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
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
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.
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.