Aldi Versus Ben & Jerry’s

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated July 2017 with additional flavors.

Life is rough when you have to conduct ice cream taste tests with your husband after the kids go to bed. Especially fancy schmancy premium ice cream taste tests.

Our family always purchases Aldi’s standard, non-premium ice cream for economic reasons, but I noticed the store sells a few one-pint containers of premium ice cream with flavor names and carton illustrations that clearly indicate they are a knockoff of name brand Ben & Jerry’s. More research was obviously needed.

Price-wise, you can’t beat any of Aldi’s ice cream, and that holds true even for Aldi’s higher-end products. Aldi sells three flavors of Super Premium Ice Cream (aka imitation Ben & Jerry’s) for $1.99 for a one-pint container. By contrast, our local regular grocery store sells one-pint containers of Ben & Jerry’s for $5 a container (although when we bought it for taste-testing purposes, it was on sale for $4 per container). So the Aldi brand is less than half the cost of full-price Ben & Jerry’s.

In terms of nutritional bragging, Ben & Jerry’s features an information panel on the back of each carton advertising its products as GMO-free with fair trade cocoa, sugar, and vanilla; cherries from the Pacific Northwest; eggs from cage-free hens; and milk and cream from “happy cows.” The Aldi ice cream advertises that it contains no synthetic colors.

Here’s what we noticed — besides a taste of heaven from cows.

Belmont Brookie Dough Super Premium Ice Cream

This flavor has exactly the same components as Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked flavor: chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and brownie chunks.

Right away, we noticed the Aldi Brookie Dough has slightly fewer chunks than the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked. The chunks that the Aldi Brookie Dough does have are large, though. The Ben & Jerry’s has much more chocolate ice cream than vanilla ice cream, while the Aldi Brookie Dough has a more even mix of the two. We had a hard time finding any cookie dough pieces in the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, while we did notice cookie dough pieces in the Aldi Brookie Dough. The cookie dough didn’t taste like cookie dough in ice cream usually tastes, though. It had a more candy-like taste, with almost a hint of a coffee flavor, odd as that sounds. It still tasted good.

Nutritionally speaking, the Aldi Brookie Dough has 30 more calories and 4 more grams of fat than the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked. Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked has 3 more grams of sugar than the Aldi Brookie Dough, though, so pick your poison.

Belmont Make Fudge Not War! Super Premium Ice Cream

This flavor is exactly the same as Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Obviously, Ben & Jerry’s writers must have been unavailable the day they named that flavor because it’s the most boring Ben & Jerry’s flavor name I’ve seen. Anyway, this flavor consists of chocolate ice cream with brownie chunks.

The Aldi Make Fudge Not War! flavor is practically identical to Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Ben & Jerry’s has smaller brownie pieces, while Aldi’s has bigger, chewy chunks. I also thought the Aldi product had a smoother texture, and I actually slightly preferred the Aldi flavor. Both brands are good, though.

Nutritionally, the Aldi version has 40 more calories and 8 more grams of fat than Ben & Jerry’s, but Ben & Jerry’s has 5 more grams of sugar.

Belmont Thank You Cherry Much Super Premium Ice Cream

This Aldi product consists of cherry ice cream with cherries and chocolate-flavored chunks. The closest Ben & Jerry’s flavor we could find for comparison is Chocolate Cherry Garcia, which is chocolate ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes, so it’s not quite the same. Perhaps one knock against the Aldi flavor is that it has “chocolate-flavored” chunks instead of real chocolate. We can’t really tell the difference in a side-by-side taste test, though.

Aldi’s Thank You Cherry Much has a good cherry flavor, with about the same amount of real cherry pieces as the Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Cherry Garcia. Taste-wise, you can’t go wrong with either brand. It’s mostly a matter of whether you prefer cherry ice cream or chocolate ice cream.

Nutritionally, both brands have the same amount of calories and fat for these flavors, while the Ben & Jerry’s flavor has one more gram of sugar than the Aldi flavor.

Belmont My Peanut Butter Half Super Premium Ice Cream

Belmont My Peanut Butter Half

This is a Special Buy (ALDI Find) flavor that shows up occasionally. It consists of peanut butter flavored ice cream with chocolaty coated peanut butter flavored pieces. They’re basically peanut butter cup pieces. This flavor corresponds to Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup.

The Aldi product and the Ben & Jerry’s are practically indistinguishable from a taste standpoint. The only real difference we noticed is that Ben & Jerry’s has more peanut butter cup pieces, and they are giant. The Aldi ice cream doesn’t skimp on the peanut butter cup pieces. It’s just that Ben & Jerry’s is kind of over the top. We actually let our daughters sample these flavors, and my oldest preferred the Aldi flavor with smaller chunks because she could taste everything equally — ice cream and peanut butter cups — in one bite. She didn’t appreciate tasting a bite with one humongous peanut butter cup piece and hardly any ice cream.

Nutritionally, Aldi’s Belmont brand has 10 fewer calories and one less gram of fat per serving than the Ben & Jerry’s brand. Both have the same amount of sugar per serving.

Belmont Swirlin’ Strawberry Super Premium Ice Cream

Belmont Swirlin' Strawberry

This is another Special Buy (ALDI Find) flavor that shows up occasionally. It consists of strawberry cheesecake flavored ice cream with strawberries and graham cracker swirls. This flavor corresponds to Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake.

