Product Review: Halo Top Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

The vegan Halo Top has finally hit the shelves of Casper! For those who don’t know, Halo Top prides theirselves on being low sugar, low calorie, high protein. Over the past couple years, people on social media have been crazy about it, and within the last year, they have provided vegan options. I was excited, but also skeptical about trying this one. I have seen a lot of people on Instagram rave about it over the past few months, so I was interested to see if it was any good. I had also seen a lot of people say that it was disgusting and not creamy at all with a gritty texture. I didn’t know what to believe, so I figured I had to try it myself.

For starters, I didn’t like how the store had them set up. They stacked the vegan ones with the regular dairy, and it made it incredibly difficult to find. A lot of the non-dairy flavors are the same as the regular dairy flavors, so it was also difficult to distinguish between the two. The only thing that gives it away is the lid. The rim is lined with the words “vegan”, “dairy free”, and “soy free”. There is also a tiny circle on the front with a coconut, but that wasn’t too helpful, since all of the pints were stacked in the freezer. Other than it being hard to differentiate, I thought the packaging itself was neat. I like that it is just so different than most brands. They color each pint based on the flavor that is inside. I also like that they add a bit of a metallic touch on the lid. It really stands out next to all of the other brands. Next, I looked at the ingredients. This one wasn’t marketed as “high protein”, but it still contained brown rice protein and pea protein. I noticed that it had three grams of protein per serving. That happens to be the exact same amount as the “So Delicious” chocolate peanut butter swirl, which is basically the same frozen dessert. The “So Delicious” doesn’t contain any protein powder, though. It made me wonder why it was necessary, since it added such a small amount of protein. The second ingredient listed was erythritol, a sugar alcohol. It allows the product to be free of added sugars, but I try to not regularly consume erythritol due to studies that have shown digestive troubles with regular consumption. I also noticed “prebiotic fiber” as an ingredient. I figured that would add more fiber to the dessert to make it appear “healthier”. To my surprise there was only five grams of fiber per serving. To my amazement, I found that the same “So Delicious” that I compared before actually contained more fiber per serving, without the added “prebiotic fiber”. Needless to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with the ingredients in the Halo Top. More than anything I was left confused, wondering what the purpose of all the extra ingredients were in the first place. After looking at the pint again, I was reminded that this was supposed to be low calorie. I was incredibly skeptical of all of the highly processed fibers and proteins.

Now for the taste test! I decided to just try it straight out of the pint. I first opened the lid and noticed that the color was very pale. “Full fat cocoa” is one of the ingredients, so I expected it to be brown like chocolate. I dove into the ice cream and it was pretty soft straight out of the freezer, which I liked. When the ice cream hit my tongue, I didn’t taste any chocolate, which was pretty disappointing. The very next thing I noticed was the texture. It was smooth and not icy, but it felt gritty from all of the protein powders. I could taste the brown rice protein. It was very strong flavor that was overpowering. I tasted no chocolate, so all that was left was something that resembled a fluffy, frozen, sweetened powdered protein drink. There was a little peanut butter. It was swirled in, and there wasn’t very much of it. When I got a bit of the peanut butter, it was such a relief! It added a much needed break from the ice cream base itself.

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Overall, I wasn’t in love with this. I didn’t like the texture or flavor. If I want to eat ice cream, I am going to splurge and eat something that is creamy, smooth, and full of flavor.  I seriously don’t know if I can finish the pint. It seemed to get worse every time I kept trying it. I realize that this is marketed toward the person who is looking for something low sugar and low calorie. If I wanted that, I would just blend some frozen bananas, that tastes much better than this product.

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