Fact Check: Breyers Ice Cream Is STILL Legally Ice Cream

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Breyers Ice Cream Is STILL Legally Ice Cream Some Flavors

Is Breyers ice cream now, legally, no longer ice cream? No, that's not true: The company sells multiple flavors of ice cream and others that are frozen dairy desserts. Some of Breyers' products are labeled "frozen dairy dessert" as they are less than 10 percent dairy fat, according to the company's website. The Food and Drug Administration sets the regulations for how ice cream can be labeled, and the directions are not new in spring 2024, nor are they only directed at Breyers.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on May 13, 2024. It began:

SAD NEWS DEPT: Breyer's, America's favorite ice cream, is no longer ice cream. It now legally has to be called Frozen Dessert, as it is 50% air, and has only a tiny percentage of actual milk or cream.

This is what the full post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-05-16 at 2.49.00 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 16 21:26:10 2024 UTC)

The Breyers website shows both ice cream (archived here) and frozen dairy desserts (archived here) for sale as of May 16, 2024. The FAQ section of the website (archived here) clearly states why some products are frozen dairy desserts and others are ice cream:

What is a Frozen Dairy Dessert?
Frozen Dairy Dessert products are made with many of the same high-quality ingredients that are commonly found in Ice Cream - like fresh milk, cream and sugar - and offer a great taste and even smoother texture. According to the FDA, in order for a product to be labeled ice cream, it needs to meet two key requirements:

Not less than 10% dairy fat

A percentage of overrun that results in a finished product weighing more than 4.5 pounds per gallon

This screenshot of the website states what constitutes "frozen dairy dessert":

Screen Shot 2024-05-16 at 3.04.11 PM.png

(Source: Breyers website screenshot taken on Thu May 16 21:30:22 2024 UTC)

There is not a law that has made Breyers reclassify all their ice cream products as frozen dairy desserts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 (archived here) applies to all manufacturers of ice cream products, not just Breyers. There have been no updates to the regulation since December 22, 2023, per the website. The code for "Subpart B - Requirements for Specific Standardized Frozen Desserts" explains the regulations:

Ice cream contains not less than 1.6 pounds of total solids to the gallon, and weighs not less than 4.5 pounds to the gallon. Ice cream contains not less than 10 percent milkfat, nor less than 10 percent nonfat milk solids, except that when it contains milkfat at 1 percent increments above the 10 percent minimum, it may contain the following milkfat-to-nonfat milk solids levels:

Screen Shot 2024-05-16 at 2.39.33 PM.png

(Source: FDA website screenshot taken on Thu May 16 21:35:31 2024 UTC)

At the time this was written, a similar claim concerning Breyers had previously been reviewed by Snopes in 2021.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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