- Ben & Jerry’s and Halo Top are two of the top ice-cream brands in America. Though Ben & Jerry’s may have more name recognition, Halo Top surpassed it to be America’s top-selling ice-cream brand in grocery stores last year.
- Ben & Jerry’s and Halo Top have both been trying to appeal to an even wider audience by offering certified vegan, non-dairy options.
- Veganism is a growing trend in the US. According to a study by market-research firm GlobalData, the number of Americans who choose to follow a vegan diet has increased from 1% to 6% since 2014.
- We tried a pint of vegan ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s and from Halo Top, and there was a clear winner between the two.
Ben & Jerry’s and the trendy brand Halo Top compete to be the best in ice cream.
Though Ben & Jerry’s may have more name recognition,Halo Top, which launched in 2012, surpassed it to be America’s top-selling ice-cream brand in grocery stores last year. Now, the two brands are both trying to appeal to the fast-growing vegan population.
Ben & Jerry’s released its first four certified vegan, non-dairy ice-cream flavours made with almond milk in 2016. Halo Top followed in late 2017 with seven non-dairy flavours made with coconut milk. Since then, Ben & Jerry’s has grown its vegan ice-cream line to nine flavours, and Halo Top now has 14.
Veganism is becoming more and more popular. A study by the Plant Based Foods Association shows that the plant-based food industry – which includes meat and dairy alternatives, tofu, egg replacements, and other animal-product alternatives – generates over $US13 billion in sales annually throughout the US economy. And according to a studyby market-research firm GlobalData, the number of Americans who choose to follow a vegan diet has increased from 1% to 6% since 2014.
But it isn’t just vegans that the non-dairy ice cream appeals to – the ice creams also caters to those who are lactose intolerant or choose to not eat dairy for a number of reasons.
We tasted both Ben & Jerry’s and Halo Top’s vegan ice cream, and there was a clear winner between the two. Here’s the verdict:
Ben & Jerry’s currently makes nine flavours of non-dairy ice cream, and Halo Top makes 14. We tried each brand’s classic chocolate flavour.
Both flavours are certified vegan. Ben & Jerry’s uses almond milk as a dairy substitute, and Halo Top uses coconut milk. While Halo Top’s carton brags that it has only 280 calories per pint, Ben & Jerry’s version has nearly four times that, with 840 calories per pint or 210 per serving.
We tried Halo Top’s chocolate ice cream first.
It didn’t look like traditional chocolate ice cream.
The ice cream was pretty underwhelming. The flavour was very almond-y, even though it was made with coconut milk. The chocolate flavour was very light and was overpowered by the almond flavour.
Some reviewers said it tasted identical to Halo Top’s peanut butter cup flavour, which we tried earlier this month.
The texture was very light. Even though the ice cream was refreshing, it wasn’t very sweet.
We tried Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie next.
It’s made with almond milk and brownie bits from Greyston Bakery in New York.
It looked almost exactly like the regular fudge brownie flavour.
It tasted almost exactly like the regular fudge brownie flavour too, if not better. It was really rich and flavorful, and it was sweet without tasting overly sugary.
The chocolate fudge brownie was absolutely delicious, and it didn’t taste at all like almond milk. The brownie bits, which are also vegan, gave the ice cream a great texture.
While it’s great that both brands are now offering vegan ice cream …
… Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy chocolate option had a much richer flavour, a better texture, and had the added bonus of having brownie bits in the ice cream. Halo Top’s ice cream just wasn’t quite sweet enough, and the chocolate flavour was overpowered by almond. Ben & Jerry’s was the clear winner.
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