Cool Off With The Best Vegan Ice Cream Brands of 2024

When you think of Summer, what comes to mind? Being from South Texas, the first thing I think of is the relentless, triple-digit HEAT! Naturally, my thoughts quickly turn to finding the best ways to stay cool. 

A dreamy dip in a swimming pool or a refreshing day at the beach definitely fit the bill. However,  a more DELICIOUS way to beat the heat often gets overlooked: indulging in some creamy ice cream. Not just any ice cream, though; we’re talking about VEGAN ice cream!

In the past, options for those seeking plant-based alternatives for ice cream were hard to come by and, if I’m being honest, weren’t as appealing as the dairy options out there. But oh, how times have changed! 

The vegan ice cream market has blossomed, bringing forth a TON of delightful options that rival traditional frozen desserts in flavor and texture. As we look at the plant-based ice cream landscape in 2024, there are more choices than ever just waiting to tantalize your taste buds. 

In a hurry and just want our top 3 picks? Here they are!

 

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Why Choose Vegan Ice Cream?

When it comes to cooling off with a delicious dessert why not pick a choice that’s good for you too? Vegan ice creams, made from a variety of bases like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk, are gaining popularity for some great reasons.

First,  dairy-free ice creams are typically kinder to your heart, boasting lower levels of saturated fats than regular dairy ice cream. Plus, they skip the cholesterol, which is a win for your arteries!

Another cool perk? Vegan ice cream is generally lactose-free. So, if dairy makes your stomach flip (like it does mine), you can still enjoy the creamy texture and fun flavors of your favorite frozen desserts without the worry.

And finally, let’s talk sugar—many vegan ice cream brands create their frozen desserts with less sugar and sometimes even sweeten them up naturally with ingredients like maple syrup or agave syrup. This means you can indulge without sending your sugar levels on a roller coaster.

 

Environmental and Ethical Reasons for Choosing Vegan

Vegan options are typically made from plant-based milks such as coconut milk or almond milk which use way less water and land than milking cows. It’s a gentler choice for our planet, cutting down on the greenhouse gasses that come from traditional ice cream production.

Ethically, going for a scoop of non-dairy ice cream means saying no thanks to using animals for our treats. Vegan ice creams rely on plant-based ingredients, steering clear of anything that involves farming animals. By choosing these animal-free options, you’re standing up for a kinder way to enjoy ice cream.

 

Understanding Allergen-Friendly Labels

For those with dietary restrictions, understanding allergen-friendly labels is crucial. Vegan does not automatically mean allergen-free, so it’s important to check for mentions of nuts, soy, gluten, or other common allergens. Brands like Oatly and Tofutti offer options that exclude some of the most common allergens, catering to a broader audience.

Additionally, the terms “gluten-free” or “nut-free” are regulated by food safety authorities, providing a level of assurance. Look for certifications or specific labeling that guarantees an ice cream is safe for your particular dietary needs.

By taking time to understand the ingredients and labels of vegan ice creams, you can make informed choices that align with your health, ethical, and dietary preferences. 

 

The Best Vegan Ice Cream Brands of 2024

Let’s get started with our picks for the best vegan ice cream brands of 2024!

1. Mauna Loa Ice Cream

I just found this ice cream from Mauna Loa earlier this year, and boy, am I glad I did! Rocky Road is one of my absolute favorite flavors and this did not disappoint! Made from macadamia milk, it has all the nuttiness you would hope for in a Rocky Road ice cream.

 

2. Ben & Jerry’s

If someone asked me to quickly rattle off the top brands of ice cream on the market, vegan or non-vegan, Ben & Jerry’s definitely would be FIRST on that list.

Honestly, before putting together the outline for this article (and for our article dedicated exclusively to Ben & Jerry’s), I didn’t realize just how many delicious non-dairy ice cream flavors they had available. Originally made with almond milk or sunflower butter, Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy flavors are now made with oat milk, making them super-creamy and still 100% certified vegan.

