Friday, January 28, 2011

ice cream wars

Whether you knew about it or not, there is a war being waged in the aisles of your local grocery store. The war for ice cream supremacy. If you are passionate about ice cream, then I'm sure you have your allegiances. Perhaps you are a Breyer's fan? Or maybe you're a big personality and you like Ben & Jerry's. I'd posit that these are some of the "nicer" ice creams out there, when it comes to quality and taste. But over the course of the past few years we have solidly been a Private Selection family. Private Selection is the house brand for the Kroger family Groceries (Smiths, Ralphs, King Soopers).  It may just be a Western US thing. I'm not sure.

This was really no contest.  Private Selection (PS) flavor rivaled even the poshest of brands, but it's real secret weapon was its price.  As a member of the exclusive, highly selective "My Rewards" class of shopper, two half gallons of PS could be purchased for $5.00.  This became particularly attractive in light of Breyer's being nearly that much for one half gallon, and Ben & Jerry's being close to $5 for like a thimble full of ice cream.  No thanks.

Due to their unsurpassed quality and price, it really was no contest.  They were killing it in the ice cream wars.  They were kind of like the hot girl that didn't know she was hot.  A highly unscientific, irregular, informal survey on my part noted at least 75% of ice cream being purchased at these family of grocers was PS.  They were killing it.

But then PS found out how awesome it was, and really upped the ante.  They've gone and fancied themselves up, undergoing a complete rebrand offering an ice cream that is more "refined, refreshed, and reimagined."

In addition to changing their packaging, they are giving you flavors like sea salt, ganache, and a host of other things that sound like you could find them on the floor of the meditteranian.

The other thing they've gone and done (and simultaneously broke our hearts), is jacked their price up to $3.99 a gallon!  PS, how could you?

What happened to those years of faithful patronage?  We became so accustomed to your humble $2.50 a piece price - I honestly can't bare the thought to spend that much on ice cream.  It seems like other ice creams out there are following suit, and most ice cream companies are jacking up their prices.  We can't even get the poor man's Breyer's for $2.50 any more...

With strict ideas on what a half gallon of ice cream should cost, we have been cast into the ice cream goulags of cheap, cheap ice cream.  Meadow Gold, and other unmentionable brands.

I turn to you - internet community.  What's a frugal ice cream fan to do in such trying times?  Bite the bullet and follow PS into the upper class where it rightfully belongs?  Switch brands?  What's your preference when it comes to ice cream?  Maybe I should just start buying that frozen-swill they sell by the gallon - that'll teach them.

9 comments:

Priscilla said...

David you have hit a nerve- The "new-fancier-much smaller" packaging looks good but they have eliminated my absolute favorite flavor. Chocolate Almond Endulgence. I think we should revolt. I am personally boycotting all King Soopers Ice cream until they bring it back!! Maybe I'll lose some weight...

david said...

priscilla, this is serious business. i don't see PS returning back to becoming the brand of the people for a very long time. we must find another brand to show our disapproval!

Serena Cherry said...

We don't have "PS" out here and now I am mad because I just read Priscilla's comment about Chocolate Almond Endulgence!! Are you kidding me? I hate when brands decide to appease the market. As for the Cherry's, we wait until we see any brand go on sale. We buy Edy's (Dryers to you), Bryers or Turkey Hill. Only when it is on sale. Unfortunately. No Meadow Gold for us.

david said...

i think turkey hill might be the same as blue bunney, if i'm not mistaken.

we need a real ice cream expert on here to set us all straight.

ashley said...

I just had a thought-- maybe I should start making ice cream! Any flavor you want, you got it. You just have to wait 16 hours for it to be ready eat.

david said...

ashley, there is a kitchen aid ice cream extension - lets do it!

http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/product/KICA0WH

Dawn D. Lion said...

Costco vanilla is good. You can stir stuff in to customize it, good price.
I tend to get Breyers on sale. I'm picky about not having HFCS in it, whihc rules out all but the swank stuff. Sometimes B and J goes on sale 2 for $5 here, not a bad deal.

Blythe said...

All brands go on sale, and usually at least one name brand (Dryer's, Breyer's, Blue Bunny) is on sale at any given time.

I'll be honest: If I am buying for my kids (which I usually am) I buy what's on sale. If I am buying for myself, I buy Ben and Jerry's. Because does anyone really NEED to eat a bigger carton of ice cream than that?

Kelly and Matt said...

The coolest freshest ice cream strategy is the ice cream maker. Santa brought me one this December (as requested) and it produces the freshest, tastiest cold cream. Ganache, sea salt, green tea, vanilla bean, whatever your foodie palette desires. Take that hottie who doesn't know she's a hottie -there's a cool girl in town who knows she's cool.