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28 Jul 2021

Does Magnum's Vegan Classic ice cream taste better than the original?

We pitted Magnum's Classic ice cream against its vegan alternative in a blind taste test - find out which one our panel liked best

Magnum describes its dairy-free version of the Magnum Classic ice cream as 'the perfect vegan dessert for pleasure seekers'.

But can a chocolate-covered ice cream that doesn't include milk or cream still deliver the satisfying flavour and indulgent texture you want?

To find out, we asked 104 ice cream fans to blind-taste the Magnum Vegan Classic and Magnum Classic before rating them on their taste, texture, appearance and aroma.

See below for the full results of our taste test.

Which cheap supermarket ice cream did tasters rate better than Magnum? Find out in our round-up of the best chocolate-covered ice creams

Magnum Classic, £3 for four

  • Overall score: 82%*
  • Preferred by: 60%
Magnum classic

Both ice creams scored well overall, but the Magnum Classic just edged ahead of its vegan rival.

It got high marks across the board, with 60% choosing it as their favourite ice cream.

Our tasters liked the creamy texture and well-balanced flavours, with most finding the strength of chocolate and vanilla flavours spot on.

Available from Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

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Magnum Vegan Classic, £3.50 for three

  • Overall score: 79%
  • Preferred by: 35%
Magnum vegan classic

It doesn't quite match up to the original, but the Magnum Vegan Classic still proved a hit with tasters, scoring an impressive 79% overall.

Our panel thought the appearance and aroma were just as good as the dairy-based classic, and there's no missing out on that creamy texture, either. In fact, 82% of tasters said it had just the right level of creaminess.

Not everyone enjoyed the flavour as much, though, with one third finding the chocolate flavour too strong. As such, Magnum Vegan Classics might be best suited to those who prefer a darker chocolate coating.

You don't get as much for your money, either. On face value, a pack of Magnum Vegans will only cost you 50p more than the original, but the vegan ice creams come in packs of three, which means you get one less than in a four-pack of Magnum Classics.

The individual ice creams are smaller, too, with a volume of 90ml, rather than 110ml. This means that per 100ml, Magnum Vegan Classics cost almost double the price of Magnum Classics.

With all that being said, aside from the higher price compared with the original, a Vegan Classic is still a great-tasting alternative for anyone trying to cut back on dairy.

Available from Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

Our tasters rated Magnum Vegan Classic, but you can also buy vegan Magnums in other flavours:

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What is a Magnum Vegan Classic made of?

Magnum vegan classic individual stick

The vegan Magnum is a dairy-free version of the Magnum Classic. It features dairy-free chocolate made from coconut oil and cacao butter and vanilla-flavoured pea protein, which is the protein extracted from yellow split peas.

Favoured for its neutral taste and good sustainability credentials, pea protein is a popular choice for vegan products and can be found in everything from sausages to snack bars. Other ice cream brands, such as Ben & Jerry's, also use pea protein in its vegan ice creams.

It's also worth noting that while Magnum haven't intentionally added any dairy ingredients, its vegan ice creams carry a 'may contain milk' warning, so the ice creams might not be suitable for those with allergies.

See our plant milk guide for a comparison of plant-milk alternatives, including almond milk, oat milk and pea milk

Is a Magnum Vegan Classic healthy?

Person eating chocolate covered ice cream

Just because something is marketed as 'vegan' or 'plant-based' doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be healthier for you. Many vegan alternatives can still be calorific or high in sugar.

The table below shows the calorie, fat, sugar, salt and protein content per 100g for both types of Magnum.

While there's little difference between them, the dairy option has more protein and salt, but the vegan option actually has more calories, fat and sugar. Based on reference intake guidelines, both ice creams are classed as high in fat and sugar.

Magnum ClassicMagnum Vegan Classic
Calories per 100g302330
Fat per 100g1820
Sugar per 100g2728
Salt per 100g0.120.11
Protein per 100g3.31.6

How we tested Magnum ice creams

Magnum classic and Magnum vegan

We served the ice creams blind to a panel of 104 consumers to rate. They assessed them in a private booth, scoring the flavour, texture, appearance and aroma of each one. At the end, they told us which product they preferred overall.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% flavour
  • 20% appearance
  • 20% texture
  • 10% aroma

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*In our Magnum vs own label ice cream taste test, Magnum Classic received a slightly different overall score. This was separate to the head to head test above, which included just two products - the Magnum Classic and Magnum Vegan Classic.