Breyers Ice Cream Shrinks To 1.5 Quarts

Reader Bill noticed that someone hit Breyers Ice Cream with the grocery shrink ray… again:

I’m just getting over the first wave of ice cream shrinkage (from 1/2 gallon to 1.75 quarts) when I noticed today that Breyer’s is upping (or rather shrinking) the ante – they’re beginning to roll out 1.5 qt packages!

Bill

We checked Breyers’ website and noticed that they haven’t updated from the last time they shrunk their package:

Why have you downsized your Breyers 1/2 gallon cartons?

Over the last two years or so, a number of our ice cream competitors made the decision to reduce the size of their 1/2 gallon containers. At the current time, the price on all of our ingredients, most of all the fresh cream we use in our products, has gone up dramatically in cost. In order to remain competitive, Breyers has made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our basic pack to 56 oz. We believe this change is a way of mitigating the level of future price increases compared to what otherwise might have been the case. As always, you can expect the same great Breyers quality which has been our standard for over 135 years.

They are, according to Bill’s photograph, now down to 48 oz. At this rate, Breyers ice cream boxes are going to be about as full as potato chip bags.

(Photo:Bill)

Comments

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  1. KogeLiz says:

    Good news for me.

  2. headhot says:

    Eat less! For the same price!

  3. ironchef says:

    apparently…1.5 quarts is the new half gallon.

  4. MickeyMoo says:

    Not to mention their ice cream is mostly AIR – hold a Breyer’s pint in one hand and a Haagen Dasz in the other – the Breyer’s feels like it’s 1/4 the weight.

  5. selectman says:

    In Breyer’s defense, at least they changed the packaging from a rectangle to a more curved shape the first time they made a change. If they had simply shrunken the rectangle by 12.5%, I probably wouldn’t have been clued in to look at the size label.

    That said, I find the more deceptive attempts at this (see Country Crock) to be despicable.

  6. ohiomensch says:

    I guess its just a sign of the times. But being that ice cream is one of those items that this born-again frugal person can cut out without too much distress, I’m not all that upset about it.

    Eggs and milk on the other hand…

  7. EBounding says:

    At least they’re being honest. “Costs are going up and we need to be competitive”. It’d be annoying if they said something like “Our research shows consumers prefer sleeker slimmer packaging for their tub of ice cream!”.

  8. psykomyko says:

    Edy’s (a.k.a. Dreyer’s) ice cream packages just shrank as well – I went to a Meijer store in Dearborn the other day, and it looked like the bottom inch of all of the ice cream buckets was removed!

    There should be a running list of all of the companies that are trying to pull a fast one like this…

  9. Parting says:

    Anyway, if you look on ingredients of this ”natural” ice-cream, you’ll see that there are MUCH better and natural products.

  10. friendlynerd says:

    Don’t you know that it’s to better serve you, the consumer?!

  11. mgy says:

    Those are the most disgusting strawberries I have ever seen.

  12. evenkevin says:

    This is really just the result of increased food prices and inflation. The options available to Breyer’s are:
    1)increase prices, maintain product quality and size. 2)maintain price, maintain product quality, decrease size. 3)maintain price, decrease product quality, maintain size. 4)maintain price, maintain quality, maintain size, take loss. #4 is not practical from a business standpoint, #3 is by far the worst option from a consumer standpoint, and whether they had gone with #1 or #2 they’d have gotten complaints, but at least they appease those that talk about corporate responsibilty for obesity with #2.

  13. Bladefist says:

    probably a lot easier then raising the price. Raising the price up and down due to market would be extremely difficult. I don’t think the retail stores are as nimble as the gas pumps

  14. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    How is it that they remain on the shelves next to each other, at the same price, with the same price per unit of weight?? Does the food store ever update this when these companies do this (when it doesn’t change the price)?

  15. pine22 says:

    im guessing because milk prices have been increasing for a while now.

  16. sponica says:

    I noticed the size change too when I picked up some Breyer’s the other week….of course I never forgave Breyer’s for adding agar gum and other preservatives to their “natural” product. I like it when ice cream melts into a liquid, not some weird foamy thing.

  17. remusrm says:

    Rite Aid(old Thrifty) ice cream is the same. used to be 1.89L and now is 1.66, also the price went from 2.99 to 3.49.

