Despite the festive decor, time with family, and holiday cheer (or perhaps because of them), this is a tough time of year for many. It could be the ridiculously short days, or maybe you work in retail, but if you find yourself wanting to face-plant into a pint of ice cream hoping it will make you feel better, you’re not alone.
Moody’s Ice Cream promises to deliver just that. Ice cream is already a universal pick-me-up, and Moody’s has also infused its line with specific essential oils and ingredients intended to boost your mood.
“We formulate each pint to have a specific sensory benefit,” says founder and CEO Rachael Rinehart, who launched the company in June. “People eat ice cream because they’re feeling good and want to elevate it, or feeling bad and want to change that. We help you own your mood and control how you’re feeling.”
Rinehart, who has a background in consumer packaged dairy goods, initially started using essential oils to improve her own physical and mental health.
“I know what it’s like for people to feel like there are not options that meet their needs, and wanting to feel in control of their health and bodies,” Rinehart explains. “[Moody’s] is about bringing something into people’s lives they’re missing and that they want, even if they don’t know exactly what it is.”
Rinehart wants Moody’s flavors to be familiar and approachable while also offering something unique and special, such as the best-selling rosemary mint chip flavor. “It’s a good entry point—mint chip is a classic flavor,” Rinehart says. “The rosemary is for mental clarity, and mint is a mood booster.”
Other flavors include lavender honey blueberry (lavender to combat stress, honey and blueberries for antioxidants) and spicy citrus (infused with tangerine and ginger to promote digestive health). There are also coconut milk-based vegan flavors, like a Mexican chocolate with cinnamon essential oils and a seasonal maple cinnamon walnut.
“My favorite part is sharing Moody’s with people and watching them experience ice cream in a totally different way… people are blown away by the flavors,” says Rinehart. “They try it and say everything works so well together, the flavors are spot on. First and foremost, [our ice cream] has to taste great.”
But aside from imparting all those delicious flavors, can essential oils really boost your mood? According to Jen Shepherd, a Twin Cities-based certified clinical aromatherapist and licensed independent clinical social worker, that's complicated. She notes that aromatherapy is holistic in nature and is tailored to the individual, so what works for one person might not work for another.
“Aromatherapy for emotional wellness and stress management is my favorite area, and this is where I think aromatherapy really shines. Essential oils can provide support in a healing environment,” Shepherd says.
However, she emphasizes that there are major differences between the essential oils that aromatherapists utilize in a clinical setting (and that have been scientifically studied for their mental health benefits) and the food-grade essential oils used to flavor Moody’s and similar edible products.
“That’s not to say eating their ice cream won’t bring mood-boosting effects,” Shepherd says. “You’ve got the sugar, and the good memories attached to eating ice cream in the past.” She also notes that the smell and flavor of the essential oils themselves can evoke positive memories, which can then improve your mood.
In our highly unscientific opinion, the best course of action is to sample Moody’s ice cream and come to your own conclusions about its mood-boosting powers. This holiday season, you can find it at the Plate & Parcel Holiday Market on November 30 and December 7-8, and you can also purchase pints on their website for local delivery in the Twin Cities.
Going forward, Rinehart plans to target local co-ops for distribution, and eventually expand nationally. She encourages people to submit feedback via the Moody’s Ice Cream website, especially flavor suggestions and co-ops where they would like to find Moody’s in the freezer.
“Help us figure out what you need,” she says. “My goal for Moody’s is that it’s for the people.”
Moody’s Ice Cream