Supermarkets in Australia are brimming with exciting new ice cream flavours and brands. Haagen-Dazs symbolizes quality and indulgence, but does it live up to its reputation?
This review checks out the Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream 457ml, the brand’s top-selling variant. I’ll look at its flavour, texture, and competitors, helping you decide if it’s worth the money.
Haagen-Dazs’s Vanilla Ice Cream is a luxurious treat that positions itself in the super-premium category. Competing with giants like Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs also faces competition from local artisanal ice cream creators.
The ice cream is made in France, and the company prides itself on simple, natural ingredients. While consumers think the company’s name comes from a European country like Denmark or the Netherlands, it’s actually a fictional name. Dreamed up in the Bronx, New York, the founders say it means “The finest ice cream that money can buy.”
Is this tub any good?
Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream is an excellent ice cream. It’s very white, which surprised me considering the use of egg yolks. A spoonful is hard to resist.
Look at how it compares to the Murray Street Vanilla Bean product.
The texture of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream is exceptionally creamy, smooth, and soft. It is also a little chewy and dense, signs of a quality ice cream that isn’t full of air (overrun) to reduce costs.
A pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla is flavored with vanilla extract rather than vanilla beans. This ingredient gives the frozen dessert an extremely subtle flavour, which I loved.
While dairy ingredients are usually hard to taste in commercial ice cream, they shine through in this tub.
This is a mild ice cream that won’t overpower other food. It’s the perfect accompaniment for scooping onto a pie or brownie. Anyone who finds vanilla beans too strong or unpleasant may prefer this option.
With ingredients like guar gum, bean gum, and cellulose gum left out, this ice cream has a deliciously natural taste. I was surprised that it didn’t melt too quickly. However, it will melt faster than any other tub of ice cream sold in stores.
Softened ice cream will also re-freeze with an icy texture, so scoop what you need and get it back in the freezer pronto.
Is it worth the price?
The biggest issue with this ice cream is its price. Is it worth paying over double what you would for Connoisseur Classic Vanilla Ice Cream? It’s roughly five times the price of Coles Irresistible Ice Cream Vanilla Bean.
Haagen-Dazs is undoubtedly a better ice cream. However, I’d find it hard to justify paying this much for a pint. It will appeal to consumers not concerned by price or those looking for products with a clean ingredients label.
- High milkfat results in a smooth, super-premium texture.
- A subtle vanilla flavour that most will enjoy.
- Genuinely a clean ingredients label, like homemade recipes.
- Consumers will pay for the privilege of this pint.
Related reading: Review of Haagen-Dazs Mango and Raspberry Ice Cream.
What are the alternatives?
I enjoyed every mouthful of my tub of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream. But this luxury comes at a price. So, what are some good alternatives that won’t hit the wallet with the same force?
- Ben & Jerry’s: There are no similar alternatives in the Ben and Jerry’s range.
- Bulla Murray St Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: At less than half the price, this tub may not have a comparable clean ingredient list, but it still tastes delicious. It comes in a 1L tub, perfect for entertaining or feeding more than 1-2 people. This ice cream is much yellower and has a stronger vanilla punch. Check out my review of Bulla Murray St Vanilla Bean ice cream here.
- Connoisseur Classic Vanilla Ice Cream: An ice cream that’s a notch down on quality ingredients but considerably cheaper and has a bigger tub.
- Coles Irresistible Ice Cream Vanilla Bean: Perhaps Australia’s most underrated vanilla ice cream. I love this product for its exceptional value. No one will complain if you bring this frozen dessert to the table.
Comparison pricing of some popular vanilla ice creams:
|Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream||$2.95|
|Bulla Murray St Ice Creamery Vanilla Bean Ice Cream||$1.20|
|Connoisseur Classic Vanilla Ice Cream||$1.20|
|Coles Irresistible Ice Cream Vanilla Bean||$0.65|
|Bulla Creamy Classics Vanilla Ice Cream||$0.50|
|Streets Blue Ribbon Vanilla Ice Cream||$0.35|
|Coles Vanilla Ice Cream||$0.23|
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an ice cream manufacturer that doesn’t add extras like stabilisers, preservatives, flavours, and other extras. That’s what makes this ice cream so unique.
Haagen-Dazs uses mostly real cream, milk, eggs, and sugar. In contrast, cheaper brands often have higher water content and use inexpensive dairy replacements. The product contains a whopping 39% fresh cream, much higher than any competing brands.
Comparison of milk fat by brand
Milkfat is a signal of better mouthfeel and creaminess. A high proportion of cream in Haagen-Dazs ice cream sets it apart from its competition, as you can see below.
|Murray St Ice Creamery Vanilla Bean||12%|
|Connoisseur Classic Vanilla||13.5%|
|Bulla Creamy Classics Vanilla||10%|
|Bulla Real Dairy Vanilla||6%|
|Peters Original Vanilla||4%|
Madagascan vanilla bean extract flavours the ice cream. It provides a mild, slightly sweet, almost neutral-tasting dessert.
Ingredients list: Fresh Cream (39%), Condensed Skim Milk, Sugar, Water, Egg Yolk, Vanilla Extract.
No ice cream is good for you, so eat it in moderation. Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream has 11.3g of saturated fat per 100g and 19.9g of sugar.
Servings per package: 5
Serving size: 79g
|Quantity per Serving||Quantity per 100g|
Comparison of competing products
|Bulla Murray St Ice Creamery Vanilla Bean Ice Cream||8.3g||21.7|
|Connoisseur Classic Vanilla Ice Cream||9.2g||20.3|
|Coles Irresistible Ice Cream Vanilla Bean||7.67g||14.5|
|Bulla Creamy Classics Vanilla Ice Cream||7.1g||19.9|
|Streets Blue Ribbon Vanilla Ice Cream||7.7g||19.0|
- Exceptional vanilla ice cream with a super creamy texture.
- An excellent flavour profile that most will love.
- Made using natural ingredients without unwanted additives.
- Easy to find in most supermarket freezers.
- The tubs are too small for families.
- Melts quicker than other ice creams.
- Not Australian-made.
Murray Street Ice Creamery Vs. Haagen-Dazs Vanilla – which is best?
While both ice creams are excellent options, Haagen-Dazs has a creamier texture and a cleaner list of ingredients. Murray St is better value and will appeal to those preferring a more intense hit of vanilla.
Is Haagen-Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream the best?
Both brands are super-premium pints with a long-established history of making quality ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s is best known for its innovative flavours and mix-ins; Haagen-Dazs offers simpler, more traditional flavours focusing on using the best ingredients.
What other flavours are available in the Haagen-Dazs range?
Haagen-Dazs has a wide range of pints and multipacks. Some of the range includes:
- Pralines & Cream
- Cookies and Cream
- Dulce de Leche
- Caramel Biscuit and Cream
- Mango and Raspberry
- Macaron Strawberry and Raspberry
- Macaron Yuzu and Lemon
- Strawberries and Cream
- Belgian Chocolate
- Caramel Brownie
- Salted Caramel
About the manufacturer
Haagen-Dazs is an internationally renowned premium ice cream brand that originated in the United States. Founded by Reuben and Rose Mattus in 1961, the brand gained popularity by producing high-quality ice cream using quality ingredients.
Contrary to popular belief, the name “Haagen-Dazs” is not of European origin. The founders dreamed it up to evoke an aura of craftsmanship and European quality.