On a journey to evolve with consumer preferences and offer greater choice, Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Oakland, Calif., announced key ingredient improvements to its Edy’s, Häagen-Dazs, Outshine, Skinny Cow, Nestlé Ice Cream and Nestlé Drumstick brands.

This is the latest milestone in a multi-year effort to update existing products across the entire portfolio of brands. With a focus on simplifying ingredient lists, the newest changes vary across more than 100 products with the removal of artificial colors and flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients, among others.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include the use of fresh milk from cows not treated with rBST, the addition of more real fruit or fruit juice and a reduction in sugar by an average of 11% on select products. In December 2015, Nestlé also announced that it will transition to using only cage-free eggs in all of its U.S. food products, including ice cream, within the next five years. Nationwide rollout for the newly updated products began in March.

Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream understands that consumers want to know what’s in their food, where those ingredients come from and how the food products they purchase are made,” says Robert Kilmer, president, Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream. “We are the industry leader when it comes to innovation, and as consumer demand centers on transparency and choice, we are responding with new ways to make ice cream even better. Using simpler ingredients that our consumers can recognize and removing those that don’t belong is a natural next step for our brands.”

The evolution of Edy’s Slow Churned
When it comes to ice cream, Nestlé is no stranger to innovation.

A marquee example is Edy’s Slow Churned, which is made from a proprietary process that slowly churns ingredients together to produce half the fat and one-third fewer calories than full-fat ice cream.

Nestlé announced nine of its most popular Edy’s Slow Churned flavors will now be branded Slow Churned Simple Recipes to reflect their simpler ingredient profile. The improved recipes feature a label with 7-8 ingredients, reduced from an average of 22. Additional changes include the removal of all artificial colors and flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients along with the addition of fresh milk from cows not treated with rBST. Examples of specific ingredients removed include carrageenan and xantham gum, replaced with ingredients such as pectin.

“Our mission is to deliver the best product for the consumer,” says research scientist Michael Sharp. “In the case of Simple Recipes, this meant maintaining the great taste and texture of an established and well-liked product with simpler ingredients that consumers understand.”

Nestlé plans to update the remaining Slow Churned flavors by the end of 2017, and will continue to update other products across all brands.