Known for mirroring the creativity of their dairy options, Ben & Jerry’s offers a wide range of vegan flavors, including fan favorites like “Non-Dairy Phish Food” and “Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia,” made with almond milk. Here are some of our favorite flavors:

Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Netflix & Chilll’d Certified Vegan 16 oz

Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Peanut Butter with Sweet & Salty Pretzel Swirls & Fudge Brownies certified vegan frozen dessert.

Buy on Amazon!

At the bottom of their site, you’ll find more information and resources about their pints, including a form to suggest a new flavor. What would you pick?

 

3. So Delicious

A smooth texture is part of a great ice cream experience and So Delicious does not disappoint, offering perhaps the smoothest textures in vegan frozen desserts. They use coconut milk, almond milk, and cashew milk bases to create their award-winning ice creams.

While I love their pints, it’s worth noting that they make a heck-of-a-delicious ice cream sandwich!

This brand is also a top vegan ice cream recommended by our closed Facebook group, The Peas and Carrots Society.

Victoria B. of The Peas and Carrots Society said,

First non-dairy I tried. SO DELICIOUS is right!

Not only does So Delicious offer an amazing selection of frozen desserts, but they also make plant-based milk, creamers, cheese shreds, and yogurt alternatives.

They’ve been in the dairy-free business for over 30 years so they are a strong player in this space. They use organic coconuts, are certified vegan, and are non-GMO Project verified.

In 2017, they joined the B Corp movement, a global initiative of “people using business as a force for good.”

From the So Delicious website:

“Certified B Corporations must meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and must aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

“Some of the ways we currently live these values are by paying fair wages to our So Delicious employees and committing to reduce our environmental impacts. And in 2018 Danone North America signed the “We Are Still In” petition, standing by the Paris Climate Agreement and committing to meeting its goals.”

 

4. Oatly

“Wow, No Cow!” is what Oatly likes to say about their delicious vegan ice creams. Wow, indeed! We gave a shout-out to Oatly in our top vegan creamers round-up and we will do so again here in our discussion of non-dairy ice creams. Oats never tasted so good!

This brand has been gaining popularity for its oat milk-based ice creams that are allergen-friendly, excluding nuts, gluten, and soy. Their offerings like “Salted Caramel” and “Mint Chip” are celebrated for their creamy consistency.

 

5. Haagan Dazs

Haagan Dazs is another one of those big players in the dairy ice cream space that has entered the vegan market with sophisticated options that are completely on-brand for Haagan Dazs. 

Some of the flavors that stood out to us were:

 

6. Trader Joe’s

A lot of folks in our Peas and Carrots group LOVE Trader Joe’s as do we! It’s no surprise that TJ’s came up in this discussion. They don’t carry a ton of frozen vegan desserts but their delicious ice cream sandwiches are definitely worth the trip! 

box of traderjoes vegan ice cream sandwiches

 

7. Halo Top

Halo Top Dairy-Free ice cream pints and pops are made with coconut milk. They’re also on the low-calorie side (about 280-380 calories per pint) if you’re watching your calorie intake.

 

8. 365 Whole Foods Market

365 Whole Foods Market is one of our favorite brands for various products. Their non-dairy frozen desserts are made without:

    • hydrogenated fats or high-fructose corn syrup
    • bleached or bromated flour
    • synthetic nitrates or nitrites

 

9. Coolhaus

If you love a good ice cream cone, you need to check out these Coolhaus dessert cones. Coolhaus non-dairy dessert cones are made with:

 

10. Van Leeuwen

While Van Leeuwen makes some great vegan ice cream pints, their pops are fantastic! Their Triple Chocolate Swirl is:

    • fructose-free
    • corn syrup-free
    • made without artificial flavors, colors, or processed ingredients

We hope that this has provided you with some good options when you’re craving some delicious vegan ice cream.  Remember, we vote with our dollars, so please support these companies when you can! 

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Have a Listen

This article was updated from 2019 when we originally recorded our top picks for vegan ice cream brands. If you’d like to listen to us talk about vegan ice cream brands, you can listen here. 

 

Product of the Week

Looking for “Vegan Ice Cream Near Me”? Try checking out the Happy Cow app for all of your veg-friendly needs!  The current price in the IOS store is $3.99.

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