Summer is right around the corner and you’re probably thinking about munching on a bowl (or tub, if you’re super hungry) of rich chocolate ice cream or buttery caramel gelato. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
But, if you’re like me, you have a hard time deciding which brand to go with, especially when there are countless options facing you in the freezer section of the grocery store.
So many ice cream brands seem to sell the same flavors, have the same back story, and brag about being “original.” However, there are a few that exceed an ice cream lover’s expectations, and stand out from the rest.
So, to help you find your next go-to brand, I’ve gathered a list of the most popular ice cream brands based on their variety of flavors, list of ingredients, and overall tastiness.
Let’s see what these brands have to offer, so you can make the sweetest decisions possible when it comes to your ice cream choices.
The dynamic duo of ice-cream-making first set up shop in a gas station in Vermont! Front here, the demand for Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield’s tasty flavors grew.
Ben & Jerry
Ben & Jerry’s pioneered so many favorites and original flavors, like chocolate chip cookie dough, Netflix & Chilll’d (my favorite), and non-dairy delights like Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
Aside from satisfying ice cream lovers, Ben & Jerry’s also advocates for a healthier world, protesting against major issues like Arctic drilling and using growth hormones in dairy products.
Their secret to making their tasty treats starts with the cow, straight to the Mix Master, and to flavor experts who fine-tune each unique flavor before it hits the market.
In the 1960s, Rueben and Rose Mattus, two Polish immigrants, set out to create a made-up name for an ice-cream brand that would combine luxury taste and fun flavor.
They began with three simple flavors – vanilla, chocolate, and coffee – but then dreamed up a new way of enjoying the creamy coldness – ice cream bars!
Fast forward a few decades and Häagen-Dazs has blessed the world with their unique style of gelato.
You can find delicate vegan and gluten-free options like Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge to sweet-tasting sorbets pretty much in every grocery store.
Häagen-Dazs is one of the top brands in the country for a reason, and even though they have unique flavors, it’s their luxurious texture that they’re most known for.
Blue Bunny has been serving up refreshingly cold goodness for more than 80 years.
Their signature Load’d bars, sundaes, and cones contain all the toppings and flavors you could ask for.
I typically like to treat myself to more original flavors like Butter Pecan and Vanilla Bean, but Blue Bunny has delicious options for every palette.
The only downside to Blue Bunny ice cream is that they do not offer any gluten-free or non-GMO products.
But, if your stomach can handle dairy and gluten, then head to your local grocery store for a Blue Bunny scoopable or swirly cone when midnight hunger hits!
Edy’s / Dreyer’s
Way back when, William Dreyer and Joseph Edy formed a pair that would bring smiles and delight to families throughout the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
The iconic and popular flavor, Rocky Road, was first introduced by Dreyer and Edy in 1929. Their goal was to battle the hard times of the Great Depression.
From then on, the Edy’s introduced America to light ice cream and slow-churned ice cream, quickly earning a spot among the favorites.
As you’re walking down the frozen section, you won’t be able to miss the big brown tubs of classic flavors and slow-churned sweetness.
Bluebell is possibly one of the oldest ice-cream brands that are still around – making, mixing, and distributing satisfyingly sweet flavors and tasty frozen snacks.
In the early 1900s, a group of men decided to combat the sweltering heat by bringing fresh cream and chilled ice cream to nearby neighbors.
Over the years, Blue Bell gained popularity all over Texas and, in the 1980s, finally started reaching customers in different states.
In just about any grocery store, you can find Blue Bell’s famous tubs of ice cream flavors including the year-round favorites Homemade Vanilla, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, or Mint Chocolate Chip!
If I’m ever in the mood for some gelato (which is most of the time), Talenti is my go-to option.
Its founder, Josh Hochshuler, brought the Old World style of making gelato from Argentina over to the United States and opened up his first shop in Texas.
Talenti began to blend and mix authentic ingredients, slow cooking each one so the texture and taste would be utterly tempting.
The smooth, rich flavors in each pint are due to the all-natural sourced ingredients from all over the world.
Their raspberries and pistachios come from California, vanilla extract from Madagascar, coffee beans, and Dulce de Leche from South America.
Magnum is an innovative brand, merging velvety ice cream with sweet chocolate shells to give tasters the best of both worlds.
Those with a sweet tooth and a vegan diet will find Magnum’s dairy-free vegan line of ice cream just as delicious and enticing as the more classic flavors.
Magnum’s tubs of Double Sea Salt Caramel and Double Red Velvet are one way to satisfy your cravings.
But, if you’re looking for something lighter, then the Magnum Duets (which are dipped in two types of chocolate), are a perfect choice.
With all-natural Belgian chocolate and 44% cacao, it’s hard not to treat yourself to one of Magnum’s delectables. You just feel fancier while you’re eating it!
Tillamook produces cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and ice cream.
Starting back in 1909, Tillamook worked with generations of family farmers to produce high-quality dairy products, and there’s no denying that they’re experts in all things milk and cream!
The Tillamook County Creamery Association ensures every taste is made with all-natural goodness, without preservatives, hormones, artificial flavors, or colors.
While there aren’t currently any dairy-free options at Tillamook, there are fruit sorbets at selected creameries. Frozen custards and traditional ice cream tubs include classic flavors like Butter Pecan, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, flavors like Mountain Huckleberry and Sea Salt, and Honeycomb Toffee are sure to treat your tongue and give you something new to crave.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams isn’t one of the most well-known brands out there, but the splendid flavors make it worthy of being featured in this list.
With over 15 locations across the US, Jeni’s brings authentic artisan-style ice cream to the hands of thousands of hungry customers.
Each pint, tub, or scoop of ice cream is made with hard work and care since Jeni’s stands tall against artificial flavoring and coloring.
They recently released dairy-free flavors like Lemon Bar, Dark Chocolate Truffle, and Banana Cream Pudding.
If dairy products don’t bother you, you can check out all their unique flavors like Everything Bagel, Middle West Whiskey & Pecans, or Wildberry Lavender.
In 1866, William A. Breyer sought to make ice cream with only the finest ingredients – pure cane sugar, cream, and nuts.
His homemade ice cream became the most sought-after in Philidelphia, launching Breyer and his family into the wholesale ice cream-making business.
Breyer’s creamy treats are made with 100% Grade A milk and cream, naturally sourced colors and flavors, and sustainably sourced vanilla and fruit.
They currently offer gluten-free, lactose-free, non-GMO, non-dairy, and carb-conscious options.
They truly have flavorful treats for everyone – no matter your diet or allergies!
If you do any regular commuting, you’ve probably seen plenty of Baskin Robbins shops in every city, tempting you to make an impromptu stop for their delicious ice cream and refreshing snacks.
It all started when Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins decided to offer more than the traditional trio being sold by other ice cream shops.
Since opening in 1945, Baskin Robbins has expanded to over 2400 locations across the US and added over 1400 flavors to its menu.
They have something for everyone, from scoops of World Class Chocolate to vanilla milkshakes.
The next time you’re driving around or need plenty of flavor options, don’t be afraid to head to your local Baskin Robbins for a treat! There are lots of locations for a reason!
At first glance, it may be hard to tell the difference between ice cream brands. So, knowing the ingredients that each brand uses, what their journey has been like, and what flavors they carry can be a huge boost to help you figure out where your next tub of ice cream will come from.
You can’t go wrong with any of the brands listed here, so let your taste buds be your guide. Whether you want something new and exciting or classic and comforting, these brands have you covered. Which one is your favorite, and which one are you most excited to try?