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Jan 20, 2009 10:33 AM

The end of haagen-daz

Constant use of corn syrup in the majority of their flavors, even their classic flavors, to me spells the end of this once great brand. I emailed them about it and their response was that their decision was well tested and done for the purpose of taste.

Corn syrup is pretty crappy, often leaves you feeling like crap, and is totally unnecessary. The problem is so bad that they even use it in the chocolate chips for the Vanilla Chocolate Chip flavor, but get this... not for the chocolate chips in the Chocolate Chocolate Chip flavor.

As of today I will now be making my own ice cream. Ta-ta Haagen-Daz.

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  1. foodsmith, they also boast about the painful decision they just made and their reduction being only a couple of spoonfuls, so you should not be surprised.

    Have you tried Ciao Bella gelato in pints? Expensive, but very good and still a pint.

    54 Replies
    1. re: dolores

      Oh how the mighty have fallen. I will check out Ciao Bella, it is available in my area, although I have never been a fan of gelato. If I'm not mistaken it uses all milk, instead of any cream. I am more of an egg/custart HDaz kind of person. I will look forward to making my own, and making it better and cheaper than HD :)

      1. re: foodsmith

        Oh, I wasn't aware of that. Outside of the key lime, which I found weird, they all seemed creamy to me. I too loved H/D but they are dead to me now.

        If you make your own, check out 'Perfect Scoop' - the Vietnamese coffee is insanely easy and delish.

        1. re: dolores

          I also feel they have been lax in getting flavors out there. Every store I go to is limited to 50 quantities of butter pecan, the most inane flavor ever. I didn't even know there was a creme brulle. They should market it better in their retail chain.

          Oh well. I could care less now.

          1. re: foodsmith

            True, I had to hunt down creme brulee and only found it in Morton Williams. I now probably have all that is left in pints of that flavor -- jk.

            I agree with you. And so it goes.

        2. re: foodsmith

          Ciao Bella's sorbets are better than their gelato! Personal taste-tasted at both stores and store-bought pints in NYC. ;D

        3. re: dolores

          The pistachio Ciao Bella gelato is divine.

          1. re: dolores

            Well, you'll get a kick out of this letter I got back from them after I sent them a scathing reprimand for employing the 'grocery shrink ray' on their products. For several years now, quite a few manufacturers have been quietly downsizing their products whilst charging the same price. Apparently, they feel that we are too stupid to notice the change in the package size but will balk at paying a higher price for the product..

            Anyways, here's the response I got:

            "Thank you for your email regarding the change to the size of our Häagen-Dazs cartons. We understand your concern and appreciate your giving us the opportunity to explain.

            Over the past few years, the cost of all-natural ingredients, like fresh eggs, top-quality raspberries, and Madagascar vanilla, has increased by an average of 25%. The energy required to make and deliver our products has risen in cost as well, despite the recent dip in gasoline prices.

            By slightly reducing the size of some of our cartons, we're balancing our need to cover our increased costs with the realization that our country is in an economic recession. We wanted to avoid a price increase that could put Häagen-Dazs out of reach for consumers. Given the quality of our ingredients, the time and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of each unique flavor and the fact that we deliver our ice cream fresh directly to store shelves, we continue to believe our product is a great value for consumers seeking the best that ice cream has to offer.

            This was a difficult decision. But we hope you'll agree that our promise to never sacrifice the quality of our ice cream - what we put in as well as what we leave out - is what the Häagen-Dazs brand is all about. The carton may have changed slightly, but your Häagen-Dazs ice cream has not. You can count on that."

            1. re: meadandale

              It's good that they responded, but, according to several posters here (HD fans), they HAVE been changing their recipes and begun including products such as HCFS. I wonder why they would use such blanket language when it isn't quite true.

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                Exactly! meadandale, you should write back and give them a link to this thread, LOL. Tell them we know the jig is up, and that they are putting HFCS in their ice cream and therefore their response is either ignorant or dishonest.

                1. re: vvvindaloo

                  jfood just looked at a half a dozen flavors and other than butter pecan (jfood does not care since he has a nut allergy) not one of them had any HFCS, BP did not have HFCS but there were several other ingredients that would not enters jfood's ice cream maker.

                  So which flavors have the HFCS?.

                  1. re: jfood

                    It's just plain corn syrup, not HFCS. Still, HD used to be known for avoiding it in their flavors. You know, "made like no other." Increasingly, not no mo'.

                    1. re: jfood

                      The following *majority* the flavors have corn syrup:

                      Vanilla Chocolate Chip
                      ALL the "Reserve" flavors
                      Banana Split
                      Peppermint Bark
                      Caramel Cone
                      ALL the contest winners (such as English Toffee Pudding and the new Pear dessert)

                      Mint Chip
                      Rocky Road
                      Vanilla Swiss Almond
                      White Chocolate Rasberry Truffle
                      Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

                      1. re: foodsmith

                        jfood is not defending HD since he does not buy it but here is the ingredients from their web site from 3 years ago:

                        Vanilla Chocolate Chip:
                        "Ingredients and Nutrition Facts are current as of January 2006. Please see shelf packaging for any changes.
                        Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk (Lactose Reduced), Sugar, Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Vanilla), Egg Yolks, Corn Syrup, Natural Vanilla, Salt. "

                        Cookies & Cream:
                        "Ingredients and Nutrition Facts are current as of January 2006. Please see shelf packaging for any changes.
                        Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Chocolate Cookie Pieces (Flour, Sugar, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Corn Syrup, Baking Soda, Chocolate Liquor, Salt) Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla. "

                        Many of the flavors had corn syrup three years ago. Sounds a little unreasonable to bring it up now as a change of recipe.