  18. rpm773 says:

    I’ve never really understood the issue with this. Production costs go up – which means the manufacturer can either increase the price of the item or hold the price but reduce the qty. It’s just the way it is. If the consumer doesn’t like it, he should shop with his feet and buy another product – or nothing at all.

  19. katra says:

    @AlteredBeast: The companies don’t exactly alert the stores when they do this, and communication can take a while to come down the line.

  20. milk says:

    @mgy: somehow i didn’t even notice that. why are they orange? the levels don’t even seem off in this picture.

  21. WhirlyBird says:

    Ewww! If you eat Breyer’s “ice cream”, you deserve whatever you get!

  22. Eilonwynn says:

    Breyer’s all natural is like $8 up in canada. I’ll still buy it in the states and pack it in a cooler to bring it back, even at that price.

  23. Ben Popken says:

    Don’t you know? The ice cream is now 33% more potent.

  24. JohnnyE says:

    If only I could “expect the same great Breyers quality which has been [their] standard for over 135 years.”

    There is now gum and stabilizers in their ice cream — so it’s not just a smaller, more expensive product; it’s an inferior quality one as well.

    Unfortunately, if you want an ice cream unadulterated by things like gums and corn syrup, you need to make your own.

  25. Nytmare says:

    @MickeyMoo: If a 56 oz Breyers carton in one hand weighs 1/4 of the 56 oz Haagen-Dazs carton in your other hand, then all I can think of is that you ate 3/4 of it.

  26. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @mgy: Yeah, WTF’s up with the orange strawberries?

  27. @MickeyMoo: Haagen Dasz’s extra weight is mainly due to milkfat. It’s the same reason it and Ben and Jerry’s tastes soooooooooo good your wife’s/girlfriend’s ass gets bigger just looking at it.

  28. ceokhan says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: they are strawberries made of oranges! lol yhea they sure do look weird… I guess strawberries are getting expensive too. But yea good news for the people trying to lose weight!

  29. AceKicker says:

    At least they were honest about it, and didn’t pass it off as “Optimizing Customer Satisfaction” like the aptly named Country Crock.

  30. AaronZ says:

    Eh, not a fan of Bryers anyway. Though this is probably just setting the new standard that Edys and Turkey Hill are going to follow.. unfortunately.
    Then again, only ever by ice-cream when it’s on sale, so no real biggie.

  31. bohemian says:

    Breyers used to be some decent ice cream that was worth the extra cash. More and more of their varieties have junky additives in them now. I have to also agree with the people who noted it is extremely full of air by comparison, now the shrinking package.

    Were trying to cut down on eating ice cream because it really is bad from a dietary standpoint. We bought an ice cream maker but use it mostly for sorbet. So if we want ice cream we have to make a special trip or go somewhere like cold stone. Making it harder to get means you eat it less.

  32. Buran says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: White balance.

  33. etherealclarity says:

    I’m seriously getting irritated with the attitude that these companies are cheating us by making smaller product for the same price. Price of inputs goes up in large part due to INFLATION, which is essentially the government stealing from us (not these companies). If we’re going to keep having these posts, couldn’t there be a tag on it for GOVERNMENT or INFLATION or something like that?

  34. AnderBobo says:

    This seems like kind of a non-story to me. Food costs are going up, so naturally it is either downsize the amount of product or up the price. I think people are more willing to pay the same for less, than pay more for the same.

  35. Eilonwynn says:

    @nytmare: Actually, Mickeymoo said pint – IIRC, a pint is a measure of volume, not weight – so a pint of milk and a pint of water would indeed have different weights.

  36. dmolavi says:

    Turkey Hill has done the same thing. Dammit. Pretty soon it’s going to be too expensive to go to the grocery store. And if you can afford the gas to get you there, you probably won’t be able to buy much once you’re there.

  37. foxbat2500 says:

    This will absolutly make me buy less Bryers. The difference between them and the smaller (premium) brands (Ben and Jerry’s and etc) is now not that big.

  38. The Master of Reason says:

    Breyer’s used to be my favorite ice cream, but they’ve really been in decline in recent years. Do any of you guys remember the Breyer’s “Space Saver” size they introduced a few years ago?

