Best Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

Which supermarket makes the best vanilla ice cream?

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.

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WINNER! 

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

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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.