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Ice Cream Mania

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By: Dawn Quek

Devouring 20 scoops of ice cream and toppings in 59 seconds flat won the Yellow Submarines, a team of four events professionals, more ice cream; in fact, a whole year’s supply of it.

The finals of the Vermonster Challenge, an ice cream eating competition, had eight teams of four pitted against each other to consume the bucket of ice cream using only little spades under the hot sun last Saturday at Marina Barrage.

34-year-old events manager Stephanie Wong is one of the four members of the Yellow Submarines. She joined the contest last year with her colleagues and came in third place then.

On her team’s dress code of yellow ponchos, Wong said, “We came prepared because last year it got really messy,” referring to the flying bits of brownies and chunks of ice cream during the intense eating competition.

Organized by Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont ice cream company, the competition was one of the highlights at Chunk Fest 2009, an ice cream festival held for the second time in two years.

Booths selling up to 22 different types of ice cream, beverages and merchandise were set up around the roof of the barrage. The organizers also placed mats around the open field for attendees of Chunk Fest to sit down and enjoy the sun and breeze.

Chunk Fest was held last December at Fort Canning Green. On the choice of location this year, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Manager Benjamin Tng said, “The Barrage, although not as accessible, gels with the hippie brand of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s open air, with a big field. We want people to come here and just relax after a busy week at work or school.”

Chunk Fest was not just about ice cream, but music as well. Ben & Jerry’s held a music competition leading up to Chunk Fest for local musicians. The top seven bands were invited to perform at Chunk Fest and their songs were recorded into an album that would be put on sale at Ben & Jerry’s outlets island-wide.

Tng explained that the purpose of holding the festival was not just to promote their ice cream brand, but also to have an event to bond ice cream lovers together over music.

Tng said, “Music is a common language and Chunk Fest creates a platform for our slogan ‘peace, love and ice cream’ with music as a leverage.”


Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:44 am

Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest returns with peace, love and more ice cream

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By Esther Lau Si En

Ben & Jerry’s introduced 12 never seen before ice cream flavours at its second Chunk Festival held at the Marina Barrage last Saturday.

A total of 15,000 people attended the event and was treated to the huge variety of wacky ice cream, fun-filled games and local band performances.

The 12 flavours of ice cream were specially brought in from the United States for the event and Brand Champhion, Benjamin Tng believed that doing so would help them identify the next flavour to bring into Ben & Jerry’s stores in Singapore.

The Vermonster Challenge, an ice cream eating contest, also returned for fans to battle out their love for the frozen dessert.

Teams of four competed in devouring 20 scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the fastest timing possible. Yellow Submarines, consisting of 24 year olds, completed the challenge in a record of 59 seconds, and took home the winning prize of free ice cream for an entire year.

The greatest ice cream festival in Asia also incorporated music and bands which  complemented Ben & Jerry’s values and objectives of cultivating a fun, hippie and groovy time for their consumers.

“Music hypes up our event and creates a fun-loving and enjoyable ambience. It breaks all barriers and everyone enjoys it,” Tng said.

A total of seven hottest local bands, including popular local music icons Jack & Rai, performed live at the carnival.

Gregory Wong, 17 year old junior college student, said, “This year’s Chunk Fest was definitely more enjoyable than last year’s. The ice cream flavours were extraordinary and I did not have to queue long this time. The music also perfectly suited the event.”

“Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest never fails to introduce amazing new ice cream,” Pamela Chang, 19 year old NUS undergraduate, said. “I really hope they’d bring in my favourite Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavour to Singapore in the future.”


Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:44 am

Ben & Jerry’s Brings More Than Ice-Cream to the Table

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By Wendy Toh

Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest 2009, brought ice-cream, topped with love and peace, as well as music to the ears.

15, 000 fans of the giant ice-cream maker from Vermont, USA, made their way to the Marina Barrage rooftop garden yesterday, where 12 new flavours, as well as five aspiring local band talents were showcased.

For the second year running, the Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest featured live music performances onstage. Last year, the Chunk Fest 2008 featured five established homegrown bands but this year, Ben & Jerry’s opened the opportunity to the public.

Five selected local bands found themselves a step closer to pursuing their dreams after winning an audition to perform at Chunk Fest 2009. This also presented them with the opportunity to perform live onstage alongside established homegrown bands Elusion featuring Melissa and Jack & Rai, and a record deal with the latter. To make the deal even sweeter, each band won Ben & Jerry’s vouchers worth a total of S$500.

Songs performed at the event were recorded live and compiled together with Jack & Rai’s tunes into a Chunk Tunes CD. The CDs, priced at S$13 each, will be available for sale at all Ben & Jerry’s outlets. All proceeds will go to the bands.

“This is a big break for us. It’s definitely a good opportunity for others to know of our music. It feels like we’re making music for real now!” Sarah Yap, 21, lead singer of the band Sixology, which opened for the festival, said.

