LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) — A limited-edition ice cream is whipping up trouble for some grocery stores in “Sin City,” leading many to decline carrying a particular Ben & Jerry’s flavor – “Schweddy Balls.”
Given the raucous partying stereotype associated with Las Vegas– a stereotype perpetuated by the iconic “What Happens Here” advertising campaign employed by the city’s own tourism leaders – the reluctance from area food purveyors to carry the ice cream due to its eye-grabbing name may seem somewhat ironic.
The suggestive name of the ice cream is, all the same, too much for many area grocery stores to handle.
“While we do carry many of Ben & Jerry’s varieties, that one we decided to keep out of our mix,” Smith’s spokeswoman Marsha Gifford told Vegas Inc. “It has been a decision for Kroger stores across the country. The company felt that from our customers’ perspective, it may be offensive.”
Most stores in the area have either refused outright to sell it, or have declined to replenish their stocks once fans have purchased all of their supply.
The name of the ice cream is inspired by a 1998 “Saturday Night Live” sketch called “Delicious Dish.” The sketch features host Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy, alongside cast members Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon.
The majority of the jokes occur as the three discuss the fictitious Schweddy’s favorite family recipe with straight faces and hushed tones.
Organizations such as One Million Moms, an arm of the American Family Association, have protested the existence of “Schweddy Balls” ice cream since it debuted in September of this year.
“The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive – not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket,” a release on the organization’s website said. “It seems that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry’s.”
Not all stores share the reluctance felt by the competition, however. Albertsons carries the ice cream, and though they aren’t making a show of it, they will continue to do so for the time being.
“We’re not actively marketing it in circulars or … on in-store signs, (but) we’re not pulling it,” Lilia Rodriquez, external communications manager of the Albertsons brand, told CBS Las Vegas. “It’s simply there (in the stores), and our customers like it.”
Rodriguez added that there are 34 Albertsons stores in the Las Vegas area, offering fans of the ice cream multiple opportunities to purchase it.
The controversial Ben & Jerry’s flavor consists of vanilla ice cream with a light rum flavor, mixed with both fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls.