New Breyers Recipes: When Ice Cream Is 'Frozen Dairy Dessert'

When is ice cream not ice cream? When it’s a “frozen dairy dessert.” Recently, Breyers made changes to some of their ice cream flavors. These changes were drastic enough that the products are still tasty, but can no longer legally be called “ice cream.” Do most consumers know the difference, or even care? We don’t know yet, but observant Consumerist tipsters noticed the label change, and they noticed the growing list of unfamiliar ingredients in a familiar food.

Not all flavors of Breyers ice cream have ceased to be ice cream. Mint chocolate chip, for example, is still an ice cream. Butter pecan is a frozen dairy dessert. What’s the difference? Well, Breyers wants us to know that they both contain milk, cream, and sugar. And a lot of other stuff.

From their Frequently Asked Questions:

Frozen Dairy Dessert products are made with many of the same high-quality ingredients that are commonly found in Ice Cream – like fresh milk, cream and sugar – and offer a great taste and even smoother texture. These products do not fall within the current FDA definition of standardized Ice Cream, so we call them Frozen Dairy Dessert.

In a national side-by-side taste test, our fans tell us they like the new recipe just as much as the original. We’re confident these new products deliver the great taste Ice Cream fans expect but with any product change it’s always possible that you may notice a difference.

Helen sent us some photos of a carton of peach flavored ice cream she bought recently, enclosing this note:

From what I see on their Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere online, people are horrified, as I am!! This is one of the most egregious cases of trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes I have ever seen.

Even though a few of Breyers’ flavors are still “ice cream,” I will not be buying it again. At least now I know to read ice cream labels carefully at the grocery store.

Carol has been eating Breyers ice cream for longer than most of our readers have been alive. She’s also quite annoyed at the change.

I have every reason to love Breyers Butter Almond. I’ve been buying it ever since I was a kid in the 40’s when it was scooped right out of the freezer case. I am a stockholder of Unilever. I understand why Breyers reduced their package size; it was either that, or raise the price beyond what consumers wanted to pay. But this is too much. I will not buy a Breyers that is no longer “ice cream.”

Comments

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  1. George4478 says:

    It doesn’t matter to me what’s in the carton. Since they are one of the half-gallon shrink-ray brands, I no longer buy their products.

    • nybiker says:

      +1 (I’d use the infinity symbol, but I don’t know how to insert it). The same goes for Haagen Dazs (that might not be the correct spelling) once they went to 14 ounces. For better or worse, when I buy ice cream these days, I get Ben & Jerry’s. They may have some of the gum and related stuff in it, but at least it’s still a pint.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Those cheap ab rollers and excercise machines they hawk
    on television don’t have springs – they have “RESISTANCE COILS.”

    • longfeltwant says:

      Springs expand and contract. Coils twist and turn. That’s the difference.

      In high school physics class you may remember the “spring law”, F=kd, force equals the spring constant times the distance of expansion or contraction. That law wouldn’t work for twisting.

      So the real question is why mattress manufacturers call their springs “coils”. No, they are not coils, they are springs.

      • blinky says:

        But do consumers like the taste as much as the original?

      • Coles_Law says:

        F=k*theta, where theta is the angle of twist. There are coil springs-there’s one in a windup watch. I think the marketing spin is a ‘resistance coil’ provides the same resistance regardless of how far it is pulled, vs the variable force on a spring. that, or they’re just BS’ing a new name.

  3. Conspirator says:

    Similar to why KFC had to drop “chicken” from their name. Years of genetic modifications means the creatures are no longer technically chickens.

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/kfc.asp

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Ummm…. did you actually READ the Snopes article? It said that claim is false.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      I find it strange that people are against “genetic modification” yet probably don’t realize that our genetic modification is simply speeding up what would normally take generations. Most carrots were not orange originally. And the fluffy creature most of us have (whether cat or dog) are genetically modified and bred for characteristics. Just like chickens.

      • STXJK says:

        I don’t think my mini poodle would ever evolve the ability to glow in the dark or produce chlorphyll.