Another annual highlight of the event was the Vermonster Challenge, where four-people teams were formed and selected to compete in this ice-cream eating competition. Yellow Submarine, a team of friends aged between 20 to 24, tasted the sweetness of victory as they slurped up 20 scoops of flavours and toppings in a record-breaking 59.5 seconds. The Vermonster Champions are now entitled to a year long’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream at any of its scoop shops.

All 12 of the new limited edition Ben & Jerry’s flavours were included in the Vermonster Challenge. The flavours were specially flown in from the US for this event and were a hit with the fans.

When asked which flavours were the bestsellers, Benjamin Tng, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Champion, said, “Almost all the ice-cream were sold out by the end of the event! But we ran out of Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road, Triple Caramel Chunk and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough by mid-day so I guess they were the crowd favourites.”

Some supporters were seen decked out in hippie headbands and bohemian chic outfits as families and groups of youths participated enthusiastically in games such as the Giant Twister, and queued for cups and cones of the debut flavours.

“Ben & Jerry’s never fails to disappoint,” Stephanie Cheong, a 18-year-old junior college student, said. “They are all my new favourites!”

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:43 am

Posted in Lifestyle

NUS Band Kick-starts Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest

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By: Sarah Yap

Ben & Jerry’s annual Chunk Fest returned last Saturday featuring NUS’s very own local band, a bigger venue at the Marina Barrage, and a greater variety of new ice-cream flavours than the previous year.

Sixology, consisting of six undergraduates residing in Eusoff Hall, along with six other local bands, were handpicked by the Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Fest 2009 organizers to perform onstage to kick off the event with their tunes.

A total of 15,000 people attended the festival, where the ice-cream conglomerate showcased its new ice-cream flavours and held ice-cream eating competitions.

Public Relations Representative, Geok Shan Sing, said that the Marina Barrage was “great as it was new and it really suits the festival’s theme – Love, Peace & Ice-cream.”

“The scenic backdrop of the skyline also complimented the music and the ice-cream,” he added.

Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Tunes fulfilled the music component of the event. Chunk Tunes was new feature at the Ben and Jerry’s festival where bands were given the opportunity to have their original songs complied into an album on top of performing at the festival.

“It’s good that Ben & Jerry’s are taking the initiative to support local music through this event and the CD. Local music seems to need more support in Singapore, and I hope this initiative can be a platform for local music to grow and mature,” Sixology’s keyboardist Kim Euntaek said.

Cove Red, another of the seven selected bands, even specially wrote a song in line with the festival’s theme to go on the Chunk Tunes album.

“The song we wrote, entitled Taste of Life, is simply about learning to savour and enjoy life with a child-like wonder all over again in a tired and busy society as ours,” lead-singer Rachel Teo said. “I felt that the whole atmosphere of the festival really brought the Ben & Jerry’s brand to life.”

The Chunk Tunes album, featuring “Tear It Out” by Sixology, will be sold at all Ben & Jerry’s outlets from 19 October 2009 onward at $13.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:41 am

Posted in Lifestyle

Singapore’s first Korean food fair

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By: Ong Chiew Ling

Food lovers were treated to an authentic spread of Korean food at the first Korean Foodstuff Fair held at Chinatown Point on Tuesday.

Organized by the Korean Food Association, the four-day event brought together manufacturers and growers from different parts of Korea to showcase a wide range of food products ranging from the familiar Kimchi, to the exotic spicy-fried octopus.

Chinatown Point Mall is transformed into a Korean food bazaar haven for the first time with more than 15 booths selling foodstuff flown in straight from Korea.

Over 50 Korean food products are available during the fair, including parika malleoli (milky rice wine), kimchi, yujacha (citron tea) and gochujang (chilli paste).

“I was really excited to learn about this food fair because it is so difficult to buy traditional Korean food in Singapore,” Chris Sng, a 22 year-old undergraduate who was the first few to turn up at the event, said.

Echoing similar sentiments was Felicia Teo, a 25 year-old telemarketer, who expressed difficulties in buying ingredients needed to make traditional Korean dishes and thus wanted to stock up Korean food at the food fair.

“I usually purchase Korean food ingredients that are not available in Singapore online so when I heard about this fair from my friend, I knew I had to come down,” Teo said.

Korean food lovers can also get to choose from a wide variety of Korean-made sauces, spices, and ingredients, allowing them to create their favourite Korean dishes like Bulgogi and Samgyetang at home.

Also on sale are Korean treats such as Ice Dumplings and Korean pancakes (Jeon). Traditional Korean wines, or Bokbunja, are also available at the fair.

Singapore is the first destination to stage a Korean Foodstuff fair, ahead of other countries such as Taiwan and Australia.

The rising income of the average Singaporean is one of the reasons that make Singapore suitable to stage this fair, Mi Jeong Song, Korea Agro-Trade Centre’s deputy manager, said.