                        Just a thought.

                        1. re: jfood

                          It is the ice cream itself that will now have the corn syrup.

                          In both your examples it was the ingredients such as the chocolate chips or the cookies that had the corn syrup.

                          However, the pure flavors - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee ...etc, only had sugar and never corn syrup.

                          Here's the email I got back when I complained about the corn syrup ... well, told them I wouldn't be buying their product any more and would switch to other brands that did not have corn syrup.

                          Thank you for your email regarding HÄAGEN-DAZS® Ice Cream. We appreciate the time you have taken to pass your comments on to us.

                          The use of corn syrup goes along with the HÄAGEN-DAZS philosophy of using only "kitchen-friendly" ingredients. Corn syrup can be found in the kitchen. Please be assured that your comments have been forwarded to our Marketing Department.

                          We at HÄAGEN-DAZS® Ice Cream appreciate your interest in our company and our products. We value our consumers and we thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns

                          1. re: rworange

                            It is to laugh, RW!!! They "appreciate" your "interest"...aww, isn't that special? Sounds like corp-o-speak for "go take a flying Wallenda off a short pier".

                            1. re: adamshoe

                              Yes HD, we also appreciate your interest. Now appreciate our interest in other brands, clowns.

                            2. re: rworange

                              Out of curiosity which clause states that they will be using corn syrup in their ice cream. Looks like a major leap of data to conclusion RW.

                              1. re: jfood

                                Who cares if its in their ice cream or the condiments that go into the ice cream. It's in my mouth when I go to eat it and I can tell the difference.

                                The nonsense about it being a house ingredient is just that, nonsense. I also keep cat food in my kitchen, should they start adding that as an ingredient?

                                And jfood, who cares if its been in their recipe for 3 years. I just joined this board, I don't think there is an expiration date on complaining, as evidenced by the feedback here.

                                1. re: foodsmith

                                  throttle back buddy, this is a food DISCUSSION board not a place to release your frustration.

                                  If you do not like HD that's cool and please come here to discuss your likes and dislikes, but please keep the flame in check.

                                  When guests bring HD to casa jfood he loves eating it, it does not bother some. But for jfood's dollar, he buys elsewhere.


                                2. re: jfood

                                  The OP says HD will be using corn syrup. The response from HD acknowledges that.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    Twelve Classic Flavors do not have CS:

                                    Java chip
                                    Bailys irish cream
                                    Cherry vanilla
                                    Chocolate chocolate chip
                                    Chocolate peanut butter
                                    Pineapple coconut
                                    Rum raisin
                                    Vanilla Bean

                                    In any event after three years now it is a show stopper?

                                    Hey no skin off jfood's paws, but you gotta be fair on these boards and not make quantum leaps from innuendo and implicit extrapolation.

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      Hear hear, jfood.

                                      If corn syrup is low on the ingredient list (i.e., between egg yolks and vanilla - re-read the vanilla chip ingredients), I seriously doubt your claim that you can taste its presence. Unless you have a corn allergy, I can't imagine it being detectable - the primary sweetener is still sugar. And any home cook can give you plenty of examples of perfectly legitimate uses of corn syrup in the making of sweets.

                                      I have dietary issues with certain forms of sugar, so I read ingredient labels religiously. The prevalence of things like high-fructose corn syrup (or, in Canada, glucose-fructose) is of great concern to me for reasons I won't go into...but trust me, they're reasons that warrant the occasional rant. But to get all worked up over a little corn syrup in your ice cream seems like a waste of energy to me. Don't like it? Don't buy it. But if you think losing your business is the end of Haagen-Dazs, you must eat a lot of ice cream. No premium ice cream company will ever go out of business as long as there are single girls and bad dates.

                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                        Unless I'm mistaken, so far not one single person has posted in this thread providing a reason why the inclusion of corn syrup would enhance the quality of the product.

                                        Also, corn syrup can definitely be tasted in even small amounts, it is after all being used as the sweetener in some of the ingredients, so naturally if it wasn't something you could taste, they probably wouldn't be using it to begin with. When I first had the Mango flavor, I knew right after eating it that something was very wrong. I couldn't believe they felt the need to use corn syrup for such a simple flavor. I guess everyone is different, some people don't even think HD ice cream is any better than B&J and Bryers.

                                        In the end, to each their own I guess. I don't begrudge those who don't mind the presence of corn syrup in their HD. I am just saying that HD never needed it and never should. Sort of like 7 UP. No caffeine, never had it, never will.

                                        As to whether its worth the energy to discuss this, I guess you could turn that question on its head and ask whether its worth the energy to defend against these criticisms. This is after all a food blog and the target of the ire here has been HD, not anyone here. And yes, at the end of the day this is just ice cream. I am in large degree hamming it up a bit, as I'm sure others are as well. It's disappointing to see HD go south like this, but at the end of the day it should be the world's worst problem, and unfortunately it's not.

                                        1. re: foodsmith

                                          Okay, my bad, perhaps it was in the OTHER Haagen Dazs thread that's going on right now that someone pointed out that corn syrup, either in ice cream or in ingredients such as chocolate chips, is usually used for consistency issues, not for its sweetening properties (unless, of course, it appears above sugar in the ingredient list, or in lieu of any other sweetener, but I can't say I've ever seen that). Corn syrup is mostly glucose. Glucose interferes with the crystallization of sucrose, increasing the chances that the final food product will be creamy, not grainy, even if it is slightly mishandled. Thus the justification for using some corn syrup in a lot of candymaking and baking...anywhere that big scratchy sugar crystals might be problematic.

                                          But you say you knew something was "very wrong" when you FIRST had the mango. Maybe it's not the corn syrup, but you just don't like how HD does mango. Which is worth discussing, but there's a difference between a discussion and just telling everyone else how it ought to be. Personally, I can't eat mangos...never really liked them when I COULD eat them...have never had the HD mango flavor...and thus, I've got nuthin' there. I'm willing to concede that maybe it just isn't good, or that maybe it once was but is no longer. {shrug}

                                          Having never been an HD devotee, I wouldn't have joined the discussion at all if it weren't for the fact that throughout, your tone has rubbed me the wrong way. It's one thing to be disappointed when a product you love no longer tastes the same (a sad fact of life I can identify with), and it's always easy to find someone around here to echo your rant, which in turn will only fuel your fire. But it's another thing entirely to be snippy to jfood. Jfood's good people. ;)

                                          Welcome to Chowhound. But keep in mind, this isn't a blog, it's a discussion board. You introduce a topic, we all have a right to discuss as we see fit. And in my time here, I've noticed that people respond much more constructively to facts and specifics than to generalizations and hyperbole.

                                        2. re: Wahooty

                                          I seriously doubt your claim that you can taste its presence.

                                          If it doesn't change the taste ... and it will ... it becomes a little sweeter, sometimes to the point of being sickening .. it changes the texture.

                                          I am disappointed. i loved hd. I wrote them. That is all I can do in addition to no longer buying the product.

                                          And I can't be bothered to play the game of keeping an eye on the ingredient list and watch as corn syrup moves further up the ingredient list. A little now, most people don't notice. So when people get used to that the incrementally keep increasing it.

                                          The reason to get worked up and complain because it starts small. They start using corn syrup, then there is an additive. Why pay premium prices if it will evenutally be the same as any other cheap brand of ice cream.

                                          No, HD won't go out of business just as a thousand other brands didn't go out of business over the years replacing ingredients with cheaper stuff and adding a lab list of preservatives.

                                          But perhaps our tastes are so dumbed down we should just buy whatever is thrown on our grocery shelves and shell out $$$$ for it.

                                          That is a personal choice. I choose not to do it. If it doesn't bother other people ... bon apetit.

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            To your corporate bashing request.

                                            "Sounds like corp-o-speak for "go take a flying Wallenda off a short pier".

                                        3. re: jfood

                                          Um, since you don't care, why are you going on about this?

                                          I care. As I told customer service, I buy HD specifically because it is one of the few ice creams that don't have additives and used sugar and not other sweeteners.

                                          I've said a number of times already, products with corn syrup in them have a different mouth feel and taste. I don't even like candies based on corn syrup ... even those I've made at home.

                                          HD can choose to change their ingredients. I can choose to not buy them.

                                          It may not be a big deal for you. It is for me. Nothing you are going to say is going to convince me to continue to buy this product because I dislike corn syrup. Period.

                                          There is NO inuendo or extrapolation. HD confirmed the change. Yes I was aware for years that anything with stuff like chips and cookies had corn syrup in those ingredients. I chose not to buy them.

                                          No different than when other brands changed the ingredient list such as Baskin Robbins (long ago), Ciao Bella, Double Rainbow, etc, etc, etc

                                          If I'm paying premium prices I want premium ingredients. That's all. It's my money, right?

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            jfood has always had an interest in HD since they inntroduced the ice cream with the fake name. he just loved the concept of everyone thinking some fancy imported ice cream just hit the states. So call it idle curiosity.

                                            And as he stated, when people bring to casa jfood he loves eating it. So although it is not on his rotation, he still likes it, think foie gras. And the other reason he joined the discussion is he can't stand all the corporate bashing that goes on. Every time some company makes a decision to change something, or increase the price or decrease the price or change the lable, on and on, the turbo whiners come out and shoot daggers at MBAs. Could you imagine the response if the same virtriol came out and posted on vegans (only an example), OMG.