        • longfeltwant says:

          It almost certainly would if you bred it to do so for long enough.

          But the point is that the slowness of the manual breeding is a check on the danger presented by genetic twiddling. I favor genetic twiddling, but we need to continue to be enormously careful in how we do it.

  4. lawnmowerdeth says:

    I specifically remember old Bryer’s commercials from the 80’s or 90’s that pointed out that other companies were using ingredients like guar gum and carrageenan, versus only natural stuff in Breyer’s. How sad.

    • bdgbill says:

      Yep, with little kids trying to pronounce the names of chemicals in their competitors brands. One of my favorite ad campaigns ever.

      • jenolen2161 says:

        I just logged in to say that. I remember those and have bought Breyers in the past with those in mind. Guess I’ll have to read labels again…

    • Anne Noise says:

      I specifically remember hating that Breyer’s and Bryer’s both made ice cream. I mean, come on.

  5. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I dislike the gums and carrageenan thickeners in ice cream and think it harms the flavor. In some cheaper brands it REALLY ruins it. The other thing with Breyer’s is how much more air they started pumping into their products about ten years ago. It really isn’t a very good brand anymore.

    BTW I had “Clam” flavored ice cream down on Cape Cod once – it was interesting… if you like clams.

  6. Darth Maubs says:

    Breyers was one of the few remaining brands that used real ingredients, and one of the very few I can have with a corn allergy (no corn syrup or other weirdo ingredients grown on corn for me!). This sucks.

    • Marlin says:

      Some of their products are still Natrual ice cream. I think it has to say Natural on it near the name.
      Some Vanilla’s and a couple of standard flavors fit this. But be careful as they make several vanillas and only 1, I think, is still under the “Natural” label.

      • PercussionQueen7 says:

        Beware: there is no FDA labeling requirements when a product calls itself “All Natural”. I’d check the labels if you’ve got an allergy.

        Dreyer’s did the air thing and then this too. I don’t eat ice cream very often, but when I do, dang it, it’s full-fat, real ice cream!

    • Willow16 says:

      Same here. That was the only ice cream I would buy because it didn’t have fillers, thickeners, etc.

  7. Tim says:

    File this in the same category as “chocolatey” icings that taste basically like wax.

    • PercussionQueen7 says:

      That’s because it’s usually palm oil or something. The Candy Blog writer (and others I’m sure) call it “mockolate”.

    • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

      I was reading ice cream labels recently and kept seeing “chocolate-flavored chunks”. WTF does that mean, exactly? And what are the “chunks” that they had to flavor? Wax? Tree bark?

    • Willow16 says:

      I make my own icing but, one year, my daughter insisted on icing in a can on her birthday cake. I won’t buy or eat anything with soybean oil and it’s used in most icings. The Foodtown brand uses lard in their canned icing so that’s what we had that year.

  8. Marlin says:

    I bought one of these “frozen dairy dessert” without seeing it had changed. I really noticed when I tried to eat it; just awful. I had to throw the rest away; even my 3year old would not eat it.

    • dulcinea47 says:

      I was just about to post the same thing- just bought some Breyers last week ’cause it was on sale at what I thought was a good price. I hasn’t even noticed that it wasn’t actually ice cream but I definitely noticed that it wasn’t very good at all.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        This may have been why it was on sale… Either the “frozen dairy dessert” wasn’t selling well enough so they wanted to get some of it bought or they’re trying to get people to buy it in spite of the name change, in the hopes that the flavor is good enough.

  9. PunditGuy says:

    Food labeling in this country (and in many others) is an arcane art. It takes more than 2000 words for the FDA to define “ice cream.”

    Don’t get me wrong — to the extent that the labels actually convey information, I’m all for them.

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=135.110

    • Tim says:

      If they used fewer words, food companies would take advantage of that by making things that don’t resemble ice cream and calling them ice cream.

    • Marlin says:

      That’s because food makers keep watering down the rules with bribe… I mean donations to politicians to change it. If not for the public outrage Corn Syrup would be called sugar on a label now.

