We tried 6 brands of non-dairy vanilla ice cream and the winner was clear

We sampled six non-dairy ice creams.

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We sampled six non-dairy ice creams.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

  • We tried six brands of non-dairy vanilla ice cream to see which one we liked best: Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy, Target’s Archer Farms, Whole Foods Market 365, Tofutti, Koku, and SO Delicious.
  • We judged the ice creams on consistency and flavor.
  • Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy was the winner for its smooth texture and rich vanilla taste.
  • SO Delicious was also a favorite, while we thought Archer Farms and Koku’s flavors strayed a bit too far from regular vanilla ice cream.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

People who are vegan, lactose intolerant, or maintain a dairy-free diet can still enjoy a refreshing scoop of ice cream. But which non-dairy treat tastes the most like the real thing?

As part of INSIDER’s taste test series, we tried non-dairy ice cream from six different brands to find out, judging each on consistency and flavor. Here’s the brand that ended up being our favorite.


We tried six different brands of non-dairy vanilla ice cream: Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy, Archer Farms, Whole Foods Market 365, Tofutti, Koku, and SO Delicious.

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The contenders.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

We judged the ice creams on consistency and flavor to see how closely they resembled dairy ice cream.


The team of testers enjoyed Trader Joe’s take on non-dairy ice cream, which tasted pretty authentically of vanilla.

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Trader Joe’s non-dairy vanilla ice cream.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy cost $3.69 for a 32-ounce container of vanilla ice cream.

“It’s very smooth, in my opinion,” one tester said. “It’s not frozen or watery.”

Despite what some described as a “Play-Doh aftertaste,” we enjoyed the creamy texture and rich flavor.


Next, we tried Target’s house brand, Archer Farms, made from almond milk.

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Tasting Archer Farms ice cream.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

One pint of Archer Farms non-dairy vanilla bean ice cream costs $4.49 at Target.

We thought this ice cream tasted closer to cookies and cream than vanilla. One tester also said the consistency reminded her of Italian ice.


Whole Foods Market 365’s non-dairy vanilla ice cream wasn’t quite the vanilla flavor we were expecting.

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Scooping up some non-dairy ice cream from Whole Foods.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

Prices may vary depending on the location of the store, but the pint of almond milk ice cream we picked up from Whole Foods in New York City cost $4.99.

One taste tester said the ice cream tasted nutty. Others said it tasted like coconut or cinnamon. But everyone agreed that it wasn’t quite vanilla.

“I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but you’re not getting vanilla,” one tester said.


Tofutti’s soy ice cream was too sweet for our liking.

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Not all of the ice cream flavors were a hit.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

One pint of Tofutti vanilla ice cream cost $4.99 at my local corner grocery store in New York City. Prices may vary depending on where it’s purchased.

While the consistency of the ice cream was smooth and creamy, we thought it tasted a little too sweet, and almost “syrupy,” as one tester put it.


Koku’s “Vanilla Tart” was made from coconut cream, and, as the name implies, quite tart.

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“Vanilla Tart” ice cream from Koku.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

One pint of Koku non-dairy ice cream cost a whopping $9.99 at my local grocery store. It’s also available at Whole Foods stores, but only in the Northeast for now.

The tart mix of vanilla and lemon flavors was a bit too sour for our tasters. We also felt that it was more reminiscent of frozen yogurt than ice cream.


After the sweetness of Tofutti and the tartness of Koku, SO Delicious’ vanilla was a welcome, mild flavor.

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Digging in to SO Delicious’ “Very Vanilla.”
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Sophie Hoeller/INSIDER

A pint of SO Delicious from Whole Foods would normally have cost $5.99, but it was on sale for $5.49 when I bought it. The “Very Vanilla” flavor was made from cashew milk.

“This tastes like Play-doh again,” one tester said, referencing the Trader Joe’s ice cream from earlier. “I’m happy about it.”


We chose Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy vanilla ice cream as the winner.

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Trader Joe’s non-dairy ice cream was our favorite.
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Talia Lakritz/INSIDER

Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy was the winner for its smooth texture and rich vanilla taste. Trader Joe’s package of ice cream was also the largest and least expensive of the bunch, making it a purchase with great value and great flavor.