The ‘Most Expensive’ Ice Cream Sundae Will Set You Back $60,000
And you get to eat it atop Mount Kilimanjaro.
How much would you pay for ice cream that has been hand-churned with glacial ice from the summit of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro? Okay, but what if you actually got to eat it on the summit? And you got to fly there first-class and stay in a five-star hotel? And what if they also tossed in a souvenir T-shirt? Are we at $60,000 yet?
The California-based organic ice cream brand Three Twins has a “The World's More Expensive Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae” package that is essentially the trip described above: A chance to head to Tanzania with Three Twins founder Neal Gottlieb and take a guided climb to summit where he’ll handcraft a very exclusive batch of vanilla ice cream—or another flavor upon request. The cost: $60,000 ($10,000 of which will go to charity). Yes, that T-shirt is even included.
As for the actual ice cream making, Gottlieb said he took a similar trip in 2011. “The process starts with harvesting ice from the glacier, which is put into a dry bag, into a backpack and carried down to camp,” he explained to CNBC. “At camp the ice is broken up. A small pot is put inside a larger pot and the space between is filled with ice and salt, which lowers the temperature of the mixture.” Yup, that’s how you make ice cream—though usually minus the glacier bit!
As the clunky name implies, it’s not Three Twins first attempt at a publicity-grabbing “most expensive” ice cream. The brand also offers a “World's Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae” which, for $3,333.33, gives the wealthy buyer “a decadent banana split made with syrups from three rare dessert wines … served with an ice cream spoon from the 1850s” alongside a cellist performance.
But this latest Kilimanjaro stunt is intended to be about more than just decadence. “The mountain's glaciers are predicted to disappear within the next 10-15 years due to climate change,” Three Twins explains, “and your purchase helps raise awareness of this fact with a five-figure contribution to an African environmental non-profit.” Gottlied told CNBC he originally launched Three Twins—which focuses specifically on organic ice cream as well as “giving back”—in 2005 as a way “to combine my capitalist side with my do-gooder side.” Hey, it worked for Ben & Jerry.
The Three Twins founder also told CNBC that no one has actually bought the $60,000 ice cream yet. As The Takeout explains, when broken down, the price actually appears somewhat prohibitively expensive, seeing as you could likely pay for everything yourself, and still donate $10,000 to charity, and have plenty of money left over.
But then again, the best way for Three Twines to raise awareness of climate change is to get people talking about a $60,000 glacial ice cream without ever actually having to create the carbon footprint to travel to Tanzania to eat it.