Ice Cream Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Ice Cream

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It’s always a great time for ice cream! But did you know it often contains palm oil? Here’s a list of ice cream without palm oil.

Take a few seconds to read the ingredients; don’t just buy whatever ice cream is on sale.

Some ice cream brands use better quality ingredients than others. Palm oil is cheap; therefore, it’s widely used in store brands and other inexpensive brands.

Also, the more complicated the flavor, the more ingredients it likely has. When there are more ingredients, there is a greater chance it will have palm oil. Choose simple flavors.

We offer more tips below.

There is one brand that always makes palm oil free ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s. You can safely choose any of their amazing flavors. Scroll down for palm free flavors from other brands.

Ice cream without palm oil

Ben & Jerry’s

Whatever flavor you crave, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has found a way to make it without palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

On their website, you have to search “palm oil” to find anything about it. And then it’s just their values sourcing page. We weren’t able to find any mention of “palm oil free” anywhere else. We hope Ben & Jerry’s will showcase this on their site as it’s very rare.

Here are most of their pint flavors. Please note, they have many more palm oil free ice creams, frozen yogurts and dairy free choices on their website.

ice cream without palm oil
All flavors are palm oil free
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Chocolate Shake It
  • Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Cold Brew Caramel Latte
  • Ice Cream Sammie
  • It’s Ice… Cream
  • Red, White & Blueberry
  • Brownie Batter Core
  • Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Core
  • Karamel Sutra Core
  • Peanut Butter Fudge Core
  • Salted Caramel Core
  • Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core
  • Peanut Buttah Cookie Core
  • Americone Dream
  • Banana Split
  • Bob Marley’s One Love
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Brewed to Matter
  • Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Cherry Garcia
  • Chillin’ the Roast
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Therapy
  • Chubby Hubby
  • Chunky Monkey
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz
  • Everything But The…
  • Gimme S’more!
  • Glampfire Trail Mix
  • Half Baked
  • Milk & Cookies
  • Mint Chocolate Cookie
  • Minter Wonderland
  • New York Super Fudge Chunk
  • Oat of This Swirled
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter World
  • Phish Food
  • Pistachio Pistachio
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • S’mores
  • Salted Caramel Almond
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • The Tonight Dough
  • Triple Caramel Chunk
  • Truffle Kerfuffle
  • Urban Bourbon
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Caramel Fudge

Researching ice cream brands

To learn about the way palm oil is used in ice cream, we went to four grocery stores. We looked at all of the ice cream brands with sizes greater than 473.17 milliliters (one pint). There were 18 brands.

We learned all of the store brands contained some type of palm oil ingredient and/or palm oil derivative.

Buy name brand ice cream to better avoid palm oil.

Of those 18 brands, there were 282 flavors that didn’t repeat. We researched the labels from these 282 unique brand and flavor combinations.

(We didn’t include Ben & Jerry’s in the research because we knew they are palm oil free and because we researched ice cream containers larger than one pint.)

Palm oil free ice cream

These are the brands and flavors we found in our local stores that didn’t contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives on their labels. This list is meant to be a starting point. Know that ingredients and vendors change. This list isn’t guaranteed, especially when it comes to Natural Flavors.*

Note, we don’t list any store brands here. We researched five store brands, and all of their flavors contained palm oil in some form. Most contained two or more palm oil ingredients and/or derivatives.

These ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives on their labels. We’ve made notes to exceptions where we reached out to them for additional information.

Alden’s Organic

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream (It’s very rare to see a palm oil free cookies & cream ice cream.)
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Caramel
  • French Vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl

This is for Alden’s Organic Ice Cream in 1.42 liter / 1.5 quart size. A representative from Alden’s Organic confirmed these are palm oil free.

They are very transparent in that they list all of their ingredients for each of their products on their website.

When Alden’s Organic Ice Cream uses palm oil, it’s in the form of “palm kernel oil” and is clearly labeled. They don’t use palm oil derivatives such as monoglycerides.

Note: Their pint-sized Crushin On Cookies & Mint is palm oil free (which is also rare).

Blue Bell Creameries

palm oil free ice cream

  • Black Walnut
  • Rocky Road
  • Natural Vanilla Bean
  • Pistachio Almond
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Ultimate Neopolitan
  • Spiced Pumpkin Pecan
  • French Vanilla
  • The Great Divide
  • Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla
  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Homemade Vanilla
  • Keylime Mango Tart
  • Coffee
  • Tin Roof

These Blue Bell flavors are in 1.89 liters (half gallon).

They don’t list any palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their ingredient labels.

From personal experience, my son has safely enjoyed Blue Bell’s Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream.

Breyers

  • Chocolate
  • Natural Strawberry
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Natural Vanilla

Note, Breyers makes four different Vanilla Flavors. They all pretty much look the same except for their name. Be sure to choose Breyers Natural Vanilla.

Their Natural Vanilla is the only one that doesn’t contain mono- and diglycerides. In addition, it contains just five ingredients.

These are their flavors in the 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) size. They list their ingredients on their website through SmartLabel.

Also note, from personal experience, my son has eaten these Breyers ice cream flavors safely, with no symptoms. We believe them to be fully palm oil free.

Dreyers

  • Butter Pecan
  • Coffee
  • Slow Churned:
    • French Vanilla
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Classic Vanilla
    • Caramel Delight
    • Strawberry
    • Butter Pecan
    • Coffee
    • Chocolate
  • Neopolitan
  • Strawberry
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean

This is for Dreyer’s 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers.

Dreyers is transparent in listing their ingredients for their ice creams on their website. These were Dreyers ice cream flavors we found that didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their labels.

Lactaid (lactose free)

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

This is for Lactaid’s 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They list all of their ingredients on their website. These three flavors didn’t have any questionable ingredients on their labels.

Straus Family Creamery Organic

  • Vanilla Bean
  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip

We researched Straus Organic in their 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They make “super premium” ice cream.

You can search on their website, and find they list the ingredients for all of their ice creams under “Nutritional Information” for each flavor and size. The information is very easy to find.

Like the others in our list, we found these Straus Organic flavors didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients on their labels.

Tillamook

  • Banana Split
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Buttered Maple Pancakes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel
  • Rocky Road
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Tillamook Mudslide
  • Malted Moo Shake
  • Old-Fashioned Vanilla
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Butterscotch
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Caramel Butter Pecan
  • Creamy PB&J
  • Oregon Strawberry
  • Old-Fashioned Strawberry
  • Oregon Dark Cherry
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Mountain Huckleberry
  • Mudslide
  • Udderly Chocolate
  • Chocolate Cherry Fudge

This is for Tillamook’s 1.66 liter size (1.75 quarts). When you click on one of Tillamook’s flavors, the ingredients as well as other information comes up easily.

These flavors do not list any of the palm oil ingredients and derivatives commonly found in ice cream. A representative from Tillamook confirmed these Tillamook ice cream flavors don’t contain palm oil.

Turkey Hill

Please note, this is their “All Natural” line of ice creams.

  • All Natural:
    • Vanilla Bean & Chocolate
    • Butter Almond & Chocolate
    • Belgian Style Chocolate
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Salted Caramel
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter
    • Homemade Vanilla
    • Butter Pecan

This is for their 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers. You can see all of their flavors and ingredients easily online.

(Note, The Kroger Company sold Turkey Hill to Peak Rock Capital.)

Make sure to choose Turkey Hill’s All Natural line of ice cream.

All of these flavors listed here do not have any palm oil derivatives or palm oil ingredients on their ingredient labels.

We emailed Turkey Hill about their other ice creams that contain monoglycerides, diglycerides and propylene glycol. The representative said they are not derived from palm oil, and that they are used as stabilizers in some of their products. However, we didn’t include them in this list.

Yes! We loved seeing this “How Many Ingredients Chart” on Turkey Hill’s website. Check it out!

Palm oil ingredients in ice cream

When you look at ice cream ingredient labels, some names for palm oil will be easy to spot. They are the ones that contain the word “palm” in them. Some examples are Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and Palm Oil with TBHQ.

However, there are others that are considered “palm oil derivatives.” These are ingredients that are made using palm oil but don’t have the “palm” in the name. Unless you check with the manufacturer, you won’t know whether these contain palm oil.

Some examples of palm oil derivatives common in ice cream are Mono & Diglycerides, Monoglycerides, Propylene Glycol, and Polysorbate 80.