      Example: In the US Kraft’s Mac and Cheese is legal to call it a cheese product. But in Canada its called “Kraft Dinner”, can’t be called a Cheese product.

    • Guppy06 says:

      Thanks for the link.

      The regulations insist that ice cream must be at least 10 % milkfat, or no less than 8 % total when “bulky ingredients” are added (such as peaches, I imagine).

      This stuff is only 2.5 g fat per 65 g serving, less than half of the minimum standard.

      So the next question is why they didn’t call it “ice milk” or “light ice cream.”

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Probably so they don’t have to redesign the package when they crapify the ingredients even more down the road.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        I suspect because people would then see it as a diet product, and make it painfully clear that the taste and quality of the product is not as good as real ice cream.

  10. Worsel says:

    I stopped eating Drumstick cones when they became ‘frozen dairy dessert’.

    Häagen-Dazs is the only ice cream I can find around here that doesn’t have thickeners like guar gum or locust bean gum or carrageenan.

    • Banished to the Corner says:

      If I can get it, I buy Umpqua or Tillamook ice cream. I don’t think Umpqua makes many flavors, but their vanilla pure heaven. I’ve never had a bad flavor of Tillamook, some don’t tickle my fancy, but it’s all very, very good. Unfortunately, I rarely see them in SoCal. Rite-Aid makes a very good ice cream and the plant is 1 block from where I’ve worked for the last 16 years. They don’t sell it there; do you know how hard it is to work right next to an ice cream plant and NOT be able to buy any!!!

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    I think Breyers calls it a “Frozen Dairy Dessert” is because
    it doesn’t meet the legal definition of being ice cream.

    Here is the link to the Federal definition of ice cream:

    http://www.grokfood.com/regulations/135.110.htm

  12. Pete the Geek says:

    That is too bad because I considerd Breyers to be a “premium” brand that was worth the higher cost. I can get “ice milk” in the much cheaper store brand.

  13. mentok1982 says:

    So this is not ice cream because it has additional ingredients (like guar gum) that ice cream should not have?

    • Easter Love says:

      We don’t know. Breyers won’t tell us what change they made that disqualified their “ice creams” from being real ice cream, and from the outside it would probably take a food scientist (or at least a specialist in food regulations) to figure it out.

    • Misha says:

      No, because it doesn’t meet certain percentages of ingredients the meet the guidelines to wear the name “ice cream.” Like how French Vanilla can’t be labeled French Vanilla if it doesn’t have a certain percentage of egg solids.

  14. SavijMuhdrox says:

    I guess I will stick with getting my ice cream from the local ice cream guy that makes it himself.. or even invest in a ice cream maker and do it myself..

    then at least i can finally get the flavor i want.. Cookie-PeanutButter-Espresso-GummiBear-Mint-Chocolate-Chip…

  15. Guppy06 says:

    Any before/after comparisons of the ingredients lists?

  16. Velifer says:

    Sci fi writers thought we would be eating algae in the future. Guess what carageenan is? Pass the soylent green.

    ProTip: Buy ice cream by the number of grams per serving. It should be heavier than air.

  17. osiris73 says:

    Breyers changed their recipe years ago. It ceased being milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. I wrote them and they claimed that the addition of carob bean gum, carageenan, etc was because it made the product have a better consistency and better shelf life and their customers demanded it. What it did was make it foamier and with more air incorporated, you got less actual product. As an ice cream snob, I stopped buying it. Then they reduced the size and kept it the same price.

  18. HorseVomit says:

    Mental Floss had a nice overview of what differentiates frozen desserts (http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/133068). Nowhere in it does it say what frozen dairy dessert is.

    The fat and calorie content for the peach frozen dairy dessert does seem very low (even for such a small serving size). My guess is there is not enough milkfat content to legally qualify as ice cream.

  19. SirWired says:

    It doesn’t really make much difference, “natural”-wise, having it called a “frozen dairy desert” vs. “Ice Cream.” FDD can be 100% natural and something you’d be proud to produce at home, and a “real” Ice Cream can have all sorts of strange and frightening chemistry in it.

