We teamed up with the former head of R+D at Ben & Jerry's to make Snow Monkey so delicious you won't believe it's healthy.
Snow Monkey 1.0 was created in Rachel's college dorm using a KitchenAid and ingredients found in her local supermarket. While that recipe was delicious and is still used in our Acai Berry and Passion Fruit flavors, we decided to bring in an expert when it came time to develop Snow Monkey 2.0.
Enter Derek Spors.
But, like, who even is he?
Well, you may not have heard of him by name, but Derek is responsible for some of the most iconic ice cream flavors in the business. He used to head up the Research and Development department at Ben & Jerry's where he invented flavors like Americone Dream and Karamel Sutra.
We have spent the last, well, almost two years now, working alongside Derek to marry his ice cream expertise with our nutritional standards and create the most mind-blowingly delicious ice cream out there that is also good for you. He's honestly one of a kind and exactly the type of incredibly wonderful human you'd expect to come out of Ben & Jerry's, so we conducted a little interview with him so you could get to know him a bit better.
Get the Scoop on Snow Monkey 2.0 with Derek Spors
Snow Monkey: How would you like to be titled? For example "Derek Spors, Food Scientist Extraordinaire."
Derek Spors: My formal title is Managing Director, but I prefer "i make food." Make sure the "i" is lowercase.
SM: What's the coolest thing you'd ever done in relation to ice cream?
Derek: I made the OG Americone Dream for Ben & Jerry's...but the cool part for me was that I got to hang out with Stephan Colbert and his family during our release party.
SM: What other Ben & Jerry's flavors can you take credit for?
Derek: I am certain all of my flavors have been inherited by someone else at this point, but I also did the OG versions of Karamel Sutra, Creme Brulee, The Last Straw, In A Crunch, and Marsha Marsha Marshmallow.
SM: Can you share three fun and totally random facts about yourself?
Derek: A. I wore size 13 shoes in 8th grade until my mid-20s, mostly becuase that was the biggest size most stores carried and the Internet didn't exist for me to buy online. In my 20s, my wife told me shoes are not supposed to fit the way mine did. Turns out, I am actually a size 15.
B. I made the Dean's List five times during my undergraduate. Two times, it was the Dean's Probation List. The other three times it was the Dean's Honor's List.
C. When I was in 3rd grade, some friends and I took break dancing lessons at the Rec Center, which was taught by an old lady. We brought our boomboxes to school so we could break dance during recess. In my defense, it was 1984 and the ladies loved it.
SM: All incredible. What was the greatest challenge in creating this ew Snow Monkey recipe? How was it different than creating flavors for Ben & Jerry's?
Derek: Ben & Jerry's was all about indulgence, so calories and sugar just didn't matter. Doing this reformulation for Snow Monkey with hefty nutritional and ingredient restrictions certainly was the biggest challenge. Not being able to use most sugars and having high protein was especially difficult. But other than that is was pretty easy
SM: (*cough* show-off *cough*)
SM: Why did you want to take on the Snow Monkey reformulation?
Derek: Ice cream development is both technically challenging and takes a lot of time. Despite my ice cream knowledge, I don't take on many ice cream projects because there are much easier ways for me to make revenue. The drivers of my eagerness to take this on were 1. I really like a challenge, and this was a challenge 2. I thought the founders had everything they needed to be successful, but the product was missing something 3. When I met with the founders, I really wanted to help them be successful because they are authentic and passionate about what they do.
SM: What are you most proud of in regards to this reformulation?
Derek: The new recipe's taste and texture is a complete 180 of where Snow Monkey was before. Now, they feel like traditional ice cream, but with healthy ingredients, lots of protein and not nearly as much sugar as other options.
SM: Which of the new and improved Snow Monkey flavors is your favorite?
Derek: Censored because we have not announced this yet ;). No contest.
SM: What is "gold standard" in your opinion for ice cream? How do we stack up to that "gold standard"?
Derek: The gold standard would be ice cream I make on a stove top with lots of cream and sugar, and freeze in a rock salt and ice powered freezer in my backyard. The Snow Monkey products are great, but this isn't a fair competition.
SM: You didn't offer us the rock salt and ice powered freezer in your backyard...
SM: We can discuss that later. Well, thank you for all you have done for us, Derek, and now it's time to get cracking on some new flavors.
Derek: Let's do it.