                                            Jfood wrote his first complaint letter to a company when he was 8 years old, handwritten on lined paper. And he is still pissed 45 years later that banana scooter pies are no longer made, and a stint with Nader enforced that concept, so jfood understands.

                                            And two months ago he was about to cuddle up with some HD banana split ice cream at his hotel in MSP and took one bite and threw it out, so he is not blind to the effects over gooey-sweetness.

                                            But the last he check, anyone can post with an opinion. Jfood does not buy (other than maybe 2 pts a year) but there are topics he just weighs in on when he has an opinion. \He thinks you do as well and reads a ton of your posts, although we live on different coasts and have very different opinions on most topics.

                                            Jfood is not trying to convince anyone to buy something he barely buys. Jfood gave up BR 30 years ago and it is the only ice cream store in town. Twelve years he has never eaten a scoop. So everyone has thier lines in the sand.

                                            Have a good weekend, enjoy the weather out there and most importantly post what interests you and what you can contribute to.


                                            1. re: jfood

                                              "And the other reason he joined the discussion is he can't stand all the corporate bashing that goes on. Every time some company makes a decision to change something, or increase the price or decrease the price or change the lable, on and on, the turbo whiners come out and shoot daggers at MBAs. "

                                              Well, actually, that whining is part and parcel of how markets *should* work. It's called information. And, when delivered in a certain way and shared and embraced, the *intensity* of the information can also be gauged, making it more valuable.

                                              Thus, this kind of thing is precisely what is envisioned in free markets. It's quite the same as my grandmothers making a point with the greengrocers about their declining standards, in front of the other customers, and going to the other greengrocer over the next block, et cet.

                                              And MBAs deserve their share of daggers. I've witnessed my share of stupid decisions in my own companies courtesy of consultants who were a waste of $$.

                                              1. re: Karl S


                                                There is a major difference between stating a position by whining and presenting cogent dialogue. Three years after the fact is whining. Writing a letter in response to a corporate decision is informed confrontation. Jfood is all in favor of the latter.

                                                And if you do not likethe consultants you hire, then hire different ones or do not accept their recommendations.

                                                1. re: jfood


                                                  If I had a say in such things, I would. Usually, people higher up feel they have to justify their expense by doing what is recommended. It's not as rational as people imagine. I've seen it too many times.

                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                    Yes, we have all been in meeting where consultants have made inane comments. And yes, Jfood has disagreed with many decisions over the years that higher ups have made, and lower downs have probably disagreed with decisions Jfood has made.

                                                    Business is sometimes not a science, but an art. Jfood has sat in many meetings over the last few months on service cuts versus price increases and he can state with complete data that these decisions are made in very emotional meetings, with all aspects of the business and the customers taken into account. The idea that people sit in a room and say, "hey let's change the size of the package, maybe they won't notice" is so ludicrous it is probably 20 standard deviations to the right of the mean. And changing a formula is an expensive undertaking, not 2 people in suits acting like Dastardly Whiplash trying to screw the consumer. It’s this “what do they think I’m stupid” mentality that drives Jfood nuts. No, us MBAs do not think the consumer is stupid, we struggle with size/price, try to make decisions that are good for both the customer and the company and then hope for the best.

                                                    1. re: jfood


                                                      I think your expectation that customers not interpret changes of this sort as at least partly intended to rely on their lack of attentiveness is, well, naive in its own way. This reaction is quite part and parcel of the market dynamic.

                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        Jfood does not disagree with customers interpretting whatever makes them feels comfortable, rationalize a change or point a finger.

                                                        And jfood respectfully disagrees that any business relies on "gotchas" and the lack of attentiveness on the part of the customer. To think that businesses make decisions in anticipation of their customers not noticing is, in jfood experience, naive as well. It is fully vetted through focus group and discussed ad nauseum before a decision like this is finalized.

                                                        So you and jfood will have to agree to disagree on motive and naivety on this one.

                                                        Enjoy the weekend.

                                                        1. re: jfood


                                                          You missed my nuance - what I said was naive was expecting consumer not to *interpret* these things in that way. I wasn't saying the business objectively intends a gotcha, but merely that the business must perforce expect that many consumers will in fact subjectively interpret it that way. So the business should not whine in turn when customers whine. THat's all.

                                                          1. re: Karl S


                                                            And jfood thinks that business absolutely understands. Other than sending a letter to everyone explaining their decision, people will interpret what they want. And businesses absolutely discuss this knee-jerk reaction by some. But it is a "they will think whatever makes them happy" result at the end of the day.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              Well, if they did absolutely understand, there's no need for it to drive them nuts.

                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                They understand that certain customers will be unhappy with raising the price and keeping the size and others with decreasing the size and keeping the price as illustrated in the other thread. Since 100% will not be happy, ergo, some will be upset. Noone likes an upset customer so it is damned if they do and damned if they do not. This is what drives people nuts,

                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                    jfood, this is not a decision three years after the fact. This change, as noted a number of times in this thread, is being made as of January 2009. When I bought a pint of vanilla last month it was still just sugar. Any vanilla being made as fo January 2009. will have corn syrup ... yes ... just a little ... but corn syrup none the less.

