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Breyer's Ice Cream


DonRocks
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Breyer's vanilla used to be my favorite flavor of ice cream. I can't even tell you how much of it I ate over the years. Then it began to decline. I haven't eaten it in probably more than a decade. It's been on a downward slide for quite a while.

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Breyer's went to the dark side years ago. Along with Sealtest and most other fabled US brands.

But have to stress again, Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry's are still fine IF and ONLY IF you check labels. HD especially is not using corn syrup of any kind in its standard flavors (chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, strawberry); just sugar as sweetener. B&J same though they sweeten those same kinds of standard flavors with a simple syrup (made with cane sugar--not corn). And, of course, the various independents/dairies we've been discussing on the milkshakes thread. HD shouldn't be avoided unilaterally--just most of their flavors should be per the above (assuming you're prone to avoid artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, lengtheners and coloring agents as I am). Those flavors to be avoided, the majority of those on offer, include swiss almond which I think you (Rocks) used to favor. Just not right to diss HD and B&J wholesale IMHO.

But, yeah, Breyer's sucks, has no redeeming qualities and has been that way for a long time.

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Yes, in my youth- Breyers coffee ice cream, my crack....haven't tried it in years, best not to think about it...

I liked the coffee too. I liked pretty much all of the flavors. The strawberry and peach used to have actual fruit in them. The butter pecan was my dad's favorite.

:mellow::unsure::blink:;)

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I liked the coffee too. I liked pretty much all of the flavors. The strawberry and peach used to have actual fruit in them. The butter pecan was my dad's favorite.

:mellow::unsure::blink:;)

Yep, it was the ice cream I grew up with, and my dad was particularly loyal. I haven't had it in years, though, because at some point I thought it had developed a gritty texture.

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Breyer's was never a superpremium, but I don't remember it being totally awful, once upon a time.

Sadly, that will have to remain a fading memory.  It would take a heavy dose of "wrong" to screw up a "Samoa" GS cookie-flavored ice cream, but somehow they've made it happen...it's nothing at all like ice cream.  Bleccch.

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Breyer's was never a superpremium, but I don't remember it being totally awful, once upon a time.

Sadly, that will have to remain a fading memory.  It would take a heavy dose of "wrong" to screw up a "Samoa" GS cookie-flavored ice cream, but somehow they've made it happen...it's nothing at all like ice cream.  Bleccch.

Can throw all environmental, societal and health principles aside.  Breyers is just one of many "ice cream" brands that long ago stopped being real.  Ice cream shouldn't have 15 or more ingredients including a third of the periodic table and random chemicals.  Compare the ingredient list in a WF to Dolcezza or Jeni's.  Those are real and, most importantly, just taste so much better.

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Can throw all environmental, societal and health principles aside.  Breyers is just one of many "ice cream" brands that long ago stopped being real.  Ice cream shouldn't have 15 or more ingredients including a third of the periodic table and random chemicals.  Compare the ingredient list in a WF to Dolcezza or Jeni's.  Those are real and, most importantly, just taste so much better.

At 4 times the price. Just like I can't afford to get all of my produce from organic farmers, and all of my meat from humane sources, sometimes you just need ice cream without a second mortgage.

The basic Breyer's chocolate, vanilla, etc. are still good.

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At 4 times the price. Just like I can't afford to get all of my produce from organic farmers, and all of my meat from humane sources, sometimes you just need ice cream without a second mortgage.

The basic Breyer's chocolate, vanilla, etc. are still good.

Of course to each his own. And, of course true that better quality foods tend to be produced at smaller scale so unsubsidized and thus more expensive. That said, there are wide ranges. The DuPont Farmers market, for example, has much higher prices than smaller markets well outside the city or more east in DC. And, the same pint of good gelato from Dolcezza can have a price difference of 3 to 4 dollars depending on where purchased.

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Thinking more about Daniel's "2nd mortgage" concern, I neglected to suggest another option. Trickling Springs makes an excellent ice cream with minimal ingredients, no chemicals, dyes or other synthetic stabilizers, emulsifiers, lengtheners, coloring agents and the like. They operate full-serve shops at the dairy and at Union Market. And the half gallons and pints are available through grocery stores including WF.

