Ice Cream Sandwich Brand Test
As the temperature rises going into the summer months, the IN team is looking for ways to stay cool. What better way to beat the heat than with a brand test of a classic summer treat: the ice cream sandwich!
There are many amazing variations of this dessert – from chocolate chip cookies on the outside to Rocky Road in the middle. But for this test, we’ll be sticking to the basics. Picture the quintessential ice cream treat: the classic vanilla placed between two dimpled chocolate wafers – that’s what we’re going for!
The brands below were selected based on their brand recognition and perceived quality. We administered a blind taste test and asked the testers to select their favorite based on visual appeal, texture, and flavor. As a strategy and design agency, we also have a duty to evaluate the packaging of each product.
First, we have Klondike. Though they are most famous for their chocolate-coated ice cream bars, they are no slouches in the sandwich department. What would we do for a Klondike bar (or ice cream sandwich)? We shall soon see.
Count: 6 sandwiches
Price per ounce: $0.17
Next, we have Blue Bunny. This national brand is among the largest distributors of frozen desserts in the country. If you’re a connoisseur of summer treats, you’ve probably stumbled upon a few of their options.
Count: 9 sandwiches
Price per ounce: $0.14
Last but certainly not least, we have Schwan’s. Schwan’s, currently in the process of rebranding as Yelloh, has been delivering frozen favorites for nearly 70 years. If you’re like us, the Schwan’s
truck invokes childhood memories of their mouthwatering ice cream sandwiches.
Count: 24 sandwiches
Price per ounce: $0.19
This brand test required our team to be quick on the draw. Once the options were presented, it was only a matter of time until we were dealing with a melty, delicious mess. Luckily, as consummate professionals, we wasted no time getting to task.
Visual Appeal: We were looking for a good balance between ice cream and wafer, and none of the options disappointed on that front. Blue Bunny had a darker wafer, and the “frozen dairy dessert” helped keep its shape. Klondike offered a square sandwich with a thicker wafer. Schwan’s was notable for its cream-colored ice cream which stood out against the white of its competitors. Overall, Schwan’s (or Yelloh) secured the victory in this category.
Texture: A decent ice cream sandwich needs to hold its shape and be at least somewhat resilient against the dreaded collapse, otherwise a firm squeeze could make your ice cream dessert into an ice cream disaster. Blue Bunny had a softer wafer, Klondike had a flakier wafer with airy ice cream, and Schwan’s had a higher ice cream-to-wafer ratio. Schwan’s excelled in texture.
Flavor: The category we were most excited for! Blue Bunny’s sandwich checked all the boxes you might be looking for in an ice cream sandwich but failed to stand out. Klondike’s sandwich has distinct notes of cinnamon or nutmeg, but the flavors were distracting from the traditional flavors our testers were expecting. Schwan’s delivered on the classic flavor, leaning heavily on the ice cream and letting the wafers take a back seat. Schwan’s took this category as well.
All these tantalizing options are a fantastic summer treats, but which (ice) cream rose to the top? Despite the lackluster packaging, Schwan’s (Yelloh) emerged as the unanimous favorite for taste, texture, and visual appeal.