• Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)  1
  • Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)  2
  • Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)  3
  • Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)  4
  • Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)  5

Top 10 Best Ice Creams in the UK 2021 (Häagen-Dazs and More)

Ice cream is and always has been a hugely popular sweet treat in the UK. Whether you prefer it straight from the tub while watching a film or in an ice cream cone with a flake, it is loved by kids and adults alike. However, with new flavours and brands popping up all the time, it can be hard to know which one to choose, especially when buying online. 


Eating ice cream at home is always a treat, but consider how you're serving it. Expensive flavours may overpower the dessert you're serving it with so will be better on their own. It's also a lot of fun making up your own personalised ice cream sundae with different toppings and sauces. Whether you prefer Haagen Dazs, Magnum, or Ben & Jerry's, its all down to personal taste - but we've got a recommended list from online retailers Asda and Tesco to help you choose your favourite!

  • Last updated: 30-04-2021
  • 7,530 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose an Ice Cream in the UK - Buying Guide

With so many different brands and flavours on the market, it can be a bit confusing to know what to look for to make sure you're buying an ice cream you'll love. But there are a few things you can look out for when you're perusing the ice cream available online. 

Getting the (Ice Cream) Scoop When It Comes to Ingredients

The ingredients list in ice creams vary hugely from brand to brand, and even between flavours. Whether you prefer your ice cream to have only whole ingredients, or if you quite enjoy different flavourings and textures, looking at the ingredients can give you a lot of information about the product you are buying.

Look for Whole Ingredients to Guarantee a High-Quality Ice Cream

Look for Whole Ingredients to Guarantee a High-Quality Ice Cream

Traditionally the main ingredient of ice cream was either whole milk or cream, but modern-day food production techniques have meant that in some brands, other processed ingredients now take the top spot over milk and cream. 


Whole milk and cream are generally more expensive to produce and process than concentrates or derivatives, so you will generally find that the products with the highest percentage of whole ingredients will generally not only be of higher quality but will also be more expensive.


Whilst milk derivatives can mean that you're spending less on your ice cream brand of choice, they can also affect the texture of the finished product. During processing, milk derivatives can lose a lot of their fat content meaning that they don't feel as nice in your mouth, so it is common for emulsifiers to be added to give that smooth texture without adding more fat. 


This means that ice creams using milk derivatives are much likelier to contain a higher proportion of additives and synthetic ingredients compared to their counterparts with more milk or cream in the recipe. 

The Higher Percentage of Milk Products, the More Authentic the Ice Cream

The Higher Percentage of Milk Products, the More Authentic the Ice Cream

It may be surprising, but in the UK ice cream manufacturers do not have any minimum milk content levels to meet in order to call their product an “ice cream”. However, for a product to be labelled as “dairy ice cream” it must legally contain a minimum of 5% milk product which is much less than you'd think. For instance, 5% of a 500 ml tub of ice cream is only 25g of milk or cream which is the same size as a pub measure. 


In our list of recommendations below, the percentage of milk products in each of the ice creams varies from 13% to 60% which is quite a big difference. As before, if your ice cream tub only contains 13% milk or cream then the ingredients that make up the other 87% are far likelier to be emulsifiers, stabalisers, flavourings and syrups, so keep this in mind when choosing. 

Avoid Going Over the Recommended Daily Sugar Intake

Avoid Going Over the Recommended Daily Sugar Intake

Being desserts, ice creams inevitably have both a high fat content and a high sugar content, but remember that the NHS recommended daily sugar intake for an adult in the UK is a maximum of 30g - compare that with the highest sugar ice cream in our recommendations which contains 29g of sugar per 100g. 


Whilst there are lower sugar products available, it is worth bearing in mind when you’re serving yourself that sometimes less is more when it comes to the sweeter things.

