Bookmark and Share July 1, 2012 - Dave Mulder

Did Breyers Just Wreck Their Ice Cream Line?

Breyers has always been that slightly-more-expensive ice cream at the grocery store that you always stock up on when it’s discounted. As a lover of natural food, I loved Breyers for printing all-natural on their label and, by golly, actually using all-natural ingredients.

Even Breyers is not immune to the pressure of making money, and evidently somewhere between their parent conglomerate (Unilever) and their production line, they have massively overhauled their formula.

Breyers ice cream is no longer ice cream. It’s now “frozen dairy dessert”, and our friends at MousePrint figured out why:

Under federal law, to be called “ice cream”, a product must meet a certain standard of identity, which in this case requires that there be at least 10% milk fat in the product. That generally would come from the cream in the product. If the product does not meet the federal “recipe” for ice cream, it has to be called something else. In this case, they are calling it frozen dairy dessert which has no federal definition (other than it does not meet the standards to be called ice cream.)

Here’s Breyers’ old ingredient list for Vanilla Fudge Twirl:

Ice Cream: Milk, cream, sugar, whey, natural tara gum, natural flavor,
Fudge Twirl:  Milk, sugar, corn syrup, cocoa, whey, cream, natural tara gum, salt.

And here is Breyers’ NEW ingredient list for Vanilla Fudge Twirl:

Frozen Dairy Dessert: Milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, whey, mono and diglycerides, carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate, tara gum.
Twirl Sauce:  Milk, sugar, corn syrup, cocoa, whey, cream, carob bean gum, salt.

See the difference? Cream drops down the list in favor of corn syrup, and there’s more gum being used. Gum is a thickening agent. So on Breyers’ production line, they have a very soupy concoction that has to be aggressively thickened to resemble solid ice cream.

Photo of Breyers' Frozen Dairy Dessert

Though they still seem to be using natural ingredients, that Breyers is headed down this path is very troubling. Their website brushes off the change as an improvement.

Our Ice Cream and new Frozen Dairy Dessert varieties continue to use fresh milk, cream and sugar. What distinguishes our Frozen Dairy Dessert from our Ice Cream is that it’s blended in a whole new way to create a smoother texture.

Yeah, okay, Breyers … we believe that’s why you did it.


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