REVIEW: Fairlife Light Ice Cream

Fairlife Light Ice Cream

When you were younger, did you ever think ahead to being an adult and being able to “do whatever you want”?

I used to think along those lines, but even my adolescent hopefulness couldn’t have predicted the pure joy in buying every single flavor of a new ice cream release because I was “supposed to” for a product review. That was my reality when I found the new seven-flavor lineup of Fairlife Light Ice Cream.

You’re probably familiar with Fairlife from its presence in the fluid dairy aisle. Its most significant point of difference is the use of and direct-to-consumer sale of ultra-filtered (UF) milk, which is, in my opinion, as a dairy scientist, VERY NEAT.

Ultra-filtered milk is simply milk that has been passed through a membrane that separates out some of the water, lactose, and small minerals. What’s left is milk that is higher in protein and has much less lactose. Fairlife also does other super nifty things like adding lactase enzymes to its chocolate milk which breaks lactose into glucose and galactose, which together can be as sweet as sugar, so the chocolate milk needs less added sugar to be just as sweet! Science can be delicious! Okay, with all of that said, let’s bring it back to performance because it doesn’t matter how clever your ice cream is if it doesn’t deliver on taste.

Cookies & Cream

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Cookies  Cream

I chose to start with Cookies & Cream because I think it’s a crowd-pleasing favorite. The Fairlife version lived up to expectations. The cookies were chocolatey and soft, and the pieces weren’t skimpy. The vanilla had a nice flavor as well, but I did think the texture overall was a little icy and it could have been more creamy and melty. But considering these are light ice creams, I wasn’t shocked.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 190 Calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Double Fudge Brownie

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Double Fudge Brownie

I’m always a little wary when “light” versions of products shoot for flavors like Double Fudge Brownie. In the case of Fairlife, I think this flavor is fine, but not amazing. The chocolate ice cream was decent. It’s like their chocolate milk, but frozen. The brownie pieces were surprisingly good. They were soft and pillowy, sort of like a Fiber One brownie.

The fudge sauce was not for me. It had a very harsh acidic canned chocolate syrup flavor that didn’t mesh well with the sweetness level in the ice cream. Keep the brownies, lose the fudge swirl.

Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: I’m SO sorry, but this pint was tossed from our freezer to make room for frozen goods before I could snag a picture of the nutrition label.

Chocolate and Vanilla

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Chocolate

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Vanilla

Honestly, the staple flavors were a little icy, but pretty good. The Vanilla had little flecks of vanilla bean and the Chocolate flavor was mild, but pleasant. With more fat, the chocolate would have been more luscious. I’d accept a scoop of either as my à la mode any day. Especially considering a serving of the vanilla is basically the nutritional equivalent of a glass of 2% milk with a little sugar. Keep your expectations level, folks.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Vanilla)
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 140 Calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Chocolate)
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 190 Calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Chocolate Peanut Butter

The Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor was my only huge letdown. There is no peanut butter in this product. There is only added peanut flavor. I get that these are light ice creams, so maybe you can’t add peanut butter, but in that case, maybe don’t make this flavor at all? The pieces of chocolate flakes were mildly redeeming, but overall this one was pretty rough.

Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 190 Calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Java Chip

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Java Chip

It was GREAT. Again, this is clearly lower fat than other ice creams, but for some reason, I didn’t notice that as much in this coffee version. The chocolate flakes, much like in the peanut butter version, are nice. They break down and aren’t waxy. Slow melt, but I really liked the coffee flavor in this one.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: I’m SO sorry, but this pint was tossed from our freezer to make room for frozen goods before I could snag a picture of the nutrition label.

Mint Chip

Fairlife Light Ice Cream Mint Chip

Ahh, mint chip. You can’t go wrong with mint chip. Minty flavor makes everything seem refreshing. Would a full fat mint chip melt better and taste better? Yeah. But this ain’t bad. I would love a mint chip ice cream sandwich made with this.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of the container) 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Overall:

Fairlife Light Ice Cream POWER BOWL

Overall, it’s no surprise these light ice creams made from ultra-filtered milk deliver a slightly inferior texture to full-fat regular ice cream, but that’s par for the course in the rapidly expanding world of light ice creams.

Set these bad boys on the counter for five minutes before you scoop and they do pretty well. I also still think UF milk and some of the techniques used at Fairlife are really interesting. I would buy Java Chip, Mint Chip, Vanilla, or Cookies & Cream again for SURE. But I don’t care much for the flavor trade-offs when you get to flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter that doesn’t have any actual peanut butter.

Purchased Price: $3.99 each
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco

4 thoughts to “REVIEW: Fairlife Light Ice Cream”

  1. I’m getting bit tired of cookies & cream ice cream. Need more creativity; how about cookie dough & cream? Combining cookie dough & the sandwich cookies together in one pint

      1. Blue Bell has unveiled a new ice cream flavor: Cookie Two Step.

        The creamery says the new flavor is a “beautiful mixture of chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate sandwich cookies and vanilla ice cream.” In other words, it’s a cookie dough/cookies ’n cream mashup.

        its already been done.

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