Lunar II. The ice cream was a green cheesecake with marshmallow ribbon. Some of the other America inspired flavors were Huckleberry Finn, America’s Birthday Cake, Minuteman Mint, Stars ’n Stripes & Exploding Bites, Yankee Doodle Strudel and Stars ’n Stripes.
Candi-Date was introduced in the election year of 1960. In 1996, Bill Clinton inspired flavor Saxy Candidate was a popular flavor. Baskin Robbins humorously states the Clinton inspired flavor was “liberally” sprinkled with Baby Ruth candy bar pieces. Other politics inspired flavors were Acceptance Peach (1976), Gorba Chocolate (1990), and GOPeanut Butter (1996).
Over the years sports action had a heavy influence on new flavors introduced, but have since been retired. Flavors such as Banana Bunt, Big League Chocolate, Decathalemon, Downhill Rum, Kickoff Crunch, Marathon Mint, Skating Pears, and Triple Play all saw their time in the freezer.
As you can see over the years, Baskin Robbins successfully followed trends and created a unique niche in the ice cream market. It will be interesting to see what new flavors Baskin Robbins comes up with next.