No, an Oshawa company has not launched a new jerk chicken ice cream flavour — thank goodness.
Neale’s Sweet N Nice got some laughs on April 1 with a prank product launch on social media, highlighting a new flavour “made from locally sourced chicken, then flash-seasoned and flavoured with the Neale family’s recipe of jerk seasoning.”
“Our social media team thought it would be fun to come up with the idea of a Jerk Chicken flavour for April Fools’,” says Andrew McBarnett, co-founder and CEO, Neale’s Sweet N’ Nice. “I think with our Caribbean background and flavours some people would be surprised and interested in trying it for sure.”
Joking aside, Sweet N Nice did launch a new flavour on April 1, but it’s a much more palatable option — banana chocolate.
Sweet N Nice, which is based in Oshawa, is an ice cream company with a sweet background story.
The brand dates all the way back to 1940s Trinidad, when it was founded by Charles A. Neale.
He had a knack for making ice cream flavoured with tropical fruit and became well-known for cycling his ice-cream bike through the streets.
Neale’s business was so successful he was able to put his 12 children through high school.
Fast forward to 2015, when Neale’s daughter and two of his grandchildren revived the Sweet N Nice brand in Canada.
They started small with two flavours, stocking the ice cream at a handful of small Caribbean grocery stores in the GTA.
In February 2015, McBarnett and his cousin appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den to pitch the ice cream and landed a deal.
“We’ve tried our best to keep as close to grandad’s recipe as possible. When he made it, it was all natural. Full of creaminess and flavour and real fruit,” McBarnett says.
Sweet N Nice launched at Sobeys stores in 2018 and last year expanded into FreshCo, Foodland, Longo’s, Superstore, No Frills and Metro. This spring the ice cream is rolling out at Your Independent Grocers in Ontario, BC and Atlantic Canada and Provigo stores in Quebec, as well as Federated Co-op in Saskatchewan.
With the addition of banana chocolate there are now six flavours, the others are coconut, rum and raisin, mango, guava passion fruit and pineapple coconut.
McBarnett says another new flavour in the works is soursop, a creamy tropical super fruit.