12 Store-Bought Popsicle Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

All the way back in 1905, a young boy in the San Francisco Bay Area left a blend of water and powdered soda flavoring outside overnight with a wooden mixing stick in the liquid. It was a chilly night, and the liquid froze by morning. This is how an 11-year-old boy accidentally invented the popsicle, a summertime treat that's now delighted generations of overheated snackers. While you can always create your own homemade popsicles, these days it's easier than ever to find varied ice pops in the frozen section of your local grocery store. You'll discover shelves upon shelves of brightly colored, fruit-inspired, variously shaped frozen treats.

However, if you've tried more than a few store-bought popsicle variations, then you know that their quality levels can vary wildly from one brand to the next. Some taste better than even gourmet homemade ice pops, with silky-smooth textures and real fruit flavors that practically beg you to take another bite. Others taste like cheap imitations of real fruit, and are brightly colored with artificial dyes that lose their appeal to anyone over the age of 11.

If you're new to the world of store-bought frozen pops, it can be difficult to decide which brands to buy. But after extensive taste-testing, we've picked out some of the best — and worst — brands you may encounter when you visit the freezer aisle as your last stop when shopping at the grocery store. Here is a roundup of store-bought popsicle variations, ranked. 

12. Budget Saver Twin Pops

Some brands look promising from the packaging. Even if you've never tried the brand before, the label might draw you in, incentivizing you to take a look. On the other hand, some brands look less than appealing before you even get to try the product, and that's definitely the case with Budget Saver Twin Pops. The clear plastic packaging does nothing to hide the perhaps-too-colorful frozen treats inside, and the term "budget" in the name informs buyers of the quality they can expect once they open the package.

The ice pops themselves are not good. The exceptionally bright colors indicate artificial coloring, which some opt to avoid for health reasons. The flavors are very artificial as well — they taste like a faraway echo of real fruit flavors. And they're packaged in a way that's difficult to eat, since each frozen pop has two sticks instead of one, although it's nearly impossible to carefully break the two halves apart without damaging one of them.

If you're hosting a big party for kids and want to make sure there are plenty of frozen treats in the cooler, Twin Pops aren't a bad option. For those who want a truly flavorful and fruity summertime dessert, there are better options to choose from.

11. Signature Select Ice Pops

If you shop at any Albertsons supermarket or at one of its affiliates — including Safeway, Shaw's, or Jewel-Osco — then you're probably familiar with the brand Signature Select. This is one of the grocery behemoth's store brands, and it offers everything from salad dressings to chips to, yes, ice pops. If you're looking for a budget-friendly popsicle variant on store shelves, you can snag some Signature Select Ice Pops from the frozen section at your local Albertsons-owned store.

Although many of Signature Select's other products are decent, you're not going to be getting the best quality when you choose their ice pops. You can select a box containing traditional cherry, orange, and grape flavors, or you can opt for the sugar-free variety. The brand also sells red, white, and blue striped ice pops that'll brighten up any patriotic celebration. Although you have a few options to choose from, none of them boast a particularly enjoyable flavor. While these popsicles are admittedly better than the Twin Pops, that difference is marginal, at best. These ice pops ultimately taste like artificially flavored water, and their bright dyes will leave your mouth stained for several minutes.

The only thing that these ice pops have going for them is the fact that they don't melt as quickly as those produced by other brands. If you're the kind of person who takes a long time to finish a frozen pop in the hot sun, this kind of slow melt can be helpful.

10. Friendly's Ice Pops

Many of the more basic popsicle variations on the market offer roughly the same product: an icy, artificially flavored hunk of vividly colored ice that tastes vaguely of fruit, and vaguely of bathroom-cleaning products. Unsurprisingly, Friendly's Ice Pops are no different. They come in orange, cherry, lime, and grape flavors, and they're made with lots of high-fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. The result is an undeniably sweet and questionably fruit-flavored snack that's not great most of the time, but which can sometimes hit the spot on a particularly hot day.

There isn't much that sets Friendly's apart from the competition, other than the fact that among the cheaper brands this is one of few that offers a lime flavor. The lime ice pop itself is fine (although it probably would have tasted better with significantly less sugar), but the real standout is the grape flavor. Yes, it may be artificial, but it's one of the better artificially flavored grape products on the frozen treat market. If you're not a grape fan, though, you can probably skip this brand. 

