When it comes to frozen desserts, there are a whole lot of other options out there besides just a bowl of ice cream. What about the treats that come on sticks, like fudge pops, fruit bars and chocolate-covered ice cream bars? Or that childhood classic, the ice cream sandwich? The frozen-food aisle has become so inundated with varieties of frozen treats that it’s nearly overwhelming to decide which way to go. That’s why we put the leading brands of each of those treats to the test, and found clear winners in each of those categories.
Take the ice cream sandwich, for example. There are so many varieties of the classic childhood treat available in the supermarket that it can be a tough call to know whether to go for the store brand or something more upscale, like Klondike. For our blind taste test, we judged 10 different brands according to a few parameters: How long do they keep their form before beginning to melt? Was the vanilla ice cream creamy and high-quality, and did it actually taste like vanilla? Did the cookies taste like real chocolate, and not dissolve into a mess in your hands? The results might surprise you.
For fudge pops, we judged the original Fudgsicle alongside its competitors, and rated them on texture, chocolate flavor, creaminess, and overall enjoyment factor.
The fruit bars we ranked were the classic orange, cherry, and grape from the two leading brands, plus a higher-end offering. We judged them by sweetness level, meltiness, and fruit flavor.
And for ice cream bars, we judged the leading brands of straight-forward chocolate covered ice cream, and based our rankings on the quality of the ice cream and chocolate, the vanilla and chocolate flavor, how it held up over the time to took to be eaten, and ultimate satisfaction level.
For all these snack varieties, we judged each brand directly against the others: full-fat, low-fat, even tofu-based products were all blindly judged side by side, and ranked according to the same criteria. Because when it comes down to it, just because something’s lower in fat doesn’t mean we should settle for less flavor, right? And at the end of the day, some of these healthier options performed far better than their full-fat competitors.