Sep 2, 2016

Ice Cream Serving Sizes

Not so Giant.


Just because summer is ending doesn't mean we can't still enjoy ice cream.

Ice cream in Japan is just better in my opinion. Maybe the quality is better than a lot of brands of American ice cream, but it doesn't seem as syrupy sweet. Plus, way more fun flavors. Of course, matcha, also yuzu, kabocha, kinako, and rare cheesecake. Don't you like the Japanese ice cream flavors?


I recently observed that ice cream bars in Japan are around a quarter of the size of the ones sold in the US. (Laughing to myself at the people who wonder why they gain weight in the US after living in Japan.) I did a tiny bit of research to see how accurate that observation was, plus got a few pictures of funny ice cream brands here in Japan.


Deka! It means HUGE.


Just What is a Serving Size of Ice Cream?


In the US, a serving of ice cream was a half cup or around 118 ml (about one scoop), until a couple years ago. The FDA decided that no one actually eats only a half cup of ice cream, so they changed a serving size to one full cup on food labels. They wanted “a more user-friendly version,” according to the FDA Commissioner.

More like a 'more chubby-friendly version.'


To be clear, the changes made by the FDA simplify labels so we know what we're really consuming (if we eat an entire small package of something), instead of calling one can of soda 2.5 servings, for example. While this does make more sense, working on consuming less of these sugary foods would solve the country's obesity problem more efficiently, wouldn't it? Like smaller sized soda cans and ice cream bars maybe? This year, some British ice cream companies are reducing the sizes of their single serving products so they are at 250 calories or less.


Sixteen of these in a box = they can't be very big, can they? And wrinkly?



Let's Look at Ice Cream Sizes in Japan (in milliliters)


Häagen-Dazs in Japan: 110 ml (mini) - 473 ml (pint, rarely seen)

Meiji Super Cup: 90 ml (mini) – 200 ml

Glico Sorbet: 85 ml

Deka Bar ('Huge' ice cream bar): 115 ml each

Black Chocolate Ice Bars: 53 ml (box of seven) - 83 ml (individual)

(Their website...what?? http://www.akagi.com/brand/black/index.html)

Giant (ice cream cone): 60 ml each


My personal favorite lately.



Compared With (often-overeaten) Ice Cream in the US


Häagen-Dazs in the US: 106 ml (mini) – 414 ml (pint)

Ben & Jerry's: 120 ml (mini) - 450 ml (pint)

Big Stick (Popsicle): 103.5 ml

Fudgesicle (chocolate ice pop): 74 ml

Magnum Chocolate Bar: 120 ml


A Black Ice Cream Bar, from the box of seven.


They're not so different after all, but I did compare mostly Japanese products with 'big' sounding names.

Never mind that Japanese women might eat only one spoon of ice cream at a time to maintain their figures. (After all, the Haagen Dazs is slightly bigger in Japan!?) I could eat half of a Super Cup, but to be honest, I usually eat the whole thing. I guess I am an American.


Now let's be honest, how much ice cream do you eat at a time? Do you think the sizes in Japan are too small & eat more than one portion? What's the biggest size ice cream you can buy in Japan? I think around here it's about 450 ml, only in vanilla or vanilla / chocolate.


1 Comment

  • JTsuzuki

    on Sep 2

    How interesting! Thanks for doing the research. I knew there was a reason why my (Japanese) husband prefers the super cups! I don't mind the smaller sizes for after dinner treats, but he whines if it's anything smaller than the super cup, which it always is if it isn't the super cup. That said, I have seen almost-pints of Lady Borden at our grocery store, and you can always buy a pint at Baskin Robbins, though that's a bit on the pricey side.