    Something drops out of “Ice Cream” territory when the proportion of the product that is milk solids and milkfat drops below a certain percentage or the percentage of air goes up. This can occur when the fat content is reduced, the “extras” are increased, or more air is whipped into the product to “fluff” the texture and/or reduce cost.

  20. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    It’s sad the ingredient list is so small, yet it is still not ice cream.

  21. LongtimeLurker says:

    Before the umbrage level here gets too high, did any one check out the nutrition label? It’s only 100 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. My guess would be that the “frozen dairy desert” as opposed to ice cream distinction is that one is meant to be a low fat version and the other real ice-cream. Like how some manufacturers (Edy’s comes to mind) have regular ice cream but then their slow-churned version. The slow-churned types need the guar gum and other junk to give them an ice-cream texture without the fat.

    Frankly, I’d rather have more fat and eat less of it, but I’m guessing that Breyers is trying to jump on the low-fat bandwagon with this product.

  22. zyphbear says:

    I remember when they used to have the commercials that had kids trying to pronounce the ingredients on the side of their competitor’s packages and then theirs ( http://youtu.be/aCbtqfMT-lc ). Saying they only include natural ingredients, such as another commercial: ( http://youtu.be/5GfIKDP6kG0 and http://youtu.be/Q-GlBK82nuA ).

    This does leave me very disappointed that they are going away from their own commercials that they had used for so long. While I do only buy the natural instead of the low sugar every once in awhile, i may have to switch companies as well since they are changing their own rules.

  23. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    I too noticed that it wasn’t ice cream any more. And that it’s shrunk. Breyers used to be my favorite…

  24. longfeltwant says:

    About a decade ago I noticed that Philadelphia brand cream cheese didn’t say “cream cheese” anywhere on the label. It’s true: everywhere on the label it said “Philadelphia Original”, and nothing else. Original what? Original Fake Soft Cheese-Similar Edible Foodstuff? I assumed that if it didn’t say cream cheese, that it didn’t meet the legal definition of cream cheese, and I refused to buy it for years and years.

    Recently I think I noticed that the box again says “Cream Cheese”. That’s nice and all, but now I always buy the store brand. Cream cheese, after all, should be as close to a commodity product as any.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      And it doesn’t even come from Philadelphia, f’r cryin’ out loud!!!

    • SirWired says:

      The cream cheese in the dairy case is a very specific highly-processed product that is merely a cousin of actual cream cheese. Namely it contains significant amount of stabilizers to keep it from breaking down when heated; this makes it suitable for cooking. “Natural” cream cheese, available in specialty gourmet shops, is not really usable in, say, a cheesecake.

      It doesn’t surprise me if minor tweaks to the recipe would toss it out of “cheese” territory.

  25. RedOryx says:

    I make my own ice cream at home.

    No. Seriously. Paid, like, $5 at a garage sale for the ice cream maker. Works like a charm.

  26. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    I’ve pretty much given up on ice cream. Between the shrinkage, jacked up prices, lack of any, y’know, real cream, and massive amounts of thickeners, fillers, and other chemicals I don’t see the point.

    I’ve even tried some Häagen-Dazs 5 products that only contain 5 ingredients, but they are way too sweet for my tastes.

    I used to love Breyer’s as a kid and young adult. It was always my preferred brand as they touted using simple ingredients without any extra crap. Not anymore, and no longer welcome in my freezer.

  27. KurabDurbos says:

    I have also enjoyed Breyers for many years. While not happy when the shrink ray hit them I continued to purchase. But now, they have ruined the brand with all the non natural ingredients. Gone is all natural , gone is the good flavor, gone is me as a customer…….

  28. RiverStyX says:

    Im a bit confused about all this..How does this incident compare to, say, Blue Bunny’s Vanilla line?

    http://www.bluebunny.com/Products/d/Original_Ice_Cream_Vanilla

    The ingredients are just as perplexing, if not more so. Has the FDA just not caught up to them yet?

