Olive Magazine
Best Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

Which supermarket makes the best vanilla ice cream?

Published: July 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Who's the coolest on the block? We took over the olive test kitchen to taste and rate supermarket vanilla ice-cream. See who comes out on top in our taste test. Our contenders include M&S, LIDL, Booths, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and The Co-op.

How we do our taste tests

All of the ice creams were scooped from the tubs in advance of the judges arriving and labelled A-F. The ice creams were then tasted blind and notes taken. We picked a winner and a runner-up. This taste test was conducted by food editor Janine Ratcliffe and deputy editor Lulu Grimes.



M&S Dessert Menu Madagascan Vanilla Ice Cream 500ml, £4.50

This one has a rich, creamy feel but it’s not too cloying and has a lightness that suggests the cream is balanced out by milk. This has the truest vanilla flavour of all the ice creams and the seeds are clearly visible. The closest to a good homemade one we tasted.

Runner up

LIDL Gelatelli Premium Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream 1 litre, £1.99

One for people who love clotted cream - this is incredibly rich and quite different in character from all the others. The colour is a buttery yellow and it has a subtle vanilla flavour. This would be great with sharp and sweet summer berries.

We also tried...

Booths Vanilla Ice Cream 900ml, £4.49

A popular choice. Not too sweet, milky and melting to an almost fluffy, foamy texture – this one would appeal to kids.

The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Vanilla Ice Cream 500ml, £3.49

Sweet and creamy, but light rather than overly rich. This has a subtle touch of vanilla – clean and fresh tasting.

Sainsburys Taste the Difference Vanilla Ice cream 500ml, £3

This has a slightly icy edge to the texture and a clean milky flavour. Not as rich as some of the others but a good one for scooping onto a hot apple pie.

Waitrose Seriously Madagascan Vanilla Ice Cream 500ml, £4


The sweet-toothed among us liked this but others found it a bit much. The vanilla flavour is also very pronounced so if you like your vanilla turned up to 11, this is for you.

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