                                                    I guess I'm not understanding your feeling of corporate bashing here.

                                                    1. HD made a decision to change their recipe in Jan 2009
                                                    2. Some people dont like that change. Some people don't care

                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      jfood is not trying to be argumentative, but where does it say that the recipe for vanilla is changing to include corn syrup?

                                                      In fact the email that meatandale posted says the exact opposite:

                                                      "The carton may have changed slightly, but your Häagen-Dazs ice cream has not. You can count on that"

                                                      And your email from HD says nothing of the change in the vanilla as well.:

                                                      "Thank you for your email regarding HÄAGEN-DAZS® Ice Cream. We appreciate the time you have taken to pass your comments on to us.

                                                      The use of corn syrup goes along with the HÄAGEN-DAZS philosophy of using only "kitchen-friendly" ingredients. Corn syrup can be found in the kitchen. Please be assured that your comments have been forwarded to our Marketing Department.

                                                      We at HÄAGEN-DAZS® Ice Cream appreciate your interest in our company and our products. We value our consumers and we thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns"

                                                      But, unless his old eyes are failing could you please point to the words in their email or to their site where it says the vanilla is changing? If that is that correct data and people are getting upset in Jan 2009 for a decision to change the formula in Jan 2009, then jfood agrees that there ire is well-timed. But where do they say it?

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        They've openly copped to the size change as a change, but are being more opaque about the change from sugar to corn syrup (which had been reserved for ancillary components before).

                                                        1. re: Karl S


                                                          What part of "but your Häagen-Dazs ice cream has not. You can count on that" is opaque. Sounds explicit, to the point and contra-opaque.

                                                          Hey ifthe do change to corn syrup now, you have both of jfood's hands in the air, but there is more conjecture and assumptions here on the part of the posters than opaqueness on the side of HD.

                                                          30-15. :-))

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            No, people have the containers. (I last had HD ice cream last summer, so I don't, but I noticed this when I looked around at it last week.)

                                                            1. re: Karl S


                                                              I read containers all the time, so I know for a fact they didn't have corn syrup.

                                                              Also, when I contacted HD I specifically asked about the change, if it was true.

                                                              While I don't have that part of my email since their site has one of those submissions thingies and no direct email, I would suggest since jfood has gone through all this trouble to prove that the tragic HD is being targeted unfairly by Chowhounds ... well, shoot HD an email and ask yourself.

                                                              If they tell you something different, I'd be delighted to hear it ... and would continue to buy the ice cream if there has in fact been no recent change ... though from this point on I would no longer trust the integrity of HD and always read the ingredient list before purchasing.

                                                              Actually, about being opague. Yes, people would notice a smaller container so HD did something to address that and put as positive as possible a spin on it which, to their credit, is more than any other company has done ... admit downsizing.

                                                              But they were not so upfront about the change to a little corn syrup.

                                                              I always check their new flavors just to see what is in there and if I want to bother. However, with the trust this company built with me as a customer for a quality product, I would not even think ... currently ... to check the basic flavors that never had it like vanilla.

                                                              When I say currently, I noticed a few years back that corn syrup was creeping into their special flavors. Flavors like the mango, I just figured there was something special about mango where the corn syrup was necessary. I didn't like that particular flavor, but it wasn't the basic line.

                                                              So for a while I kept checking the basic flavors to make sure they didn't change. After about a year of checking, I just figured they were only doing this with flavors that had additives. I trusted that HD would continue to produce the same basic flavors with the same ingredients. So, making this unannounced change was not ... cool. I guess they learned the lesson from products like New Coke that announced changes.

                                                              Do contact customer service though jfood to satisfy your curiousity.

                                                              Contrary to some statements, I thought HD did a good job of answering my email.

                                                              They explained their thoughts about it ... corn syrup is something you would find in any kitchen.

                                                              Then they went the extra step of saying they would forward it to their marketing department.

                                                              Whether or not they do, at least as a customer (former) I felt they listened to me and took my email seriously.

                                                              Good corporation is not a self-cancelling phrase. I've worked at a few big companies where complaints were taken to heart.

                                                              On the other hand, more often I've worked for corporations where customers were blown off. My 'favorite' Fortune 500 Company had service reps who posted letters of complaint on bulletin boards in order to laugh at these customers. I remember the CFO of that company saying they didn't care what the 'rabble in the streets' thought.

                                                              So I got a good feeling from the HD response.

                                                              McDonald's on the other hand told me I didn't know what tasted good, and tough filet o fish. I was delighted when they had to bring back that original sandwich because sales fell off. If you are not going to listen to customers, at least do a better job of writing a blow off response.

                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                just emailed them and we'll see what they say. jfood will post when received.

                                                                Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                              I understand that Haagen Dazs(actually owned by Nestles) has been presenting to grocery buyers a new line Called FIVE...all flavors ,not sure how many, that contain only five ingredients..

                                        4. re: rworange

                                          Um, please read a little more carefully.

                                          In the VCC, as of 1/2006, the chocolate chips don't have corn syrup, the ice cream mixture itself does. Look carefully at the parentheses.

                                          That is assuming that jfood quoted correctly, which I assume he did.

                                          1. re: Louise

                                            The mixtures and special flavors have had corn syrup ... usually the ingrediants but sometimes the ice cream ... but they were special editions or something mixed in like one of the cheesecakes. I've found these overly sweet. While they are better than B&J. I am more than aware of the use of corn syrup. I guess I don't get all this lawyer-esque pickienss. HD uses corn syrup. It is putting a cheap ingredient in there that ruins the flavor and one that I'm not going to pay premium prices for ... whatever the reason.

                                            Now if jfood gets a different response than me and they indeed have left the basic flavors untouched, great. I'll continue to buy it. If not, I'm moving on. As I've said a number of times, the mixes have had corn syrup. Special flavors like mango have had corn syrup.

                                            1. re: Louise

                                              I stand corrected, but you have pointed out something even worse. The actual vanilla ice cream in Vanilla Chocolate Chip has corn syrup, where the regular Vanilla ice cream does not. Putting it in the ice cream is much worse than putting it in the chips, which was bad to begin with.

                                              Thanks for shedding light on this, and further making the case, that HD has fallen far from its once great heights.

                                              1. re: foodsmith

                                                jfood is actually in agreement and scratches his head on this one. Why no in Vanilla but yes in VCC? Very curious.

                                                He can not wait to get the response from HD. Curious minds want to know?

                                      2. re: jfood

                                        I stand corrected- no HFCS, just CS. Still, the ice cream has changed, and will continue to change, contrary to their statement.

                                        This is also not the first time CHers have complained about this gradual transformation of a once unbeatably superior product:

                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                          Yup Karl mentioned the CS as well above. And if you look at their website and look at the ingredients you will see that most are "as of" January 2006, three years ago. And your statement strikes jfood as another in the Chicken Little Theory, not jfood's philosophy.

                                          Jfood sent and email to HD after his exchange with RW, let's see what they say, website say 3-5 BD's so by the end of the week.

                                          Trying to make some baked banana ice cream at home today to offset the onion soup and goat cheese ravioli. Need some good Cuddly food with the temps in greater NYC today, buddy.

                                          Good weekend and stay warm.

                                    2. re: meadandale

                                      The size is fine. Quality is more important than quanity. You seem to have sacrificed both. I mean corn syrup in haagen daas is an outrage.

                                  2. No, I'm still here. And I know how to spell brand names of ice cream. ;-)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: HaagenDazs

                                      It's no longer worthy of proper spelling ;)

                                      This is coming from a chronic (ex)-fan.

                                    2. The only Haagen-Dazs I"ve bought in eons has been Rum Raisin, and even that is now on the outs list. I've been making my own with non-BGH milk and cream for almost 20 years now, with no regrets.

                                      Go for it.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                        Did they change the recipe for rum raisin? That one is my dad's favorite
                                        (he's an ice cream-aholic).

                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                          I believe it's remained constant, and I still consider it one of the few flavors left worthy of the old brand name.

                                          1. re: foodsmith

                                            My favorites were Dulce De Leche and Creme Brulee. I'll miss them both.

                                            Ciao Bella has no creme brulee, but their dulce de leche is very good. Different from the dearly departed H/D, but very good all the same.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              When you are in the city, you should try the Dulce de Leche at Cones in the Village - it's wonderful. I like the Ciao Bella one too, and since there is one on our block, it takes a lot of will power to avoid going in. Also, I think that the ice cream that they hand pack in the store is even better than the pre-packed ice cream.

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                You have a store near you, MMRuth? I guess it's fortunate I don't -- they only have a limited amount of flavors in preackaged pints, while their choice of flavors is awesome.


                                                OK, foodsmith, you made up my mind -- I bought the cream for cream scones but am going to make the Vietnamese coffee from Perfect Scoop instead.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  Yes - about five houses down from us! The blood orange sorbet is excellent too, by the way.

                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                    I bought pints of Ciao Bello at their stores which had a lot more flavors. Their sorbets are better than their gelato! My favorite are cantaloupe, watermelon, and pear.

                                                    1. re: kobetobiko

                                                      I also like the chocolate sorbet. I tend to be less of a fan of sorbets generally, but their really good ones are, well, really good. Ginger too, when they have it.

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        Reallllly. Sounds like a new mission for me.

                                                        I tend to bypass sorbet because it smacks of 'healthy', but it sounds like I'll have to try them. Thanks.

                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                          Healthy? If you have the Perfect Scoop, make concord grape sorbet, or the plum/raspberry combination. They do not taste 'healthy' at all. In fact, I have to strictly ration myself from eating them all in one go.

                                      2. It'll really be done when they mess with vanilla. As far as I can tell, it's the only readily available unadulterated vanilla left. Ben & Jerry's has carageenan and such now. Sad, although perversely it does at least demonstrate that I have learned enough to know and taste the difference. It wasn't so long ago that I probably wouldn't have noticed or cared, and too many people still don't seem to care....

