What sweetener is in Breyers sugar-free ice cream?

For people with diabetes or those looking to limit their sugar intake, finding dessert options can be challenging. Ice cream is a popular dessert, but it’s typically high in sugar. Sugar-free ice cream provides a way for people to enjoy ice cream without all of the added sugar.

The Popularity of Sugar-Free Ice Cream

Sugar-free ice creams have become increasingly popular as more people aim to reduce their sugar consumption. According to market research, sales of sugar-free ice creams grew over 50% from 2013 to 2018. Breyers is one of the top selling brands of sugar-free ice cream.

There are a few key reasons for the popularity of sugar-free ice creams like Breyers:

  • Helps people with diabetes manage blood sugar levels
  • Allows those limiting sugar intake to still enjoy ice cream
  • Provides a guilt-free treat for weight watchers
  • Appeals to health-conscious consumers looking to cut back on sugar

The rise in low-carb and ketogenic diets has also helped drive demand for sugar-free dessert options. With its sugar-free line, Breyers offers a way for ice cream lovers to stick to their diets or health goals while still being able to indulge.

Breyers’ Sugar-Free Ice Cream Options

Breyers first launched their line of sugar-free ice creams in 1986. Today, they offer a variety of sugar-free flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Neapolitan
  • Coffee
  • Mint chocolate chip
  • Cookies & cream
  • Rocky road
  • Fudge swirl
  • Caramel swirl

In addition to traditional ice cream flavors, Breyers has seasonal sugar-free options like pumpkin pie and eggnog available during the fall and winter months.

Most flavors are available in both original and light varieties. Breyers Light ice creams are reduced in fat to cut down on calories while still limiting sugar content.

The Sugar Substitutes Used in Breyers Sugar-Free Ice Cream

So if Breyers isn’t using real sugar in their sugar-free ice creams, what sweeteners are they using instead? Breyers uses a blend of different sugar substitutes to recreate the taste and texture of real ice cream without all the added sugar.

Here are the key sugar substitutes found in Breyers sugar-free ice cream products:


Sucralose is an artificial sweetener known by the brand name Splenda. It’s made by replacing parts of sugar molecules with chlorine atoms. This results in a no-calorie sweetener that is about 600 times sweeter than real sugar.

Sucralose allows Breyers to achieve the sweetness of sugar in their sugar-free ice creams without adding calories or spiking blood sugar levels. Unlike aspartame, sucralose is heat-stable so it holds up well to being frozen in ice cream.

Acesulfame Potassium

Acesulfame potassium, also known as Ace-K, is another artificial sweetener used in Breyers sugar-free products. It’s approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Since it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, Ace-K is often combined with other sweeteners. Along with sucralose, it helps enhance the sweet flavor in Breyers ice cream without real sugar’s effects.

Natural Flavors

In addition to artificial sweeteners, Breyers uses natural flavors in their sugar-free ice creams. These flavors further mimic the taste of real sugar and cream. Common natural flavors include cream, milk, vanilla, chocolate, and fruit flavors.

Extracts like vanilla and coconut extract can provide sweetness without sugar. Natural flavors complement the sweeteners to produce great taste and texture.

Achieving the Creamy Texture Without Sugar

One of the challenges in making reduced-sugar ice cream is replicating the creamy, scoopable texture that real ice cream has. Sugar acts as a natural “anti-freeze” – it lowers the freezing point of ice cream to soften it and make it smooth.

Without sugar, ice cream would freeze into a solid block of ice. So how does Breyers pull off a creamy texture without it? Here are some tricks they use:

  • Adding milk proteins and gums – these act as thickeners and emulsifiers to add body
  • Keeping the ice cream churned – constant churning prevents hard ice crystals from forming
  • Using hydrocolloids – ingredients like guar gum that control ice crystal formation
  • Lowering the freezing point with sugar substitutes

With the right mix of ingredients and manufacturing techniques, Breyers creates the smooth, creamy treat sugar-free ice cream fans enjoy.

