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Grocery Store Strawberry Ice Creams, Blind Tasted And Power Ranked

Summer 2021 is flying by! We’re now in the final full month of the season. So before we launch our big yearly roundup of the best new ice cream flavors on the market, we have to finish paying tribute to the classics. We’ve hit vanilla, found the best chocolate ice cream your money can buy, and now it’s time to take on that sweet fruit adored by gods and lovers: strawberry.

For some reason, strawberry is a lot more polarizing a flavor than vanilla and chocolate. When people don’t like Neopolitan ice cream (note: these people’s taste buds are broken) it’s more often than not the strawberry that they take issue with. And you’ll never find a dessert menu that has just strawberry ice cream. Not even the super hipster places that churn it themselves. A shame because strawberry ice cream is amazing.

I didn’t always feel this way — I’m a recent strawberry ice cream convert. As I child I hated the stuff but as my palate grew more refined and appreciative of nuance (just check my fast food rankings for evidence of that!), I began to see that strawberry ice cream offers an uplifting and bright burst of flavor that vanilla and chocolate just can’t match.

In a quest to find the very best strawberry ice creams on the market, we put 10 brands to a blind taste test then power ranked them.

Part 1: The Taste

For this ranking, I grabbed 10 brands that are commonly stocked at grocery stores and asked my girlfriend serve them to me unmarked, one at a time, to keep optimal frozen consistency. She constantly questioned whether this was really my job or just a way for me to eat a whole lot of ice cream in one sitting. I’m still not sure she’s convinced.

Taste 1:

Dane Rivera

Wow, this scoop isn’t messing around. The first thing that jumped out to me was the consistency — it’s thick and creamy with small bits of strawberry spread throughout. The strawberries are so small that the frozen texture doesn’t distract or take away from the luxurious mouthfeel.

Small strawberry seeds add an interesting texture to this scoop.

Taste 2:

Dane RIvera

Very light on the strawberry flavor here. It almost tastes like vanilla ice cream with the lightest drizzle of strawberry sauce mixed in, Cold Stone style. The strawberry flavoring is pretty weak, but overall I’m really enjoying this flavor.

This is a great subtle iteration of the flavor, especially if fresh strawberries in your vanilla ice cream is more your speed than straight-up strawberry.

Taste 3:

Dane Rivera

The flavor here is the polar opposite of the last tasting. Where that one was light and subtle, this one bashes you over the head with the strawberry flavoring. It’s sickly sweet, like strawberry Nesquik. This one also has chunks of strawberries like taste 1, but they’re much larger here and provide an icy popsicle-like bite that I found distracting.

Taste 4:

Dane Rivera

This one also goes heavy on the artificial strawberry flavor but it’s not nearly as intense as the last taste. Rather than chunks of fruit, this one provides the tiniest bits of strawberries that add a nice bright flavor and don’t force you to chew through ice cubes.

Overall pretty solid, but nowhere near as good as the first two tastes.

Taste 5:

Dane Rivera

This one presents a good balance between strawberry and cream flavors but it’s a bit watery on the finish. The flavor doesn’t really linger on your palate at all — it hits your tongue and mellows out into a neutral aftertaste. The chunks of strawberries in this one are huge and deeply frozen, which makes them last longer than the ice cream itself.

The ice cream melted away while I was still busy chewing on that frozen berry, which I didn’t love.

Taste 6:

Dane Rivera

Really interesting consistency here. It’s light and pillowy without being watery, presenting a creamy texture that melts in your mouth in the most sublime way. There is a lot of depth to the flavor here, it hits you with sweetened strawberry notes, mellows out into something resembling vanilla, and then finishes with a nice natural berry flavor.

From my notes: “The perfect balance between real and artificial strawberry.”

Taste 7:

Dane Rivera

This was a shock to the system after the perfection that was that last scoop. It tastes leagues different than all the other brands so far, it’s highly artificial and not in the least bit creamy, tasting more like a strawberry flavored popsicle than it does a scoop of ice cream.

I’m calling it here — this is my bottom pick.