Trickling Springs Pints are $5. $10 for a half gallon. And, imho, no comparison between it and Breyers or other large processed food company offerings.

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Trickling Springs makes an excellent ice cream

Yes, they do - and it's available at Yes! (which is walking distance to my house.) Although the stand at Union Market has MANY more flavors than the Yes! does.

Also, the Yes carries Alden's ice cream, which I like a lot, especially the blackberry.

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Trickling Springs Pints are $5. $10 for a half gallon. And, imho, no comparison between it and Breyers or other large processed food company offerings.

Precisely why it's unaffordable...on a sale, you can easily get 2 half gallons for $10 or less.

Breyer's, minus their fancy flavor line, is still not bad comparatively for ingredients to price. But after switching to Harris Teeter's green lid house brand, I found Breyer's too sweet for me now, actually.

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Precisely why it's unaffordable...on a sale, you can easily get 2 half gallons for $10 or less.

Breyer's, minus their fancy flavor line, is still not bad comparatively for ingredients to price. But after switching to Harris Teeter's green lid house brand, I found Breyer's too sweet for me now, actually.

Don't you think "unaffordable" is relative (to individual buyers and the products themselves)?  Now you have me thinking of MickeyD's relative to Ray's on burgers, coffee from Starbucks relative to making Maxwell house at home, etc.  Maybe just different opinions.

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Don't you think "unaffordable" is relative (to individual buyers and the products themselves)? Now you have me thinking of MickeyD's relative to Ray's on burgers, coffee from Starbucks relative to making Maxwell house at home, etc. Maybe just different opinions.

Hm, would you like a side of snark with that?

Yes, economically, "unaffordable" is indeed relative. But I think your usage should perhaps be leaning toward "subjective tastes," instead of economic affordability.

Because no, I don't see you preferring MickeyD's or Maxwell coffee, so you'll make room in your budget for them. But sometimes, some our budgets just don't reach those things, no matter how we stretch them, so our tastes can't include them. (well, not if I still want some savings in my bank for a rainy day emergency...)

This convo reminds me of the YouTube video I saw of cacao harvesters tasting chocolate bars for the first time, after harvesting the beans for many years....

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Hm, would you like a side of snark with that?

Yes, economically, "unaffordable" is indeed relative. But I think your usage should perhaps be leaning toward "subjective tastes," instead of economic affordability.

Because no, I don't see you preferring MickeyD's or Maxwell coffee, so you'll make room in your budget for them. But sometimes, some our budgets just don't reach those things, no matter how we stretch them, so our tastes can't include them. (well, not if I still want some savings in my bank for a rainy day emergency...)

This convo reminds me of the YouTube video I saw of cacao harvesters tasting chocolate bars for the first time, after harvesting the beans for many years....

Huh? This is the kind of exchange maybe best not had on a website.  It bums me out and I'm confused. Certainly wasn't trying to be snarky in any way. And, don't think I was the one who first introduced the notion of any kind of "affordability" or economics on this thread.

I'm not personally a Breyers fan.  Of course fine and great that others are.  As for second mortgages and affordability and all the related interpretations (and very serious issues), none of that was on my radar in posting a subjective view about some ice creams versus others.  Your example of cacao harvesters makes me think this is one of the biggest misunderstandings (very possibly all mine) I've ever had on this website. With apologies if I offended.  To say that wasn't my intent understates the case by a great deal.

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Thinking more about Daniel's "2nd mortgage" concern, I neglected to suggest another option. Trickling Springs makes an excellent ice cream with minimal ingredients, no chemicals, dyes or other synthetic stabilizers, emulsifiers, lengtheners, coloring agents and the like. They operate full-serve shops at the dairy and at Union Market. And the half gallons and pints are available through grocery stores including WF.

Trickling Springs Pints are $5. $10 for a half gallon. And, imho, no comparison between it and Breyers or other large processed food company offerings.

Regular price on Breyer's is about $5, $3 on a decent sale. So Trickling Springs is at best DOUBLE the price, sometimes more. And I don't have to drive 45 minutes to get it.

