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The fall of Breyer's


Before about 2006, I recommended Breyer's ice cream to everyone as "the best", at least as far as what was available in the average US market. It was made with simple ingredients, and had the best texture of any ice cream available. Unlike some "ice creams" that are so far from the real thing that they won't even melt, Breyer's melted in the mouth most delightfully. And it tasted great, too. That's because they didn't add gum, or any of that other crap.

Then one day, I noticed an abrupt change in the taste and texture of Breyer's ice cream. I looked at the ingredients and noticed that they had added gum. I went to their website and noticed that they had also sold their soul to Unilever Corporation, a huge conglomerate with a corporate mission to buy up all the unique brands with good reputations and followings, and turn them into mass-produced crap while wringing out as many bucks as they can until people notice. Now I recommend that people don't buy Breyer's ice cream.

I quickly emailed Breyer's about it, and got a response from Unilever saying they had added gum to improve quality! Cutting through the corp-jargon, I noticed that what they were really saying is that they were trying to boost profits by reducing quality control in their distribution network, and after the ice cream started to melt and refreeze, turning icy, they decided to add gum to cover up the issue. Saying as much in my response, I got back a rather haughty reply saying "At Breyers were proud of our all natural heritage!!" [sic]

I wrote back, noting that it was fitting that she had used the word "heritage" — something they (Unilever) had inherited from the previously great Breyer's Ice Cream company, and which they were proceeding to thoroughly destroy. Do you remember the old Breyer's Ice Cream commercials? They usually featured a young child trying to read the ingredients in a competitor's ice cream. Confronted with phrases like "soy lecithin", "potassium sorbate", and "sodium nitrate", the child struggled. When handed a box of Breyer's ice cream, he was able to quickly and happily read off the ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, and strawberries.

I couldn't find the ones I remember, but I found this one, which is older, but gives the idea:

I included in that same letter a copy of the ingredients list from one of Unilever's new ice creams selling under the Breyer's name:

Ingredients: milk, skim milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, maltodextrin, whey, cellulose gel, mono & diglycerides, guar gum, cellulose gum, natural flavor, carob bean gum, carrageenan. caramel swirl: sugar, water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, non fat milk solids, butter, salt, molasses, pectin, soy lecithin, sodium citrate, natural flavor, lactic acid, potassium sorbate. waffle cone pieces: fudge coating (sugar, coconut oil, cocoa powder, nonfat milk powder, whole milk powder, anhydrous milkfat, soy lecithin, vanilla), waffle cones (unenriched wheat flour, sugar, corn starch, palm and/or soybean oil, bamboo fiber, soy lecithin, natural flavor, soy flour, salt), natural flavor.

I asked her if that's something they are proud of. I never got a reply.

UPDATE: Also, under Unilever, Breyer's ice cream contains milk from cows injected with Monsanto's rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone, also called rBST). Injecting cows with rBGH causes deterioration of their health, such that they suffer debilitating diseases, become lame, and often must be euthanized, which is why it's banned in most countries. It's also been linked to cancer, and while it's probably safe to drink milk from hormone-injected cows, most people don't want anything to do with it. But Unilever doesn't mind feeding it to you. Anything to make a buck, right?

UPDATE: It has now gotten to the point where the majority of Breyers' products no longer contain enough milk and cream to be legally considered ice cream. Often they contain more corn syrup than cream (e.g. see the ingredients list above), and if you look closely you'll see that most of their products are now labeled "frozen dairy dessert" or "frozen dessert" instead. Only a few (e.g. vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry) can still be legally called "ice cream". It's pretty sad when Breyer's Ice Cream has degraded to the point where it can't even be legally called "ice cream" anymore.

UPDATE: You can see on YouTube that Breyer's frozen dairy dessert doesn't melt, even after sitting out for days.


test 2008-04-24 01:54PM
your blog ate my comment :-(
an anonymous Bryant
ok 2008-04-24 01:55PM
OK, if you don't specify an email, it eats the comment. boo hoo. anyways I was saying there's a place called Theno's in Redmond (http://seattle.citysearch.com/profile/10758546/redmond_wa/theno_s_dairy.html) and the reviewer says it is organic/hormone-free/non-homogenized milk, has potential. So if not Breyer's, then what?
an anonymous Bryant
grr 2008-04-25 01:41AM
And what's with these magically escaped quotes? Seems like my host "upgraded" PHP and broke my site again. It's annoying that PHP can't manage to be backwards compatible... and that my host can't bother to inform me about the breaking change.

But about Theno's, it sounds pretty good. :-)
test 2008-04-25 01:56AM
Testing... no email, this quote's unescaped. Seems to be fixed!
an anonymous Adam
PS 2008-05-01 04:14AM
PS. You can always make your own. :-)
hey, look 2008-05-04 06:57PM
It just occurred to me that in the ingredients list above, there's more corn syrup than cream in the ice cream!
Whey 2008-05-16 01:24AM
Not only does Breyers "All Natural" ice cream have stabilizer gum in it now, but the newest batches have WHEY. The lettering on the box says "Real ice cream." What a crock.

