Updated in 2021! In the 80s and 90s, fat became the enemy, but now it’s sugar. Many Americans are diving into the keto craze, while millions more are making real efforts to cut back on their added sugar intake. Consequently, quite a few low sugar dairy-free ice cream brands have come to market in the past few years. And we think today is a great time to celebrate them!
This post covers the mainstream brands that you can find at grocery stores throughout the country or order online for shipment to your home. Because they’re free of dairy, many of these brands are actually called “frozen desserts” or “frozen treats.” But they’re all churned blends that are frozen and packed into pints with the intent to be an alternative to ice cream. So for simplicity and familiarity sake, we’ll call them low sugar dairy-free ice cream. It’s a lot easier than trying to awkwardly describe each one.
10 Low Sugar Dairy-free Ice Cream Brands and How they Rank
Many people wonder why sugar-free and low sugar dairy-free ice cream pints are so dense. It’s because sugar isn’t just a sweetener. It actually adds body to ice cream, and it lowers the freezing point. This results in a softer ice cream that doesn’t freeze as solid in your freezer. Consequently, less sugar = harder ice cream.
To compensate, low sugar dairy-free ice cream makers have to add more fat, processed ingredients, or whole foods with natural sugars (like fruit) to help coax the frozen dessert into a spoonable texture. Even then, it’s very difficult to get a truly creamy consistency without sugar, and without dairy. But the brands below have given it their best effort. According to consumers like you, who have rated and reviewed these products, some have done a truly credible job.
Some of these low sugar dairy-free ice cream brands have a 1/2 cup serving size, and some have a 2/3 cup serving size. For easier comparison, we’ve adjusted them all accordingly to 1/2 cup serving size. This is why a few are listed here with lower calories and sugars than on the pint.
Know Your Needs! By ingredients, all of the products listed here are dairy-free. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. All products are at some degree of risk for cross-contamination with allergens, but you must determine if the protocols are safe for your needs. Also processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product. We are not affiliated with any of these brands and are not representing or directly recommending them. This post is for informational purposed only.
#1 So Delicious Light Ice Cream (formerly Mousse Frozen Dessert)
This light and airy frozen dessert is definitely the softest and creamiest low sugar dairy-free ice cream on the market. It has a wonderful whipped consistency with sweetness and flavors that are relatively seamless.
- Sweeteners: organic tapioca syrup, cane sugar, erythritol
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 75 to 83
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 4 to 7 grams (4 to 7 grams added sugars + 3 grams sugar alcohol)
# 2 Fronen Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
This brand is low in added sugar and sweetened with simple, pure ingredients. And it’s easily the top ranked banana-sweetened, dairy-free ice cream brand on the market right now for both taste and creamy consistency.
- Sweeteners: banana, organic honey
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 80 to 110 (Peanut Butter Fudge is an outlier at 200 calories)
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 10 to 13 grams (5 to 8 grams added sugar)
#3 O’My Dairy-Free Gelato with 2g Sugars
O’My makes a classic line of sugar-sweetened, dairy-free gelato, but they’ve more recently released this petite line of very low sugar dairy-free ice cream. It’s definitely denser than they’re classic line, but has a smooth consistency and bright flavors that are different, but good.
- Sweeteners: allulose, acacia gum, stevia, monk fruit
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 98
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: <2 grams (<1 gram added sugar)
#4 Halo Top Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
Halo Top Dairy Free was all the rage when it was first released. In fact, they quickly ascended to 16 flavors! Sadly, more than half of those have been discontinued. They’re still quite popular, just not as broadly as the company had anticipated. Their flavors sound very enticing, but make no mistake, this is a low calorie frozen dessert. For many people, it cures sugar cravings, but it isn’t extremely decadent. And be careful to select the dairy-free varieties. They make dairy-based frozen desserts in similar flavors, so the two are easy to confuse.
- Sweeteners: organic cane sugar, erythritol, organic stevia leaf extract
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 70 to 110
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 4 to 10 grams (+ 5 to 6 grams sugar alcohol)
#5 Arctic Zero Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert
Not long ago, Arctic Zero transitioned from a lactose-free company to a dairy-free one. That’s a big move. In the process, they definitely lost some customers. But they have gained a new loyal following. These definitely taste lower sugar, and are a bit dense, but are still enjoyed by many.
