Cincinnati-based ice cream company Graeter’s will release a limited-edition ice cream flavor Oct. 6 in partnership with the University of Cincinnati.
The flavor, dubbed “Boldly Bearcat,” was crafted to coincide with the university’s ongoing bicentennial celebration. It will be available for students, faculty and UC alumni to try at the homecoming parade and tailgate events this weekend.
Graeter’s plans to give away 500 free scoops of its Boldly Bearcat flavor, which is a combination of red Oreo cookies, red velvet icing and chocolate chips. The unique ingredients give the ice cream a bright red color with dark accents, a nod to UC’s brand colors.
The idea to create an ice cream flavor celebrating UC’s 200th anniversary was concocted by Kim Dobbs, alumnus and co-chair of the UC Bicentennial Committee. Tim Philpott, vice president of marketing at Graeter’s, said the company was excited to tackle the project.
“We do not make unique flavors for this type of thing very often, but it’s the bicentennial,” Philpott said. “We were happy to do our small part.”
Philpott and Graeter’s owner Robert Graeter are Bearcats, and both recognized how integral UC is to the Greater Cincinnati community. The company has worked for six months to perfect the flavor.
“We tried a number of different versions,” said Philpott. “Cookies and cream is one of our most popular flavors. A lot of people love Oreos.”
Graeter’s set out to create a flavor that would be popular among most tasters, which is why the company opted to choose red velvet for coloring rather cherry or raspberry flavoring, said Philpott.
“It was a nod to a flavor a lot of people like, and to UC’s colors, red and black,” he said.
The company had more than 15 tasters to provide feedback on the flavor throughout the process, Philpott said. Graeter’s sent several pints to the UC Bicentennial team to receive their input as well.
The flavor went through many changes before its final version. The ice cream was originally meant to contain only hints of red velvet. As it progressed, Graeter’s and the UC Bicentennial team emphasized the importance of showcasing UC’s colors in each scoop.
The flavor will be exclusive to UC Bicentennial events, but the committee plans to partner with colleges and organizations across campus to expand bicentennial presence and increase opportunities to try the new flavor.
“We are going to have the ice cream at as many events as possible throughout the bicentennial,” said Sydney Davis, associate director of events at UC Foundation. “A lot of donors, alumni and students [will] get to try this ice cream.”
The ice cream will also make a return to campus for National Student Day Oct. 9 and will be served in a custom Graeter’s and UC bicentennial cup.
For now, there are no plans to retail Boldly Bearcat in Graeter’s stores or other locations. However, the flavor could be marketed in stores if popular demand is high enough, as was the case for the Cincinnati Zoo-inspired flavor Chunky Chunky Hippo.