Sunday, July 19, 2020

N!CK's Light Ice Cream

HAPPY NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY!


[By Nick] It’s not every day I get sent ice cream anymore, let alone an ice cream with my name on it! N!CK’s generously sent me 6 of their “Swedish-style ice cream” pints to try.

[New to the U.S. for 2020] Now I’m not Swedish so I can’t vouch for anything traditional about this ice cream. The branding gives me a vibe of the Halo Tops of the freezer aisle world. Boasting calories per pint in the 220-360 range for the ones they sent me, this is obviously not premium ice cream territory. If you remember my reviews, you know I’m a strong apples to apples person. They’re not trying to be Ben & Jerry’s by any means and I won’t compare them as such. I will be comparing them to halo top, enlightened, etc.

Oh btw, it’s a holiday so you know I’m going to review all 6 of these in one post!

Let’s start with just a baseline here so I’m not repeating myself over and over. I’m a big fan of the branding. While it’s a consistent style from each package, each design has its own flare and color coordinated to match the flavor inside.

For the most part, each pint arrived with a freezing defect. Either it looked like the ice cream had shrunk or that it froze on its side [note: we've seen this happen on most light ice creams exposed to dry ice]. From what I can tell though, it had little to no effect on the actual product. The ice cream itself is creamy, far creamier than the majority of its competitors. Very smooth when you scoop, albeit a bit airy. That’s to be expected from a light ice cream though. It’s one of the better light ice cream textures I’ve had in a long time, better than even the more mainstream Edy’s and Breyers. So kudos to N!ck’s, they really nailed the textural component here which is key to separating yourself in this ice cream category.

However, no matter the flavor, there was always a bit of aftertaste from the sugar substitutes. It’s a mixture of monk fruit juice, stevia, erythritol, xylitol, allulose and “sweet fiber”. So there’s a lot of different ones going on so I can’t pinpoint the culprit. It’s not very off putting but if you’re sensitive to sugar substitutes, you’ll definitely notice the excessively sweet finish.

With all that out of the way, let’s get down to how the flavors looked and tasted individually.

We’ll start with my least favorite and make our way to my most favorite.

N!CK’S Swedish Cookie Dough
Vanilla ice cream swirled with chocolate and mixed with chunks of sugar cookie dough

Yes, I know, cookie dough was my least favorite? Yeah it’s a bit shocking. Being blunt, it’s just a bit too artificial here. The base is very buttery but in a “I can’t believe it’s not butter" kind of style with way too much sweetness going on. Think of like a butter pecan base but with sweetness levels amplified. It says it’s supposed to be a vanilla base but I was not getting it. The cookie dough is microscopic so it doesn’t do much of anything to offset the flavor. The chocolate chips were non existent in my pint as well. I couldn’t get behind this one no matter how hard I tried.

N!CK’S Strawbär Swirl
Strawberry ice cream swirled with ribbons of luscious strawbär

Definitely an upgrade from the cookie dough here. The base is more of a vanilla with a hint of strawberry. Nothing wrong with that because it helps the “strawbär” swirl stand out much more. While not a thick swirl, it does add a burst of fruity goodness. You get a strawberry shortcake minus the shortcake vibe. The sweetness level isn’t crazy here and the flavors just work. A very light, refreshing treat in the current 98 degree weather here. All around a success that could benefit from a little more "fun factor".

N!CK’S Triple Choklad
Rich, chocolate ice cream with brownie bits and fudge chunks

Hopefully you remember that chocolate bases aren’t my thing. This one is better than most though. It’s not flat and has more depth going on. Rich as they described it would be fitting, as well as fudge. The brownie bits are tiny and like the cookie dough don’t add much. I’ll chalk that up to the fact that it’s chocolate competing with chocolate. That being said, there is a generous amount of them in each spoonful. The fudge chunks aren’t a lie this time! There’s plenty of them throughout which add a little crunch. Chunk is a very misleading statement, I’d say flakes are the more accurate term. Same thing as the brownies, they’re just there for some added texture and not much flavor.

N!CK’S Peanöt Butter Cup
Peanut butter ice cream mixed with tiny peanut butter cups

The next 3 are a coin toss for the best out of the bunch based off your personal preferences. Now the peanut butter base is pretty good albeit maybe sweeter than you expected. It’s similar to the inside of a Reese’s cup. There are a bunch of little cups that add a little bit of chocolate notes. The shocker is that there’s also brownie bits in here! Not in the description but it is on the ingredient panel. They work in this flavor so much more. Adding fudgy-ness with every bit. Really loving this one.

N!CK’S Mint Chokladchip
Cool minty ice cream mixed with flakes of chocolate

Surprisingly, this one works a lot better than I thought it was going to. The sweetness lends itself well to the mint flavor. The chocolate flakes are tiny but add the needed chocolate notes here. This one is like an Andes mint and at 70 calories a serving, probably has less calories. This one will be a nice after dinner treat.

N!CK‘S Birthdäg Cake
Luscious cake batter ice cream filled with tons of rainbow sprinkles

I’m a sucker for birthday cake flavors and this one is no exception. This flavor is meant to be overly sweet so you don’t notice the sugar substitutes here as much. Tastes exactly like cake batter and as described it is filled with tons of rainbow sprinkles. They also maintain their integrity and add texture without being mushy. Not much else to say but this one is another winner.

All and all, I went in with low expectations due to my experience with similar brands. However, I’m pleased to say N!CK’S really impressed with the majority of these. They’re leaps and bounds better than their competition. And while they’re a “healthier option”, as a Nick, I endorse them using my name on their products. They have 10 other flavors I didn’t try so I’ll have to see what my local stores carry.

Thanks again to N!CK’S for sending me their ice cream and I hope you all have a great National Ice Cream Day! Let us know how you’re celebrating in the comments.

Dubba's Note: N!CK'S has not paid for this post but they did ask that we mention the ice cream giveaway going on over at their instagram page (link here). You and a friend named Nick (or Nikki, Nicole, Nicholas, etc) can win a delivery of Nick's or maybe even win the grand prize of a year's supply of their ice cream for both you and your friend!

10 comments:

Amanda said...

I think I saw this new brand once before and now that you mentioned all of the sugar substitutes and fiber-bulking substances (e.g. Soluble Corn Fiber, Erythritol, Allulose, Xylitol), I have to ask, Dubba, how does your stomach handle one if not all of those add-ins? I know in the past you had a few GI issues (not to get too personal), but when I look at the nutritional label, say for the B-Day cake--I would LOVE to have a pint at 60 calories per serving! But I can't because no matter the sugar alcohol additive, my system goes into implosion mode a few hours later with these supposedly healthier "ice creams." Is there any of the protein-based/"healthy" ice creams that do not contain these sugar substitutes or do not cause such digestive issues? I know it is probably a "keep trying to you find one," but Halo, Enlightened, etc. all use these non-sugars to lower their fat and calories. I just want to be like all of the other bloggers who boast about their protein/low-cal "pint parties" :(

Rabbit Girl said...

I loved the strawberry, but they don't sell it locally and unless you get the packaging with the foil seal, the shrinkage is too extreme to handle if buying online. Last time I ordered, got the plastic seal and that package is too flimsy, the ice cream turns into inedible pasty mass even after thawing. I'll see try reordering in the fall to see if the old packaging has phased out. Your promotional pack probably came directly from the company, but when ordering from the east coast, you'll get it from the etailer warehouse in Pennsylvania where the still have the old crappy packaging.(these are the people who do ice cream source)

Also, their customer service is sooo bad. The representative is extremely rude and unprofessional, when I told them about the shrinkage issue he refunded me but then refused to contact me/respond to my polite emails about when the packaging would change over, etc. There's only one person doing all of customer service, so it's a lot on him, but blackballing a polite and devoted customer is no way to go about things.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Amanda: I called in Nick because I can't handle sugar replacement at all (I like to joke that I am #teamrealsugar). You'll have to settle for those light flavors that are a mix of more air and more stabilizers.

@RG: Nick's press release says they are in 3500 stores now and I know I've seen it at several grocery stores in my area (Shaw's and Stop & Shop).

ncgirl said...

I've had the mint chip and chocolate - love them both, but they melt before I can eat the whole pint! :) Very much agree with you on the creaminess.
SO want to try more flavors, but the local stores only carry 4 for now. Really looking forward to their expanded distribution!
Thanks for reviewing them ;)

Nick Rovo said...

@Amanda, speaking from personal experience, I tend to at least get a little gassy from sugar substitutes. That wasn't the case here. Then again, it's not like I'm eating a pint at a time. So results may vary but I've found monk fruit doesn't cause any stomach issues for me at least.

@RG, mine was a mix of pints. Some had the plastic tamper seal around the lid and others had the foil sealed under the lid. They all seemed about the same for me though. Sorry you had such a terrible experience with customer service. I remember going though packaging changes and it's typically the most popular flavors transitioning first and least popular changing last. If there's still stock of old packaging, they won't run the new until the old is depleted. I still see plastic pints from my previous company and we got rid of those when I was there over a year ago.

Rabbit Girl said...

@Dubba They are in local stores but only select flavors, and I can't help but fell hurt on a personal level, I'm sensitive

Anonymous said...

I just recently tried Nick's and loved it. I'm not a fan of Halo Top or Enlightened so I didn't have high hopes but thought this was much creamier. I don't mind all the fake sugars and aftertaste but can see where some wouldn't like it.

My local stores only carry two flavors, Vanilla and Butter Pecan. Would love to try the coffee/caramel if I could find it. Ordering is too expensive for me.

Thanks for reviewing these Nick.

Anonymous said...

@ Rabbit Girl,

The first pints I tried had the old packaging but now I notice everything in the case has the new foil seal. This is in my local grocery store so maybe the warehouse is getting rid of old stock first.

Rabbit Girl said...

@nick
Thanks for the info and the kind words! I will try ordering again in a few months, but I doubt local stores will be fast to expand the line the carry, even though I find Nick's superior to the competitors, I think most customers overlook it and don't think it sells well. In fact it appears to have been demoted to a lower shelf in one store. And now when you go to their website they have a big splash image of the strawbar swirl I covet--it stabs me each time! I see it is only carried in New England(i'm in NY) and Texas, I had a dream I took air force one to Plymouth, Mass to procure the goods.(i obsess about unimportant things like ice cream to distract from stress---and then it comes back in my face and causes me stress)

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I recently tried Nick's Brand ice cream and it was a GAME CHANGER! For a person who frequents the fridge past midnight for a sweet ice cream snack, I found I was racking up the calories QUICK. But Nick's has really helped to satisfy that sweet craving, as well as keep my weight in check. The ice cream is very creamy and there are some great flavors to choose from. Reminds me of some of the great gelato I had in Italy last summer.
Overall, Nick's is a great product, made with lots of love and care for our bodies. I love that, when you taste it, the flavors almost transport you to a vacation state-of-mind, which is especially necessary for sanity with all of the stressors of the pandemic. I feel like I am doing my body good when I am spooning Nick's ice cream into my mouth. Kudos to Nick and the team of professionals who worked hard to make this dream a reality. I absolutely LOVE it! Sincerely, Sunshine