Many believe ice cream simply only comes in a variety of flavors. Those in the food industry know that ice cream also comes with a variety of labels and quality types, which differentiates product lines and brands from each other. Understanding these labeling definitions and quality segments means knowing what is and isn’t in a specific ice cream product, in addition to how it is manufactured.
Labelling definitions are identity standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on ice cream and frozen desserts. The FDA does this to ensure that consumers get a consistent product, regardless of brand and type, when purchasing an ice cream item for their nutritional content.
In order to best understand the labelling and quality, we need to define what makes ice cream. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, “ice cream is a frozen food made from a mixture of dairy products, containing at least 10 percent milkfat.” The labelling definitions below are applied when there is a change in the amount of fat in ice cream. The IDFA defines the labels as such:
“Reduced fat” ice cream contains at least 25 percent less total fat than the referenced product (either an average of leading brands, or the company’s own brand).
“Light” or “lite” ice cream contains at least 50 percent less total fat or 33 percent fewer calories than the referenced product (the average of leading regional or national brands).
“Lowfat” ice cream contains a maximum of 3 grams of total fat per serving (½ cup).
“Nonfat” ice cream contains less than 0.5 grams of total fat per serving.
For example, we sell Blue Bunny Butter Pecan Ice Cream. Their Butter Pecan Light Ice Cream with No Sugar Added (Item #14393) has 4.5 grams of fat in a half cup serving size. In comparison, Blue Bunny’s Butter Pecan Ice Cream (#14605) has 9 grams of fat in the same serving size, double the amount of fat in their light ice cream.
Quality segments are marketing tools that help manufacturers differentiate ice cream products by quality. There are several factors considered when determining an ice cream’s quality, such as milkfat content, overrun, packaging, brand, price, and the quality of ingredients. The IDFA describes overruns as “the amount of aeration the ice cream undergoes during its manufacture that keeps the mixture from becoming an inedible frozen mass.” Since overrun is held to federal standards, the ice cream product must weigh at least 4.5 pounds per gallon.
The IDFA defines the quality segments below.
“Super-premium” ice cream tends to have very low overrun and high fat content, and the manufacturer uses the best quality ingredients.
“Premium” ice cream tends to have low overrun and higher fat content than regular ice cream, and the manufacturer uses higher quality ingredients.
“Regular” ice cream meets the overrun required for the federal ice cream standard.
“Economy” ice cream meets required overrun and generally sells for a lower price than regular ice cream.
One of our most popular super-premium brands is Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. Chocolate Shoppe makes their ice cream from a 14% butterfat mix with 35-40% overrun. This is what makes their ice cream so rich, creamy and smooth, and worthy of its super-premium label. Learn more about Chocolate Shoppe and all their delicious and award-winning flavors in the flyer below. Information and products on the following flyers are subject to change. Please call or email us for the most up-to-date information.Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Flyers 7.10.19