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Jan 22, 2013 02:45 PM

Breyer's Now Has HFCS

Didn't Breyer's ice cream start out with only four simple ingredients; Milk, sugar, eggs, cream? I may be missing something. But I recall my parents revering Breyer's for its lack of "unnatural" ingredients. So it is with some confusion and dismay that they now use HFCS. Häagen-Dazs as well although I can't recall if HD ever used sugar only.

Anyone else find this...kind of a let down?

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  1. You have to read the label carefully. Their ice-cream is all natural, their "frozen dessert product" is not. I bought a wacky flavor variety once and couldnt believe how much junk was in it, but on the front it said "frozen dessert product". I felt somewhat bamboozled. Their ice cream however is still all natural from what I understand, and does not have hfcs.

    5 Replies
    1. re: olyolyy

      Breyer's Vanilla has the following ingredients


      In addition, Breyer's has a number of other lines (low/no fat, lactose free, etc.) that substitute other ingredients for cream, etc. I checked a few flavors and saw some with added corn syrup, but none with HFCS (not to say that it's not in one or more of the hundred or so combinations on the website, but in my brief search I didn't see any that had it).

      1. re: olyolyy

        Really. To quote Nicholson in A Few Good Men,
        "don't I feel like a f***ing a--h---."

        Will have to pay more attention when looking in the ice cream section. Thank you.


          1. re: olyolyy

            I remember the last time I bought Breyer's I was flabergasted by the ingredients list, as I too remembered those all natural claims. Haven't purchased in since.

            I thought it was vanilla, but maybe I had one of those funky flavours. I'll have to check next time I'm at the store.

            (Also, I seem to remember Breyer's being the most expensive brand when I was a kid. Mom always got Pet or store brand. Now Breyer's seems to be the cheapest of the name brands. I figured that had something to do with the ingredients I was looking at.)

          2. I don't know how long ago you are referring to, but very little mass market ice cream is made from the simple ingredients one would traditionally used at home. At a minimum, there's a lot of use of gums (which are not "unnatural" but not exactly traditionally used to make ice cream) to compensate for the fact that ultra-pasteurized cream is now commonly used (ultra pasteurization is great for extending shelf life but decreases flavor and compromises texture), and a lot of flavor enhancers, and of course corn syrup to reduce crystallization (as well as HFCS). Read. Read. Read.

            Basically, traditional ingredients on a mass-market scale raises the price point and involves higher risk to texture when kept in long storage; consumers are used to a certain price point, and the kind of mouthfeel produced by less traditional ingredients.

            1. With Breyer's you have to pay close attention. Many products are still ice cream with a fairly limited ingredient list (e.g. natural vanilla, mint chocolate chip, creamy chocolate), however many if not most of their flavors are now "frozen dairy dessert" and do not meet the FDA standards to be classified as ice cream. While I do eat a few of these on occasion, the difference is quite noticeable-the frozen dairy dessert is much less creamy and has an odd frothy texture and seems to melt by the time you sit down to eat the product.

              1. I remember when they started using tara gum. I could tell the difference without previous knowledge. It was perfectly obvious on the second bite. It went from decent, if full of air, to scheiss in one movement.

                I'm so glad for you, Breyers, that your ice cream re-freezes better. But it will never defrost because I held my grocer's freezer open too long.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jay F

                  Ahh, is that the other difference that I notice. While the ice cream flavors are superior to the frozen dairy dessert the texture still seems different and the list of 4 ingredients often includes tara gum but I thought that was a pretty routine thickener in ice cream.

                2. My new carton of plain vanilla Haagen-Dazs does not have HFCS; however, I saw the other day that their new gelato line does. Sad.

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: sandylc

                    It contains corn syrup, that's a different product than HFCS. Corn syrup is essentially liquid glucose and it has been used in candy-making and baking for over a century primarily for its textural properties. HFCS is the somewhat controversial sweetener.

                    1. re: ferret

                      Just checked their website - you are right! Thanks for catching that....very important......

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Corn syrup is used in frozen confections to prevent crystallization that would occur if granulated sugar alone were otherwise used.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          Yes, it is. But regular HD manages just fine with sugar.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            As does Breyers in its regular ice cream flavors. They only add corn syrup when they reduce the cream content in their non-ice-cream varieties to maintain texture.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              now if Nestle could manage to be a less reprehensible company, I could enjoy HD again

                                  1. re: meatnveg

                                    One of playwright Jon Robin Baitz' first plays was about the baby formula scandal at Nestle, for whom his father worked in Africa.

                      2. re: sandylc

                        I recall the days (late 70s/ early 80s) when the craze was to keep your kids from sugar at all costs. As a kid back then, I was thrilled when my mother found the Haagen-Dazs Honey Vanilla and the only sweetner was actual honey! I was actually allowed to eat ice cream again.

                        1. re: AuntieSocial1

                          Because calories from honey were better than calories from sugar?

                          1. re: ferret

                            Ha, no. Not a weight related issue, but there was a popular late 70s diet my mother put us on that completely excluded white sugar and preservatives and anything with acid in it, including tomatoes. Made for real fun when we would go out for pizza night and had to order with no sauce, yet ironically were able to eat the crust made with white flour.

                            1. re: AuntieSocial1

                              Pizza and ice cream were 90% of my diet in the 70's.

                              1. re: ferret

                                Well pizza and vodka make up 90% of my diet now! LOL

                                Back to the original topic, Natural Vanilla Bean by Breyers is still good, but not quite as good as I remember.

                                1. re: AuntieSocial1

                                  I agree, love the Breyers Natural Vanilla Bean and it's been my go to for vanilla ice cream.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    And that didn't change for you when they added tara gum?

                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      The texture seems somewhat different, but hasn't nearly suffered as much as the other flavors and doesn't have the same melt too quickly, frothy texture as the others. I probably could have found a better variety after the addiction of tara gum but have just stuck with Breyer's, but this thread gives me a lot of new things to try. If only I could get my hands on Blue Bell.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Just plain nasty, Breyers now.

                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                        Breyer's Natural Vanilla has been my favorite for years.
                                        I am sorely disappointed in myself for misreading which styles have HFCS. It's back to Breyer's ice cream I go.

                                2. re: ferret

                                  because fads beat logic every time