Trader Joe’s Just Launched Halo Top-Like, High-Protein, Light Ice Creams — And We Have Some Thoughts

updated Aug 20, 2019
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Credit: Lauren Masur

There seems to be an insatiable market for the kind of “ice cream” that’s socially acceptable to eat by the pint. (Although I thought that was all kinds of ice cream, but I digress.)

The specific kind that I’m referring to is that protein-infused, lower-fat, reduced-calorie, low-sugar stuff that people can’t seem to get enough of. Well, my friends, Trader Joe’s is officially in on the trend — having just launched their own line of Trader Joe’s Light Ice Creams for $2.99 a pint.

What makes them “light,” you ask? These pints are primarily made with nonfat milk, cream, and milk protein concentrate (which ups the protein factor) in addition to inulin, cane sugar, egg yolks, stevia, and monk fruit extract. Quite the cocktail of unpronounceable ingredients, if you ask me. The new line consists of two flavors, and I gave both pints the old college try — here are my thoughts.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Joe-Joe’s Cookies & Cream

I wanted to like this stuff, I really did, but after a big scoop, I gleaned that the texture was chalky and the alternate sweetener aftertaste was more than I could handle. I love Joe-Joe’s (TJ’s dupe for Oreos), but their essence in this ice cream is so faint, they might as well not even be included on the ingredient list. This pint contains 20 grams of protein and is 310 calories in total. If you really want to try TJ’s Light Ice Cream, skip this flavor in favor of the one below.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Chocolate Peanut Butter

The dark chocolatey flavor helps to mask a lot of what I didn’t like about the super-mild Joe-Joe’s Cookies and Cream pint. It also helps that there was a strong peanut butter presence throughout. It boasts a little more protein than the first one — 23 grams — but is higher in calories (370 for a whole pint).

Here’s what the retailer has to say about them, according to the Fearless Flyer, “While we’re not necessarily saying that kosher-certified, Trader Joe’s Light Ice Creams are designed to be eaten by the pint, that’s definitely how we like to enjoy them. Plus with a little extra room in your dietary budget so to speak, you have the freedom to go a little more over the top with your toppings.”

While I don’t necessarily want to eat these by the pint in one sitting, I would consider using them as filling for some DIY ice cream sandwiches!

What are your thoughts on “light” ice cream? Would you try these?