McDonald’s Says Ice Cream Made With Fake Vanilla

The fast food giant has been on a mission to eliminate synthetic ingredients from its products. A new report says McDonald’s replaces the fake vanilla in the ice cream with real vanilla extract and other natural flavors.

McDonald’s has changed their recipe for ice cream. They have replaced their fake vanilla with real vanilla extract, which is a big deal because the fake vanilla was a key part of their business model.

McDonald039s-Says-Ice-Cream-Made-With-Fake-Vanilla-TopAccording to a recent class action lawsuit filed against McDonald’s, the fast food chain’s vanilla ice cream does not include genuine vanilla.

Plaintiff Emelina Webber alleges that the restaurant misled her and other customers by claiming that their soft serve ice cream was vanilla-flavored. The ice cream is said to include synthetic vanillin instead of genuine vanilla flavour.

Soft serve vanilla ice cream cones from McDonald’s are a mainstay on the fast food chain’s menu. The ice cream comes in a range of sizes and is available at over 14,000 outlets throughout the nation. The soft serve dessert is said to be characterized as “vanilla” many times.

This description may be seen on menu boards, drive-thru displays, self-service kiosks, online websites, advertising, marketing, and other places, according to Webber.

Despite McDonald’s repeated assurances that their soft serve ice cream includes vanilla, Webber’s class action alleges that the dessert is actually flavored with synthetic tastes that aren’t vanilla.


The McDonald’s class action complaint alleges that “the statements are deceptive because, although the flavor is described as vanilla, the vanilla taste and flavor is not supplied solely by vanilla but by non-vanilla sources.”

Vanilla is a desirable taste, but owing to the restricted availability and expensive cost of vanilla beans, it is vulnerable to food fraud, according to Webber. Companies are allegedly turning to alternate flavoring sources that imitate the taste of genuine vanilla, rather of using actual vanilla flavorings like vanilla extract.

Vanillin is a common flavoring substitute. Despite the fact that vanillin may be extracted from the vanilla bean, Webber claims that only one to two percent of vanillin used in commercial products comes from the vanilla plant.

Despite this, synthetic vanillin is still used for cost reasons. According to reports, one ounce of vanillin is equivalent to a gallon of single-fold vanilla extract, allowing producers to utilize less of the product for a stronger taste profile.

When it comes to soft serve vanilla ice cream, Webber says that McDonald’s follows this pattern. The ice cream’s ingredient label reportedly mentions “natural flavor,” but no indication of vanilla extract or another genuine vanilla flavor.


According to reports, the absence of vanilla taste suggests that the product is solely flavored with other flavorings. If vanilla extract were included in the “natural flavor” component, according to Webber, it would be mentioned separately.

Webber claims that since the goods lack genuine vanilla, McDonald’s is obliged to declare the flavor source while advertising its ice cream. For example, Webber argues that the goods should be labeled “vanilla flavored ice cream” rather than “vanilla ice cream.”

The class action lawsuit also claims that the absence of explicit flavor disclosures is misleading. The plaintiff and other customers reportedly paid extra for the ice cream because it was advertised as having genuine vanilla taste. Webber claims that her and other customers were financially harmed as a result of these misleading promises.

Did you purchase a McDonald’s ice cream cone thinking it was made with genuine vanilla? Please share your thoughts in the comments area below.

Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates PC represents Webber and the proposed Class.


Webber v. McDonald’s Corporation, Case No. 7:20-cv-02058, is the name of the McDonald’s Ice Cream Cone Class Action Lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

McDonald’s is being sued for using fake vanilla in their ice cream. The company is claiming that they have not been using any artificial flavors or colors. They are also claiming that the ice cream is dairy-free, but some people think otherwise. Reference: is mcdonald’s ice cream real dairy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does McDonalds use fake ice cream?


Why do McDonalds employees say the ice cream machine is broken?

A: The ice cream machine is not broken, its just out of stock. Employees say this because McDonalds does not like to over-promise and might run out of the product if many people buy it at once.

Why does McDonalds ice cream taste different?

A: McDonalds ice cream changes depending on the region in which it is sold. For example, Canadian and Mexican versions of McDonalds have a sugar content that does not derive from milk or egg products, while New York locations use an artificial sweetener called high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar to keep their version cheaper than other regions.

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