CLEMSON — Satisfy your sweet tooth and help a good cause at the same time at Clemson University’s ’55 Exchange during its Ice Cream With a Heart program. Four student-created flavors are for sale throughout the month of February, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to philanthropic organizations.

Ice Cream With a Heart is a unique contest that ties together student creativity, product development, marketing and community service. Throughout the fall, Clemson student organizations were asked to submit ideas for new ice cream flavors to the ’55 Exchange Facebook page. Fans of the Facebook page then voted on their favorite flavor concepts and the top four vote-getters were chosen to be developed into ice cream, which is for sale now in the ’55 Exchange in the Hendrix Student Center.

“It’s been an exciting thing for me to watch this process of going from students’ ideas to student-developed products,” said food science professor Johnny McGregor, faculty adviser to the ’55 Exchange. “This was a great way to get students engaged and give them experience in business and product development.”

Student Amanda Spatharos, a senior management major from Chapin, helped create the contest during her co-op with the ’55 Exchange last semester.

“We were looking for a way to get more connected to the community,” Spatharos said. “We also wanted to do something to market the ’55 Exchange and Clemson ice cream. Clemson ice cream is such a great tradition, but surprisingly, a lot of students don’t know about it, so we wanted to do something to get students involved.”

The four Ice Cream With a Heart flavors are:

  • Southern Classic: Vanilla ice cream with a touch of Cheerwine flavor and chopped Goo Goo Clusters Supreme. It was submitted by Kappa Sigma fraternity with proceeds benefiting Fisher House Foundation.
  • Tiger Tracks: Vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie chunks, hot fudge swirls and mini-marshmallows. It was submitted by Sigma Kappa sorority with proceeds going to the Sigma Kappa Foundation.
  • Oh Fiddlesticks!: Salted caramel ice cream with Kit-Kat and pretzel bits. It was submitted by WSBF-FM with proceeds benefiting Unified for UNIFAT.
  • Dark Choco-nana: Dark chocolate ice cream with banana chunks. Submitted by Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, the proceeds benefit UNICEF.

The students who submitted the flavor ideas worked with students in the food, nutrition and packaging sciences department to develop their ice cream flavors at the ’55 Exchange ice cream-freezing operation located in Newman Hall.

“It was so much fun developing the flavor,” said Shelly Jahn, a senior industrial engineering major from Cincinnati who created the Oh Fiddlesticks! flavor. “I had never been to the facility before, so it was surely an adventure. We got to choose how much of each ingredient we wanted in our ice cream and how ‘caramel-y’ we wanted our base to be.”

McGregor said he was pleased with the results of the contest.

“All four of them are great ice cream flavors. I wouldn’t hesitate to put any of them in the store,” he said. “Some of them are a little ‘out of the box,’ but they are all excellent flavors and have great market potential.”

McGregor said he hopes to see Ice Cream With a Heart become an annual tradition.

At the end of February, the organization that submitted the best-selling ice cream will be honored, and the winning flavor will be available for sale at the ’55 Exchange for a longer period of time.

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