Taste 8:

Dane Rivera

This one has a great consistency, it’s thick without being too dense, presenting a luxurious and creamy mouthfeel, but the flavor just doesn’t wow me. It’s way too sour and tangy with a tropical quality to it that kind of reminded me of a strawberry banana smoothie.

That doesn’t sound bad, but it’s not what I’m looking for in a strawberry ice cream.

Taste 9:

Dane Rivera

This scoop’s strawberry bits were perfectly distributed and I could taste actual strawberry in every bite, which is appreciated. The consistency is slightly pillowy, close to what Taste 6 offered, but the overall flavor is not nearly as delicious. While I feel like this scoop was refreshing, it tasted just a bit too watery to me.

I want ice cream, I’m not over here trying to get hydrated.

Taste 10:

Dane Rivera

My girlfriend must think she’s funny bringing me what is clearly the dairy-free brand last, what a weak close! I have a lot of sympathy for the people who have to opt for dairy-free ice cream brands because this stuff is just so far from tasting like actual ice cream. From the icy consistency to the bright flavor, this just straight up tastes like a frozen chunk of strawberry. What I really didn’t like was how it kind of sits on your tongue in a pile of slush — it doesn’t have that buttery quality that every other scoop had.

Having said that, it’s still preferable to Taste 7, which is probably the worst iteration of the flavor I’ve ever experienced. If this ends up not being the dairy-free brand, feel free to roast me in the comments.

Part 2: The Ranking

10. Kroger Deluxe — Strawberry (Taste 7)

Kroger

Average Price $1

The Ice Cream:

You can grab Kroger Deluxe’s Strawberry ice cream for just $1 dollar a quart — but you couldn’t pay me to eat this ice cream again. I don’t have anything against store brands, I’m sure I have a few dozen Kroger branded products in my kitchen right now, but this experience was enough to convince me to never give their ice cream a shot again.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t buy it — hell, don’t even look at it, it’ll poison your mind with its horribleness.

9. Whole Foods 365 — Strawberry (Taste 3)

Whole Foods

Average Price $5.99

The Ice Cream:

I swear to you, I’m not against store brands, but uh, Whole Foods 365 brand is also pretty bad. And at $6 a quart, it’s almost infuriating to me just how bad it is. At least Kroger knew to price their sad attempt at ice cream accordingly. Whole Foods charging you this premium price feels like a hard slap in the face.

Don’t let this admittedly nice packaging convince you to pay Bezos for this trash.

The Bottom Line:

For this price, you’re better off going to a nearby ice cream parlor and getting their house strawberry. You won’t get as much value, but at least you’ll actually enjoy the thing you spent money on. This will just remain in your freezer like a frozen block of sad.

8. Eclipse — Strawberry Fields (Taste 10)

Eclipse

Average Price $11.99 (per pint)

The Ice Cream:

Eclipse is a dairy-free, non-GMO, plant-based ice cream brand that claims that they’ve created an ice cream that is indistinguishable from dairy. That’s… just not true. But flavor-wise Eclipse really delivers. It’s bright and undeniably tastes like actual strawberries. In a ranking of non-dairy ice creams, I’m sure it would rank highly.

Against the real thing, we’re going to have to keep this one near the bottom of the list.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a dairy-free strawberry ice cream that tastes natural and delicious, this is your brand.

7. Favorite Day — Strawberry (Taste 5)

Target

Average Price $2.99

The Ice Cream:

Favorite Day is Target’s store brand and despite its unimaginative name, it’s proven itself pretty solid in our ice cream rankings so far. This ice cream is made with a blend of nonfat milk and sweer cream buttermilk, which really gives it a luxurious consistency for such affordable ice cream.

Unfortunately, that lack of a lingering flavor is really holding it back from ranking higher for us.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t roll your eyes at Target’s store brand, Favorite Day delivers consistently solid ice cream for a low price.

6. Dreyers/Edy’s — Strawberry (Taste 8)

Dreyers

Average Price $3.48

The Ice Cream:

Dreyer’s/Edy’s is overall a pretty solid but unremarkable brand. The ice cream here is made with actual milk and cream (the great consistency reflects this) and contains no artificial colors or flavors, but the taste is a little lacking compared to some of these other brands. For the low price, you’re getting a lot of value here, but if you’re in the freezer aisle wondering why this is priced lower than Breyer’s, it’s because it’s not quite as good.