Blue Bunny Natural Vanilla has no stabilizers in it, and it almost tastes like how Breyers used to be.
an anonymous Perry Justus
Cool Whip 2010-05-03 06:20AM
I used to like breyers. now it's frozen cool whip, ugh. Never buying anything from them again.
an anonymous Dman
Breyer's 2010-07-08 10:35PM
I got sucked into a buy one get one free offer and bought some Breyer's ice cream. I just finished eating Breyer's cherry vanilla ice cream. Wow, what a huge disappointment! It doesn't even resemble what it used to be. It now resembles the texture of slightly frozen Cool Whip and is foamy in the mouth! Yuck! I had already told myself i would never by Breyer's again when they reduced the size of the container to 1.5 quarts, and then again when they started adding extra ingredients, but the change in texture has officially done me in. Breyer's used to be the only kind of ice cream I would eat; now I will never eat it again. It sucks now. Too bad.
an anonymous Tortoise
Corn Syrup 2010-10-16 09:33PM
Thanks for this, We just realized our Breyers has corn syrup, so I was searching the web to see if anyone else noticed. Wow, we didn't know about Unilever buying them out. We definitely won't be eating Breyers anymore. Just when we thought they were trying to be slick by reducing the size to a quart , they changed the ingredients too. What a joke.
an anonymous Melissa
Corn syrup 2010-10-21 12:35AM
I've hated the taste after they put gum in it but I stuck with Breyers because they didn't put corn syrup in... Even when they shrunk the container.

There is no difference between Breyers and other brands now. I might as well eat some better tasting brands that have corn syrup in them... But most likely I'll be making my own.

I hope Breyers and UniClever crash and burn...
an anonymous IScream
Switched to Home Made 2011-08-12 12:57AM
We also used to buy Breyers exclusively, but for a few years now, since the change, only eat home made or Haagen-Dazs on occasion. It still irks me, but at least nobody is making money off us because we refuse to buy this garbage.
an anonymous glenn
home-made is great 2011-09-20 05:57AM
I also started making home-made ice cream. It's really quite fun, and you can make all kinds of flavors that you can't get from the store, and make them as light or rich as you like.

