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.”