Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ice Cream Downsized?

Just when I thought the world couldn't throw anything my way that would surprise me, they shrink my favorite ice cream from the traditional 1/2 gallon size to 1.5 quarts.

Breyers has recently accomplished what is known as a back door price increase by changing packaging ever so slightly, in fact I hadn't noticed the shift from 1/2 gallon to the 1.75 quart size a few years ago.

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But withhold a 1/2 quart now that I noticed. The ice cream manufacturer changed their packing by keeping the same height and width so that at least on the freezer shelf their package looks like the traditional 1/2 gallon, but wait the package is nearly 1 inch narrower.

What's next ten eggs vs a dozen? I hate to be in a nostalgia rut but whatever happened to a baker's dozen or adding an extra scoop after the product was weighed and priced?

Hey Guys guess what? Even your trusted spouse is in on the scam to dilute your childhood pleasure.

"Keep your spouse on track by swapping out his favorite regular ice cream sandwich for a 100-calorie Slim-a-Bear® sandwich. If he's the type to be skeptical about better-for-you treats, this one may surprise him!" So reads a recent email advertisement for Unilever Ice Cream, the maker of the Slim-a-Bear® line.

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Slim a Bear? Give me a break!

So whatever happened to the wholesome goodness and fun that once came down the street in a "Good Humor" truck?

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Above the logo that was in use until 2000.

The sound of tinkling bells that once alerted kids to the imminent arrival of the Good Humor truck have been all but silenced, in part to changing consumer habits, over committed youth sports and of course the emergence of child predators who have made anyone who has contact with children suspect.

Back in 1961, the Good Humor Corporation owned and operated nearly 200 trucks thoughout the Midwest. Franchise operations expanded the trucks and brand deep into the South and East. When the Popsicle Corportion and Good Humor joined forces the two giants of frozen ice cream on a stick controled nearly 70% of all street vendor ice cream sales in the United States.

Good Humor ice creams once included the original Good Humor bar, Chocolate Éclair, Strawberry shortcake, Candy center crunch, Toasted Almond, Oreo bar, Giant ice cream sandwich, Cookie sandwich, Sundae cone and other from the Popsicle line, the classic Creamsicle, Fudgsicle, and red white and blue Firecracker.

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Today you can still find Good Humor ice cream products in grocery stores and mini marts as well as Unilever's other brands, popsicle, Breyers, and Klondike.

The truck operations at Good Humor ceased in 1978. Now a handful of ice cream truck enthusiasts and small vendors scattered about the the country continue to operate the famous "Good Humor" trucks.

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Nice to know some things can still be found if you just look hard enough.

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