I am extremely conservative in my food tastes, tending to favor a few favorite things and eating them over and over again, rather than experimenting with new items. I am not particularly fond of sweet foods but once in a while I get the desire for them and on those occasions my selection has always been for Breyers cherry vanilla ice cream and Cadbury’s chocolate.
I liked this particular brand and flavor of ice cream because it contained all natural ingredients and the taste was great. But recently I bought what I thought was a half-gallon container, picking it out of the store freezer without paying much attention. But at home, I found that instead of the creamy flavor I was used to, it had a chalky texture and an unpleasant aftertaste. I first thought I had stumbled upon a bad batch but on closer examination of the container, I discovered three things. One is that although it superficially looked the same, the words ‘All Natural’, once proudly displayed, had disappeared. Another was that the ingredients now contained a list of preservatives and artificial flavorings, so much so that it was no longer entitled to call itself ‘ice cream’ and those words had now been replaced by the ambiguous ‘Frozen Dairy Dessert’. I also noted that the size had been reduced from half-gallon (2QT) to 1.5 QT.
Curious as to what had happened, the next time I was in the supermarket I looked at more flavors of Breyers and found similar results. I looked it up on the web and found an informative Wikipedia article that explained that all these changes were part of cost-cutting moves by the parent company Unilever.
I am no marketing genius but I cannot see how this can be considered a good move. Breyers was not the most expensive supermarket brand of ice cream but definitely not the cheapest either. So people who bought it were not doing so based just on price but were willing to pay more for better quality. By making an inferior product but maintaining a high price, Breyers would likely lose those customers who want quality while not gaining those who are highly price sensitive.
I for one will never buy it again and I cannot imagine that I am alone in abandoning the brand.