I tried vanilla ice cream from Costco, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Trader Joe’s. From now on, the winner will always be in my freezer.

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Several cartons of ice cream sit on a wooden table. From left to right, the table holds a white carton of ice cream with Trader Joe's logo and a picture of an ice-cream cone on it, a small pint with a red, green, and blue design and Wegmans logo on the front, a large box with blue, gray, and Kirkland Signature on it, and a white and yellow carton of ice cream with 365 logo on it
I tried vanilla ice cream from Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Costco.

  • I tried vanilla ice cream ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/making-ice-cream-different-methods-ninja-creami-bag-blender-best-one) from Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Costco to find the best one.
  • The 365 vanilla ice cream from Whole Foods was tasty, but nothing about it stood out to me.
  • Costco’s Kirkland Signature ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-costco-kirkland-signature-prepared-meals-from-family-which-to-skip) vanilla ice cream, which had a great flavor and texture, was my winner.

My family consumes a lot of ice cream, as it’s one of the best treats to help us through the muggy New York City ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-sandwiches-new-york-city-from-local-photos) summer.

But with practically every supermarket offering its own house brand of ice cream, there seems to be countless options out there. According to market intelligence company Skyquestt, the ice-cream market, worth just over $82 billion in 2023, is projected to grow to nearly $120 billion by 2031 ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.skyquestt.com/report/ice-cream-market).

To find the tastiest option, I compared store-brand vanilla ice cream from Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Costco ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-coscto-buys-for-dinner-executive-membership-2024-3). For consistency’s sake, I chose what seemed like the most basic version of vanilla ice cream at each store.

Here’s how the vanilla ice cream stacked up, from worst to best. 

The 365 vanilla ice cream from Whole Foods had a distinctive yellow color when I opened it.

A white carton of ice cream with graphics of vanilla beans and flowers on it. The lid has a yellow band and the carton has a 365 logo on it
I was excited to try the 365 vanilla ice cream.

When I opened the 365 carton from Whole Foods, the dessert had a distinctive, eggy-yellow color that set it apart from the other ice-cream brands ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/ben-and-jerrys-best-selling-ice-cream-flavors-ranked-2021-9) I tried. The 1 ½-quart container (48 ounces) of ice cream was $5.50.

The 365 ice cream was pretty good, but there wasn’t anything special about it.

A white carton of 365 vanilla ice cream with a yellow band around the lid sitting next to a purple bowl with a scoop of ice cream in it
I thought the 365 vanilla ice cream was a little bland.

Choosing a last-place ice cream wasn’t easy because all four were tasty — I wouldn’t regret buying any of the store brands I tried. In fact, my kids proved incapable of ranking them, declaring them all equally delicious.

The 365 vanilla ice cream ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-store-bought-ice-cream-2019-3) wasn’t bad, but it was a bit on the bland side, with a much less noticeable vanilla flavor than the other three brands I had. On the bright side, it had a good, pleasantly creamy texture.

Wegmans’ Madagascar vanilla ice cream came in the smallest container of the four.

A small pint of ice cream with a blue band around the lid and a design with green, blue, and red detailing. The Wegmans logo is on the front of the ice cream
The pint of Wegmans’ Madagascar vanilla premium French ice cream was the perfect size for a single dessert.

According to Wegmans’ packaging, this ice cream is made with vanilla from Madagascar, where 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanneshurvell/2023/05/08/in-search-of-black-gold-in--madagascar/). However, I didn’t see any noticeable flecks of vanilla bean in this ice cream.

The pint-sized container I bought was the smallest of the options I found, which wasn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes, you don’t need that much ice cream, and a pint is the right size for one person.

Unsurprisingly, the small portion size meant this ice cream had the highest cost per ounce, at $4.50 for one pint (16 ounces).

Wegmans’ ice cream was pretty tasty.

A white pint of ice cream with red, green, and blue detailing and Wegmans logo on the front. The pint sits next to a green bowl holding a scoop of vanilla ice cream
I thought Wegmans’ Madagascar vanilla premium French ice cream had a nice, buttery texture.