Note: entire ingredients list for Breyer's Vanilla: milk, cream, sugar, tara gum, natural flavor

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Regular price on Breyer's is about $5, $3 on a decent sale. So Trickling Springs is at best DOUBLE the price, sometimes more. And I don't have to drive 45 minutes to get it.

Note: entire ingredients list for Breyer's Vanilla: milk, cream, sugar, tara gum, natural flavor

Again, great that you or anyone prefer something for which others have a different view, for whatever reasons. That's what this site is all about, right? Sharing points of view? If we could disagree more agreeably in the world, we'd all be better off, well beyond food.

On Breyers, and again just my view, I think it very unlikely a company could profitably market a quantity of high-quality, real ice cream at as low a price as large companies sell in big grocery stores and mass merchants. The attractively priced product could be a loss leader (intended to be unprofitable). Or, it could be a product with various liberties taken with packaging, ingredients and manufacturing processes to lower costs. Breyers is now a Unilever business of course. And the evidence seems to indicate they've been active with all three of those cost-reduction levers, reducing package sizes, tweaking ingredients and making processes move faster and more cost effectively.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/dining/remembering-when-breyers-ice-cream-was-you-know-ice-cream.html?_r=0

http://www.homemadehints.com/unnatural-breyers-ice-cream/

http://www.city-data.com/forum/food-drink/1778383-if-you-like-breyers-ice-cream-8.html

http://adailyscoop.com/breyers-natural-ice-cream-and-tara-gum-unilevers-response/

Some of the info above focuses on the cleverly named "frozen dairy dessert" which is a different formulation from the cartons labeled "ice cream" as I know you know. But, with Breyers ice cream, there are other signs of how they get the cost down. First, the use of mystery ingredient "tara gum," which wasn't always there and isn't in better quality ice creams. Second the use of the term "natural flavors," equally mysterious, and in place of what any reasonable reader might expect to see: vanilla, vanilla extract, etc. And, there is the issue of air, not required by the FDA for the label. A tried and true way to get manufacturing cost down is to pump it with lots of air. This is why products like those available from Trickling Springs, a good dairy farm, Dolcezza or even what we can make at home, are much more dense and richer.

Finally, I'll offer two points apart from the ingredient stuff.

1. If you read some of the background above, you'll notice portions where Unilever (or their PR firm) "respond" to questions. You be the judge as to the honesty, completeness and tone of those responses.

2. Let's not forget who the people are behind the more expensive products. I won't paste in a bunch more links here but, suffice to say, providers of the better, higher-priced products are small, family-run farms, small-scale entrepreneurs and families and smaller private companies. Not publicly traded corporations with hundreds of different product categories and worldwide footprints.

Of course I totally understand how we all place different levels of value on different things. Like you, I often opt for something less expensive or more convenient. I do it every day. As you say, can't afford the money or time to get everything from the best sources. For my family, we do place higher value on ice cream for all the reasons above. We don't get it as often as we might since it is expensive. There was nothing "snarky" intended in my post above likening this to fast food or supermarket coffee sold in cans. I think it analagous.

These issues are the same with any food category. We all seek out great local spots sometimes whether for bagels, Chinese food or coffee when we could buy lower cost alternatives at a big supermarket or fast-food window. To each his or her own. I don't condemn anyone else's choices. Just explaining my own here.

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You're mostly still missing the point.

Your last paragraphs starts to get there. This topic started off as a discussion on Breyer's, and soon became a "don't eat it because the premium products are better."

Well, of COURSE they're better. But that's true of every product out there, and every restaurant. I try to avoid fast food because it's bad for you, but when I need to do food on the run, I don't drive 30 minutes down to Ray's to the Third just to get a great burger. I drive through whatever is convenient and keep on my way. I can't afford to spend $20+/lb on daily coffee, so I wait for something decent to go on sale at Harris Teeter or Costco and stock up.

When I'm in the grocery store, and need to pick up a half-gallon of ice cream to serve, 9 times out of 10 I'm just going to grab the Breyer's (or another decent brand on sale), rather than grabbing something half the size at twice the price, or driving 30 minutes to some local creamery.

