If I took the time to make a list of the things that I really care about in this life, ice cream and integrity would probably both be on the page within the first few lines.
If you put those things together, watch out–because I’ll probably go on a rant like this one.
There are three brands of ice cream that I have held aloft in my heart as being closer to the ideal of a perfect ice cream than other manufacturers. Those three brands are Breyers, Haagen Dazs, and Graeter’s. I recently decided to email all three of those companies to tell them about my experiences with them, and they all responded in very different ways.
I’m realizing this might take a while to explain, so bear with me.
A little backstory first.
Breyers, which has been the high-class, pure-bred ice cream of my life ever since I could talk, has begun to significantly degrade the quality of their ice cream. Their classic “All Natural” branding has now been replaced with “Quality” in most flavors, because they can no longer claim to be all natural.
Most of their flavors aren’t even ice cream anymore. How can this be? Ice cream that’s not even ice cream?!? Indeed, if you look closely, you’ll see that most Breyers is now classified as a “frozen dairy dessert.” Is your mouth watering?
No, it isn’t. Mine either.
What is a frozen dairy dessert?
Thank you for asking. The simple explanation is that Breyers is using more miscellaneous synthetic ingredients, and less cream—so it no longer meets the FDA’s standards for Ice Cream. Thus, it is simply a frozen dairy dessert.
So a few weeks back I bought some Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip. It’s one of their few flavors that is still classified as ice cream, so I thought it was untainted by Breyer’s dirty guar gum and carrageenan fingers. As I was scooping it out, I realized that the chocolate chips have now been replaced by “CHOCOLATEY chips.”
They aren’t even using enough cocoa to be able to call it chocolate any more.
So I sent them a letter through their website, even attaching a picture of myself so they would know I wasn’t a total weirdo. I told them these same things I just told you, and made several impassioned pleas to their integrity to change their ways.
One line said something to the effect of, “I know you are a big corporation, but there has to be a person reading this somewhere, and maybe you could ask yourself if this is really the type of product that you want to be putting into the world. Maybe, just maybe, you could change.”
They responded (without mentioning my picture or how good I looked) by saying, “We do apologize for the experience you reported concerning our Breyers ice cream.” They then followed with a form letter about how people have shown in taste tests that they prefer the new recipes, yada, yada, yada.
Basically, their excuse is that the American people want frozen dairy desserts that are filled with preservatives, so their hands are tied and they must give them frozen dairy desserts filled with preservatives.
Well, that’s the choice that they’ve made, however they want to spin it.
The choice I made was to send them a second email…