In the 282 ice creams we researched, there were a total of 20 different palm oil ingredients and derivatives listed in the ingredients:

  • Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol Monostearate
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Mixed Tocopherols/Vitamin E
  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Monoglycerides
  • Organic Palm Kernel Oil
  • Organic Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil with TBHQ
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Palm Oil with Citric Acid
  • Palm Oil with TBHQ
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Propylene Glycol Monoesters
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Vitamin A Palmitate

Most common palm oil derivatives in ice cream

After researching ice cream containers (larger than one pint) at grocery stores, the most common palm oil derivatives are:

  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Glycerol
  • Monoglycerides

Ice cream without palm oil

We continue to reach out to ice cream companies and hope to have more to add to this list. We hope ice cream companies will come to realize “Palm Oil Free” is a marketing advantage.

There is a difference between Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has different requirements for Ice Cream versus Frozen Dessert.

Again, here’s where it’s important to read labels. We’ve found Frozen Dessert cartons near the big party tubs of ice cream. They typically contain palm oil.

Just as the FDA has different requirements for “chocolate” versus “chocolate flavored,” there are different requirements regarding ingredients in ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, and frozen dessert.

Learn more here to see what the FDA requires of manufacturers to call their product “ice cream.”

Email companies to ask about the source of their ingredients

We have been emailing ice cream companies to ask them the source of their ingredients.

Often, companies sidetrack the question by referring us to their ingredients pages. However, the ingredients usually don’t spell out the source — especially if they are made from palm oil.

As an example, the Polysorbate 80 would be listed but wouldn’t say whether it was made with palm oil. What is Polysorbate 80 made from? You have no way of knowing.

Overall, most of the time, we haven’t been getting exact answers to our specific questions. Often we receive “canned answers” as they must have rules when answering questions about palm oil.

Sometimes companies reply with a statement about how they use RSPO sustainable palm oil.

Other times, they say the ingredient is derived from “natural sources” or “vegetable oil.”

When we ask, “What type of vegetable oil,” or “Is this ingredient sourced from palm oil,” or “Does this ingredient contain any palm oil,” they often do not answer.

Even after sending them the specific UPC code and asking them specifically about the source of one or more ingredients — “Are the mono- and diglycerides derived from palm oil in this product?” — many companies still wouldn’t answer.

They respond saying the information is “proprietary.”

If a company doesn’t respond to our questions, we believe they are hiding something.

One exception is Kroger Family of Stores who answered all of our questions outright. See more information at the bottom of this post.

Palm oil in ice cream

Palm oil is used in ice cream for many reasons. It adds to the mouth feel and texture, making it smooth and creamy. Companies can use it as an emulsifier and a stabilizer.

Since the FDA banned trans-fats in the United States, companies needed to find alternate ingredients for ice cream and other foods.

How to find ice cream without palm oil

Read labels.

Avoid any ice cream that includes Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and anything with palm- in the name.

Then, once that becomes a habit, you can take it a step further and choose ice cream without Mono- and Diglycerides.

After that, you can choose products that don’t list Polysorbate 80 and Propylene Glycol.

Don’t buy big party pails.

Large grocery stores often sell a store brand ice cream bucket.

Remember, the ice cream is cheap for a reason. It includes palm oil in some form.

Big ice cream party pails may be appealing if you have a large family or are having a party. However, for a few dollars extra, you will make a big impact and have better quality ice cream by choosing a different container.

Shop sales in advance, and buy palm oil free instead.

Buy “name brand” ice cream.

Palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives were in every single carton of store brand ice cream we researched.

Again, store brands are meant to be less expensive than the name brand competitors. No name, generic brands use palm oil to keep their costs down.

Choose ice cream with less ingredients.

Some of these ice creams have as few as five ingredients. Others, those with palm oil, can have 10 – 15 or more.

With the exception of Ben & Jerry’s, more complicated flavors — cookie crumbles, candy add-ins, chunks, swirls, etc. — mean a greater likelihood of palm oil.

The cheaper the ice cream brand, the greater the chance of palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

Some name brand ice cream is less expensive than other brand names.

Why is one brand overall less expensive than the others? They most likely are using palm oil derivatives instead of higher quality, “real” ingredients.

Make sure you are buying “Ice Cream” and not “Frozen Dessert.”

Frozen dessert has less strict requirements about what it needs to contain, thereby increasing the likelihood of palm oil.