We have a bad habit on this website (I'm sure I'm just as guilty on occasion) of comparing every product or restaurant to the best in class. To have a best in class, you have to have a rest of the class, and there are a million valid reasons why the others are the right choice at any given time. There's nothing wrong with discussing Breyer's, and an offhand remark to higher quality products is fine, but the comparison should be to similar classes of products. I don't see us comparing the steaks at Ray's to Sizzler.

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You're mostly still missing the point.

Your last paragraphs starts to get there. This topic started off as a discussion on Breyer's, and soon became a "don't eat it because the premium products are better."

...

We have a bad habit on this website (I'm sure I'm just as guilty on occasion) of comparing every product or restaurant to the best in class. To have a best in class, you have to have a rest of the class, and there are a million valid reasons why the others are the right choice at any given time. There's nothing wrong with discussing Breyer's, and an offhand remark to higher quality products is fine, but the comparison should be to similar classes of products. I don't see us comparing the steaks at Ray's to Sizzler.

Daniel.  Sorry you think I've mostly missed your point.  Likewise that you feel "we have a bad habit on this website."

Don't think I ever suggested anyone not eat anything.  That's a key aspect of this. What I did do, way above in post 13, was simply to express a view about Breyers.  No different from the view Don expressed in the first post.  And, no different from post #6, in which Dr Xmus shared Don's negative view and compared it his preference, Ben & Jerrry's, a higher-priced product though, interestingly, that didn't come up then.

For whatever it's worth, I liked that you pushed initially a bit on the cost side because that forced me to think harder about lower priced options (local farms, etc.) than the first two alternatives (Dolcezza & Jenis) I'd mentioned.  it even led to a newer poster creating his first new topic; a good thing.  Like most of us, this stuff is all about value more than price for me. Terms like "second mortgage" and "unaffordable", to me, brought this into a different realm than where it had been.

Disagree on your habit view. I think it not only fine but also good that we all regularly express views whether positive or not.  Speaking only for myself, when I express a negative view, it's not always in relation to a much-higher-priced alternative (what I think you mean by "best in class" here).  It's often in relation to similarly priced (or even lower priced) but, in my own opinion, preferred alternatives. I try to support those views when I make them so they're not just assertions.  In the case of ice cream, many will understandably feel $10 is way more than they'd want to spend for a pint of ice cream (Jeni's) for different reasons. Likewise $8 (Dolcezza).  And, yes, for many, also true at $5 (Trickling Springs). Or for convenience reasons. These aren't bad or wrong decisions in any way and I never said they were. They're all very valid in the same way that any opinion is valid. We place different value on different things.  We have different preferences. That's all very obvious and I don't need all caps to convey the sentiment.  I'm not a Breyers fan for the reasons I enumerated. That's simply where "this started" as I recall.

Whether this still misses some point doesn't concern me too much.  I learn a ton regularly from many people here on the board.  That's why I started trying to give back with some perspective several years ago after years of lurking.  If someone has a negative view of something I like, I try to understand their thinking while never condemning it. Sometimes it'll change my mind. Sometimes not. That's all.  Think we've beaten this horse pretty dead.  Hope you have a great weekend.

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The other day, my husband wanted to make himself a cup of hot chocolate, and the only mix I had in the house was Ghiradelli.

"I don't like that one. Don't we have any Swiss Miss?"

We didn't. I offered to make him wonderful hot chocolate from scratch, using Mexican chocolate or Callebaut cocoa powder.

"Never mind. I just won't have any. Next time you're at the store, get some Swiss Miss for me. That's what I like."

It isn't about Swiss Miss being less expensive than more upscale choices in the hot chocolate spectrum. After all, I already had better IMO choices in the house.

He didn't take too kindly to my (unspoken) opinion that Swiss Miss is industrially produced crap-ola, and by inference that he has an impoverished palate. He likes it, along with other things that IMO are god-awful, like McDonald's quarter pounders and neighborhood take-out Chinese with gloppy sweet sauces.

He likes things that I am not willing to eat, and reacts with defensive anger when I try to suggest that there are better choices. Sometimes it's about money, but not often. So I choose my battles cautiously and this is not one I am willing to take on. I bought him a box of Swiss Miss a couple of days later, and he smiled and said "thank you." And I just shrugged and said "you're welcome." What're you gonna do?

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The other day, my husband wanted to make himself a cup of hot chocolate, and the only mix I had in the house was Ghiradelli.

