Representatives of CLEMSON’S BEST™ ice cream are screaming with enthusiasm after today’s announcement that the university’s latest dairy product is title sponsor of Clemson Spring Weekend.
Baseball fans will be the first to taste CLEMSON’S BEST™ when the Tigers battle the Miami Hurricanes on Friday, starting three days of sports mania and solid orange April 13-15.
Brand officials hope fans will scream, too — for a Clemson victory and for the ice cream that hit Ingles Markets late last week. Participants can sample free cups of Tiger Orange Vanilla, the flavor that officially will be sold at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson Memorial Stadium and Littlejohn Coliseum. Look for ice cream samples at all three baseball games played Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Brand officials on Saturday also will hand out CLEMSON’S BEST™ at Be A T.I.G.E.R. Field Day on the Littlejohn lawn and inside Clemson Memorial Stadium during the Spring Game.
A randomly chosen fan also might win free ice cream for a year. Enter the drawing at www.clemsonsbest.com/kickpromo for a chance to kick AND scream for the favorite ice cream of the Clemson Tigers.
The ice cream itself is a natural winner. Four South Carolina farms have joined the university to bring consumers a Certified South Carolina product and a true taste of home. Holstein cows from Hickory Hill dairy in Edgefield supply the milk. Strawberries come from McLeod Farms in McBee; Titan Farms in Ridge Spring grows the peaches; and Yon Family Farms, also in Ridge Spring, provides pecans.
“This is exciting news,” said S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers.“ CLEMSON’S BEST™ is another big win for locally grown foods, family farms and the home towns in which these farmers live. If the university needs a taste tester, count me in.”
Ingles is the first regional supermarket to carry CLEMSON’S BEST™, easily recognized by its purple label. Pints are available in 107 stores throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Negotiations also are underway with Harris Teeter, Food Lion and Bi-Lo, already a big supporter of the Tigers, especially in the Upstate.
Brand officials also will work with private-label retailers that already sell Clemson Blue Cheese, the university’s first dairy product. It has developed a tremendous fan base since 1941, when Professor Paul Miller discovered the Stumphouse Tunnel near campus created a perfect environment to age cheese.
Small-batch ice cream maker Greenwood Ice Cream worked directly with the university to handcraft four Southern flavors for Clemson’s new gourmet product. One is vanilla “but not just any vanilla,” said Hickory Hill’s Watson Dorn, whose cows produce milk ultra-rich in butter fat for the wildly popular Clemson Blue Cheese. “Don’t expect anything skinny under the lid, though — just a spoonful of good from some Carolina’s best farmers.” Hickory Hill Milk also is unhomogenized, a rare find these days and a nostalgic return to times when a thick layer of cream rose to the top of each bottle.
That’s also what makes the new vanilla confection “an unbelievably creamy, nostalgic ice cream like Grandma made,” Dorn said. “Our butterfat is rich, sweet and pure dairy. No bull.” CLEMSON’S BEST™ is 16 percent top-notch cream, the equivalent of more high-end established brands. A 2/3 cup contains 180 calories. That’s 530 calories per pint.
Other retail flavors include Caramel Butter Pecan, Peaches and Cream, and Strawberry Shortcake.
Ten percent of the proceeds from CLEMSON’S BEST™ will fund student-related learning opportunities, including scholarships, internships, research and campus programs in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
“That is important to us,” said Brett Dalton, the university’s VP of Finance and Operations, “and it made our ice cream an easy pitch to cooperating farms, all of which are owned by Clemson graduates. Our ice cream brand isn’t about the orange and purple or the iconic tiger paw. It’s about fresh food, South Carolina farms and efforts to fund a legacy of agriculture in the Palmetto State.”
“Real-world experiences make students more employable,” Commissioner Weathers wrote in an endorsement letter to Dalton. CLEMSON’S BEST™ is something to which everyone in South Carolina can raise a spoon.”
“Regardless of the team sports fans pull for across The Carolinas, I bet everyone will be ‘all in’ for CLEMSON’S BEST,™ said Lydia Yon, whose family owns Yon Family Farms, a nationally recognized cattle business and, more recently, the Nut House and Country Market that sells South Carolina-grown goodness. “I mean who doesn’t love ice cream?”
Visit www.clemsonsbest.com to learn more.