Low-Calorie and Low-Sugar Ice Creams Can Have More Additives and Sweeteners

Low-Calorie and Low-Sugar Ice Creams Can Have More Additives and Sweeteners

Lower sugar and lower fat ice cream alternatives are becoming more popular and the recipes are improving all the time. Whilst these are great if you’re trying to be mindful of what you eat, or if you’re diabetic, it is worth bearing in mind that these ice creams contain less whole ingredients and include a number of additives to simulate the taste and feel of fat and sugar


Whey protein is often used in lieu of milk or cream as it is much lower in fat, but if it is used in high quantities can give the ice cream a grainy texture which isn't very pleasant so is often used with emulsifiers. 


Sweeteners replace sugars in low fat and sugar ice cream recipes, and whilst they benefit from being much lower in calories than sugar and syrup, they can have adverse side effects such as headaches, dizziness and a laxative effect if they are consumed in large quantities. 

Consider the Container Size and Cost Per Serving

Consider the Container Size and Cost Per Serving

Ice cream brands containing the most whole ingredients tend to be towards the higher end of the price scale, and the more expensive the brand the more likely it is to be available in smaller sized containers. This is worth bearing in mind if you have a large group to cater for, as the higher end brands could work out very expensive.


The average ice cream serving size is 100g, and based on this you could be paying as much as £1.50 per serving of some of the more expensive brands, versus around 12p for the cheaper high volume brands.


It is also worth bearing in mind that lower-priced ice cream brands have a lot of air whipped into the mixture to both achieve a soft serve texture and to also make the product a lower price point. So where more volume tends to be more attractive to buy, you may end up with more air in your tub compared to other brands. 

Don't Forget any Dietary Requirements

Don't Forget any Dietary Requirements

There can be a lot of hidden allergens in ice creams, so it is always worth checking the ingredients list if you or someone you are buying for has any allergies.


In UK law, food manufacturers must emphasis any allergens in their product in the ingredients list. These are often listed in bold to make them easily identifiable, and any potential contamination with other allergens in the manufacturing process must also be listed. 


Vegan options are becoming more readily available and improving in quality, and they can be a fail safe way of avoiding any kind of dairy due to lactose intolerance as well as catering for people with plant based diets. Have a look at our recommendations below, as it includes a vegan option.

Top 10 Best Ice Creams to Buy Online in the UK 2020

Now that you know the important points to think about when looking for an ice cream in the UK, let's move on to our top 10. We've tried to include a variety of ice creams to appeal to anyone, no matter the preference or dietary requirement. Now, grab a scoop and let's dig in! 

10
Whole Ingredients No
Milk Product Percentage Undisclosed
Sugar Content (per 100g)19g
Low Fat No
Volume 480 ml
Allergens Milk, soy, wheat
9
Whole Ingredients No
Milk Product Percentage Undisclosed
Sugar Content (per 100g)21g
Low Fat Yes - 35% less fat than Carte D'Or Vanilla
Volume 1 litre
Allergens Milk
8

MagnumDouble Salt Caramel Ice Cream Tub

£4.00

Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage 16% milk / cream
Sugar Content (per 100g)29g
Low Fat No
Volume 500 ml
Allergens Milk, soy
7
Whole Ingredients No
Milk Product Percentage Dairy free
Sugar Content (per 100g)26g
Low Fat No
Volume 750 ml
Allergens Soy
6
Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage Undisclosed
Sugar Content (per 100g)4.9g
Low Fat Yes - 320 calories per tub
Volume 473 ml
Allergens Milk, egg, whey protein
5
Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage 32& milk / cream
Sugar Content (per 100g)26.2g
Low Fat No
Volume 500ml
Allergens Milk, eggs, nuts
4
Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage 20% milk/ cream
Sugar Content (per 100g)27g
Low Fat No
Volume 500ml
Allergens Milk, egg, soy
3

Green & Black's Chocolate Ice Cream

£4.20

Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage 13% milk / cream
Sugar Content (per 100g)24.5g
Low Fat No
Volume 500 ml
Allergens Milk
2