"I don't like that one. Don't we have any Swiss Miss?"

We didn't. I offered to make him wonderful hot chocolate from scratch, using Mexican chocolate or Callebaut cocoa powder.

"Never mind. I just won't have any. Next time you're at the store, get some Swiss Miss for me. That's what I like."

It isn't about Swiss Miss being less expensive than more upscale choices in the hot chocolate spectrum. After all, I already had better IMO choices in the house.

He didn't take too kindly to my (unspoken) opinion that Swiss Miss is industrially produced crap-ola, and by inference that he has an impoverished palate. He likes it, along with other things that IMO are god-awful, like McDonald's quarter pounders and neighborhood take-out Chinese with gloppy sweet sauces.

He likes things that I am not willing to eat, and reacts with defensive anger when I try to suggest that there are better choices. Sometimes it's about money, but not often. So I choose my battles cautiously and this is not one I am willing to take on. I bought him a box of Swiss Miss a couple of days later, and he smiled and said "thank you." And I just shrugged and said "you're welcome." What're you gonna do?

Thanks for this. I think in everyday life (decidedly offline!) we all have interactions like the one you describe. Relationships, context, history and facial expression/tone all help guide us to accept and not take on battles not worth waging. On a food-oriented website, where opinions are the coin of the realm and all that offline stuff isn't available to us, it's tougher sometimes to discern a battle where one thanks a good, constructive discussion or debate was sprouting.

Thanks again. For a post that is grounding and relatable for anyone.

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I'm glad I don't like ice cream.

Quick, someone notify the DHS!  We have either an alien or a dangerous subversive in our midst!

(Actually, one of my dear childhood friends did not like it either.  It may have been a texture thing for him; he was a bit picky as a kid though nowhere near the extreme that some of my kid's friends have reached. )

And to put this back on topic:  I made the most ridulously easy ice cream over the holidays.  We chucked most of a quart of Homestead Dairy's egg nog into our churn--it brought me back to the days when the milk delivery company would provide ice cream mix on special order, only this was much, much better.

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I'm glad I don't like ice cream.

I used to love ice cream and ate it several times a week when I was younger.  Now I eat it probably no more than several times a year, so I don't mind splurging for a pint of more premium ice cream when  I buy it. The funny thing is that when I was a kid, we always considered Breyer's the fancier stuff.  Now it's mass market.

If I were in a household where we were eating several half gallons a month, I guess I might buy the cheaper stuff.  As it is, we usually end up throwing out some of a pint uneaten, after it's been in the freezer for close to a year and has gotten icy.

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I used to love ice cream and ate it several times a week when I was younger.  Now I eat it probably no more than several times a year, so I don't mind splurging for a pint of more premium ice cream when  I buy it. The funny thing is that when I was a kid, we always considered Breyer's the fancier stuff.  Now it's mass market.

If I were in a household where we were eating several half gallons a month, I guess I might buy the cheaper stuff.  As it is, we usually end up throwing out some of a pint uneaten, after it's been in the freezer for close to a year and has gotten icy.

This describes our approach to a T. Except we probably consume a pint per month. When I was a kid, we always had the half-gallon cartons and also thought Breyers an excellent brand. Then, in the 80s, super premiums like Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's and, the brand with the best ads*, Frusen Gladje, came out. Now there are many.

But you're right. If we used a gallon or more per month, we might buy cheaper stuff too.

*I'm near certain I remember a Frusen Gladje ad like the second one I linked to above but with a blonde supermodel instead of the soap opera star.  Couldn't find that one in a quick search.  The model delivered the same lines with greater defiance.

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People are definitely lower on my list of favorites than dogs, but some of them are okay.

Actually, having just written that, I started thinking back on some of the people who have been dearest to me, and I have to say, I love people. At least those people. I was starting to get sentimental, but have now decided to keep it to myself.

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People are definitely lower on my list of favorites than dogs, but some of them are okay.

  

Actually, having just written that, I started thinking back on some of the people who have been dearest to me, and I have to say, I love people. At least those people. I was starting to get sentimental, but have now decided to keep it to myself.

"Like" on both posts. Merely clicking the buttons seemed insufficient.

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