    • Marlin says:

      Its not the ingredients but how much milk fat you have. The other fillers (like Guar Gum) are to make the water product be smoother like real milk fat does. Notice how far up the list Cream is in your link. Now look at the Breyers label and see how low the Cream is.

      Some ice creams have close to 20% milk fat yet to be called Ice Cream in the US you only have to have 10%. Breyers is so bad they can’t even hit the 10% mark.

      • RiverStyX says:

        It’s one below Corn Syrup as opposed to Cream being the second ingredient on the list for Blue Bunny. That’s not good for Breyers, and it begs the question why they would do this? To save overhead and make more profit..? If they lose business from some but other people stick around and pay the price that becomes a higher profit margin in terms of fillers used, are they really making more money?

        I think it would just be easier to stay legit. This keeps everybody happy and simplifies things, but that’s just me..The less work I’d have to do, the happier I’d be. If you’re saving money in one place, you gotta pay it elsewhere..No such thing as free anything, everything has its cost. The problem with conglomerates and mnc’s is there’s so much bureaucracy and misinformation that people never look at it this way.

        Case in point, completely off-topic but still on the discussion: When AT&T imposed data caps on dsl, I left..But I was a paying customers for 2 years, and didn’t mind the 6mbit line as long as I could do whatever I wanted with it. Did AT&T make more money by losing my business? Who did they replace me with that gave them more money? They went from me giving them something like $400 a year down to giving them $0 because of a hole they dug themselves into.

        I really don’t understand these decisions besides the obvious motive of greed..But at what cost? Nobody will take you seriously, you lose all street cred and the market opens up for a replacement.

        (Im sorry, I run an ebay business and have a vendor license elsewhere..Questions like these float through my head from time to time..)

        • HomerSimpson says:

          Their “theory” is people are stoopid and will buy simply based on the name no matter how much they jack the price up or how much crap they put in it. Most people probably can’t even READ the ingredients, let alone understand it.

  29. dullard says:

    I guess it’s time to change the first letter from B to D.

    Went to their web site to leave a comment and found that they require far too much personal information, including date of birth. I chose not to comment. Time to go from B to D.

  30. RavenWarrior says:

    Just reminds me of this George Carlin bit about soft language. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o25I2fzFGoY

  31. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “This is one of the most egregious cases of trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes I have ever seen.”

    What in the f%ck are you even complaining about? The only thing egregious around here appears to be your offendability.

  32. radio1 says:

    If you think Breyer’s is bad– try Edy’s… Most all their ‘fun flavors’ are frozen dairy desserts.

    Going from ice cream to frozen dairy dessert does not mean that there is much additives in one vs. another. Plenty of ice creams have guar gums or carageenan (both are naturally-derived) as stabilizers so the ice cream will not melt all at once. They also can give a better mouth feel as if you were eating a higher fat ice cream.

    Mouth feel is actually a technical term– I used to test ice creams 20 years ago…

    What separates ice cream from frozen dairy desserts are the amount of butter/milk fat in the product and the amount of dairy (milk) protein as well.

    Dairy is the most expensive product in ice cream, if you can create a frozen dairy dessert that people still think of as ice cream- you create more profit for your company. Even though these desserts may only have marginally more additives than regular ice cream.

  33. Kestris says:

    I’ll stick to Homestead Creamery ice cream, thank you very much. That’s a local to me made brand that has their own farms where they source their milk for their milk, ice cream, butter, etc. So far, no shrink ray for them.

    • nbs2 says:

      That’s one thing I miss about our old place. We a went a few minutes down the road to South Mountain Creamery, where they used the milk from their cows to make their ice cream.

  34. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Funny, I’m going to be on ice cream making detail at the church hall on Friday and Saturday, and our recipe does not include gums of any sort, or diglycerides. Hmmm…odd.

    • Anne Noise says:

      Your God is making the wrong desserts. Fall before the temple of Breyer’s Preservatives of Infinite Shelf Life.

