Thursday, January 7, 2016

PSA - Friendly's Vanilla Bean "Ice Cream"

Dear Friendlys,
    As a long time supporter of Friendly's, I have to ask, what have you done to your freezer aisle ice cream? This doesn't even seem like ice cream anymore. The container says "premium ice cream", but like Breyers (and Edy's for a time), you are moving towards the disgrace that is known as frozen dairy dessert. Why would you do this? I have many fond memories of your awesomeness from my childhood, yet here I am tonight, barely able to choke this mess down.

Friendly's Vanilla Bean "Ice Cream"

I first suspected you were up to no good when I grabbed a container of black raspberry a few weeks back, but something was not right with it. The texture was way too gummy and unpleasant. Sure, I realize you've beeen tweaking your freezer aisle recipes for years now, but this quart was not good. I was hoping it was a fluke. Now I know it is not.


I was trying to get a few photos for my nosh show post when I noticed something wasn't right. The ice cream was just.... unnatural looking. I don't know if you can see it, but this ain't right. Does it look right to you with the way it breaks apart? It's like stringy or starchy with tiny little air pockets everywhere. It almost looks spongy. I hate this word, but the mouthfeel was just all wrong. So very very very wrong. I shouldn't be able to watch my ice cream break apart strand by strand.

I'm sorry, but I am not buying this junk anymore. I've been trying to ignore it, but I can't anymore. I think I first noticed it on the cookies & cream flavor, but thought maybe it was partially the fault of the cookies. But then the black raspberry, and now this. No thank you Friendlys. Your "premium" ice cream is now offlimits until you get your act together.

Verdict?  so disappointed
Buy Again?  not til they fix it


24 comments:

Danielle said...

I'm glad you decided to bring this up because I noticed it a few months back with the Cherry Vanilla flavor and then last week with the Caramel Swirl flavor. I think me and Friendly's also need to see other people ;)

Dubba Scoops said...

My daughter says they broke Party Cake as well, she is refusing to eat it. I tried a bite and can't say I blame her.

Deb said...

That's a shame...I really like friendlys. I haven't had it in months so I haven't noticed anything. Last time I had it was forbidden chocolate and that still tasted great as did the all natural vanilla. Do you know if those have since changed?

I sure hope they keep most favors good quality as it would be sad to see yet another brand go downhill (ahem...Breyers...)

Dubba Scoops said...

Funny, I was thinking about the dark chocolate as well since one of my coworkers is a huge fan of it. I want to say this is a change that has started in the back half of the year, though we don't know if they are going flavor by flavor or just messed with all of them at once. At this point I am afraid that all their flavors might go this way. I can already think of at least a half dozen that are like this. I kind of feel guilty because I've been buying Friendlys for my wife and daughter while eating the all natural turkey hill, and my wife said something like "yeah, it just hasn't been that good recently".

With Breyers awful and now friendly's (technically Edy's has been better than they were before), that leaves us with Blue Bunny and Turkey Hill as mainstream choices that aren't gummy yet. At this point, I'll be tempted to grab a budget Hood flavor over a gummy mainstream product.

{Disclaimer: this is all speculation mind you, I have no inside info}

Deb said...

Oh dear...if I have to resort to Hood, that is a problem. It's not terrible but definitely not close to the friendlys, edys, or Breyers of "yore"! I did recently have edys light cookie dough and thought it was terrific. I generally don't like their slow churned but was impressed with this one.

I sure hope friendlys doesn't go cheap with all flavors. They already skimp on chips in mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip but the high quality ice cream saved those flavors...

Adam said...

Well, if you live in Texas at least you can get Blue Bell. I moved here right in time for people to go through the stages of mourning, acceptance, and then overwhelming insanity when it returned. Pretty damn good, too. Especially the simple flavors like Dutch Chocolate and Homemade Vanilla.

I never eat Vanilla Bean Ice cream, though. Always gotta be French Vanilla. I'd be curious to know how Friendly's French Vanilla is. Typically the eggs keep things very creamy. It was always my go to.

(We also get Tillamook out west, and it is very good. The only thing is both Blue Bell and Tillamook run higher than the other brands price-wise. That said, scoop-shop distribution from Edy's/TH/Hershey's is always going to be better than store products.)

Danielle said...

I just finished a container of the Forbidden Chocolate and it's still decent. As a huge fan of that flavor as well I didn't notice the gumminess just a bit of iciness to the product!

Dubba Scoops said...

@Deb: agreed on Hood, but have you tried some of their crazier flavors like fried ice cream and mystic white gold? i've purchased them multiple times

@Adam: Texas? Whoa (do I say congrats when someone moves? iunno). As for Friendlys, I don't even care at this point. If they come out with a new limited edition then maybe I will try it (currently they have recycling last years l.e. flavor), but otherwise, I'm not buying it anymore. I've been relying on them (somewhat) to keep up our base stock but no more. I won't buy french vanilla in the hopes that it "sucks less". That is not enough for me :)

@D: good to know!

