Taste Test: The Best Ice Pops
We taste-tested dozens of ice pops from the grocery store to find our favorites.
Dreyer's/Edy's Fruit Bars
The competition was stiff, but our panel put these bars (known as Dreyer's in the western U.S. and Edy's in the East) on top for their natural taste and real bits of fruit. "It tastes like frozen fruit puree," said one judge. Unlike many brands, this one flavors its bars with real fruit and fruit juice -- and sweetens with sugar, not corn syrup. Out of 14 flavors, the cherry proved most popular: "It's almost sorbetlike." ($4 for 12, at grocery stores)
Creamsicle -- the brand that popularized the combo of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet—has proved there's nothing like an original: These beat out all the knockoffs. Judges noted "classic flavor" and "smooth consistency" compared with icy competitors. ($2.90 for 8, at grocery stores)
BEST NO SUGAR ADDED
Breyers Pure Fruit Fruit Bars No Sugar Added
Sweetened with fruit juice and the sugar substitute Splenda, these 25-calorie bars scored high for tasting "surprisingly natural" and "superfruity." While competitors seemed artificial, these stood out for "real fruit flavor" -- particularly the strawberry. One taster noted: "I loved finding real seeds in the mix." ($3.50 for 12, at grocery stores)
The Skinny Cow No Sugar Added Fudge Bar
Imagine our surprise when we uncovered the fudge bar labels and discovered this winner … a diet bar? Judges loved the "generous size" and "creamy, mousselike" texture. "It tastes like a good chocolate milk shake," said one. Added bonus: only 110 calories a pop. ($5 for 6, at grocery stores)
Blue Bunny Original Bomb Pop
This red, white and blue number from Blue Bunny took us back to the good old days, and after a few licks judges remembered why these were number one (beyond the cool rocket shape): their "bright, refreshing" flavor combo of cherry, lime and blue raspberry. Plus, added one panelist, "they stain your tongue." ($2.40 for 12, at grocery stores)
Popsicle Slow Melt Pops
Take your time savoring these new pops: Added gelatin means they hold themselves together longer than usual (no crazy chemicals involved!). The strawberry-kiwi, lemon and cherry pops are flavored with natural fruit juice. ($4 for 20, at grocery stores)
Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in June 2007.