A Whimsical Inspiration
Purple Cow, the delightful brand of ice cream found in Midwest-based supermarkets Meijer, owes its name to a whimsical poem. Fred Meijer, one of the store’s co-founders, used to read a humorous poem to his boys that went like this:
I never saw a Purple Cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I would rather see than be one
-Gelett Burgess, 1895
From Ice Cream Counters to Store Shelves
Back in the 1960s, the Purple Cow name adorned the ice cream counter at Meijer stores, where customers savored hand-dipped cones. Today, Meijer shoppers recognize Purple Cow as the brand of ice cream sold in cartons along the ice cream aisle.
A Plethora of Flavors: The Purple Cow Ice Cream Flavor List
Under the Purple Cow brand, Meijer offers a wide array of delectable ice cream flavors. Some notable selections include Candy Bar Overload, Moose Tracks, Scooperman (a type of Superman ice cream), and Mackinac Island Fudge.
A Parade of Flavors
Here’s a peek into Meijer’s Purple Cow flavor repertoire:
- Birthday Cake: White Cake Flavored Ice Cream with Blue Frosting Swirl and Sequin Candies
- Black Cherry: Black Cherry Flavored Ice Cream with Black Cherries
- Brownie Fudge Swirl: Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Swirl and Brownie Bits
- Butter Pecan: Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Butter Pecan (No Sugar Added): Light Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Candy Bar Overload: Caramel Ice Cream with Swirls of Nougat, Chocolate, and Caramel Coated Peanuts
- Caramel Caribou: Salty Toffee Ice Cream with Salty Caramel Cups and Denali Salty Caramel
- Chocolate: Chocolate Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Flavored Chips
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Cookie Dough Flavored Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks and Chocolate Flavored Flakes
- Cookies & Cream: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Pieces
- Chocolate & Peanut Butter: Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirls
- Death By Chocolate: Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Swirls and Chocolate Flavored Flakes
- Extra Chocolate Moose Tracks: Chocolate Ice Cream with Moose Tracks Fudge-Filled Cups and Moose Tracks Fudge
- French Vanilla: French Vanilla
- Golden Vanilla
- Mackinac Island Fudge: Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Swirls and Chocolate Flavored Chunks
- Mint Chocolate Chip: Mint Flavored Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips
- Mint Moose Tracks: Mint Ice Cream with Mint Cups and Moose Tracks Fudge
- Moose Tracks: Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups and Moose Tracks Fudge
- Moose Tracks (Light Churned): Vanilla Light Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups and Moose Tracks Fudge
- Neapolitan: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Ice Cream and Strawberry Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Cup: Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Fudge Swirl and Mini Peanut Butter Cups
- Praline Pecan: Caramel Ice Cream with Caramel Swirls and Praline Pecans
- Sea Salt Fudge Brownie: Vanilla Ice Cream with Salty Fudge Swirl and Sea Salt Fudge Brownie Bits
- Scooperman: Vanilla Ice Cream with Blue Moon Ice Cream and Black Cherry Ice Cream
- Strawberry: Strawberry Ice Cream
- Strawberry Cheesecake: Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirls and Graham Crunch
- Strawberry Graham Swirl: Strawberry Flavored Ice Cream with Strawberries and Graham Cracker Swirl
- Sprinkle Swirl: White Chocolate Flavored Ice Cream with Frosting Swirls and Colorful Candies
- Traverse City Cherry (Limited Edition): Cherry Flavored Ice Cream with Cherry Pieces and Fudge Swirl
- Vanilla: Vanilla Ice Cream
- Vanilla Bean: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Vanilla (Light Churned): Light Churned-Style Vanilla Ice Cream
- Vanilla (No Sugar Added): Light Vanilla Ice Cream
The Verdict: Is Purple Cow Ice Cream Worth It?
Purple Cow is known for its affordability. At The Dairy Dish Meijer, a carton of this ice cream was priced at a wallet-friendly $2.99 (48 fl. oz. or 1.5 qt.). Compare that to premium brands that sell for $4.00 and above.
But you might wonder, does this budget-friendly ice cream taste good?
Over the years, we’ve sampled various flavors of Purple Cow ice cream, most recently indulging in the mint chocolate chip variety.
Our verdict? The taste of Purple Cow ice cream is what you’d expect from a store brand. While it may not be the best ice cream you’ll ever have, it certainly won’t disappoint many palates. In other words, we believe it’s a good value option that holds its own against other store brands.
Ingredient Comparison: Purple Cow vs. Breyer’s
Let’s compare the ingredients of Meijer’s Purple Cow Mint Chocolate Chip with Breyer’s Mint Chocolate, a popular name brand ice cream.
As you can see, Purple Cow contains a longer list of ingredients than Breyer’s. Some ingredients found in Purple Cow ice cream, such as artificial dyes and carrageenan, are seen as less desirable due to potential health effects.
Final Thoughts: Indulge Wisely
While Purple Cow offers a budget-friendly alternative, it’s important to consider whether its ingredients justify the lower price compared to premium brands. Personally, we opt for store brands like Purple Cow when we can’t find premium options on sale. Of course, ice cream preferences are subjective, and Purple Cow boasts many flavors that are well worth a try if ingredient concerns take a backseat. So, grab a spoon and enjoy the vibrant world of Purple Cow ice cream!