Target Introduces Vegan Ice Cream. Here’s What We Thought.
Those who know me understand the vital role ice cream plays in my life. When I went vegan 11 years ago, the options were slim. But now we are truly living in the golden age of vegan ice cream. Not only do we have vegan brands that have been around for ages, but major ice cream makers like Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s, and Häagen Dazs are all doing plant-based versions of their classics.
So you can imagine my delight when I heard that Target (my favorite place on the planet) had introduced its own vegan ice cream under its Archer Farms label. Not only is this available at all Targets across the U.S., but there are seven flavors to choose from. And no, I’m not talking about boring chocolate and vanilla. I’m talking Vanilla Cake & Cookie Dough and Caramel Brownie. Got your attention? Thought so. These pints were also priced lower than Target’s competitors, so that’s another bonus.
I got my hands on four of the seven almond-based flavors. Here’s what I thought:
Vanilla Cake & Cookie Dough
Honestly, if you get one pint, make it this one because it’ll change your life. I’ve never had cake-flavored ice cream before and I feel reborn! The ice cream here tastes just like birthday cake. Remember Duncan Hines yellow cake? It resides in this pint. Then, swirled into this sugary, creamy heavenscape are bits of cookie dough and a hard chocolate-fudge ribbon. This is hands down one of the best vegan ice cream flavors I’ve ever tried. Get it!
Peanut Butter & Chocolate
This was my *very close* second favorite. Do you remember Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream from your pre-vegan days? Well, Target has recreated it here, and it’s AMAZING! This pint contains decadent peanut butter ice cream with bits of chocolate, a peanut butter swirl, and what appears to be miniature peanut butter cups. Can I get an amen? Pick this one up too—it’s life affirming.
This flavor is solid, but what kept it from being over the top for me was that the ice cream base is vanilla. Look, I love vanilla, but I think Archer could have been a little more creative here. Still, the brownie pieces and caramel swirl are delicious, and this is a little bit lighter than the previous two. So if you’re looking for vanilla ice cream realness with a little extra, this is a great option.
I don’t mean to sound spoiled or haughty, but this flavor is just one notch above basic. I mean, don’t get me wrong, 11 years ago I would have been raving about it—but this is 2018. What we have here is vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl and then naked cashews. I mean, could we at least get chocolate-covered salted cashews? This pint is fine, but I don’t think it lives up to the other flavors in the line. Still, I could see pairing this with a warmed apple crisp instead of plain vanilla for a twist.
The three I didn’t get to try were Mocha Fudge, Vanilla Bean, and Strawberry & Fudge. Truth be told, I’ve never been a big fan of coffee-flavored ice cream (don’t @ me), and plain vanilla is for beginners. Strawberry & Fudge sounds more intriguing, but I’m not a huge fan of strawberry ice cream. My overall review is that this line is pretty amazing and definitely holds its own in comparison to other vegan ice creams on the market. So look for it next time you’re in Target, and make sure to let us know what you think!