Vegan dishes were once a rarity in grocery stores. But in 2020, with the meteoric rise of the modern vegan movement, the options have expanded far beyond tofu and Tofurky. Vegan meat, yogurt, cheese, and milk is becoming the new normal in the industry. And vegan ice cream brands, once unheard of in grocery stores, are starting to occupy just as much shelf space as their dairy-based counterparts. They’re just as creamy and delicious, but much healthier and come without the baggage of factory farming. And the flavors go way beyond the basic chocolate and vanilla. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose? Let’s see if we can narrow it down to the best vegan ice cream brands of 2020.
Halo Top has already been redefining ice cream with a fresh, healthy new recipe that’s based on natural ingredients instead of processed fats and sugars. Their vegan options are made from high-quality ingredients like coconut milk, sea salt, and organic vegetable proteins. Their products are just as rich and creamy as traditional ice cream, but without the high fat and caloric content. And unlike some of the more niche brands, you can find Halo Top in just about every major grocery store.
Vegan Halo Top comes in a wide range of iconic flavors, including birthday cake, peanut butter cup, and chocolate chip cookie dough (yes, even the cookie dough is vegan.) There’s also a chocolate variety, if you’re looking for a classic option without all the frills.
If you’re a fan of almond milk, you’ll probably be a fan of Enlightened ice cream, which uses all-natural almond milk as a base. Like most vegan products, Enlightened offers a low sugar and fat content, and a surprisingly high amount of fiber and protein. It’s not a substitute for a meal, but it’s one of those rare desserts that won’t leave you feeling like you have to jog a mile to “work it off” afterward. Enlightened also comes in both pints and bars, so if you’re looking for a portable treat to enjoy on the go, this is the brand for you. And the flavors come from real ingredients, not artificial chemicals.
Enlightened offers the classic flavors like mint and peanut butter chocolate, as well as a few unique varieties like peanut butter and jelly, triple shot espresso, and cinnamon bun. This brand will definitely help you expand your ice cream flavor palate.
Unlike other brands, which typically use the same base for their ice cream, So Delicious actually experiments with different nut milks so you can find the perfect dessert for you. Several of their products are made from cashew milk, which is often touted as the closest alternative to dairy milk in terms of creaminess. But if you prefer oat milk, almond milk, or the classic soy milk, So Delicious offers a wide variety of pints and bars made from various bases. They’ve also expanded into vegan ice cream sandwiches and even vegan whipped cream, so you’ll always have the perfect treat for every mood and occasion.
So Delicious offers a vast array of flavors, including cold brew, butter pecan, bananas foster, and dark chocolate truffle. Their wide selection of niche flavors ensures that you’ll always find the right product to meet your unique cravings.
A classic brand that ice cream lovers have enjoyed for decades, Häagen-Dazs has expanded their selection by offering non-dairy treats with the same rich, indulgent flavors. While most brands use some kind of milk alternative as a base, Häagen-Dazs skips the base ingredient altogether. Instead, their non-dairy treats are a blend of real ingredients like chocolate, fruit, nuts, and coconut oil. They offer both pints and ice cream bars, as well as fruit sorbets if you’d prefer something more light and refreshing. With all-natural ingredients, it’s easy to see why Häagen-Dazs is the standard of quality in the industry.
Häagen-Dazs’s ice cream flavors are limited. To date, they offer only three non-dairy flavors: chocolate salted fudge truffle, coconut caramel, and amaretto black cherry almond toffee. They also sell chocolate ice cream bars and a small selection of fruit-based sorbets.
Tofutti is a classic brand that’s been providing vegan alternatives since the 1980s. Their ice cream products are hailed as being kosher, non-dairy, cholesterol-free, and free of GMO ingredients. In addition to the essentials like pints and bars, they also sell special novelties like ice cream sandwiches, crunch pops, sundae cones, and chocolate fudge pops. If you’re looking for a festive summertime treat that can be enjoyed while you’re watching fireworks or taking a walk around the neighborhood, keep a stash of Tofutti novelties in your freezer.
Tofutti pints come in six basic flavors, including chocolate, vanilla fudge, and wild berry supreme. They also sell chocolate bars and pops, if you’re looking to get your dairy-free chocolate fix.
Like Häagen-Dazs, Breyers is another popular ice cream brand that’s become a staple in American grocery stores. Their selection of non-dairy products is small, but they’re made from simple ingredients like almond milk, peanuts, and coconut oil. Their peanut butter vanilla recipe is both dairy-free and gluten-free, making it ideal for people with certain allergies. If you need a quick ice cream fix and don’t feel like searching through a dozen different flavors, Breyers makes it easy to choose your favorite so you can get right to the fun part.
Breyers currently offers two non-dairy flavors: vanilla and peanut butter, and cookies and cream. The vanilla and peanut butter option is made with only five major ingredients, making it one of the healthier options on the market.
Dream specializes in almond-based desserts, offering vegan pints and quarts in five classic flavors. Unlike other brands, Dream doesn’t start with almond milk. Instead, this brand uses almonds, cane syrup, and filtered water as a base for their desserts. Most of their ingredients are sourced directly from the US, although they do import a few global ingredients that meet their strict quality standards. If you’re not a fan of other vegan ice cream brands, Dream’s unique nut-based recipe might offer the distinct texture and flavor that you’ve been craving.
Dream currently comes in five flavors: chocolate, vanilla, praline crunch, cappuccino swirl, and toffee almond fudge. Their flavors are available in both pints and quarts. They also sell almond-based ice cream bites–but be sure to check the label, as these products contain milk ingredients.
Nadamoo! is unique for the fact that they have an actual store location in Texas. If you’re in the area, you can stop in for a hand-scooped cone of your favorite vegan flavor. And if you don’t live in Texas, Nadamoo! sells their wide range of products in grocery stores across the country. With a coconut milk base, their products are infused with natural ingredients like fruit puree, almond flour, agave syrup, and vanilla extract. And they offer so many varieties that you could try two new flavors every day for a week and still be hungry for more.
Nadamoo! specializes in one-of-a-kind flavors like maple pecan, marshmallow stardust, and strawberry cheesecake, but they also sell the classics like vanilla bean and mint chip. With bright, colorful packaging and fun merchandise, Nadamoo! is a homegrown vegan ice cream brand that you won’t soon forget.