8 Grocery Chains With the Best Store-Brand Ice Cream
Few things are as quintessentially summer as ice cream truck jingles echoing through neighborhoods and lines at ice cream stands snaking around the block. But you can recreate that summer feeling year-round by stocking your freezer with cartons of store-bought ice cream.
Whether you prefer to buy half-gallons of your favorite scoopable flavor or handheld treats like ice cream bars or sandwiches, some grocery stores excel in their selection of store-brand desserts. You can find national brands like Ben & Jerry's, Häagen-Dazs, and Tillamook at most of them, but the store-brand ice creams are giving these national players a run for their money with a growing selection of premium offerings.
You do not have to sacrifice flavor if you want to save a few bucks by shopping store-brand. Consider these grocery chains for great ice cream at bargain prices.
Trader Joe's almost exclusively carries private-label items, and ice cream is no exception. In fact, its wide selection consists of everything from bulk buys to single-package novelty treats. Expect to find flavors ranging from the classic French Vanilla and Mint Chip to offbeat delicacies like Cookie Butter and Ube. The Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones are another popular choice among customers.
Regular customers swear by H-E-B, and if you are from the state of Texas, you probably agree with them. The regional grocery chain based largely in the Lone Star State is known for many fan-favorite store-brand items, including its ice cream. Its Creamy Creations line includes classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate as well as unique varieties like Peach Cobbler, and it's one of the reasons fans will tell you that H-E-B does it better than other grocery stores.
A massive grocery chain like Kroger might not seem like the place where you would find high-quality store-brand products that rival smaller, family-owned supermarkets. But when you peruse its frozen foods aisle, keep your eyes peeled for Kroger's Private Selection of ice cream. Shoppers can find decadent flavors like Amaretto Cherry Cordial, Sea Salt Caramel Truffle, and Southern Butter Pecan. Kroger regulars are fans of the Private Selection, even claiming that it trumps all other grocery store ice cream brands. "Hands down Kroger's Private Selection Cookies & Cream is best cookies and cream ice cream I've ever had," said one Redditor.
There are all kinds of ice cream treats you can get at a great bargain at Costco. But one of the most popular ones is its own Kirkland Super Premium Vanilla ice cream, which is consistently voted as one of the absolute best items the company carries. In fact, fans go into a frenzy whenever the frozen treat goes on sale.
If you want to make sure that you are purchasing ice cream made from the best ingredients possible, head to Whole Foods. The nationwide grocery chain is committed to selling products made with zero artificial flavors or unnecessary ingredients, including those sold under its private label 365. The frozen foods aisle at Whole Foods is full of good finds, including its store-brand desserts such as ice cream cartons and organic novelty treats like Fudge Bars and Ice Cream Sandwiches.
It may be tempting to go with your favorite national brands when shopping for groceries at Target, but the big box store actually has good store-brand products too. Its Favorite Day lineup of ice creams includes classic flavors like Chocolate, French Vanilla, and Cookie Dough. Target also sells low-calorie options that include Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mocha Cold Brew Coffee, and Mint Cookies 'n Cream.
One Redditor highlighted Target's low-calorie ice cream as a great alternative to premium brands at a lower price: "The low-calorie ice cream is comparable to Halo Top in calories, and it tastes way better. Super good for anyone trying to lose weight and still wanting something sweet."
If delicious bargain ice cream is what you're looking for, then Aldi should be your destination. The discount supermarket chain is full of private-label products that extend all the way to its frozen foods aisle. When shopping for ice cream, be on the lookout for the chain's Sundae Shoppe brand, as well as Earth Grown for the non-dairy selections. Redditors pointed out that Aldi's Super Premium line of ice cream from Sundae Shop is exceptional, with one adding, "The Super Premium plain vanilla is so good. It's pretty much all I buy anymore. Way better than the other ones."
Stew Leonard's is a small grocery chain with less than 10 locations across Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Do not let its small size fool you, however. Stew Leonard's prides itself on high-quality grocery items, many of which are prepared fresh on-site daily. Its store-brand ice cream is made from fresh dairy products, a practice that Stew Leonard's has been committed to since it first opened as a small dairy store in 1969. Expect to find everything from hand-packed cartons of vanilla and chocolate ice cream to hand-made Stew's Ice Cream Sandwiches.