How we analyse
Taste test CHOICE asked 60 members to take part in an in-house taste test. This group was split into two sessions, each of which tasted 11 samples of ice-cream. The remaining samples were tasted by CHOICE staff. We selected vanilla-flavoured ice-creams available from supermarkets, and presented a scoop to each taster in a plastic container with no brand identification. Tasters were asked to consider the taste, flavour and overall acceptability of each ice-cream using a scale of 1-7 (very poor to excellent) and whether or not they would buy it.
Nutritional analysis We record the energy, total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium of each ice-cream, taken from the nutritional information panel on the packaging.
Using the table
Nutrients Based on information provided on the label.
Traffic light criteria are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally.
Sodium All ice-creams are under 100mg/100g for sodium and get the green light.
Price per 100mL is based on prices paid in Sydney supermarkets on 13 December 2010.
(A) Contains gelatine as a stabiliser.
(B) There were only 29 responses for this sample, so figures here are not as directly comparable with others.
What's happened to Homebrand?
Woolworths Home Brand Vanilla ice-cream ranked highest in our test of private label and premium brands, with tasters praising its creamy taste and smooth texture. This time, however, it came last. Woolworths told CHOICE that although there had not been a formulation change, a batch had reached the shelves that didn’t meet Woolworth’s quality standards, which we may have used in this test.
We asked a handful of staff to taste the ice-cream from the tested batch as well as a new one; all said the ice-cream from the new batch tasted noticeably better. We can only conclude that better quality control should be practised, and any batch that’s not up to standard in the test kitchen should not be rolled out onto the shelves for consumers.