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: CrazyOne

                                          You're right, CrazyOne, isn't it sad? But, that's how companies do what they do.

                                          foodsmith, the only alternative may just be to make it yourself. 3 ingredients and 35 minutes later, an alleged (I never got as far as measuring, next time) quart and a half of better than H/D coffee ice cream. Try it, if you have an ice cream maker.

                                          I can just imagine, after all the hoopla, what the cost per ounce to me is, but hey, at least I am not getting less product for more money!

                                          ...........I wonder if they have put out an ice cream maker that makes a REAL half gallon???

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            Wow, they didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the press release. Pathmark is already advertising a SALE!!!!!! -- two 14 oz. containers of H/D for SIX DOLLARS!!!

                                            Wowee zowee, what a bargain!

                                            Good thing I stocked up on 16 oz. pints at $2.00 and $2.50 each. Now I get to sit back and laugh at all the consumers who will think $6.00 for two 14 oz. containers is a SALE!


                                          2. re: CrazyOne

                                            If you're within 150 miles of Kingston, NY (which includes NYC, northern NJ, upstate NY, etc.), check out Adirondack Creamery ice cream. It's my current favorite, especially their Whiteface Mint Chip. Delicious and no corn syrup, stabilizers, etc.

                                            1. re: Striver

                                              I don't need to go as far as Kingston. South of Kingston (but north of me) is the Bellvale Farms Creamery in Warwick/Bellvale, NY. Not only is their ice cream made with whole ingredients, those ingredients come from their own dairy farm.

                                            2. re: CrazyOne

                                              While HD vanilla doesn't have "additives", I find that it tastes like vanilla extract with a strong undertone of alcohol. Not good at all. Even Breyer's vanilla (in the black carton), which is half air, has a purer vanilla taste. The HD flavours available in Canada are very limited. To date, the sweetener in the old flavours remains sugar. I can't imagine corn syrup not affecting taste and texture, but I haven't encountered it yet.

                                              The use of "additives" is something else again. They can both improve ice cream and wreck it. B&J has always contained added stabilizers. They aren't a taste element and they do nice things for the texture. Carageenan is just a type of seaweed. The gums are natural. I've seen blind tastings that show no relationship between the use of stabilizers and eating quality. Ice cream with, or without, additives can be good or bad. These types of additives form key elements of the food served at places like Alinea and El Bulli. Context is everything.

                                              I don't know whether it's still in print, but Ben and Jerry once published a very good recipe book that contained many of their recipes without the additives.

                                              1. re: embee

                                                Then if they can print recipes without additives, why not make them without additives, no matter how innocent.

                                                I doubt the HD in Canada will contain corn syrup and the Canadian government is not subsidizing the corn industry. It is the reason why Heinz catsup in Canada doesn't have HFCS.

                                                Long before I looked at ingrediants, I never liked the texture of Ben and Jerry's. I think the additives make the difference.

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  The ice cream made using these B&J recipes, like most homemade ice cream, lasts a very short time in the freezer and can't tolerate even partial thawing.

                                                  Haagen Dazs is stabilized also, using egg yolks and (supposedly) some unique aspect of their freezing process (unverified).

                                                  1. re: embee

                                                    What? I think you're missing the point. The egg yolks are what makes HD a custard-like ice cream. You can say it uses stabilizers, but the point is it uses them to great effect. Using guar gum produces an ice cream that isn't half as good.

                                                    By the way, what is up with B&J, they are using Liquid Sugar! Since they started doing this I get crazy headaches from eating their ice cream.

                                                    Enough is enough. Make it like you used to, or I won't buy it. Period.

                                                    1. re: foodsmith

                                                      I'm not missing the point - just providing some info. Sure stabilizers can be bad. I've seen ice creams that, when melted, left behind a semi-solid gel matrix. Yuk. The once legendary Howard Johnson's had this characteristic.

                                                      That said, some of the best (I love Double Rainbow), and some of the worst ice creams use stabilizers. An awful lot of good "homemade" ice cream stores use a stabilized dairy mix base.

                                                      Some of the "artisanal" ice creams made here use great ingredients but no stabilizers, and are icy, granular, and generally unpleasant to eat. The use of stabilizers neither makes nor breaks a commercial ice cream on its own.

                                                      As to liquid sugar, I have no idea what B&J is using. Since, like HD, the everyday price is $6.99/pint, I buy it only on sale, which isn't often. However, consider this: when you make a custard ice cream base, you are dissolving the sugar into the custard. That's turning it into liquid sugar. If there is a commercial product that chemically alters the sugar, that;s beyond my knowledge.

                                                      1. re: embee

                                                        Apparently there is such a thing, or else they'd just call it sugar, like they used to, and like everyone else does.

                                                        About stabilizers, I don't think anyone is objecting to that. The objection is to the use of stabilizers that are chosen primarily because they are cheaper. If someone can make a compelling argument that guar gum makes ice cream taste as rich or richer than egg yolks, we're all ears. But nobody can. So the decision to use it is heavily panned, especially amongst customers who brought a brand to stardom when it had none of the aforementioned ingredients. Everything else is besides the point.

