Wednesday, May 25, 2005


One of the vices our family enjoys is Breyers All Natural Ice Cream. It is one of the few indulgences we get that doesn't make us feel too decadent because it didn't have polysorbate 80 or any of the other unpronounceable ingredients you typically find in a tub of ice cream. Well all that has changed recently and they did it in a particularly sneaky way.

A week or so ago I was in the supermarket picking up what I thought was a container of the All Natural Chocolate ice cream. I brought it home, and my dh, who has discerning taste, knew instantly that something was amiss. He picked up the container and saw, that not only was it now "double churned" in order to make it a creamier texture, but it no longer said "All Natural" but instead reads "Naturally Flavored". When he turned it over to look at the ingredients, he was astounded to see a bunch of chemicals that formerly was not there. In other words, they used the same sort of packaging as the original All Natural Line, still charged top dollar for it, but had the same sort of chemical crap as the cheaper line of Classic Breyers. I call that sneaky and deceitful!

I dutifully looked up Breyers Ice Cream on the internet and left them a comment on the supposed improvements.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Our family has been buying Breyer's All Natural ice creams for a number of years. Lately we have seen Breyer's "Naturally Flavored" double churned ice cream in similar packaging showing up in the freezer case, containing polysorbate 80 among other things and a diminished stock of the original. Is this line going to replace the All Natural line or are we going to be able to continue to buy the All Natural line? We would be very disappointed to see an end to the All Natural Line and will NOT be buying the naturally flavored line because of some of the ingredients listed in it.

Sincerely yours,

To which I received the following reply from Kathy Schwaller:

You are correct that our new Breyers Naturally Flavoured Ice Cream does taste different. A new process called double churning imparts a much creamier texture than what you experienced with our Breyers All Natural Ice Cream. We decided to adopt this new technology after conducting consumer research last year that showed the majority of Canadians prefer a creamier textured ice cream. In order to use the double churning process,however, we must use ingredients that cannot be labelled natural. In addition, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has increasingly been following a stricter definition of the word "natural," such that even our municipal water is not considered natural as it must be treated for our safety. Water is an integral part of the process used to manufacture ice cream, hence our inability to use the words "all natural."

Please be assured that we are continuing to use the highest quality ingredients and natural flavours in our Breyers Naturally Flavoured Ice Creams. We also think you will be pleased to know that the double churning process we are now using keeps our ice cream creamier and much less sensitive to the changes in temperature that can occur between the time the ice cream leaves our plant and is placed in your freezer. I will forward your comments to our Marketing Department. Thank you.

Well so far, everyone in our family has given the new ice cream the thumbs down and we have let them know. If you would like to protest the loss of the old line of ice cream, please join the revolution and let Unilever know. Ms. Schwaller informs me in a subsequent email that this is how changes are made.

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