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Moose Tracks® ice cream is flavor of ice cream categorized by bits of chunked chocolate and peanut butter candies scattered through a vanilla base with ribbons of thick fudge. This particular combination was first created by the Denali Brand ice cream company in the early 1990s, and that company still owns the trademark. The flavor is used under license by many different distributors, primarily in the United States. Different brands use different types and qualities of ingredients, but the basic characteristics and taste profile are usually about the same no matter the manufacturer.
In nearly all cases, Moose Tracks® ice cream starts out with smooth vanilla ice cream. To this base, ice cream makers add rough chunks of chocolate and crushed peanut butter cups, a type of candy popular in the U.S. and parts of Europe. The chunks are scattered so as to be evenly distributed, then thick swirls of chocolate fudge are incorporated, too; the end result is a scoop that contains small tastes of all of these flavors.
The “Moose Tracks” name is related primarily to the candy chunks. These chunks are meant to resemble moose footprints in a wild, snowy terrain. The Denali ice cream company is headquartered in Denali, Alaska, where moose are a common sighting.
The Denali Brands ice cream company is run by a husband and wife team, and Moose Tracks® is their primary flavor. They contract with independent dairies for manufacturing, and have also licensed the flavor profile to a range of different, usually larger, brands throughout the United States. This allows the flavor to reach many more people while also allowing maximum profitability for Denali.
There are six types of Moose Tracks® ice cream that are widely available to consumers. A few of the more popular options include Original Moose Tracks®, Chocolate Moose Tracks®, and Extreme Moose Tracks®. Chocolate Moose Tracks® is very similar to the original but includes chocolate ice cream in place of the vanilla. A slightly different variation, Extreme Moose Tracks® is also made with chocolate ice cream and fudge but includes fudge-filled cups in place of the peanut butter.
Bear Foot Brownie is a similar flavor sold under the brand’s banner, but it is not officially considered Moose Tracks®; it consists of vanilla ice cream with chewy brownie bits. Some flavors have only one type of candy treat mixed into the ice cream, while others have a combination. The candy can involve peanut butter, chocolate, or caramel; sometimes all three are used together.
This particular ice cream flavor is widely recognized as one of the most popular in the United States. Denali has a “store locator” feature on its web site that people can use to find places near them that sell the flavor, and there tends to be quite a fan following no matter the specific manufacturer.
Part of this probably owes to Denali’s public relations team. It’s relatively uncommon for ice cream flavors to have specifically targeted advertising campaigns; more often, this happens for entire brands or distributors. Moose Tracks® is somewhat exceptional in this respect. Denali has worked to earn the flavor spots on local and national news, and also has a robust advertising campaign within Alaska and throughout the United States.
The brand has also run campaigns to donate money to charities while sponsoring races, triathlons, and other community events. Their official Web site has a news archive of the media stories involving the Moose Tracks® product. The brand also has a popular merchandise line of apparel and accessories, including shirts, hats, and more for men, women, and children.
It was a good day when the nice people at Blue Bunny came out with a sugar free version of Moose Tracks! Delicious! And while not no-cal, certainly lower calorie than the full sugar version.
I'm really glad companies have started making more sugar-free/low-sugar versions of their foods that are palatable. I guess since the advent of better artificial sweeteners (not saccharine, in other words), it's easier to make treats that actually taste good. I'm glad it's worked well for diet sodas, too. They're actually very drinkable now. I remember when I was a kid, they were sweetened with saccharine and they were *awful.*
I remember when Moose Tracks came out. I thought it was the best ice cream ever! The fudge in it was so good. We had to wait a while for a brand to carry that flavor. I can't remember who carried it first. Seems like it may have been Blue Bell or Mayfield, but I don't recall for certain.
I know we used to contend for the large pieces of fudge in the carton. Anyone who ate most (or all) of the fudge out of the center was branded an evil glutton who didn't know how to leave a little good stuff for everyone else.
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