We tried Whole Foods’ newest ice cream flavors and ranked them from “not really worth the calories” to “definitely not sharing this pint.” Here’s how they stack up.
Supermarket chains across the country have been expanding their ice cream portfolios over the last few years, but when it comes to overall selection, Whole Foods’ pint game is tough to beat. The upscale retailer is armed with some of the hottest craft brands such as Van Leeuwen, Coolhaus, and Humphry Slocombe, not to mention Ben & Jerry’s, Talenti, and other industry stalwarts.
With so many top tier choices it’s easy to overlook Whole Foods’ own 365 Everyday Value label. But at nearly half the price of its competitors and with a varied selection that includes almond milk and organic offerings, they should definitely be part of the conversation.
For their standard line, 365 recently introduced several interesting options. Never averse to trying new ice cream, I was curious to find out if these off-the-beaten-path flavors would taste as good as they sound. Below you’ll find my rankings from least to most impressive flavors. Though it doesn’t quite rise to the level of its pricier peers, 365 ice cream offers quality and value and is certainly worthy of your precious freezer real estate.
Berry Chantilly Cake is a signature offering from the Whole Foods bakery so it’s disappointing that its ice cream offshoot lacks on a few fronts. The base is supposed to be “almond flavored” but I would have thought it was simply basic vanilla if that wasn’t noted on the carton. The mixed berry swirl serves its purpose but as for the cake, you won’t find any in this pint (though it does show up 365’s almond milk version). Let us eat cake!
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It certainly won’t be a challenge to polish off a pint of this ode to the classic after-school treat. Boys and girls who love cinnamon will enjoy the ice cream’s prominent sweet and spicy notes and the dusting of graham cracker “crumbs” are a nice touch, and yet, I was still wanting more. The addition of apples or perhaps chocolate and marshmallows for a s’mores riff would’ve taken things to the next level.
If you wanted an excuse to eat ice cream for breakfast, this is it. The coffee base offers a jolt of flavor with a sweetness that will delight fans of the Frappuccino. Homer Simpson, however, will be disappointed to learn that the namesake donut appears to be of the mini variety, as finding a piece requires some digging. D’oh!
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Every ice cream brand seems to have at least one midnight munchie flavor. Peanut Butter Cup & Caramel dutifully serves as 365’s Seth Rogen/Snoop-friendly combo with the promised add-ins perfectly integrated into a delightful sweet cream base. After one bite, you should probably consider saving up for a Peloton.
365’s ice cream adaption of the classic New Orleans dessert certainly lives up to its inspiration. The thick, caramel swirl delivers all the right notes of sticky, salty, and sweet, and is prominent in every bite (You won’t, however, detect any trace of booziness despite being billed as “whiskey-spiked”.) The base delivers flavorwise, redolent of ripe bananas. Unfortunately, texture came up a bit short, lacking the creaminess of some of the other 365 options.
Though popular in Japan, black sesame ice cream is a rarity on American shelves so it’s refreshing that 365 decided to roll the dice on it. Thankfully, everything impresses from the eye-popping dolphin skin color to the ice cream’s stunning complexity of nutty, earthy notes that are both sweet and savory, almost like a frozen dessert hummus (tahini happens to be one of the ingredients). Sesame seeds and coconut flakes are present with every bite so be sure to have floss at the ready for this one.
Dark in appearance with a flavor steeped in luxurious cocoa, this is chocolate ice cream at its finest. The swirl of orange offers just the right touch of sweet and sour that perfectly complements the bittersweet base (the combination is reminiscent of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange). Just like how “Reservoir Dogs” is without a doubt the greatest Quentin Tarantino movie of all time, there was zero question which pint deserved to occupy the top spot on this list.
Header image courtesy of Sarah Gardner