                                                      2. re: foodsmith

                                                        Liquid sugar is just a simple sugar syrup - sucrose dissolved in water. I suspect something else is to blame for your headaches, foodsmith.

                                                      3. re: embee

                                                        The point is that there are commercial ice creams out there that don't need stabilizers that aren't found in the majority of our kitchen shelves. I know I'm not adding guar gum to anything. I have yet to see a recipe book saying add a pinch of guar gum.

                                                        As to some unique freezing process then a whole lot of boutique ice cream companies must use the because they are able to produce ice cream without it going instantly bad on shelves.

                                                        And I'm old enough to remember when frozen products didn't have all this junk and managed somehow to survive.

                                                        I was paying HD those prices for those eggs to stabilize it. I was paying for real sugar and not corn syrup. I will not be paying for HD anymore and sent them an email that said that.

                                                        I am tired as a consumer to constantly be expected to compromise. That has resulted in cheese slices with no milk, whipped cream without cream, HFCS in everything, constant sneaky downsizing of everything.

                                                        Test that, HD.

                                                    2. re: embee

                                                      Are you sure that the sweetener in HD in Canada is sugar? I thought I'd read that sugar is very expensive not just in the US but in Canada as well.

                                                      1. re: Louise

                                                        We have very few HD flavours here. Some of the new "light" flavours contain glucose-fructose which, to the human body, is pretty much the same as HFCS (though it may or may not be derived from corn). HFCS isn't subsidized here, but it's still in a lot of processed foods.

                                                        The original flavours (again, there aren't very many) still list sugar on the label. It is made here under license since our Milk Marketing Boards make it difficult to import ice cream, and we still have the old container design. When the new, smaller containers appear, I'm expecting to see glucose-fructose on the label. I'll post here if an when that happens.

                                                        While I love some of the original HD flavours, such as coffee and strawberry (we don't have any of the interesting new ones), I rarely buy it anymore. I stopped when a pint container topped $5.00 - it's now $6.99. I figure something is up, as all the big supermarkets have had 2 and 3 for 1 sales recently.

                                                  2. Well at least they haven't started adding the various foams, gums, and carageenan. They've still got my weekly ice cream allowance. Haagen-Dazs beats the heck out of any competition they have around here.

                                                    Hope the recent cheapening isn't a portent of a future decline and fall.

                                                    By the way, I can never get homemade ice cream to turn out as smooth as H-D (albeit still delicious). The ice crystals seem to stay larger. Any tips to fix that?

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: vtnewbie

                                                      No ice crystals at all in the Vietnamese coffee I made yesterday. Only problem is, the i/c maker doesn't make nearly enough product for me.

                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                        Is there a particular maker I need to look for? I've got one of those requiring a pre-freeze of the container.

                                                        1. re: vtnewbie

                                                          I am not an expert although I intend to become one in this area and I've been doing a lot of research. I believe that the longer it takes to freeze, the more likely you are to have ice crystals. One trick is to keep the churning at a constant rate and making sure that the churning area is exposing or contacting as much of the cream as possible, so that there are not areas in the bucket or container that remain stagnant and develop crystals.

                                                          The other thing is that the more milk fat there is, I believe the less chance or lower degree of ice crystals.

                                                          To fix the first problem (shorten the freezing time) you'll need to invest in an ice cream maker that has a built in compressor, i.e., it's own freezer process. These can be had for a few hundred dollars, but I've read that even the cheap ones can have ice crystals. For the best results you might want to look at the ~$1200 italian ice cream maker, search on Amazon for it, the brand name escapes me at the moment. Supposedly if you use the right ingredients and mixture, with that machine, you are golden.

                                                          That's a lot of ifs and that's a big investment I realize. I'll let you know what else I learn. Maybe someone here has more experience.

                                                      2. re: vtnewbie

                                                        Ways to keep the ice crystals small:

                                                        higher fat content
                                                        higher sugar
                                                        small amount of alcohol, 1 T vodka per cup of ice cream mix
                                                        small amount of corn syrup, even though some will disapprove

                                                        1. re: Louise

                                                          The corn syrup is not worth it IMO. Thanks for the info on the sugar and alcohol, I'd not heard of those methods before. Fat content makes sense though.

                                                          1. re: foodsmith

                                                            Alcohol works brilliantly. It lowers the freezing point, which helps keep homemade ice cream smooth. Using vodka in an ice cream mix doesn't make it unsuitable for kids - flavouring extracts contain much more alcohol than vodka.

                                                            There's a big difference between using a small amount of corn syrup for texture and using corn syrup as the main, or only, sweetener.

                                                        2. re: vtnewbie

                                                          I once had Thanksgiving dinner with a food technologist that was working for Campbells soup Co. I think. One of their brands was Haagen D. She told me that one secret to the smooth texture was the lactose level of the dairy was removed. The milk sugar caused some grainyness avoided by the non lactose content. This was not advertised because they didn't want any heath food/compromise association with their decadent richness. This may be a way to smoother home brew.