Costco Vanilla Ice Cream (Super Premium) - Kirkland Signature
Kirkland Signature Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream
Costco sells a 2 pack of their own Kirkland Signature Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream for $12.99. The two-pack includes two half-gallon tubs of ice cream.
The big downside to Costco’s Ice cream is that there is only one flavor: Vanilla.
This is not the ice cream used in Costco’s Food Court.
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Ice Cream vs Frozen Dessert
Where Has The Real Ice Cream Gone?
In today’s world, money rules everything. If large corporations can charge the same amount for a low-quality product, they will gladly do that.
The ice cream industry has transitioned from real ice cream to what is called frozen dessert. Frozen desserts look like ice cream and smell like ice cream but don’t taste nearly as good as real ice cream.
Costco's Vanilla Ice Cream Is Real Ice Cream
Made with 100% Dairy
Real ice cream, like this Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream, is made with 100% dairy. This means made with milk or milk products such as cream, skim, and powder.
Frozen desserts, on the other hand, are made with vegetable oils, like palm or coconut oil. Many “ice creams” sold in grocery stores today are actually considered frozen desserts.
They don’t mark it in big font on their packaging, but next time you are in the grocery store, look to see what’s actually ice cream and what’s actually a frozen dairy dessert. You may not like what you see.
One thing to Note: This vanilla ice cream is much heavier than regular ice cream.
Who Makes Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream?
Costco doesn’t produce its own products and will private label from established and quality brands.
It’s always a fun little game to try and figure out what company actually makes Kirkland Signature products. If you are up for a challenge, see if you can find who makes this ice cream using the image below.
The Answer to Who Makes Costco's Vanilla Ice Cream (Spoilers)
This can be found by taking the plant number (Plant 06-1187) printed at the bottom of the ice cream tub and inputting it here.
Humboldt Creamery is the company behind Kirkland Signature’s Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream.
Costco's Vanilla Ice Cream Is Super Premium
What is Super Premium Ice Cream?
Similar to how Trident Seafoods has the “Ultimate” Fish Stick name, I initially thought that “Super Premium” was just part of the name of the ice cream.
It was very unlike the Kirkland Signature brand, but I didn’t realize Super Premium is an ice cream category.
Super Premium Is the Highest Ice Cream Category
There are 4 quality segments of ice cream: economy, regular, premium, and super premium.
The category is determined by how much overrun (amount of aeration the ice cream undergoes in the production process), the quality of ingredients, and how much milk fat content is in the ice cream. Higher quality ice creams will have less overrun and higher fat content.
Why Costco's Ice Cream is So Good?
Costco’s vanilla ice cream qualifies for the super-premium designation by having a very low overrun with very high fat content, all while using the best quality ingredients.
This might explain why the ice cream is so heavy!
Costco Vanilla Ice Cream Cost Comparison
How Much Does The Vanilla Ice Cream at Costco Cost?
Costco sells their 2 half gallon tubs of Ice cream for $12.99. Most people are familiar with the 1.5-quart ice cream packages sold in most major retailers or grocery stores. You will need a little more than 2 and a half of those 1.5 quarter packages to equal the 1 gallon of Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream.
If we were to break down Costco’s Vanilla Ice Cream into 1.5 qt packages, the price would be $4.88.
Costco vs The Competition
With ice cream, there is a wide range of quality and price. Ice cream is also one of the items that goes on sale frequently.
On the low end are going to be the store brands that can be as inexpensive as $2.50 for 1.5 quarts when on sale, while premium brands will charge $6 to $8 or even more!
Most major mass-market brands of ice cream retail in this $4-$5 range for 1.5 quarts.
Super Premium vs The Rest
Costco’s vanilla ice cream, while being super premium ice cream, is on par with other retailers’ regular ice cream pricing.
You can definitely get ice cream for less than $4.88 per 1.5 quarts, so Kirkland Signature Premium Ice Cream isn’t the most affordable option, nor are they trying to be.
This is one of those cases where Costco or Kirkland Signature will never have the lowest price. Kirkland Signature ice cream is super premium and intends to compete with boutique high-end ice cream brands.
I am always ok paying mid-tier prices for top-tier ice cream.
Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Review
Is Costco's Ice Cream Good?
The Kirkland Signature brand, the super premium designation, and the weight of the vanilla ice cream are all signs that this is a high-quality elite ice cream.
From the first bite, you can immediately notice that the Kirkland Signature ice cream is full-bodied and creamy. The vanilla flavor is very present and deep.
Costco's Vanilla Ice Cream Is Ice Cream Shop Quality
There is an ever so slight chewiness to the ice cream that you don’t find from the mid-tier ice cream brands.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it artisanal ice cream, but I would be more than satisfied if I was served this ice cream from an ice cream shop.
Amazing Ice Cream
I did only eat this ice cream plain and as is, but because of the traditional flavor of vanilla, this Costco ice cream will go well with a variety of toppings or syrups.
Before today, I never knew that Super Premium ice cream existed, but it’s obvious that this fits the super premium bill.
Costco’s vanilla ice cream is an excellent option and, without a doubt, the best ice cream in the entire warehouse, and I would bet it’s the best ice cream to be had at this price point.
How Many Calories in Kirkland Signature Ice Cream?
Each serving of Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream is two-thirds of a cup, 144 grams, or a little more than 5 ounces. Each half-gallon tub contains 12 servings.
Because this is real ice cream, there are 360 calories from 23 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein per serving.
More Calories than Lower Quality Ice Cream
This Costco ice cream does contain more calories than traditional ice cream. A serving of Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream is also two-thirds of a cup but has only 170 calories.
Breyer’s ice cream has about half the calories of Kirkland Signatures because of the overrun ( how much air is in the ice cream) and the milk substitutions.
Both serving sizes are the same at two-thirds of a cup, but Costco’s ice cream weighs 144 grams to Breyer’s 88 grams. Kirkland Signature Ice Cream will have double the weight and double the calories.
I guess there is a price to pay with super premium ice cream, and it’s going to be at the waistline. Do keep that in mind, if you like to go on ice cream binges like I do
Costco Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients
As mentioned, this is real ice cream, and not a frozen dairy dessert. The Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream is made with Fresh Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Pasteurized Egg Yolks, Vanilla Extract, Carob Bean Gum, and Guar Gum.
There are a few ingredients on the list that I don’t recognize, which is always disappointing.
This is delicious ice cream. Costco and the Kirkland Signature brand knock it out of the park with their Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s priced like an everyday grocery store ice cream, but tastes like something you would get from a specialty ice cream shop.
Even if vanilla isn’t your preferred flavor, give this ice cream a try!
Costco Food Database User Reviews
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Greg Larkin is the founder and managing editor of Costco Food Database, the premiere site for honest takes on all things Costco food. A self-proclaimed Costco super-fan since childhood, Greg turned his obsession in a mission to properly rate and review all of Costco’s delicious buys. When he’s not busy navigating Costco aisles, you can find Greg smoking Kirkland Signature meats, meal prepping, or perfecting his homemade jerky recipes.