The ice cream you should stay away from at Aldi

While many of Aldi’s products have hordes of fans (as well they should), you can’t please all of the people all of the time, even if you’re a European super-grocer with a cult following. Indeed, Aldi has got its share of duds, and one of these appears to be the store’s Sundae Shoppe and Belmont brands of ice cream — or, more specifically, the vanilla variety. 

It’s not so much that this is a bad product in and of itself. Aldi Product Reviews says it tastes alright and is a decent enough product for the price — although not quite as smooth and creamy as an Edy’s or a Breyers, and with a bit of an aftertaste that may be from the buttermilk it contains. The real reason to avoid this ice cream, however, is because of a reported issue with truth in advertising. A class action lawsuit filed in 2019 (via Top Class Actions) alleged that this ice cream — in particular, the “light” version — should not be marketed as “vanilla” but rather “‘artificially flavored vanilla,” as the former implies that vanilla bean-derived products are the sole flavoring agents it contains, while this ice cream is flavored with other elements.

While an out-of-court settlement was evidently reached earlier this year, per Truth in Advertising, there’s no indication that Aldi has removed the non-vanilla flavorings. So if you’re wanting an all-natural true vanilla, these frozen Aldi products may not fit the bill.

Even Aldi's super premium vanilla ice cream is slightly below par

Aldi does offer a Specially Selected Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream that contains just five ingredients: cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. It costs a bit more than the Sundae Shoppe and Belmont brands. Aldi Reviewer reports that it’s regularly priced at $4.19, as opposed to $2.89 for the cheaper product. However, this is still lower than the regular price on a comparable product from Breyers (though you’re more likely to find the latter on sale or with a cents-off coupon).

Still, the reviewer did a spoon-to-spoon comparison of Aldi’s Super Premium Vanilla with Breyers’ Natural Vanilla, and found that the former item came up short in several categories. While Aldi’s ice cream scored points for being a bit more “natural” due to the fact that Breyers ice cream contains an additive called tara gum, it also contained about double the amount of calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. In terms of how the taste and texture compares, the reviewer admitted that three out of four family members preferred Breyers in a blind test, finding it to be smoother and creamier. 

While this review was overall inclined to favor Aldi’s ice cream simply due to its lack of any artificial ingredients, such a preference pretty much hinges on the label revealing the whole truth. As the lawsuit over Aldi’s other vanilla ice cream indicates, this may not always be the case — so it’s a good idea to check over those ingredient lists.

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