If you always pick up a tub of ice cream every time you go to the grocery store, then you’ve probably noticed that Haagen Dazs is much costlier than most ice cream brands. All ice creams are essentially made with milk, cream, and sugar, but why is Haagen Dazs so expensive compared to its rival brands?
There are two main reasons for Haagen Dazs’ hefty price tag: its low amount of overrun and its high amount of fat.
In ice cream production, overrun refers to the amount of air incorporated into the ice cream. 100% overrun means that 50% of the resulting ice cream is mixture (milk, cream, sugar, and other ingredients) and the other 50% is air. Ice cream with 100% overrun means that the ice cream contains more air than mixture.
Ice creams with lower overrun ratio have fewer ice crystals and that produce a much denser, creamier, and richer texture and taste. With super-premium ice cream like Haagen Dazs, consumers are getting less air and more product, which means they’re getting more actual ice cream for their money.
According to Eater, Reuben Mattus ― who co-founded Haagen Dazs with his wife Rose Vessel in The Bronx, New York, in 1960 ― cut the overrun ratio of their ice cream to 20% to help make the brand stand out from its competitors. For comparison, expensive ice cream brands usually have 25% to 50% overrun, while economical brands have around 120% overrun.
Fat, meanwhile, is the main thing consumers are paying for in ice cream. Ice cream with more amount of fat has a smoother texture. But since fat is pricey, non-premium brands with less fat use emulsifiers and stabilizers to help bring the mixture together and maintain an ideal texture.
Expensive ice cream brands have 15% to 18% of fat, while affordable brands often go as low as 10%. Haagen Dazs, in particular, contains 15% of fat.
In addition to its low amount of overrun and its high amount of fat, Haagen Dazs’ natural and premium ingredients also contribute to the brand’s expensive price, which is usually around $5.50 a pint.