Truth in advertising: frozen dessert

Nathaniel Christopher 2 Comments

Recently Housemate came home with a big smile on his face. “Ice cream sandwiches were on sale at Safeway for only $1.99!” he exclaims.

I don’t even need to turn around and look at what he bought to know that it’s just too good to be true. Heavily discounted “ice cream” is always a bad sign.

“Yeah, look at the box before you get excited,” I say without turning away from my computer.

“Oh crap!” he says. “It’s expired!”

“Look closer at the box!” I tell him knowing that he routinely buys frozen dessert that he assumes is ice cream.

“Oh! Frozen dessert! I’m sorry – I’ll buy some real ice cream next time,” he promises.

Here is what he bought:

Lucerne Frozen Dessert Sandwiches
Lucerne Frozen Dessert Sandwiches

According to Dairy Farmers of Canada frozen desserts are made with oils such as coconut oil or palm kernel while ice cream is made with milk and milk ingredients such as cream, milk powder, and whey powder. I wrote a complaint to Breyer’s about this before and this was their response. I don’t like frozen dessert – I think it tastes awful.

And this is what the real ice cream sandwiches look like:

Lucerne Ice Cream Sandwiches
Lucerne Ice Cream Sandwiches

When I looked at the box of the frozen dessert sandwiches I was astonished to see that Lucerne, Safeway’s in-store brand for dairy products, featured the words “frozen dessert” in the same stylized font as their ice cream sandwiches. This sort of honesty in product labelling is refreshing as ice cream manufacturers have a tendency to obscure the fact that some of their products are frozen dessert.

This tub of Breyers frozen dessert is a perfect example:

Breyers frozen dessert
Breyers frozen dessert

“Rich and creamy” and “French Vanilla” are written in prominent text while “frozen dessert” is buried in the corner in the smallest text on the front of the tub. It’s easy to see how many shoppers might buy this product assuming that it is, in fact, ice cream. I detest this form of deceptive marketing and I believe hat Unilever (which owns Breyers) is doing this intentionally in an attempt to bilk consumers into buying their inferior product line, thus lowering our standards for dessert.

I always read the fine print to ensure that my ice cream is ice cream and I do appreciate that Lucerne has made this process so much easier. While it may not seem like a big deal I believe it’s a symbolic gesture that shows respect for the consumer.

And yes… Housemate is forever banned from purchasing any dessert for this house!

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.


  1. It is a bit deceptive I will agree, but for a 1.99 just plug your NOSE and huck them down your gullet.
    Frozen desert in Sandwiches is some what tolerable.

    I typed KNOWS INSTEAD OF NOSE!! I wasn’t thinking when I was typing and your site will not let me delete my own comment.

  2. It is a bit deceptive I will agree, but for a 1.99 just plug your knows and huck them down your gullet.

    Frozen desert in Sandwiches is some what tolerable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *