3 On Your Side: Not Quite Ice Cream

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a favorite treat of summertime!  But is that ice cream in your freezer all that it used to be?  As 3 On Your side consumer reporter Jim Donovan finds ice cream is having an identity crisis!

Breyers started making ice cream in Philadelphia way back in 1866, but recently something changed.

“I thought I was buying ice cream,” said consumer Mary Bach.

Bach has been buying Breyers butter pecan for years but the last time she bought it she noticed something different.

“I served it to a couple of family members who immediately said something is wrong with this product,” said Bach.

After reading the label, Bach noticed the words frozen dairy dessert, not ice cream like the container used to say.

Butter pecan and other popular Breyers flavors like cookies n cream, chocolate chip cookie dough and rocky road are now called frozen dairy dessert because Breyers changed the ingredients and legally they can no longer be called ice cream.

And consumers have been voicing their outrage over the change.  One ice cream blogger wrote “frozen dairy dessert is the scourge of the ice cream aisle! “

And it’s not just Breyers.  Turkey Hill’s stuff’d flavors are frozen dairy dessert.

So is this chocolate peanut butter cup made by Friendly’s.

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,” said Bach.

The company says 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 says in a national side by side taste test “our fans like the new recipe just as much as the original.”

The FDA says ice cream can’t be less than 10 percent dairy fat.

By the way, Breyers does still make ice cream in some flavors.  Just be sure to check the packaging.

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