PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You might want to check the label the next time you reach for that carton of ice cream.
You probably haven’t noticed, but something very subtle is happening in the ice cream aisle and not everyone is happy about it.
Breyers has been making ice cream since 1866, but if you look closely, ice cream isn’t ice cream anymore. It’s frozen dairy dessert.
“I thought I was buying ice cream,” Mary Bach said.
Bach has been buying Breyers’ butter pecan for years, but the last time she bought it, something was different.
“I brought it home and I served it to a couple of family members, who immediately said something is wrong with this product,” Bach said.
After reading the label, Bach noticed the words “frozen dairy dessert,” not “ice cream” like the container used to say.
“It’s definitely not ice cream and to me and my family, it certainly doesn’t taste like ice cream,” Bach said.
Butter pecan and other popular Breyers flavors like cookies & cream, chocolate chip cookie dough and rocky road are now called frozen dairy dessert. The change in name is because Breyers changed the ingredients and legally they can no longer call their product ice cream.
One ice cream blogger wrote, “Frozen Dairy Dessert is the scourge of the ice cream aisle!.”
However, it’s not just Breyers. Turkey Hill’s Stuff’d flavors are frozen dairy dessert and so is chocolate peanut butter cup made by Friendly’s.
“I think if people knew it was frozen dairy dessert they might think twice about buying it,” Bach said.
So, why did Breyers make the change on so many of its flavors? Here’s what Bach thinks.
“I am convinced that Breyers did this change over with most of its flavors as a cost-cutting measure,” Bach said.
The company said it makes frozen dairy dessert because it’s, “blended in a whole new way to create a smoother texture.”
It “tends to have less fat” than ice cream and the company said in a national side by side taste test “our fans like the new recipe just as much as the original. ”
We set up our own taste test with five college students. None of them had ever heard of frozen dairy dessert.
“I would never have noticed that if you hadn’t said anything,” Elysa Sanchez said.
However, when we put frozen dairy dessert up against real ice cream there was a noticeable difference.
“When I had them side-by-side, I definitely liked the ice cream more,” Phil Navatsyk said.
“I am now going to look at the package and make sure it’s ice cream. I mean, this tastes good, but I would much rather have the ice cream,” Courtny Jodon said.
Also, we seemed to hit a nerve when we mentioned Breyers changed its recipe, but not its price.
“It’s not real ice cream, but you’re still charging me more than $6 for fake ice cream? I [want to] pay for real ice cream,” Sanchez said.
In the end, the college students, who value their money and treats, made one thing very clear: they prefer ice cream over frozen dairy dessert.
They said they would pick ice cream every time, if given the choice. Even if companies raised prices, they were willing to pay more for real ice cream.
Breyers isn’t saying it changed its recipe to save money, but Turkey Hill who uses frozen dairy dessert in its Stuff’d varieties said it does that “to keep production costs in line.”
The Stuff’d varieties have lots of goodies like cookies and candy and nuts and are more expensive to make.