9. Popsicle

You would think that the Popsicle brand would have one of the best products on the ice-pop market, but that's not necessarily true — especially if you prefer a more naturally flavored frozen treat. The classic pack comes with orange, cherry, and grape flavors, just like some of the other brands on this list. But something that makes the Popsicle brand more appealing is the fact that they sell packs with a lot of other flavors, as well. For example, if you don't want to stick with the same old orange and cherry flavors you've been eating since you were a kid, you can opt for variations inspired by tropical fruits or Jolly Ranchers instead. That kind of selection gives you a greater chance of finding a product that you actually love.

However, if you're just sticking with the classics, there's a good chance you won't be thrilled. Like some of the other brands on this list, Popsicle boasts exceptionally watery flavor profiles, with just a hint of artificial flavors. The colors also look unnatural, and these snacks are packed with high-fructose corn syrup. Sure, these Popsicles might be nostalgic, but if you don't care about reliving your childhood, you may want to choose from other ice-pop options on store shelves.

8. Bomb Pop

Store-bought ice pops can fall into two categories: the cheaper, artificially flavored type you would expect to see at a kid's birthday party, and the higher-quality, real-fruit versions you would expect to see in the freezer of a relatively healthy adult. Products by Bomb Pop undoubtedly fall into the former category — this brand is clearly marketed toward children — but they're definitely on the higher end of the artificially flavored, kid-friendly popsicle-variant spectrum. Bomb Pops come in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from the original triple-flavored pops with cherry, lime, and blue raspberry segments to the "Extremes Fire Cherry" option.

Are any of the flavors particularly refreshing to an adult palate that's more used to lightly flavored sparkling water than to soda? Not really. But at least the Bomb Pop offerings have a more concentrated flavor than their cheaper counterparts. The cherry flavor in the Extremes pack has artificial influence, but it actually tastes quite good, even if it's not spicy as is indicated on the package.

Sure, there may be better popsicle variants out there to choose from, but if you're looking for a brightly colored, festive-looking frozen confection, it's hard to beat the visual appeal of a Bomb Pop.

7. GoodPop

There are definitely ice-pop brands that sell more delicious products than the stuff you'll find from GoodPop. But for those looking for a healthier popsicle alternative, it's hard to deny that GoodPop is a solid brand to explore. The box of classic orange, cherry, and grape ice pops is filled with all the classic flavors you love, but because this brand uses only fruit juice, you know you're getting a healthier experience. The flavor is better than the more artificial brands as well, although the end result is quite icy, watery, and nondescript on the taste front.

You don't have to stick with the classics, though, as this brand offers a few different options to choose from. The Cherry n' Lemonade is good for those who want more than one flavor in a single ice pop, while options like Hibiscus Mint are more appealing to anyone who may have more of a grown-up flavor palate. Sure, this brand isn't the cheapest option out there, but for those who watch what they eat and still want to enjoy healthy snacks from time to time, the price might just be worth it.

6. O Organics Citrus Pop-Ups

If this ranking was all about which frozen confections are the easiest to eat, then the O Organics Citrus Pop-Ups would be in our very top slot. Okay, to be fair, these aren't ice pops in the traditional sense, in that they don't contain a stick. Rather, these pop-up popsicle variants come in tubes that can be squeezed to reveal the frozen treat inside. This construction is ideal, because the actual confection melts quite quickly — particularly in hot weather — so the paper tube keeps your hands from getting sticky even as you near the end of the treat.

When it comes to the flavor of these frozen pops, we're slightly less enthusiastic. They come in lemonade, orangeade, and strawberry lemonade varieties. While none of them are bad, they all definitely lean into a high-acid citrus vibe. It's a delicious flavor profile, but it can be a bit boring once you've tried all three flavors in the pack. If there were a bit more variety, maybe these ice pops would rank higher on this list, but it's still one of the better options available in the freezer section.

5. Trader Joe's Fruit Frenzy Bars

It's no secret that Trader Joe's offers some of the best frozen foods, including meals and novelties you can't find anywhere else. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the popular budget-friendly supermarket chain has more than a few different ice pop options to choose from — ranging from the Tangerine Cream Bars filled with vanilla ice cream to the Strawberry Lemonade Ice Bars — that offer refreshment for the hottest days of the year. The best part of these popsicle variants is that they're far from basic: The flavors you'll find from Trader Joe's are, on average, significantly more interesting than those you're going to find from other brands. If you're looking for more delicious twists on classic popsicle flavors, then Trader Joe's might just be the place to be.