    When I noticed Breyers had switched their recipe to one with stabilizers in it, that’s when I stopped buying. The reason why they did it was so that they could whip a higher volume of air into their ice-cream, which essentially meant we were getting less for ice cream for our money (and of inferior mouthfeel!)

    It’s kind of a shame, really, because there aren’t any brands out there any more that are made the ‘old fashioned’ way, now they all have seaweed gum in them.

  39. thirdbase says:

    @Katra: They absolutly do let the stores know ahead of time. In fact the larger stores have say in the package size. The option is always presented do you want to raise the price or decrease the size. The stores know exactly what they are purchasing and what will be delivered months in advance.

  40. mewyn dyner says:

    I saw this yesterday in fact. It prompted me to either find the larger size of the flavors I wanted (I got the last of one of them :) ) or buy a different brand. I’m sure Edy’s and Dean’s will go this way soon… but until then, I shall avoid Breyer’s.

  41. Snaptastic says:

    All the more reason for me to get my ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, or to get Ben and Jerry’s if I must get it from a store.

  42. The Master of Reason says:

    @evenkevin:

    Unfortunately, Breyers took option 2 first, then option 3 and finally option 2 again. The move from 2qt to 1.75qt was their first cost-saving measure, but the worst one (and the one which made me stop liking their ice cream) was the addition of stabilizers to their recipe.

    Breyers began adding seaweed gum to their ice cream, allowing them to whip in a significant amount of air without changing the texture past what a typical consumer might expect. This was undoubtedly done as an attempt to save cost on ingredients, but it really decreased the quality of the ice cream in my opinion. It’s kind of a shame, because I really liked Breyer’s Ice cream – I’ve never found another brand which was all natural but not oozing with milkfat.

  43. Geekybiker says:

    I hate all this size changing with food. Its just dishonest I think and they’re trying to hide the price increase. Raise the price if you have to, dont just try and sneak in under the radar.

  44. Pinget says:

    I wish food manufacturers would raise the price instead of shrinking packages. It screws up recipes. A can of tomatoes used to be 16 oz, it’s now 14.5. If they shrink again to, say, 12 oz then I’ll have to open another can to get the recipe straight. That means I’d be paying more anyway – 2 cans instead of 1 – so just be honest about it to begin with! Please!

  45. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    This makes me so happy I got an ice cream maker over Christmas. Mmmmm, I think a little chocolate, mint espresso bean is in order…

  46. Breyer’s is mostly preservatives and, judging by the weight, whipped cream. Haagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, and Blue Bell are the best ice creams that are available where I live.

  47. Truthie says:

    I’m not surprised. Milk really is a LOT more expensive now that it was a few years ago.

    At least eating less ice cream never killed anyone.

  48. ChuckECheese says:

    The reason for the guar gum (it might also be locust bean or xanthan gum) is to enable the addition of additional air, called overrun, to the ice cream mix. So you’re getting less volume and more air for the same $$. That’s why the Breyer’s carton feels so light next to the Haagen-Dazs, which has much less overrun. With the added air, the amount of decrease in product is probably even more than the 25% reduction in volume. That’s some serious price inflation–Breyer’s should be making as much money as Exxon at this rate.

  49. revmatty says:

    It’s not just ice cream. I’ve been noticing this in all parts of the grocery store. Prices are staying the same but content volume is decreasing, sometimes drastically. It’s probably logistically easier for the companies.

    Unfortunately a lot of consumers either don’t pay enough attention (Gee, I ate the whole bag of Doritos like I usually do, but I’m still hungry, guess I need to buy more next time) or are already cutting every corner they can to make ends meet and now have to buy more packages of the same item in order to get as much as they were before, increasing their grocery costs quite significantly.

  50. thebigbluecheez says:

    Am I the only one who knows the goodness of Tillamook ice cream? It comes from very happy cows, who incidentally do NOT come from California.

  51. Wally East says:

    Tropicana did the same thing with their big plastic jug of not-from-concentrate OJ. It used to be 96 ounces (three quarts). Now, they’re highlighting a new package with a new spout and the package just happens to be 89 ounces.

    Some Breyers flavors are even smaller at just 48 ounces.