  35. LabanDenter says:

    I bought one – the golden yellow oreo – then I read the label. This stuff is junk

  36. Applekid says:

    Don’t I know it. I’ve had enough of these non-ice cream ice cream things. Last time I bought Breyers not-ice cream, I opened it up and it contained a meaty chili.

  37. scoosdad says:

    Not even sure if only having cream and whey in the ingredients qualifys it as a ‘dairy’ anything. Even that’s a stretch coming in 5th and 6th on the list.

    • Nidoking says:

      Wait… so if Milk in the #1 slot doesn’t qualify it as dairy… what are you looking for, exactly?

      • Jimmy37 says:

        Ice cream has to contain a certain amount of milk fat to be called that. As a kid, I remember buying something called ice milk. I believe that’s no longer allowed to be used.

  38. Sarek says:

    Breyer’s Frozen Dairy Chemical Dessert Concoction.

  39. CosmosHuman says:

    Go ahead ban my Cosmo, the sweetest Jack Russell you’ll ever meet and I’ll take my hard earned cash (what is left over from paying taxes) elsewhere!

  40. Jaymark says:

    Since Breyers won’t tell us why its food doesn’t meet the definition of ice cream, we’ll have to guess. I found the definition of ice cream here (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=135.110), and one or more of these is the reason this food isn’t called ice cream:

    Contains food fats besides those in milk and whey
    Contains milk from something besides a cow
    Doesn’t contain enough milkfat
    Contains too much “solids” per gallon of food
    Contains too much egg yolk, whey, or stabilizers
    Contains too much lactic acid or excess alkali, or is too acidy or too base in general
    Weighs too much per gallon
    Is sweetened with unsafe or unsuitable sweeteners
    Contains ingredients besides the following: Cream; dried cream; plastic cream; butter; butter oil; milk; concentrated milk; evaporated milk; sweetened condensed milk; superheated condensed milk; dried milk; skim milk; concentrated skim milk; evaporated skim milk; condensed skim milk; superheated condensed skim milk; sweetened condensed skim milk; sweetened condensed part-skim milk; nonfat dry milk; sweet cream buttermilk; condensed sweet cream buttermilk; dried sweet cream buttermilk; skim milk; skim milk with calcium hydroxide and disodium phosphate; whey, safe modified whey products, water, casein prepared by precipitation with gums, ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed milk protein

    I mean, there’s a lot of wiggle room here. I’m really curious why they won’t tell us what makes it ineligible to be ice cream.

    • sid1 says:

      So I’m just venturing a guess here, but considering the food industry’s movement towards palm-oil and derivatives (with incompletely understood consequences I might add) I think my guess makes sense. Vitamin A palmitate is a food fat not found in milk and whey and it’s listed as an ingredient on the attached picture of Breyer’s peach whatever-sweet-thing-it-is. I also suspect that they probably fail one of the other rules as well maybe with a stabilizer?

      Palm oil and derivatives are starting to be used more and more because of either their inherent relative stability or because they can be fractionated or processed into more stable fats. These are being used more and more because they’re cheap and they don’t have the same stigma as trans/hydrogenated fats that consumers are learning to avoid. I really can’t help but wonder if they’re going to be the next mass-produced food thing we figure out (many years later) have other adverse health effects we didn’t anticipate.

  41. Waltersinister3 says:

    So what is the actual difference?

    • Marlin says:

      Milkfat % and fillers to make up for lack on milkfat in hopes you can’t tell.

      I can tell, and even my 3 year old as well.

  42. SilentAgenger says:

    This reminds me of my experience with Grape Nuts. I opened up the box…there’s no grapes…there’s no nuts…what’s the deal here?!?

    /seinfeld

  43. Mark702 says:

    I was curious about this when i bought ice cream for the first time in a while. I had a choice of “ice cream” for about $4 for 1.5 pint or 1.75 pint of “frozen dairy dessert” for $2. I tried the cheap stuff and it tastes artificial, not good. It was softer than the real ice cream too, I didn’t like the soft-serve style of it, I like the solid classic ice cream.

