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It's the return of innovator Reuben Mattus, with brand new lowfat ice cream line.

Just like Martin Guerre, Reuben Mattus has returned. And while the man may be the same, his ice cream isn't. The creator of Haagen-Dazs super-premium 30 years ago has, at the age of 80, joined the lowfat generation.

"Times have changed," he declared as he announced the introduction of Mattus Lowfat Ice Cream. "Today's people are a lot more concerned with their health and the foods they eat. Even ice cream lovers like me are being careful about fat and cholesterol. So I knew there was a real craving for a delicious ice cream without sacrificing your health."

Well, Mattus had a craving to get back into the ice cream business, at any rate, and at press time he was back in it in the New York metropolitan area with eight introductory flavors: original vanilla, original chocolate, coffee, cookies & cream, len & cherries, vanilla meringue, caramel crunch and chocolate/chocolate cookie. Plans were to introduce the line up and down the East Coast of the United States, throughout Florida, and in southern California. Major supermarket chains and convenience stores are being targeted for distribution.

Mattus Lowfat is only three percent fat, compared to 16% for super-premiums like Haagen-Dazs and four percent even for super-premium frozen yogurts. A four-ounce serving of the lowfat vanilla ice cream contains only 160 calories, compared to 260 for a comparable super-premium ice cream and 170 for a comparable super-premium yogurt; and only 16% of the calories come from fat, vs. 60% for super-premium ice cream and 21% for super-premium yogurt, Mattus said. But these standards limit expansion of the line, admitted daughter and partner Doris Hurley: "Don't expect to find Mattus Lowfat Peanut Butter Ice Cream until we can figure out how to get the fat out of the peanuts."

Mattus has been in the frozen dessert business since helping out in his parents' store in the Bronx to make Italian ices. In 1932, he took over the family business and opened Senator Frozen Products, Inc., to make ice cream. After his marriage in 1936 to Rose Vesel, he and his wife changed the name of the firm to Ciro's and expanded its distribution. During the 1950s, they introduced such now-standard ideas as low-round pint containers and packaging color-coded by flavor. In 1959, Mattus launched Haagen-Dazs, the first of the super-premiums. It took 17 years, what with the lack of advertising or marketing money, to get the word out -- but in 1976, the product finally took off, and took over the company (the Ciro's brand was phased out). The family sold Haagen-Dazs to the Pillsbury Company in 1983, but Mattus himself stayed on as a consultant until 1990.
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Title Annotation:maker of Haagen-Dazs superpremium line
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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