  52. MadameX says:

    @thebigbluecheez: Oh man, I love the Tillamook–but its not available everywhere. I used to live in the Northwest but now I’m in Arizona and I can’t find it here. Thankfully, the cheese IS available or I’d be having relatives ship it to me.

  53. freepistol says:

    i totaly noticed this last week. my husband bought two boxes of ice cream. ours which was chocolate/vanilla was 1.5, and my MIL’s which was butter pecan was 1.75. how long had that butter pecan been hanging around the freezer case is what im really wondering.

  54. mammalpants says:

    wow, the exact opposite happened to me.

    i went to get a dozen eggs, but lo and behold, the eggs were GIGANTIC…each easily weighing in at 10-15 lbs each, although the package, clearly busting at the styofoam seams, said 12 eggs 27oz.
    now, you might ask, “is this for real?” and the answer my friends is, “no.”

    what?

  55. mammalpants says:

    just so you know, saying “my friends” is the john mccain way of speaking down to you!

  56. Blueskylaw says:

    Why have you downsized your Breyers 1/2 gallon cartons?
    Because everyone else is jumping off a bridge, we felt our customers would expect us to do the same.

    In order to remain competitive, Breyers has made the difficult decision to give you less, charge you the same and try to fool you into thinking nothing has changed.

  57. Blueskylaw says:

    .

  58. stillkarenann says:

    @AaronZ: Though this is probably just setting the new standard that Edys and Turkey Hill are going to follow

    Edy’s already began going this route. My local shop really only sells their slow churned and “Loaded” lines. The Loaded line is a “frozen dairy dessert” and has the texture of being infused with air. you can compress a scoop into a tablespoon. VERY disappointing.

  59. artki says:

    These round of hidden price increases via de-sizing is the same thing that happened in the 1970s. Then, as now, there was a commodity price spike. Look to see more of the same until the, inevitable, commodity price bust. (bust always follows boom).

  60. MBZ321 says:

    Another reason I’ll stick with the store brand (Wegmans). Priced way lower than the competitors, equal quality, and still a true 1/2 gallon (for now). Other store brands are similar…or Turkey Hill since I can usually dig up coupons for them. Breyer’s and Edy’s are rip offs.

  61. Breyers is currently owned by Unilever, the same people responsible for the country crock butter shrinkage.
    surprised? no.

  62. PinkBox says:

    I’m willing to pay more for quality, even if it means less.

    Unfortunately, Breyers isn’t what comes to mind when I think of quality.

    I get pints from the local icecream shop down the street. Yum!

  63. wjmorris3 says:

    Like I said in an earlier post, Breyers is much more sneaky when it comes to their ice cream downsizing. Next time I’m in the grocery store, I’ll see if I can take pictures of an Edy’s pair and a Turkey Hill pair, both of which shortened the tub. Breyers shrunk the bottom, but not the top, and appropriately sloped the container to match.

  64. redheadedstepchild says:

    This is a good thing for me. I tend to eat the whole tub in 2 days. So, less in tub = less in thighs.

  65. nsv says:

    I’d be upset if Breyers hadn’t started adding all the “natural” corn syrup and gums and garbage that makes it really disgusting.

    So now I have no incentive to spend more money to get less fake ice cream. No problem.

  66. scoosdad says:

    How soon before this catches on in the gasoline business? “Wow, that gallon of gas is cheap!”

  67. econobiker says:

    @etherealclarity:

    Is the 13oz “pound” of coffee at 10oz yet?

  68. econobiker says:

    @scoosdad: Metric,baby, metric for the ol’USA.

    “Whoa there, gas is only $1 per liter at that store?”

    1 gallon= 3.785412 liter and gas is now about $3.79/gal or more in some places…

  69. Baronzemo says:

    MadameX, do you live near a Winco Foods? All the top-notch food brands based in the Pacific N’West are deep discounted there

    Rite-Aid did this with the Thrifty brand ice cream(@ least the new tub-style package design is nifty)

  70. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Bladefist:
    Same price for smaller portion = higher price.
    It’s “just that simple.”

  71. Lambasted says:

    Ice cream has become so expensive that I only buy it when it’s on sale. I refuse to pay upwards to $5 for less than a 1/2 gallon. It has definitely become a luxury food item.

  72. Scatter says:

    Um, isn’t giving the consumes less for the same amount of money the same as raising prices?