  44. sjgarg says:

    This really isn’t new. This has been going on in Canada for at least 5 years with ice creams like Breyer’s slowly being labeled “Frozen Dessert”. Maybe there are stricter food labeling guidelines in Canada?

    There’s always the classic example of Kraft Dinner vs. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, it doesn’t meet the definition of cheese to have it mentioned in the product’s name.

    Other recent examples in Canada include chocolate milk being labeled “Chocolate Dairy Beverage” with no mention of milk in the name.

    • dibarnu says:

      I heard it was a trademark issue — that macaroni and cheese was too generic to trademark. That makes a lot more sense to me than the cheese content, because not only does kraft dinner have the word cheese all over the box but other brands are called macaroni and cheese.

  45. MuleHeadJoe says:

    So “Carol” exclaims that “people are horrified, as I am!! This is one of the most egregious cases of trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes I have ever seen.”

    I’m sorry, I see no wool in this. I see an ice-cream-like product that doesn’t meet the USDA standards for calling it ice cream, so guess what? They DIDN’T call it ice cream. Nothing is hidden or disguised, the complainant is simply a whiner. ‘Frozen dairy treats’ (i.e., things that are not ice cream) have been around for ages, some more some less like ice cream of the traditional sort, but I can only think that a person must be intellectually challenged to declaim that the wool is being pulled over their eyes when the only wool is the hazy lack of reading comprehension existing in said complainants head.

    And I never buy Breyer’s brand, so it doesn’t matter one whit to me anyhow. Dreyer’s (aka Edy’s east of the Rockies) is a far better product. :-)

    • El_Fez says:

      Nothing is hidden or disguised

      Well, aside from the packaging looking exactly the same as Real Ice Cream, the “This is not Ice Cream” being announced in tiny font on the front and that it’s being sold right next to the Real Ice Cream?

      Nope, nothing deceptive here.

      • MuleHeadJoe says:

        In my experience, it’s only “Real Ice Cream” if it *says* it’s real ice cream on the label.

        Do you look at sherbert, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and soft-serv and immediatly think “if they don’t put up ‘Not Real Ice Cream’ in flashing neon letters a foot high, then they are lying to me!” ? Those things are all “frozen dairy treats” or at least “frozen treats” … hmmm, cold-but-not-necessarily-frozen dairy-treat-emulating desert products … anyhow, if you see is a picture of it, are you automatically going to ASSUME it’s “Real Ice Cream”?

  46. Bob A Dobalina says:

    “Mmmm, this buteorpropynol biphenel diphosphate is just as good as the stuff made with milk”

    Yeah, Breyers, that happened

  47. BlueTomato says:

    Fortunately, it’s still very easy to make your own.

  48. BeerFox says:

    I’m okay with the change (fine, they cut corners, and now it gets to sit with the Velveeta and Bac-O’s). But that response was very poorly-conceived. You changed something, and your customers asked, “Well…what exactly changed?” The response of “Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head about that, it tastes *just* as good!” is going to make your average customer think you’re trying to hide something (even though, as has been pointed out, they’re being quite open about the change from a product-labeling standpoint).

  49. Jimmy37 says:

    Geez, it wasn’t too long ago that Bryers’ classic ice cream had 3 basic ingredients: milk, cream, and sugar, and the flavors, like nuts or fruit or chocolate.

    I had no problem paying a little extra for real ice cream. I avoided the other stuff with the gums, artificial colors & flavors, and preservatives. Now, you can’t get away from it, unless you go super-premium.

  50. Jimmy37 says:

    ” At least now I know to read ice cream labels carefully at the grocery store.”

    I’m sorry, but anyone who reads Consumeris and doesn’t read the labels of EVERTYTHING they buy shouldn’t be shopping. Companies are on a campaign to put less and less food into the stuff they sell.

    Fiber? Wood in the form of cellulose gum. Vitamins? More chemicals coming up. Body? Gums and starches. And the list goes on.