The Bottom Line:

A great option if you’re on a budget. This ice cream has the best consistency in this low price range.

5. Great Value — Strawberry Ice Cream (Taste 4)

Great Value

Average Price $1.97

The Ice Cream:

See, I told you I don’t have anything against store value brands! Great Value occupies a similar prince point to Kroger Deluxe, only this ice cream is leagues better. I’ll admit that before I embarked on this blind taste test I had assumed that Great Value, Kroger, and even Favorite Day would likely land at the bottom of this ranking, but here is Great Value snagging that top-five spot!

The Bottom Line:

Great Value Strawberry Ice Cream really lives up to its name. For the price and with the flavor this delivers, it’s an excellent bargain buy.

4. Breyers — Natural Strawberry (Taste 9)

Breyers

Average Price $4.49

The Ice Cream:

I was a little surprised that Breyer’s didn’t perform better. While landing in fourth place is nothing to scoff at, usually the brand nails these blind taste tests. Not this time, though — I found their strawberry flavor a little lacking overall. Breyer’s is made with real milk and cream, and they even use actual sugar to sweeten their ice cream, rather than corn syrup like most brands.

The quart advertises that the ice cream is made with “sun-ripened” strawberries, which is really more a case of smart marketing than anything you’ll actually pick up on in the ice cream itself.

The Bottom Line

A solid choice with great consistency and a good initial flavor but compared to the quality Breyer’s usually delivers, this one was surprisingly forgettable.

3. Blue Bunny — Double Strawberry Swirl (Taste 2)

Blue Bunny

Average Price $3.97

The Ice Cream

Another surprise for me — I know Blue Bunny has its fans, but generally, I feel like their ice creams are way too sweet. The brand also has a tendency to love putting swirls in their flavors and, generally speaking, I don’t like this (marshmallow swirl in rocky road? no thanks). With this strawberry flavor, it works! It introduces the strawberry in a really subtle way, approaching the flavor differently than every other brand in this ranking.

The Bottom Line

If you want a strawberry ice cream that doesn’t taste artificial, this is a really great and subtlety-flavored option.

2. Häagan-Dazs — Strawberry (Taste 1)

Haagen Dazs

Average Price $3.79 (per pint)

The Ice Cream

I was really torn on this one. On certain hot days, I can see Häagen-Dazs hitting a spot that our number one pick can’t. This strawberry ice cream is dense and creamy, and smooth like butter and offers one of the best mouthfeels of any of the ice creams on this list. But it’s just a little too decadent. I can’t imagine myself having more than a spoonful, and where is the fun in that?

The Bottom Line

If you like to eat your ice cream sparingly, this is a great pick. The flavors are intense and the consistency is unmatched, but it’s incredibly decadent so a whole bowl or a proper full scoop might feel overwhelmingly rich.

1. Tillamook — Oregon Strawberry (Taste 6)

Tillamook

Average Price $5.99

The Ice Cream

Here we are at our number one pick! Tillamook uses real strawberries picked fresh from a farm in Oregon and sports an ingredients list that actually puts cream first, which trust me, isn’t the norm in the world of modern grocery store ice cream. Tillamook then uses skim milk (whole would’ve provided an even better consistency, but hey, you can’t have everything) sugar, strawberries, egg yolks, and red beet concentrate, which helps to give this ice cream its beautiful eye-catching color.

What really won me over with this one was that pillowy consistency. Sure it doesn’t have the luxurious butter-like quality that Häagen-Daz does, but it’s a lot more enjoyable to eat. The scoop might not be as indulgent, but this feels like a grocery store staple and invites pour-overs and mix-ins (make yourself a shake — you deserve it!).

The Bottom Line

While our number one and number two pick both offer an amazing experience, I have to give it to Tillamook for its interesting pillowy texture and nice balance of strawberry and cream flavors.

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