These two brands were hard to tell apart. The graham cracker crust flavor was slightly different but not in any way that was particularly good or bad. The Ben & Jerry’s had somewhat larger pieces of crust and strawberries, but the difference wasn’t pronounced.

Nutritionally, the Aldi Belmont brand has 10 more calories, one more gram of fat, and 2 more grams of sugar than the Ben & Jerry’s.

The Verdict:

Aldi sells three Regular Buy flavors of Belmont Super Premium Ice Cream that are comparable to name brand Ben & Jerry’s, and they’re all good. There are slight differences between the Belmont Brookie Dough and Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked flavors — the Ben & Jerry’s has more chocolate ice cream than vanilla ice cream and fewer pieces of cookie dough — but both are solid options. We could hardly tell the difference between the Belmont Make Fudge Not War! and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavors, although the Aldi version has slightly larger brownie chunks and a smoother texture. The Belmont Thank You Cherry Much is similar to Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Cherry Garcia, except the Aldi ice cream is cherry while the Ben & Jerry’s is chocolate.

Aldi also sells two Special Buy (ALDI Find) flavors. The Belmont My Peanut Butter Half is practically identical in taste to Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup. The Belmont Swirlin’ Strawberry is almost indistinguishable from Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake.

You can’t go wrong with any of Aldi’s Belmont Super Premium Ice Cream flavors, and they are less than half the cost of a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. Just remember that simply because this comes in a small carton doesn’t mean it’s a single serving. But we won’t judge you if you eat it all.

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About Rachael

Rachael is the Senior Editor for Aldi Reviewer. She is a self-employed editor and writer who enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening when she isn't busy shopping at Aldi.

16 Comments

  1. I recently tried Aldi’s Thank You Cherry Much for the first time. B&J’s Cherry Garcia is my all-time favorite ice cream, so my review is biased. I just found Aldi’s taste to be “off.” Not bad at all, but not a perfect imitation of Cherry Garcia.

    With that said, Cherry Garcia is actually Cherry ice cream, not chocolate. Y’all must’ve found a special chocolate variety.

    Love the blog! Take care!

    • When we did the review, the only B&J we could find locally was Chocolate Cherry Garcia, which is a limited batch variation on Cherry Garcia. We’ll have to track down a traditional Cherry Garcia and update our review accordingly!

  2. Is the nutritional information the same or do the brands differ?

  3. We liked the swirlin’ strawberry better than B&J’s strawberry cheesecake. The graham swirl was super pronounced and delicious in the Aldi variety!

  4. Ok, curious now, I had to look these up. VERY HARD to find actual lists of ingredients. Thanks to poster Joshua for this link.
    https://www.nutritionix.com/i/belmont/ice-cream-brookie-dough/56ea5da1003e670b3e0ab96a

    Now… before anyone gets so excited about this stuff. I can say this right off the bat. This crap won’t ever be on MY SHOPPING LIST!
    Corn syrup of any kind. OFF my grocery list.
    Copy from their list “corn oil, fructose, corn syrup solids”
    CORN ANYTHING has no business in ICE CREAM.
    Next…. Bean gums. My GOD they are putting bean gums in everything lately. It’s nothing but cheap filler to stretch the bottom line. But it’s nasty stuff. Aught to be banned but it isn’t because our own FDA has been bought and sold years ago. They KNOW bean gums “in large amounts” can make you sick. (They cause gastrointestinal issues.) But what exactly is a large amount? NO PRODUCT is required to say how much is in it, and start reading labels. It’s showing up in everything. By the end of the day, how much have you eaten? Who knows. Average hot dogs, the buns, all the condiments, if you don’t read every label your getting small amounts in every bit of it. Gees even my store brand half and half isn’t. Carrageenan started showing up in that.
    Well this one ice cream has the trifecta.
    “guar gum, carob bean gum, carrageenan,”
    Carrageenan is not even a plant gum. It’s a type of seaweed “processed” by letting bacteria ferment it down. YUCK!

    People, invest in a small machine. We bought one for just over 200.00. MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM. Put in the ingredients, turn it on, it churns, freezes, does it all.
    Ingredients? MILK, CREAM, SUGAR… and what ever flavor you like. It’s that simple and WOW once you eat that? You’ll never eat this store bought bean gum/corn syrup garbage again. Try it. Real, home made…. Honest, do that just once and there won ‘t be a store brand out there that won’t taste any better than the cardboard they are packed in. (including Ben and Jerry’s, they sold out long ago.)

    • It’s freaking ice cream. Relax for crying out loud. It’s not supposed to be a staple in your diet.

    • Jenny, thank you for your info. I avoid those ingredients also.

    • Thanks for the advice but it would not pay for me to do that seeing my daughter cannot eat regular ice cream since she is a diabetic. Aldis is my main store for most of my food; being on a very tight budget.

  5. CHOCOLATE Cherry Garcia????? Oh my goodness…. I have never seen that before, and Cherry Garcia is my faaaaaaavorite. I need this special variety!!!!!!

    Also, thanks for this side by side! Great post.

  6. Is the strawberry ice cream by Belmont always soft? Why is the texture like this, even after several hours in the freezer?

  7. The ingredients on Belmont ice cream are horrible! Corn oil, fructose, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, carrageenan – are all horrible for health. I purchased a carton of their regular ice cream and after I got it home I saw the ingredients. I will not purchase this brand again. But to be fair, I rarely purchase ice cream and I don’t know if other brands also contain any of these ingredients. If they do, I will not purchase them either. Need to try making my own.

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