The Nutritional Profile of Breyers Sugar-Free Ice Cream

So what are the nutrition facts on Breyers sugar-free products? Here is a look at the nutrition information for 1/2 cup serving sizes of a few flavors:

Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream

Calories 90
Total Fat 5g
Sodium 75mg
Total Carbs 6g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g

Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Calories 100
Total Fat 6g
Sodium 105mg
Total Carbs 7g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 0g
Protein 3g

As you can see, Breyers sugar-free ice cream contains no sugar and has minimal calories and carbs per serving. This makes it a smart dessert choice for managing diabetes, restricting carbs, or limiting calories.

The Taste Profile of Sugar-Free vs Regular Ice Cream

While sugar-free ice creams aim to re-create the taste of the real thing, there are some differences in flavor. Here’s a look at how the taste compares:

  • Sweetness – Sugar-free brands use artificial sweeteners to mimic sugar’s taste. The sweetness is very close to real ice cream.
  • Texture – Additives like gums and milk proteins produce creamy body and mouthfeel.
  • Richness – Since sugar enhances the perception of fat, sugar-free ice creams may taste slightly less rich and fatty.
  • Aftertaste – Some people note an “artificial” aftertaste from sweeteners.

However, Breyers minimizes any off tastes by blending sweeteners and real dairy ingredients. Many consumers say Breyers sugar-free is nearly indistinguishable from regular ice cream.

Cost Comparison of Sugar-Free vs Regular Ice Cream

You may be wondering how the price of sugar-free ice cream compares to regular ice cream. Here is a look at average prices for 48oz tubs:

Ice Cream Type Average Price
Breyers Original $4.29
Breyers CarbSmart (Sugar Free) $5.49

On average, Breyers sugar-free ice cream tubs cost about $1 more than regular Breyers ice cream. The difference is likely due to the higher manufacturing costs for sugar-free ingredients.

However many consumers feel the added health benefits of reduced sugar and carbohydrates justify the slightly higher price.

Where to Buy Breyers Sugar-Free Ice Cream

Breyers sugar-free ice cream is available at all major grocery stores that carry ice cream. Here are some of the leading retailers that stock it:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Harris Teeter
  • Albertsons
  • Safeway
  • Stop & Shop
  • Winn Dixie
  • H-E-B

Breyers sugar-free flavors can be found in the frozen desserts section alongside regular Breyers and other diet ice creams. Stores may only carry select flavors, so check the nutrition labels to identify the sugar-free options.

Many retailers also have it available on their websites for home delivery. Breyers sugar-free ice cream can also be purchased online from Amazon Fresh and Instacart.

Reasons to Choose Breyers Sugar-Free Ice Cream

Here are some of the top reasons Breyers is one of the best options for sugar-free ice cream:

  • Uses natural dairy ingredients for real ice cream taste
  • Sweetened with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium
  • Offers a wide variety of sugar-free flavors
  • Has an excellent low-sugar nutritional profile
  • Produces a creamy, scoopable texture
  • Is an affordable option compared to competitors
  • Easy to find at major grocery retailers

Breyers delivers the same delicious ice cream experience people love without all of the sugar. For those monitoring their sugar and carb intake, it’s the perfect way to satisfy cravings!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Breyers sugar-free ice cream Keto friendly?

Yes, Breyers sugar-free ice cream can fit into a Keto diet. With only 2-3g net carbs per serving, it’s a low-carb way to enjoy ice cream without kicking yourself out of ketosis.

What is the difference between Breyers CarbSmart and regular Breyers?

Breyers CarbSmart ice creams are sugar-free and contain less than half the carbs of regular Breyers flavors. They are sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

Does Breyers sugar-free ice cream affect blood sugar?

No, Breyers sugar-free ice cream has minimal effects on blood sugar compared to regular ice cream due to using non-nutritive sweeteners instead of sugar.

Is sucralose bad for you?

Most health experts consider sucralose safe for human consumption. While some small studies raise concerns, larger reviews have found no clear evidence of harm from sucralose.

Is Breyers sugar-free gluten free?

Yes, Breyers sugar-free flavors are labeled gluten-free. They do not contain any ingredients derived from wheat, barley, rye, or other gluten-containing grains.

The Bottom Line

When you choose Breyers sugar-free ice cream, you can enjoy the same delicious taste without all the sugar. Breyers crafts their sugar-free line using a careful blend of artificial sweeteners coupled with real cream and milk. With great flavor and nutrition stats, Breyers sugar-free ice cream is the perfect way to indulge your cravings while sticking to your dietary needs!

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