The fair is a collaboration among KOFA, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation to help promote Korean food in Singapore.

Korean Food Association Chairman Huang Min Yong said KOFA aims to fulfil the growing demand of Korean food in Singapore through this food fair.

“We hope that this fair will make Korean delicacies easily available to our Singaporean friends,” Hwang said.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

Posted in Lifestyle

International crowd at MRT Pub Crawl 2009

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By: Wong Guan Jie Sidney

Instead of hanging out at the usual nightspots in town, close to 500 local and foreign university students trawled through the heartlands of Singapore on Sept. 16 as part of MRT Pub Crawl 2009.

MRT Pub Crawl is a biannual event started by Desmond Choo, a fourth-year Nanyang Technological University undergraduate, who adapted the idea from the European activity of pub-crawling, which involves people socializing while going from bar to bar to drink. This activity is also known as bar-hopping.

On the event, Choo said, “I like to see people mingle, network and make friends. I used Facebook to organize MRT Pub Crawl all by myself.”

Participants gathered at the open ground beside Boon Lay MRT Station at 7 p.m. A large majority of them were foreign exchange students from different countries such as Sweden, Scotland, and Indonesia.

Participants received white t-shirts from the organizers and were split up into smaller groups of about 20 and were led by co-organizers of the event.

The event kicked off at 7.30 p.m. with three groups taking the MRT train towards Clementi Station, the first pit stop along the East-West line.

Upon alighting at Clementi Station, the three groups went to the nearby coffee shops to buy drinks and socialize, which was a refreshing experience for foreign students.

“Before this event, I only visited the nightspots along Clarke Quay. This is my first time in a coffee shop mingling with new friends. It is cool,” said Christopher Yee, a 20-year-old Canadian exchange student from the National University of Singapore.

Participants also alighted at other stations such as Commonwealth and Tiong Bahru to explore the heartlands. Local students played host by introducing the foreign students to the local culture and atmosphere.

Local student 23-year-old Daniel Saw from Singapore Management University said, “I feel like a tour guide, answering queries from my foreign friends in the group. They asked me about everything. For example, they were puzzled why female waitresses shout out beer orders at coffee shops.”

The final destination for the event was City Hall Station where all groups gathered at about 10:30 p.m. The event ended with the participants partying at Supperclub, a pub at Odeon Tower.

Andrew Ackart, a 20-year-old German exchange student from Nanyang Technological University, said, “I took part in MRT Pub Crawl last year. It is better this year with more participants. It is great getting to know more people from the other universities.”


Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:19 am

Posted in Lifestyle

Comex show breaks record again

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By: Not stated

It seems that technology bargain-hunters could care less about the recession.

The Comex fair 2009 raked in S$63 million in sales, surpassing last year’s sales by S$7 million. The information technology and consumer electronics exhibition attracted 710,000 visitors over a 4-day period from 10-13 September, and followed in the footsteps of two earlier record-setting IT fairs – the PC Show in June and the IT Show in March.

Although this year’s sales hit a record turnout, Comex organizers’ efforts to expand the floor space by 15,000 square feet were disappointed by the attendance drop of 15,000 visitors compared to last year’s figures.

When asked to comment on the drop in visitor numbers, Luke Tan, 31, a senior technology writer with Hardwarezone.com, said that the popular online IT portal Hardwarezone.com traditionally collects and scans in most of the flyers given out at Comex at the end of the show’s first day.

“Consumers in Singapore tend to do their homework when it comes to big-ticket purchases like a $1,000 plasma TV. This is the part we play in helping them decide how best to spend their hard-earned cash in tough times,” Tan said.

Some people found themselves winners in more than just good deals. Sophia Tan, a 30-year-old account manager in the IT industry, won both a Sony Playstation 3 game console and a home theatre system in separate lucky draws.

Tan said, “Attending Comex was more of a logical step to get savings for my IT purchases, but this was certainly unexpected!”

However, not all the retailers had a field day. Rank Tan, 28, a channel executive for audio electronics equipment with local distributor Ban Leong Holdings Pte Ltd, said his products “did not sell as favourably as we expected” this year.

On the other hand, Mr Tan Kok Hao, a National Servicemen who regularly visits IT shows, said that GPS navigation devices appeared to have sold very well.

“I was told that one retailer sold out of their stock of GPS devices by the third day, and they were still taking orders for it even till the last day,” Tan said. A check on the website of local GPS retailer EastGear revealed this to be true.

Some who attended the fair had no intention of buying at all. 31-year-old Royston Chan, amateur filmmaker, said that he attends IT fairs just to “soak in the atmosphere”.

Chan said, “I’m not so concerned about the deals. Mostly, I just come for the bazaar feel. The crowds don’t faze me that much.”

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

Posted in Lifestyle