  51. mikeMD says:

    Isn’t this the same reason McDonalds calls their frozen treats “shakes?”

    • some.nerd says:

      “Shakes…” You don’t even know what you’re getting!
      I prefer my partially-gelatinated gum-based beverages.

  52. DZ says:

    Ahem! Maybe need to change that to: “At least now I know to read ice cream (and frozen dairy dessert) labels carefully at the grocery store.” Hey, isn’t Unilever a soap maker too? Maybe they have included some surplus product to make it “smooth as Dove soap”??

  53. pegasi says:

    the problem I see is that the majority of Breyer’s ice cream products USED to be “ice cream” based products NOT “frozen dairy desert” products.

    Now you have to read the labels and check to make sure the product that you liked is still “ice cream” and not reformulated crud with more preservatives and chemical products versus being real food.

    I don’t eat much “ice cream” anymore because the cheap brands calling themselves “ice cream” have HFCS as the number one or two ingredient – and the stuff tastes awful to me. I’ve been working on excluding this nasty crap from what I eat, and its paid off in the weight department – so why would I buy a dessert made primarily out of it?

    It’s worth it to spend the extra money and buy a quality product that has real food in it… and that USED to be this brand…. Sooooo……. I too will be evaluating what’s in other brands and considering where to spend my limited food dollars.

    Thanks for the heads up to read the labels and be on the lookout for this garbage!!

  54. PurplePenquin says:

    “Helen sent us some photos of a carton of peach flavored ice cream she bought recently”

    No she didn’t. She bought a carton of frozen dairy dessert.

    :D

  55. july18 says:

    when there’s more sugar & corn syrup than there is cream – why not just add hydrogenated transfats and make it more shelfstable and forego the cost of refrigeration?

  56. BurtReynolds says:

    I guess that half gallon of coffee ice cream in my chest freezer is a collector’s item now. I’ll have to save it for a special occasion.

    And I won’t be buying the new Breyers frozen dairy chemical elixir. If I want shitty artificial tasting ice cream, there are cheaper options.

  57. samandiriel says:

    I got stung by this when I was visiting in Phoenix earlier this year… and there is definitely a taste difference. I went for the Oreo “dessert”, and on tasting it was kind of grossed out. Not only did it just taste wrong, but there are no longer cookie chunks in the dessert – just specks of highly ground biscuit.

    I then checked out the package thoroughly and discovered it wasn’t ice cream. Ugh. I then put it in the sink to melt down the drain overnight. Came back in the AM… and it was still a mostly solid mass. Just a big wad of gum and oog.

    Personally, I think a better name than “Frozen Dairy Dessert” would be “Chilled Dessert Loaf”.

  58. some.nerd says:

    Wow, isn’t this the same company that had an ad campaign for the better part of the last 20 years advertising how they DIDN’T use artificial ingredients like “Polysorbate 80?” and “LOCUST BEANS?!”
    (relevant link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-GlBK82nuA )

  59. dks64 says:

    Breyer’s went down in quality in 2006 when they went against their reputation. Does anyone else remember the commercials of the kids being able to read the ingredients list? That’s how they sold their ice cream, then they went the complete opposite way. Ridiculous. I would have paid more for it.

  60. mxjohnson says:

    I sent in a tip about this on March 17, 2011. Even Breyer’s website was still calling those flavors “ice cream.” I also complained to the local supermarket, which had signs and shelf tags calling it Ice Cream.

    So, I’m glad to see this made it to Consumerist, even if it’s 18 months late.

  61. mulch says:

    China is importing massive amounts of milk and butterfat, perhaps this is a case of the cheese-makers children getting nothing but whey?
    http://www.fas.usda.gov/dlp/circular/2010/dairy_December2010.pdf

  62. lauren6318 says:

    pshew! regulations to keep ice cream “ice cream”. unlike most other food-like products…

  63. Timmah says:

    Never again. Funny thing is, some of the local grocery stores around here have All Natural Ice Cream… way better than this poison. It used to be good