Anonymous said...

@ Adam,

Eat Blue Bell at your own risk; they've found listeria in their plant once again. They are saying it's not in any product but not sure I would trust that.

I know people love the brand but the listeria thing skeeves me out! I saw Jeni's ice cream has returned to the Fresh Market after their listeria experience. The $11.00 per pint price tag keeps me away.

Adam said...

Sure Anon. I relish the chance to live dangerously. It's delicious, and cheaper than overpriced designer ice cream (with or without listeria)

Dubba Scoops said...

@Anon & Adam: listeria not actually found, more like a potential problem area https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10154474689116679&id=40390321678

Shae L said...

I thought if it was "frozen dairy dessert" the carton could not say Ice cream. I am confused. How do you know this is not real ice cream anymore? I did notice recently the Butter Pecan is terrible. I even wrote and asked them if the recipe has changed. They said it had not but I have been buying it for 35 years and I know it has changed .

Anonymous said...

The biggest change for me was when they switched containers. Probably totally mental and not bounded in reality, but I figure at that point they changed manufacturers as well.

It's a shame too. At this point I like Turkey Hill for bigger carton style containers.

TheIcon said...

It reminds me of cheese. Where I think for it to be labeled cheese it has to be 51% cheese.

Well I feel like maybe a few of the ice cream companies are making it 51% ice cream. So while its not necessarily frozen dairy dessert it is bordering it very closely.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Shae (and TheIcon): Maybe the recipe hasnt changed but the production style has? I dont know what's going on, but I do know this is not the same stuff I was eating a year ago. This stuff is just wrong. Maybe it still has enough milk fat and solids to be considered "ice cream" by the FDA but I have no reason to eat it. I was actually at Market Basket with my daughter and she's like "let's just skip friendlys". We are done with them for now.

@Anon: If it was a store brand, than yes, a carton change can imply a manufacturer change, but when you deal with the manufacturer, a carton change is all about cost containment.

Nom said...

"You are moving towards the disgrace that is known as frozen dairy dessert. Why would you do this?" (LOL)
Corn Syrup and Diglycerides?
bleck!
The review ending was awesome!

Nom said...

Dubba,
If it's appropriate to ask, how old is your daughter?
She's so opinionated, it's awesome! I find myself giggling at all of her comments.
"Let's just skip Friendly's, we're done with them for now."
Haha!

Deb said...

Coincidentally, I was listening to a podcast you were on in summer 2013 with the DHAP podcast and you two were talking about how great friendlys ice cream was...and he specifically mentioned the vanilla. And then you were saying that so many franchises closed due to terrible food (and I'd add ridiculously slow service) and you feared people would forget how good the ice cream was. Funny timing...

Dubba Scoops said...

@Deb: yeah, they fixed the food and the service and now their ice cream is a mess, at least in the freezer aisle anyway

Deb said...

I know that you are not keen on Friendly's right now but I saw that there are several new sundae cups and thought they might have enough "fun factor" to be worth a try...I saw a salty caramel one, a color vanilla one, a Heath one, and maybe one more.

Deb said...

Ah yes...the last one is cherry chocolate chunk sundae cup.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Deb: I've seen a few of the newly designed cups and checking the website, yup, you're right, 4 new flavors (for a grand total of 16 cups now!). Yeah, I'll probably still scoop these as I find them on sale, so no worries.

Deb said...

Excellent, I know that I send you a ton of requests but I really like your reviews so I am eager to read your take on the Breyers ice cream cake I send you the picture of (it says ice cream so hopefully its better than most of their stuff) and these new cups!

Anonymous said...

Here it is the last day of July 2016 and this "ice cream" is still terrible...gummy was the first word that came to mind when I dipped it to eat for the first time. Believe me, I wish I'd seen these reviews first or I never would have bought any of this brand. As it is, I wasted money on 3 cartons; butter pecan (very gummy, very few but bitter tasting pecan pieces and barely any of that "butter flavor" that makes this flavor popular), fudge ripple (also gummy) and chocolate peanut butter cup (also gummy)
The first thing I noticed was that it's gooey and gummy when dipped and bitten into. This ice cream really can't be licked, it must be bitten because of the weird, gross consistency. I thought I was getting a deal because the size of the carton was larger than my usual brand. I'll pay more for the smaller usual brand (Mayfield here in NC)
This should not be called ice cream. It doesn't taste like ice cream, it doesn't dip like ice cream and it doesn't "eat" like ice cream. It's plain nasty. Very disappointed.