I liked the buttery texture of Wegmans’ vanilla ice cream because it reminded me a lot of the Häagen-Dazs brand ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/haagen-dazs-new-boozy-ice-creams-taste-test-2019-2). It had a nice level of sweetness, though it wasn’t overwhelming.

There wasn’t anything distinctive about the vanilla flavor, which was warm and pleasant but fairly mild. I wouldn’t seek this ice cream out again, but I might pick it up if I was shopping at Wegmans and needed a dessert.

Trader Joe’s French-vanilla ice cream looked a little less creamy than the others.

A white pint of ice cream with a picture of a vanilla ice-cream cone and Trader Joe's logo on the front. The lid has a brown band
Trader Joe’s French-vanilla ice cream came in a quart-sized container.

Trader Joe’s ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-trader-joes-ice-cream-frozen-treats-review-photos) ice cream looked fairly similar to Wegmans’ — white and solid, with no visible flecks of vanilla bean.

It seemed a touch less creamy than the other desserts I tried, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t comparing them side by side. The $4.50 quart (32 ounces) seemed reasonably priced.

Trader Joe’s ice cream had a very strong vanilla flavor.

A white carton of vanilla ice cream with an image of a vanilla ice-cream cone and Trader Joe's logo on it. The carton sits next to a yellow bowl holding a scoop of vanilla ice cream
The flavor of Trader Joe’s French-vanilla ice cream would likely stand out in a sundae.

Trader Joe’s ice cream had the strongest vanilla flavor out of the four I tried. However, I thought the rich flavor was possibly a touch too reminiscent of straight vanilla extract.

I liked it, but I could imagine it being a bit much for anyone who doesn’t especially like the taste of vanilla. This is your best option if you want to taste the distinct flavor of vanilla ice cream buried among hot fudge, whipped cream, and sprinkles.

I shop at Trader Joe’s frequently, so I’ll likely pick this up again. It’s a good size for entertaining and could anchor a make-your-own-sundae ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-taste-better-at-home) station if my kids have a couple of friends over.

The Kirkland Signature super-premium vanilla ice cream came in a large box.

A large light-blue box of Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream with the Kirkland Signature logo on the front of it. The box has a picture of a scoop of ice cream and dark-blue detailing
I knew the Kirkland Signature super-premium vanilla ice cream would require lots of freezer space.

The Kirkland Signature ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/high-end-costco-things-to-get-from-employee-kirkland-signature-2024-5) ice cream came in a large box containing two half-gallon cartons (64 ounces each). If you choose this option, you’ll need to be willing to buy a ton of ice cream at once.

When I opened a carton, I noticed this brand shined a little differently in the container and was visibly less icy than the other versions I tried.

The entire box of ice cream cost $14, so per ounce, it was priced similarly to the 365 carton.

The Kirkland Signature ice cream was my winner.

A gray carton of vanilla ice cream with a picture of a scoop of ice cream and Kirkland Signature logo on the front. A blue bowl holding a scoop of vanilla ice cream sits next to the carton
My wife and I enjoyed the Kirkland Signature super-premium vanilla ice cream.

I didn’t expect there to be such a clear winner in a taste test of four vanilla ice creams. But from the first spoonful of the Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream, I could tell it was the best of the group. 

It had a nice, familiar vanilla flavor, but its texture set it apart. It was extremely creamy but not too heavy — almost like a soft serve. I talked my wife into taste-testing all four brands the day after I did, and she also identified Kirkland Signature’s ice cream as the best. 

If you’re planning a summer barbecue and looking for an easy dessert, this is the ice cream I’d recommend. It would work well independently or in a sundae, and there’s definitely enough to please a crowd. Whenever freezer space allows, we’ll keep this ice cream stocked moving forward. 

Read the original article on Business Insider ^(https://zmeinogorsk.ru//https://www.businessinsider.com/best-brand-of-vanilla-ice-cream-from-grocery-store-review)


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