We decided to take a closer look at the Fruit Frenzy Bars, ice pops that present stripes of raspberry, lemon, and strawberry in each bar. These flavors tasted and looked quite natural, which was a welcome respite from the more artificial options on this list. The only downside of this particular treat was the fact that it melted so quickly, and considering its larger-than-average size, it could be difficult to eat an entire one outside on particularly hot days. 

4. Open Nature Fruit Bars

For those who want to stay away from artificial colors and flavors, Open Nature Fruit Bars are one of the better ice pop options on the market. This brand specifically refuses to use artificial ingredients that give many frozen confections their bright colors and slightly underwhelming flavor profiles, so you know you're getting a higher-quality product. While this brand doesn't specialize in variety boxes, you do have plenty of options to choose from when you opt for Open Nature ice pops. Some of the flavors feature only fruit, while others incorporate veggie ingredients as well, which makes for a healthy and interesting divergence from popular popsicle variations.

The strawberry Open Nature Fruit Bars are particularly flavorful, featuring a simple taste profile from fresh, ripe strawberries. There's nothing too wild going on here — instead, you're just getting a solid, basic, good-quality frozen product without the additives that you might want to avoid. As far as sweet treats go, this is one you can feel good about eating. 

3. Talenti Mini Sorbetto Bars

When you want good-quality frozen treats, you don't have to look further than Talenti. For a cool confection that's more fruit-forward (and more handheld) than the brand's well-known gelato pints, you might want to take a look at Talenti's Mini Sorbetto Bars. These are pre-portioned, so you don't have to worry about accidentally eating an entire pint of ice cream or sorbet in one sitting. (Guilty!)

Since Talenti is known for its gourmet flavors, you shouldn't be surprised to see options like Alphonso Mango and Zesty Lemon in the lineup. The Roman Raspberry is particularly delicious, with a fresh flavor that's both sweet and perfectly tart; you don't have to worry about a cloyingly sweet dessert when you choose this brand. The texture is also nice, as it has a silky richness to it that you might not expect from a standard popsicle. These bars do melt fast, though — luckily, their small size makes them easy to eat relatively quickly. 

2. 365 Fruit Bars

In many cases, Whole Foods is the place to go if you're looking for good-quality 365 brand snacks and other products, and the ice pop selection isn't an exception. Opt for Whole Foods store brands, and you're going to get a frozen treat made with real fruit and other natural ingredients, which tastes fresher than almost all of the other brands on this list. The fact that the ingredients are so clean is a huge selling point — instead of worrying about high-fructose corn syrup, you can just enjoy the flavors of strawberry, mango, lemon, and more.

You can choose from a wide variety of flavors when opting for the 365 brand, including the Caribbean Mix, which is an especially enjoyable flavor combo during the summer. Those who prefer something a bit more tangy should check out the mango flavor. It has that tartness of a just-underripe mango, which is a nice divergence from the super-sweet options you'll find from other brands. Plus, this brand's ice pops don't melt too quickly, which means you can take your time to enjoy your treat, even if you're eating outside on a hot day. 

1. Outshine Fruit Bars

Finally, we arrive at the very best of the bunch: Outshine Fruit Bars. This brand offers the best of both worlds, because you can get variety packs that offer different flavors like strawberry, tangerine, and pineapple, or you can opt for boxes that feature exclusively one flavor. Keep things simple with lime or mango, or try flavors like peach and pomegranate that you won't find from every brand out there.

If you're looking for an ice pop that has a creamier consistency than most, you have to try Outshine's coconut bars. They're made with real milk, so you get that creamy, full texture that makes ice cream so enjoyable, with none of the heaviness you might expect from that kind of flavor profile. This variety even includes little pieces of shredded coconut that add a lovely, complex texture to the mix. These bars do tend to melt relatively quickly, but they get soft before they start dripping a lot, so you'll have time to finish them before they become too messy.


I chose popsicle variants that are available at large-scale retailers around the country to best reflect the options that many consumers have access to. When choosing the individual products to taste-test within each brand's lineup, I focused on original, standard products, opting for individual flavors when necessary. 

During the ranking process, I assessed a few different factors, like overall flavor and quality, availability of options, and how quickly each ice pop melted. I also paid attention to the ingredients, prioritizing brands that used natural ingredients over those that utilized high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors.