Don’t you hate it when you get distracted after opening an ice cream sandwich and it melts? On the flip side, don’t you hate it when it … doesn’t melt? An Ohio mom tells Cincinnati's WCPO that she got a little alarmed upon discovering that her son's Walmart Great Value sandwich bar was still mostly intact after being left on the patio for 12 hours on an 80-degree day. Christie Watson conducted a second test with similar results, and the TV station then confirmed it by comparing the Walmart brand against Haagen-Dazs and Klondike. Melt-off results showed that the other two brands liquefied at rates you’d expect after 30 minutes in the sun—read: fairly quickly—while the Walmart sandwich melted only a wee bit.
So what gives? It's because of "certain specific ingredients that, when taken together, have the net effect of creating un-cream," writes CA Pinkham at Jezebel's Kitchenette. Consider that Haagen-Dazs ingredients' list consists of just cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. It melts fast. But the Walmart brand has a much bigger list of ingredients, including "stabilizers" such as corn syrup, guar gum, and cellulose gum that slow down melting, explains Fox News. All are FDA-approved, and they generally keep the price of store-brand bars relatively low—even if the resulting "ice cream" doesn't quite behave the way you'd expect. (Another childhood staple, McDonald’s Happy Meals, also have a long shelf life.)