Friday, July 31, 2015

Brio Frozen Dairy Dessert Taste Test: Simply Strawberry, Vanilla-Caramel, Coffee Latte, and Mellow Dark Chocolate

A few months back we received an email from a representative for a new brand of frozen dairy dessert. While I was skeptical at first, this frozen dairy dessert did seem to be different. Instead of priding themselves on how much their product was like ice cream, they went about their marketing from an entirely different angle. By advertising their product as a health-conscious alternative, I suspect they'll do much better. Here are some of the claimed advantages of enjoying Brio:

While they also offer a Tropical Mango, our shipment of that flavor was compromised during delivery. What we had left were the following: Spring Strawberry, Vanilla-Caramel, Coffee Latte, and Mellow Dark Chocolate. Again, all these are very basic, but they're also aimed for a little enjoyment while still dieting. With that in mind I started trying some of the 4 ounce serving cups in no particular order.

Simply Strawberry: "Made with ripe, juicy strawberries, our smooth, creamy Spring Strawberry is delicious and satisfying. Our recipe starts with fresh, whole r-BST-free milk from Wisconsin dairy farms. We use real strawberries to create our delicious strawberry flavor -- for rich, robust strawberry goodness that will remind you of glorious summer days!"

Thoughts - This ended up being my least favorite only because strawberry ice cream is my least favorite flavor out of the four. The consistency was as expected from what was advertised, but nothing like Arctic Zero or others that are advertised as "healthy" ice cream. This actually had some full-bodied feeling despite the less than stellar personal flavor preference.

Vanilla-Caramel: "Combining natural Madagascar vanilla and rich organic salted caramel, Brio's Vanilla Caramel offers love at first bite. Satisfying, creamy and smooth, our Vanilla Caramel is low glycemic, with 7 grams of balanced fats and only 170 calories per serving. Be good to yourself as you treat your tastebuds!"

Thoughts - This was my favorite flavor of the four. Just as the description suggests, Brio was able to pack a surprisingly amount of salted caramel and vanilla flavoring into such a small package. Even without mix-ins, this one was the best at keeping my taste buds occupied for an entire serving and could have served as an outstanding base for your own low-calorie creation.

Coffee Latte: "Coffee Latte is for coffee lovers. Our non-GMO coffee extract is rounded out with a delicious rich organic caramel and churned with fresh milk from Wisconsin dairy farms. Creamy and smooth, but with only 7 grams of fat and 160 calories, our Brio Coffee Latte will not disappoint."

Thoughts - Coffee Latte was also better than I had expected, but couldn't quite overcome the effectiveness of Vanilla-Caramel. This would have been delicious for use in a protein shake, or with real iced coffee for a pre-workout pick-me-up.

Mellow Dark Chocolate: "Our Mellow Dark Chocolate delivers chocolate richness from real cocoa. Our unique and delicious recipe achieves the perfect balance -- it's not too sweet, -- without the bitter edge -- and creamy and smooth. Brio's Mellow Dark Chocolate is a smart way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and enjoy some added nutritional benefits. Our Mellow Dark Chocolate is a good source of protein, is antioxidant rich, offers balanced Omega 3-6-9 fats and has only 165 calories per serving. All ingredients are sourced to be non-genetically engineered. We use only r-BST-free whole milk. We use only real natural flavors. There are no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners -- and no stevia, monk fruit or erythritol. And our Mellow Dark Chocolate is also certified gluten free."

Thoughts - As is typical with most chocolate only ice creams, this one just couldn't keep me coming back. While Brio claims to have found the perfect balance, we'd consider it more of a valiant attempt. If the texture isn't going to be great, and the taste is also going to be below average, it probably isn't even worth the low amount of calories it contains.

All in all, I was pretty impressed by the Brio line of frozen dairy desserts and slowly over the past few months I've consumed every last sample they sent. If I had to do it over again, I'd order double the amount of Vanilla-Caramel and Coffee Latte rather than exploring the entire lineup. If you're interested in trying some yourself head over to their website to see where Brio is sold:


  1. I find the Vanilla Caramel incredibly satisfying! That's my favorite, but I did think the chocolate was just the right balance for me as as well I am pulled to stronger chocolate flavors. For so little fat, they both have an amazing creamy texture. Looking forward to trying other flavors. I have been buying it at Stop and Shop.

  2. Oh, me again. I forgot to mention they have new packaging. White background with bright colors. Much easier to read.


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