I think you can get a decent machine to freeze the ice cream for about $30 (but do some research), so it's really worth looking into.
what a shame 2011-10-19 05:41PM
I also noticed immediately when they started adding gum to the vanilla, and they really ruined the cherry vanilla. I wrote to them to complain and told that they ruined a classic recipe, they responded that if i'm not satisfied i can get my money back, they totally missed the point! Truly sad..... if they want to make crap they shouldn't call it Breyers. Another real classic american product ruined for a couple bucks, such a waste, it's fraud really!
an anonymous Tom
yes 2012-04-16 02:13PM
My wife just bought breyers vanilla. I opened it up and noticed different label, and somewhat different look, and softer than usual. I read the ingredients and was shocked to see corn syrup and guar gum. I went to computer and googled "breyers corn syrup" and landed here. Needless to say, I will not eat breyers any more, i will disreccomend that others do.
an anonymous scott
Right On! 2012-05-14 03:27PM
Graet review of the downfall of Breyer's caused bu Unilever. I will never buy Breyer's again!
an anonymous Bill
breyers ice cream 2012-05-29 09:58AM
Recently found that i was sneezing everytime i ate Bryers ice cream, finally looked at ingredients, did not need to before, i knew it was the purest ice cream, ate it for years and yipes! they added ingredients that i would not normally eat! So Sad!!! Thanks for your great review!
I will now tell all Not to buy Breyers Ice Cream...used to tell everyone how good it was......and I will tell Breyers as well!
an anonymous patricia carroll
throwing out the Breyer's I just bought 2012-06-16 06:40AM
Thanks for confirming my suspicions about Breyer's. I wondered why my fudge ripple ice cream tasted so horrible. I remember how great it used to be -- a real premium product. My wife dislikes the Rocky Road now, too. The science experiment they are selling now (I can't call it ice cream -- and neither can they!) has virtually no flavor.
an anonymous Chet
throwing mine away too 2012-07-14 08:01AM
I usually buy Edy's and am generally happy with it. Target had Bryer's on sale and I remember how much my dad always loved the 'natural vanilla', when I was a kid. So, I bought two boxes; Neopolitan (which my 4 year old picked) and cookie dough. I also noticed right away how soft it was, then read the box, 'frozen dairy dessert' in small print. It has a very off, almost chemical taste. i'm throwing it away. It would be fun to put it in a ziplock bag and mail it to them. :)
an anonymous Lisa
RE: throwing mine away too 2012-08-06 04:31PM
Better be careful. The law prescribes very strict punishments for sending toxic substances through the mail. ;-)
corn syrup and other additives 2012-09-02 11:14AM
Breyers has been the only brand that we have bought for years. Could walk into store and grab without having to read the ingredient list. A few months back, we noticed corn syrup....even in a couple of the vanilla's. The ingredient list was also longer. What a disappointment! It was the "purest" ice cream a person could buy!!! What used to be a refreshing list of milk, cream, eggs, and sugar, is now a list of garbage!!!! I was unaware of the sell-out to Unilever.... explains it all!!
an anonymous Sharon
breyers ice cream no longer natural 2013-02-03 02:08PM
I found this blog when I did a search for breyers ice cream corn syrup. This is so sad. I used to love Breyers Butter Almond flavor. Hadn't had it in a while. My husband brought a container home the other day. Took one taste and knew something was different and not in a good way. Checked the ingredients. Now instead of cream, sugar, butter, almonds there was a list of artificial ingredients. And now corn syrup is the main sweetener instead of sugar. Unilever you just lost my business! I had no idea that Breyers had been sold to them.
an anonymous Debra Gottsleben
Returned Breyers Disgusting Slime 2013-03-12 10:26PM
Growing up breyers was awesome , reasonable priced all natural , great texture , Superb Butter Almond & Vanilla Bean were among my favorites.
Since appx 2006 since Chemical Conglomerate unilever bought out this classic american brand it had been turned to a noxious slimy chemical cocktail POC.
So gross I returned it to the store after one spoonful . The ingrediants are horrific , Propylene Glycol , High Fructose Corn Syrup , Guar Gum , Carob Gum & a plethora of other garbage unilever probably has left over from their soap divisions. If I get the urge I will check ingrediants & usually go for Haagan Daaz or a local all natural small batch brand. Unilever owns Ben & Jerry's too & that is also slowing turning to sh it . Out of sheer principle to duping the public with this toxic non ice cream 'frozen dairy desert' I am boycotting all unilever brands.
an anonymous So Sad
If not Breyers.. Then what? 2013-03-18 09:06PM
Aldens organic ice cream...usually 7.5 a half gallon.
Very good!
an anonymous Bob
Breyers quality decline 2013-08-14 06:05PM
Breyers used to be pure, delicious, natural, extremely high quality, sold in large half gallon containers, good when you are well, good when you are sick, soothes your mood and your stomache. This was from period 1970 to 2002. After this point, Breyers is garbage. Do not produce more garbage Unilever. You have destroyed a fine product to chemical slop. Your containers are too small for even a 10 year old to enjoy. Your frozen crap smells funny, looks funny, melts weird, makes me sick, and should NOT be called "ice cream". I used to eat 2 half gallons Breyer per week from Year 1970 to Year 2002. After Year 2002, your recipe change has caused me to NEVER BUY ANOTHER CARTON OF YOUR SLIME AGAIN!!!!!
an anonymous Scorpio
Sad 2013-12-02 08:38PM
All I gatta say is: Fuck Breyers!
an anonymous Sad day
:P 2014-01-25 07:13PM
Yep, Breyers sucks big time now. I remember the early commercials where they took pride in stating that their ice cream was all natural. Now, they can't even call it ice cream!
an anonymous AnonymousAnnoyed
Edy's Has HFC and Carrageenan 2014-08-10 12:28PM
I used to eat Edy's Chocolate and Cherry Chocolate Chip and I really loved it. Recently, I found that not only does Edy's contain high fructose corn syrup but also Carrageenan, an addictive that has been "linked to digestive disease and cancer." http://www.cornucopia.org/carrageenanfda/

I now am back to making my own ice cream and generally don't buy any processed food as these harmful is in many foods.
an anonymous Making My Own
Agree with You: Breyers Ice Cream is Ruined 2015-07-29 01:49PM
I was very disappointed at the new tast of Breyers and was flabbergasted when I read the ingredients. So much for sugar, cream & vanilla. How it has corn syrup, canola oil and a bunch of other junk that not only tastes awful, but is genetically modified. I'm disappointed. I will simply stop buying Breyers. No wonder it is so cheap now--tastes it too. Just awful!
an anonymous Patricia L Lester
Simly put...it SUCKS now!! 2015-10-11 02:22PM
this used to be a premium brand with excellent quality. It is now uneatable. Even on sale, this product is not worth the $2.50 per container. Unilever simply killed a great product.
an anonymous DEE GEE
Bad, Sad People only should buy Breyers 2016-12-18 11:27AM
Buy Breyers only if:
1. You hate the people you are serving
2. You are a very bad parent
3. You hate yourself

Also, don't buy Ben and Jerry's - also owned by Unilever. Don't buy Unilever Products.... I haven't for 8+ years now.

Corporations like Unilever are globalists that want to exploit everyone.
an anonymous Anonymous
Breyers decline 2017-02-20 04:31PM
Me too... I was duped. A hard craving sent me to the store for some classic Breyers chocolate chip. Man what a disappointment. I also contacted the company to no avail. I told them they lost another customer.
an anonymous James
Breyer's Natural Vanilla ice cream 2023-09-30 04:57PM
I absolutely loved Breyer's for years. I just bought some today at a grocery store and notice that water is now an ingredient. I never noticed that before...or was it there?
The ice cream is not as full and thick and tastes materially different. Very disappointed and despondent! For the first time ever, I contacted a company to express my dismay about its product.
an anonymous Joe Safranek
RE: Breyer's 2023-10-07 10:00PM
Hi, Joe. I never saw water in the ingredient list before, so I think it's new. Seems pretty strange to add water to an ice cream...

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