Stick with the brands and flavors you know are palm oil free.

Use this list to guide you to find ice cream without palm oil. Also remember that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is palm free.

Choose organic.

For certain, organic ice cream and organic packaged foods can contain palm oil. However, there is often less chance of them using palm oil derivatives.

Buy a simple palm oil free vanilla or chocolate and add in your mix-ins.

Make your own combinations.

You can add palm oil free peanut butter, marshmallows, chocolate chips, Milk Chocolate M&Ms, sliced bananas, strawberries, palm oil free cookies, and more.

Watch for mono- and diglycerides in chocolate syrup.

Ice cream sprinkles and jimmies often contain hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm oil, glycerin as well as other palm oil derivatives.

Ice cream cones and waffle bowls often contain vegetable oil shortening made with palm oil.

Make your own.

You can make your own ice cream at home for a fun family activity.

Another option is to slice and freeze bananas. If you have a Vitamix or other mixer, you can blend them with a teaspoon of vanilla and 100% cacao powder for sweet treat that has the consistency of ice cream.

Soft serve ice cream

Know that many soft serve ice cream in sit-down and fast food restaurants contains palm oil derivatives such as mono- and diglycerides.

You will have to contact the manufacturer in advance to find out the source of the mono- and diglycerides they use. They likely won’t know at the store as the source doesn’t need to be labeled.

Thank you to Ben & Jerry’s

Many people avoid palm oil for environmental concerns. On a personal note, my son gets sick from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. As anyone who has a child with food issues will tell you, it’s an incredible feeling when your child has safe choices.

Incredibly, my son can walk to the freezer section, and pick ANY Ben & Jerry’s flavor he wants. He can choose! He’s not limited in any way. And we don’t have to stress over the ingredients, what to buy, or about him getting sick.

The ice cream we have at home is the one food category in which he doesn’t feel like he is missing out. He has enjoyed 10+ flavors and hasn’t experienced any reactions.

Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for making ALL of your flavors without palm oil or ANY palm oil derivatives.

I will never be able to convey what it means to not have to watch, not have to worry, and not have to wonder what’s safe and if he will get sick.

It’s also wonderful to be able to tell friends and relatives they can buy “any Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream” for him easily.

palm oil free ice cream
Courtesy of Upsplash

Disclaimer and positive praise for Kroger

  • Please note that when we contacted ice cream companies, none of them were quick to admit to using palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Many times, customer service representatives did not answer questions even when we gave them the UPC code and asked specifically for the source of their (mono- and diglycerides, natural flavors, etc.).

Other times, they gave us conflicting information. We were not able to get clear answers on ice creams that use “Natural Flavors.”

Many companies responded with how that information is “proprietary.” Therefore, if you are avoiding palm oil for health reasons, be sure to avoid the ones with Natural Flavors unless you contact them.

“Natural Flavors” and “Natural Flavor” can contain palm oil. Natural Flavors may exist in these ice creams.

Kroger Family of Stores is the exception. They went above and beyond to get the information we asked for.

Instead of responding with stock answers, a customer service representative from Kroger Family of Stores sent our inquiries to their R&D and their suppliers. They told us the vendor for the source of the oils were derived from palm and soy oils. While we didn’t include them in our palm oil free list above, we thought it was important to mention Kroger for their honesty and transparency when answering our questions.

Finding palm oil free ice cream

As consumers rush through the grocery store, we are conditioned to make quick buying decisions, often based on price and what’s on sale.

By taking a few extra seconds to read ingredient labels, you can make a palm oil free choice. This will send a message to companies.

Generally speaking…

Higher quality ingredients and less ingredients = Less chance of palm oil

It’s available; you just need to know what to look for on the ice cream cartons. Once you find your favorite palm free brands and flavors, stock up when they are on sale.

Ice cream without palm oil is available. Let companies know consumers are paying attention. Write to them. Buy ice cream without it. Why do you buy palm free ice cream? Please let us know in the Comments.

We’ve noted which companies confirmed which of their flavors are palm oil free. We are grateful to them for responding and for making all or some of their ice cream flavors without palm oil.

To the best of our knowledge, these ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives in their ingredients. Use this list as a starting point but please know it’s not guaranteed. Please do your own due diligence. Also, please remember to read labels every time.

 

 

 

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