You Can Buy the Royalties to Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

One successful bidder will make money every time someone buys a pint.

January 12, 2022
Tasty refreshing ice cream with cherry in plastic box on bright background. Closeup.


Tasty refreshing ice cream with cherry in plastic box on bright background. Closeup.

Photo by: nerudol/Getty


If you’re a Cherry Garcia superfan with $80,000 or more burning a hole in your pocket, a curious investment opportunity has now come your way: You can now own a scoop of Cherry Garcia royalties.

This week, Royalty Exchange, an online platform that lets people buy and sell royalty rights of various types (mostly, but not only, music), is offering bidders a chance to own the rights to the trademark royalties generated by the sale of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream — launched in 1987 as a nod to Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995 — and related products.

The current owner of the royalty rights, who won them in a 2020 auction on Royalty Exchange, is selling his entire interest in a two-part auction. The first one is currently accepting bids in $700 increments, and will be until January 13, 2022, 3:00 PM MST. With a starting-bid threshold of $60,000, the price is now up to $79,600, with 30 total bids, as of this writing.

The winner of the auction will get royalties from gross sales of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream (regular, non-dairy and light), frozen yogurt and ice cream treats, as well as any Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia-branded merchandise.

“Essentially, whenever Cherry Garcia ice cream — or any of its variations — is sold, the winner of this auction will earn royalties,” a Royalty Exchange representative told Food Network.

The buyer will retain the rights to the seller’s remaining royalty interest through August 17, 2030, at which time it will revert back to the original owner. Royalties will be paid quarterly, beginning on February 28, 2022.

So how much can a person stand to make on this deal? Well, as the auction listing warns, “Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income.” With that duly noted, over the past 12 months, royalties from Cherry Garcia-trademarked ice cream and related merch have totaled $13,925, according to the auction listing.

Another caveat, flagged in the auction listing, is that, while Ben & Jerry’s, now owned by the conglomerate Unilever, “was the top-ranked ice cream brand in the United States in 2021, with about $936 million dollars worth of sales,” up from a third-place ranking in 2017, and Cherry Garcia is “one of Ben & Jerry’s most popular and ‘longest-serving’ products,” potential buyers should consider that royalty income “will only continue to pay out for as long as the Cherry Garcia flavor is sold.”

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