Thursday, May 8, 2008

Companies

Here at the Scoop, I try to focus as much as possible on the national brands. If you ask me, here is how I currently see the world of Ice Cream, at least from my perspective here in New England.


Top Tier (Premium) Brands
Ben & Jerry's: I'm going to have to give the top spot to B&J. They make top notch ice cream in all kinds of wonderful flavors, plus they're tree huggers, so it's all good! (I tend to be a little hard on Ben & Jerry but it's only because I expect perfection in every pint)
Favorite flavor: Milk & Cookies
Owned by: Unilever

Haagen-Dazs: B&J's very worthy competitor. H-D flavors tend to be a bit more "classic"...sorry, best word I can think of, but these guys are neck in neck in my mind.
Favorite flavor: Rocky Road (or Caramel Cone)
Owned by: Nestle

Talenti Gelato: Started in 2003 as a gelato stand, Talenti has grown to be the #1 gelato maker in the US and the #3 premium brand in the country. All natural has served them well.


Middle of the Road Brands
Breyers: I was raised on Breyers, but they have fallen out of my favor as most of their flavors are now "frozen dairy desserts".
Favorite flavor: dont have one anymore
Owned by: Unilever

Turkey Hill: Turkey Hill continues their expansion westward as the #4 producer of ice cream. They make a lot of great quality flavors.
Favorite flavor: Gertrude Hawke's Box of Chocolates
Owned by: Kroger

Friendly's: Friendly's is in the rebuilding phase with their restaurants, but they make good ice cream (and even better sundaes). I don't cover it a ton because of limited distribution (I'd be curious as to how many states they deliver too since I'm not sure they've made it off the east coast)
Owned by: Friendlys

Blue Bunny: Around here, Blue Bunny is found at Walmart and a few other select locations, but I think things are different in other parts of the country. I've learned to enjoy their ice cream and I adore their every growing line of novelties.
Favorite Flavor: Bunny Tracks
Owned by: Wells' Dairy Inc.

Kemps is a rather recent addition to the ice cream scene here in New England. They were at Walmart but I only really see them at Market Basket now. According to them: "[Kemps is] the leading marketer of frozen desserts, milk and other dairy products in the Upper Midwest". I don't care for their tart frozen yogurts, but I've had some success with their sweet yogurts.
Favorite Flavor: Denali Froyo
Owned by: HP Hood LLC (since 2004)

Dreyer's (Edy's): I was a pretty big fan of Edy's in college, but they fell out of favor when they ditched awesome flavors for terrible frozen dairy desserts. They have learned from these mistakes and their current formulas are pretty good. They were responsible for the now defunct Healthy Choice ice cream.
Favorite Flavor: Caramel Cone Crunch (retired)
Owned by: Nestle


Entry level brands:
Stone Ridge Creamery: Owned by the conglomerate that runs a bunch of grocery stores. It's not super fantastic, but it's quite good, especially when considering the price point. (Stone Ridge is made at the same facilities as Kemps, but Kemps is not SR). Whatever store chain supervalu owns near you, that is where you will Stone Ridge products.
Favorite Flavor: Phillip's Truffle Shuffle
Owned by: Supervalu

Hood: Among it's collection of dairy products, Hood makes (economical) ice cream...which is good if you're in college and can't afford anything better. They have operations throughout the country, own several other brands like Kemps, and have over 2 billion in sales annually. I don't cover them much because no one ever comes looking for them.
Owned by: HP Hood LLC

Flavor King: Found this at a Price Rite -- do not eat this stuff.

Low Fat Brands:
Skinny Cow
Owned by: Nestle

Weight Watchers
Made by Wells' Dairy Inc. since 2004

Healthy Choice - defunct
Owned by: ConAgra (but made by Edy's)


Local Brands:
Brighams: It's only served in New England. They were sold to Hood in the summer of 2008 and the plan then was to keep the status quo. They make good ice cream, but I don't cover it much since their market isn't that big (not that we don't love our ice cream in New England).
Owned by: HP Hood LLC


Non-Local Brands:
Pierres Ice Cream Company: Pierre's products are sold in 10 states. They also own Hola Fruta and Yovation. It's very possible you are eating Pierre's ice cream, but under a private label name.
Owned by: Pierres ICC

Perry's Ice Cream: Is out of upstate New York. They have been nice enough to send over samples several times, most people find their stuff at Wegman's.
Owned by: Family Owned - 4 generations

Blue Bell Creameries: While Blue Bell creameries is available in 17 states, I don't happen to live in one of them, which is a shame, I've heard it's excellent.
Owned by: Blue Bell Creameries


Non-Dairy Brands:
Tofutti :

Purely Decadent & So Delicious from Turtle Mountain




Brands I'm still trying to place:
Walmart also has their own brand of Great Value ice cream, though I've only tried it twice so far (the reviews don't get many hits)

Got a recommendation to add Sheer Bliss ice cream.

Starbucks ice cream was a limited selection, often coffee based (produced by Unilever).

Walgreens makes their own ice cream, making both standard and premium ice creams.

There is Green's and Hagan in the Pennsylvania area, but they are run by Kemps, which is run by HP Hood LLC.

Magnum makes premium ice cream bars only and is owned by Unilever.

Mars is responsible for any Mars or Dove ice cream (Dove pints are rare nowadays)

hmmm, did I forget anyone? other places might carry "store" brands, but deep down these are probably rebadged ice creams. As time goes, I will place them were I can. Feel free to leave a comment.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about Schwan's ice cream? They are national and super delicious!

Dubba said...

No Schwan's around here in central mass ...actually I've never seen a Schwan's in my life, but that doesn't mean they don't repackage their products for some place local to me. I will look into it.

Anonymous said...

I live outside Worcester and Schwans stops at my house twice a week...where are you in Central Mass that you can't get Schwans? Maybe if you check out your web site, you can request a driver stop by. There's no charge.

Anonymous said...

Will you consider Purely Decadent brand made with coconut milk, which is available at Whole Foods or local natural food stores?

Dubba said...

I try to be open to everything. I have seen it before, and I almost picked up a container one day. How much does it taste like coconut? My only fear is dumping 6-7 bucks on a container and then not liking it, so I try to wait for the rogue sale now and then.

I should start another section called specialty or probably non-dairy companies.

Anonymous said...

You should hunt down some Tillamook Ice Cream. Pretty popular out here on the west coast. GREAT ICE CREAM!!

Anonymous said...

since you like B&J's any comments on Peach Cobbler? As a kid, we were treated once a month at a local place called "Shaw's" on the SF peninsula, and they made a fresh peach in the summers. It was great. This B&J flavor matches in flavor and quality. Finally something just as good, as the good ole days! Were the '50's that long a go!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling you don't think gelato is real ice cream, but what about Ciao Bella? Their flavors are clean and wonderful - their Espresso is one of the best coffee flavors I've ever had, and other flavors are very good. I'm in NYC - don't know if they're available where you are...Their sorbettos are also wonderful and fresh tasting.

Anonymous said...

Addendum to previous about Ciao Bella - if you like coconut, their coconut sorbetto is superb.

Meghan said...

I second the Tillamook recommendation. That stuff is awesome!

Adam said...

Tillamook is great, as is Farr's. They are western brands that dominate Utah Grocery shelves.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's?

Laurie McVey said...

Schwan's Ice Cream is actually owned by the Breyer's Ice Cream company.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried any of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's offerings? Can be found at Whole Foods. Higher end, but one of the best I've ever had. Have only tried the goat cheese w/ red cherries, but really pleased.

Dubba said...

Nick has tried two of their flavors so far http://www.onsecondscoop.com/search/label/Jenis (I don't have any in my area, but I am hard pressed to pay $10 a pint anyway)

Anonymous said...

I tried a brand called Dairy Rich, from Ultra Foods, a grocery chain in the Midwest. I thought their praline ice cream was very good, considering it was so cheap. Very rich, no funky artificial flavors that I could detect, didn't seem to have a lot of overrun...surprisingly dense. Worth checking out!

Jennifer H said...

You have to try Publix ice cream. Some people are unaware that even though it is a store brand they make it themselves at their own plant in Lakeland. Not only do they make traditional flavors; but they also make a variety of seasonal flavors that are just as yummy.

Dubba said...

@Jennifer: would love to get Publix on the blog but they aren't in the Northeast.

elexia said...

Magnum ice cream bars use a top notch high quality chocolate, very decadent. The brand name changes from country to country, in Greece they are Algida,but as you mentioned, they are owned by Unilever.

Victor said...

Stewarts Ice Creams, sold exclusively in at the 330 Stewarts Shops (convenience/dairy stores) from Dutchess to Saratoga County in NY & parts of Vermont remind me of Breyers and Sealest 'back in the day'. They're very dense, high quality (they own there own dairy & ice cream plant)and sell 20+ flavors (incl both Philly AND French Vanilla) incl unique cult favorites (Mint Marcy, Death by Chocolate)all if real 64 oz containers for $3.50-4.50 with 3 flavors on sale every week.

Nick Rovo said...

Victor, I have covered my favorite Stewart's flavor (Crumbs Along the Mohawk) here. http://www.onsecondscoop.com/2013/04/stewarts-crumbs-along-mohawk-ice-cream.html I've been meaning to review more flavors though!