America's Most Popular Ice Cream Brands, Ranked
If we could only pick one type of dessert for the rest of our lives, it would be ice cream. No question. We can — and have — eaten ice cream in the snow. It's not just us, either. The average American has about 20 pounds of ice cream every year.
To determine the best ice cream brands on the market, we looked to two sources: A Statista study analyzing the 10 ice cream brands with the most sales in 2022 and our own taste buds. See how they line up below, starting with our favorite newcomers and extending to the most-purchased ice cream brand of the year.
Honorable Mention: Favorite Day
We have to hand it to Target. The massive chain came up with its own ice cream brand and it's shockingly good. The brand offers both traditional ice cream and light flavors. And their light options are so much better than Halo Top. It's still apparent that it's not regular ice cream, but the texture is much closer to that of the real thing. Of the light flavors, we like mocha cold brew coffee the best, but chocolate peanut butter is a close second.
For regular flavors, blueberry cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake and moose tracks are the best. If non-dairy ice cream is your thing, Favorite Day makes that too.
Honorable Mention: Trader Joe's
Whether Trader Joe's ice cream can be considered an ice cream brand or not is up for debate, but we're counting it. Trader Joe's has a knack for nailing seasonal flavors and trending tastes, like ube flavored ice cream and a cinnamon-filled horchata option. Wildberry cheesecake with tons of cheesecake bits is pretty good, although we wished it would add a graham cracker swirl.
Peanuts for chocolate is even better, with swirls of rich peanut butter and crispy bits of crumbled chocolate peanut butter Joe-Joe's. Come fall, their pumpkin ice cream is a must. Coffee is always good, too. Plenty of espresso flavor without costing an arm and a leg for a good scoop.
Honorable Mention: Van Leeuwen
Van Leeuwen is so unique, it's hard to compare it to anything else. It's pricy, but we're willing to pay a premium for such stand-out flavors. Hazelnut fudge cookie tastes like a frozen Ferrero Rocher truffle, and earl grey tea tastes just like the real thing. There's also a lemon poppy seed muffin flavor that we're dying to sample.
Van Leeuwen also offers over half a dozen vegan flavors, including an amazing variation of strawberry shortcake.
Honorable Mention: McConnell's Fine Ice Creams
McConnell's advertises "no cr*p added," and we can taste the difference. At $12 a pint, our wallets can too. Honey & cornbread cookies is one of its more adventurous flavors, but there are plenty of rich, simple staples like coffee, chocolate covered strawberry and triple chocolate. Our favorite is, by far, the Eureka lemon and marionberry flavor.
Honorable Mention: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Another flavor fashion icon, Jeni's has some of the most inventive flavors on the block. So far, Jeni's makes 44 flavors and choosing a single one is rough. Brambleberry crisp has tart berry jam layered with toasted streusel and vanilla ice cream. And its gooey butter cake flavor? Ugh. Don't make us pick. For those with an adventurous palate, try the goat cheese with red cherries, the everything bagel or the sweet potato marshmallow brulee to get you in the fall spirit.
10. Halo Top
Annual sales: $118 million
Halo Top is the newest addition to the ice cream brand game. It didn't hit the shelves until 2012, with a goal of offering consumers something different: An ice cream option that's actually good for you. Its flavors are sweetened with stevia and they're much lower in calories and sugar than regular ice cream. An average pint of normal ice cream can be upward of 900 calories, while most Halo Top flavors are around 300.
The brand's seasonal pumpkin pie flavor is amazing and its formula has gotten creamier over the years. Its pops are just as good, and they're perfectly portioned for those of us who can easily put away a full pint in one sitting.
*Rankings are based on a Statista study based on 2022 revenue.
9. Blue Bunny
Annual sales: $154 million
Blue Bunny, based in Iowa, is the biggest family-owned ice cream company in the US. We'd describe it as a budget ice cream brand, but not in a bad way.
The flavors are still great and the company offers tons of frozen ice cream treats that Haagen-Dazs can't touch. The brand's strawberry shortcake bars taste like a childhood summer day and its assortment of mini cones, loaded bars and ice cream sandwiches are addictive.
Annual sales: $203 million
Founded in 2003, Talenti is a relative newcomer to the ice cream game, but it still has over two decades of happy customers to prove it deserves a spot on this list.
Calling it ice cream isn't technically accurate, however. Talenti makes gelato, which uses less cream but more milk. This equates to a denser, silky-smooth texture that's more rich in flavor than ice cream. Its caramel apple pie gelato is a popular pick, but the coffee chocolate chip is our fave.
Annual sales: $251 million
Founded in 1909, Tillamook is Oregon's king of all things dairy. Its cheeses are to die for, but visit the Tillamook factory and it's the overwhelming assortment of amazing ice cream flavors that'll really get you.
Oregon hazelnut and marionberry pie are hard to stop eating, and the blackberry cobbler frozen custard is even better.
6. Turkey Hill
Annual sales: $273 million
Turkey Hill, headquartered in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1931. It's nothing fancy, but it's a grocery store staple that offers a solid assortment of classic flavors. The brand also invented some more unique flavors recently, like black cherry fudge.
Turkey Hill does sorbets, popsicles and ice cream sandwiches well too. Even better, we appreciate that it offers some sugar-free options for diabetics or anyone trying to cut back on refined sugar.
Annual sales: $372 million
Based in Oakland, California, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream was made as a subsidiary of a company called Froneri, dreamed up by PAI Partners and the better-known chocolate brand Nestle. In the Midwest, Dreyer's is sold as Edy's, but the product is the same, produced in seven production facilities that are among the largest ice cream factories worldwide.
Dreyer's attempts to lower the quantity of sugar and fat by slow-churning its ice cream, keeping it creamy and lighter than regular ice cream. It's not our favorite, but with 78 popular flavors, Dreyer's isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Annual sales: $498 million
Breyers isn't the most popular ice cream brand anymore, but it's still the oldest. It was founded in 1866 and while we'd argue that the ice cream isn't as creamy as some other brands, we respect that it was an ice cream pioneer.
Its classic flavors are still our go-to for birthday parties and this was one of the first brands to get creative with flavors. Black raspberry chocolate and Very Berry Cobbler are hard to beat.
3. Blue Bell
Annual sales: $657 million
One of the oldest ice cream brands around, Blue Bell dates all the way back to 1907. It is based in Texas and the entire brand has a certain Southern charm to it.
All its cream is sourced from local dairies and its flavors are inspired by Southern living too. Butter crunch, Southern blackberry cobbler, peaches and homemade vanilla and banana pudding are our top picks.
Annual sales: $785 million
Haagen-Dazs is a little older than Ben & Jerry's and we'd say it's an ice cream brand for purists. Where Ben & Jerry's is all about the mix-ins, Haagen-Dazs keeps the focus on good, flavorful, premium ice cream. It uses rich Belgian chocolate and Madagascar vanilla, so even the plain flavors are anything but.
The green tea, mango and coffee flavors are all worth savoring without a single marshmallow or Oreo in sight. The brand does, however, have a white chocolate raspberry truffle flavor that adds a satisfying crunch of dark chocolate chunks and a sweet, tart ribbon of raspberry throughout.
1. Ben & Jerry's
Annual sales: $910 million
Ben & Jerry's tops the charts with the most annual sales. It was founded in Vermont in 1978 and its creative flavors have been a huge hit for decades. Phish Food and Chunky Monkey are top choices, but more recent inventions include ice cream flavors with a crunchy core of Oreos, peanut butter or cookies to pack even more texture and satisfaction into each pint.