- Sweeteners: organic cane sugar, acacia gum, monk fruit concentrate
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 40 to 80
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 5 to 10 grams
#6 MUD Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
This is a newcomer that is still expanding distribution, but is available to order online. It’s almost purely date-sweetened, so it has a slightly unique rich texture and taste from other brands on the market. The sweetness is more subdued, which will be pleasing to some, but lacking in indulgence to others.
- Sweeteners: dates, acacia gum
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 113
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 10 to 11 grams (0 grams added sugar)
#7 Enlightened Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
Like some of the others, this brand is a bit dense, and definitely has an alternative type of sweetness. But they load it up with chunky additions to create a more dessert-like experience. Use extra caution as this brand makes both dairy and dairy-free pints, and they have had one recall for packing a dairy flavor into a dairy-free labeled pint.
- Sweeteners: tapioca syrup, erythritol, cane sugar, monk fruit extract
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 80 to 100
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 4 to 7 grams (+ 3 grams sugar alcohol)
#8 Hakuna Banana Frozen Dessert
I’ve had their soft serve, right from their little stand in Hawaii. It was creamy, delicious, and very banana-y. Unfortunately, that creaminess doesn’t seem to be translating in their packed pints. These aren’t low in overall sugars, but are completely fruit-sweetened, and don’t contain any added sweeteners. Consequently, you will taste the banana no matter which flavor you purchase.
- Sweeteners: banana, dates
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 100 to 120
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 17 to 19 grams (0 grams added sugar)
#9 So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert
For about a decade, this was a favorite product among sugar-free consumers. And it was pretty darn impressive. It ranked #2 on this list, and hit the sweet spot for softness and close to normal flavor. But then, they messed with perfection. No one really knows why, because the new formula is just terrible. The consumer reviews on our site plummeted, so I bought a pint to see if it really was that bad. We had two dairy consumers and two dairy-free consumers in our taste test, and all of us made a horrible face on first bite.
- Sweeteners: acacia gum, erythritol, monk fruit extract, stevia
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 120 to 156
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: <1 to 2 grams (<1 gram added sugars + 3 to 6 grams sugar alcohol)
#10 Snow Monkey Superfood Ice Treat
Although they market it as an “ice treat” I’ve seen this brand refer to their product as an “ice cream” alternative in various places. Unfortunately, no matter what you call this frozen dessert, not many people are loving it. It’s icy, a bit powdery, and is a bit lighter in sweetness than many consumers expect.
- Sweeteners: banana puree, water, apple puree, maple syrup in select flavors
- Calories per 1/2 cup: 98 to 102
- Sugars per 1/2 cup: 10 to 14 grams (0 to 4 grams added sugars)
Rate them Yourself in our Dairy-Free Ice Cream Reviews!
The above rankings are based on our in-house testers and your reviews! See our Dairy-Free Ice Cream Reviews to leave your own unbiased rating and review on the brands you’ve tried (if you are in no way affiliated with the brand). No login required!
Only one possibility for lactose intolerant diabetics. 🙁
They need to be low carb too..I’m a vegan..still follow a low carb diet and watch my sugar intake!..this is a start though..want nothing to do with the dairy industries and their unhealthy products!!
Just had cancer surgery. No sugar no dairy. None of these I can have. Will try to make my own. To much sugar and dairy.
Please see this post for low sugar, dairy-free ice cream options -> https://www.godairyfree.org/news/low-sugar-dairy-free-ice-cream
They are all no good too much sugar
Hmm, well, they’re as low as less than 2 grams of total sugar, and several with no added sugar. I’m really not sure how they can make it with 0 grams of any kind of sugar. That poses freezing issues. Perhaps you could make some coconut milk pops with just cocoa powder and stevia added? But even that would have a gram of natural sugar from the coconut. It’s tricky to get sweet and creamy with absolutely no kind of sugar whatsoever.
That’s crazy..because those dairy ones are like 38 grams of sugar and 30 grams added sugar!
You should include this brand: https://www.nubocha.com/
Thanks Tracey, we’ll add them to the site in our product listings.
Awesome! They ship all over.