  73. RustysNailed says:

    @segfault: They are all mostly preservatives now. At least many of the Breyers flavors still contain sugar and not corn syrup.

    As for Ben and Jerry’s, they have been using preservatives forever. I don’t eat it anymore because i can taste the guar gum.

  74. theblackdog says:

    @Pinget: Hear hear! I have a Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I’ve been using for years, but now that they’ve shrunken the packages from 16 oz to 12 oz, it throws off my recipe a bit.

  75. geezmeez says:

    For years I had to listen to my husband tell me that breyer’s was the best ice cream, all natural. Not True! Now my husband is calling the cheap bastards. I wrote to Breyer’s about a year ago complaing that they had changed their recipe…no response. I guess their mother’s never taught them to be polite. Now they cheapened their size and they think we are stupid and wouldn’t know the difference….surprize. We have noticed your new recipes as well as your cheapening packaging. I guess your mother’s are proud of you now, MAKE MORE MONEY FOR YOUR COMPANY! When they were small I am sure that their mother’s gave them treats of the original Breyer’s. It was important to be natural. I am in controll of my shopping list and Breyer’s you have just been crossed off my list.
    We can controll what they do by not purchasing their product. I for one would rather shop for a product that gives back to our planet and cares what they put in our food.

  76. draggar says:

    My question is->

    WHERE IS THIS ICE CREAM $3.59??? Where I am, not only did they reduce the size by 25% but they increased the price from $4.99 to $5.49 (10% increase)!!

  77. JeffM says:

    @Baronzemo: Oh please don’t talk about Winco- sweet sweet Umpqua ice cream and low prices. I’ve been waiting for them to draw to the Silicon Valley since I left the Pacific Northwest.

  78. Cgporter says:

    I just found out that Bryers had reduced the size of their 1.75 quart “half-gallon” to 1.5 quarts. The package is the same height, width and depth, but the smaller package tapers a little more at the bottom. To me THIS IS A PRICE INCREASE of about 16% which the company has decided to try to hide. I hate that form of corporate dishonesty. When they try to foist nonstandard sizes what else do they do to the product itself to reduce costs? My only response is to boycott their products and publicize these underhanded practices as much as possible.

  79. Anonymous says:

    “As always, you can expect the same great Breyers quality which has been our standard for over 135 years.” This is complete bullshit. Some PR person probably got promoted over that bullshit line. Breyer’s is in no way as good as it used to be. But they’re proud to be able to lie like that.

  80. Anonymous says:

    1. Look who has bought Bryers – Unilever.
    2., See what that group does to anything – reduce size, diminish quality.
    3. They are clearly no longer “natural” in the sense that ice cream is just that: cream that has been iced.
    Gums are natural: yes – but so is horse manure. Would you want that in your ice cream?

  81. Anonymous says:

    this time BREYERS you’ve gone too far. downsizing enrages comsumers. when you reach one pint, then what?
    inevitably the product loses quality as well. my supermarket ice cream even at 56oz is better and cheaper.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Deeply disappointed. Breyer’s was the family favorite since my dad was a kid (decades and decades), and now not only is Unilever putting it into shortweight packages but the proud boast of “All Natural” isn’t even true anymore. Used to be Breyer’s vanilla was just cream, eggs, skim milk, sugar an vanilla. Now it’s loaded up with corn syrup, guar gum, annatto (whatever that might be) and other fakeosity. Sad, sad, sad.

  83. John,West Palm Beach, FL says:

    How cowardly of Breyers Ice Cream to pull off their recent 33.33% price increase for their 1/2 Gal. container of ice cream! Rather than having the stones to come out and say, “We must increase our price by 33.33%,” they merely said, We’re dropping the carton size to 1.5 quarts for reasons of bla-bla-etc.” (But we’re charging you consumer suckers the same price as we were for the two quart container.)

    Do the math folks. That’s a 33.33% price gouging increase disguised with smoke and mirrors. This move was done in concealment, underhandedly and in poor taste to their customer base that has been a loyal one for years!

    I plan a personal boycott against Breyers, and I recommend that all of you readers do the same. There are plenty of honest merchants with as good, if not better products.

    I also plan to copy Breyers’ competitors on this communication.