RemeoGelato Pistacchio Siciliano

£4.95

Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage Undisclosed
Sugar Content (per 100g)20g
Low Fat No
Volume 462 ml
Allergens Milk, eggs, nuts
1

MackiesTraditional Luxury Dairy Ice Cream

£3.00

Whole Ingredients Yes
Milk Product Percentage 60% whole milk, 21% cream
Sugar Content (per 100g)19.3g
Low Fat No
Volume 1 litre
Allergens Milk, eggs

Compare the Best Ice Creams

Image
1
Mackies Traditional Luxury Dairy Ice Cream 1

Mackies

2
Remeo Gelato Pistacchio Siciliano  1

Remeo

3
Green & Black's  Chocolate Ice Cream 1

Green & Black's

4
Ben & Jerry's Phish Food 1

Ben & Jerry's

5
Haagen Dazs Pralines & Cream 1

Haagen Dazs

6
Halo Top Birthday Cake  1

Halo Top

7
Swedish Glace Smooth Vanilla 1

Swedish Glace

8
Magnum Double Salt Caramel Ice Cream Tub 1

Magnum

9
Walls Carte D'Or Light Vanilla 1

Walls

10
Oreo Oreo Ice Cream 1

Oreo

Name

Traditional Luxury Dairy Ice Cream

Gelato Pistacchio Siciliano

Chocolate Ice Cream

Phish Food

Pralines & Cream

Birthday Cake

Smooth Vanilla

Double Salt Caramel Ice Cream Tub

Carte D'Or Light Vanilla

Oreo Ice Cream

Features

A Classic Ice Cream to Stand the Test of Time

Italian Gelato That Is Beautiful in Its Simplicity

A Chocolate Lover's Ice Cream Dream

Rich and Sweet With Chocolatey Chunks

A Rich Ice Cream in a Signature Flavour

Everyday's Your Birthday With This Guilt-Free Treat

A Classic Flavour With a Vegan Recipe

Crack Into the Chocolate Shell of This Indulgent Dessert

Less Flat Doesn't Have to Mean Less Flavour

Classic Cookies and Cream in a Tub

Price£3.00£4.95£4.20£4.50£4.80£5.00£2.50£4.00£2.00£2.50
Whole Ingredients YesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNo
Milk Product Percentage 60% whole milk, 21% creamUndisclosed13% milk / cream20% milk/ cream32& milk / creamUndisclosedDairy free16% milk / creamUndisclosedUndisclosed
Sugar Content (per 100g)19.3g20g24.5g27g26.2g4.9g26g29g21g19g
Low Fat NoNoNoNoNoYes - 320 calories per tubNoNoYes - 35% less fat than Carte D'Or Vanilla No
Volume 1 litre462 ml500 ml500ml500ml473 ml750 ml500 ml1 litre480 ml
Allergens Milk, eggs Milk, eggs, nutsMilkMilk, egg, soyMilk, eggs, nutsMilk, egg, whey proteinSoyMilk, soyMilkMilk, soy, wheat
Link

More Treats for Those With a Sweet Tooth

More Treats for Those With a Sweet Tooth

With ice cream the world is your oyster so why not look into different toppings and sauces to top off the masterpiece that is your personalised sundae. Why not look at our recommendations of chocolate chip cookies, as these coupled with your favourite ice cream would make fantastic chocolate chip sandwiches. 


Similarly, we have a list of recommended vegan chocolates if you want to impress a vegan friend with a suitable topping to go with our recommended vegan ice cream. 


Fancy something healthier? Why not add ice cream toppings to a low fat yogurt - have a look at our low fat yogurt recommendations for a healthier dessert. 

Summary

Whatever your tastes or dietary needs, there’s an ice cream tailored for you. Whether it’s served on its own in a cone or with your favourite dessert, one certainty is that while trends are forever changing, delicious ice cream will always be in fashion. 

Author: Catherine Torrance

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