Select Page

The Best Popsicles to Buy in Grocery Stores

Regardless of when you were born, most of us remember popsicles being a huge staple of our summers. They’re refreshing, portable, and super sweet – what’s not to like, right?

Even decades after ice pops were first popularized in the early 1900s, they’re still one of the most popular desserts in America.

Nowadays, there are dozens of popsicle brands and hundreds of flavors and styles to choose from at the supermarket.

Today, I’ll take you through the 15 best popsicles available at grocery stores and rank them from good to absolute best. So, let’s dive in!

15. Wonka: Peel-a-Pop

The name “Willy Wonka” is synonymous with conventional candy ideas, so it only makes sense that the real-life brand (owned by Nestle) would launch a peelable banana-flavored popsicle.

This ice pop starts with a vanilla frozen dairy dessert center. Around it is an edible “peel” that you peel away to get to the “banana.”

The peel is a bit gummy and gelatinous and has that artificial banana flavor that people either love or hate. The vanilla inside is also pretty artificial tasting.

Let’s be real, though – you’re buying this treat for the novelty of peeling a banana-like popsicle, not for the actual flavor.

I had to rank it last solely because of taste, but if I were to rank these ice pops by creativity, you best believe this would be #1!

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 8

Calories: 70 

14. Otter Pops

When I was a kid, there were only two types of people: those who liked Otter Pops and those who preferred Fla-Vor-Ice pops.

I now realize that these were pretty much the same product but with different brand names, but my allegiance still lies with Fla-Vor-Ice (sorry, Otter Pops).

If you’ve never had one, Otter Pops are popsicles that are sold in a clear plastic tube.

They’re frozen, and then the top is cut off so you can squeeze the pop-up as you eat it.

Otter Pops come in a multitude of flavors, including orange, grape, strawberry, and fruit punch, to name a few – each with a corresponding otter character on the tube.

Sure, they’re tasty and colorful, but at the end of the day, these are essentially frozen sugar water colored with artificial dyes.

Great to a summer treat, yes, but not able to compare to some of the more sophisticated picks on our list.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 4 pops

Servings per container: 13

Calories: 90

13. Fla-Vor-Ice

As I mentioned before, Fla-Vor-Ice and Otter Pops are pretty much identical products.

Fla-Vor-Ice keeps it simple and only offers six flavors: lemon lime, orange, berry punch, strawberry, tropical punch, and grape.

These come in the same long, plastic tube as Otter Pops so that you can easily push your ice pop up as you eat without worrying about it dripping all over you (and inevitably attracting bees).

The downside here is the same as I mentioned for Otter Pops – the ingredient list includes plenty of high fructose corn syrup, red 40, yellows 5 and 6, and blue 1.

That being said, they’re still a fun summertime treat that can’t hurt to indulge in every once in a while.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 4 pops

Servings per container: 4

Calories: 90

12. Halo Top: Triple Berry Yogurt Pops

Halo Top is best known for its low-calorie ice cream (about 280-380 calories a pint) that still manages to taste pretty darn good.

Well, Halo Top recently threw their hat in the popsicle ring and came out with yogurt bars. And you know what? They’re actually delicious!

These bars are, as the company itself puts it, “like a smoothie bowl on a stick,” and I have to agree.

The base is an Icelandic-style skyr yogurt and contains granola and tiny pieces of raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry.

If you’ve never tried skyr yogurt before, it’s creamier than your average Greek yogurt.

It’s also less tangy than Greek yogurt, which allows the berry and granola flavors in this popsicle to shine through.

The granola sounds like it might have an odd texture when frozen into a bar, but it actually remains crunchy and crisp.

The brand also carries a strawberry yogurt bar I’ve yet to try, but it’s most likely delicious if it’s anything like the triple-berry flavor.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 4

Calories: 110

11. Icee: Red Cherry and Blue Raspberry Swirled Ice Pops 

Remember the red cherry and blue raspberry Icee slushies of decades past? Well, now they’ve been made into a delicious (and far less mess-prone) popsicle.

These ice pops have Icee’s two iconic flavors swirled throughout.

They’re fruity, super sweet, and a nostalgia hit for anyone who grew up begging to grab a slushie at 7/11 or Target when they were a kid.

Word of warning: Since these pops contain an obscene amount of blue and red food dye, your mouth may or may not be purple for the rest of the day. But honestly, it’s worth it.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 12

Calories: 35

10. Popsicle: Original Ice Pops

The brand name Popsicle is so synonymous with ice pops that it’s now become a genericized trademark that can refer to any ice pop, regardless of whether it’s truly from the Popsicle brand.

So, as you can tell, Popsicle is more or less the OG ice pop brand.

The simplest, classic form of a Popsicle comes in a pack of three different flavors: cherry, orange, and grape.

Nowadays, the Popsicle brand clearly states on its packaging if the coloring in the ice pop comes from natural sources, and in most cases, they do.

Popsicle’s orange, grape, and cherry ice pops are just sweet enough for a kid who loves sugar but aren’t so sweet that an adult won’t enjoy one.

They’re refreshing, simple, and the perfect portion size for a hot summer day, so you’ll be able to eat it without the popsicle starting to melt all over your hands.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 3 pops

Servings per container: 6

Calories: 120

9. Good Pop: Watermelon Agave Ice Pop

Good Pop is an incredibly popular ice pop brand these days.

If you don’t know them yet, Good Pop specializes in popsicles made with real fruit and without all the unnecessary additives like refined sugar and artificial dyes.

Good Pop’s current golden child is their watermelon agave flavor – taste it, and you’ll know exactly why.

The brand uses watermelons that have been juiced at peak season, making for a naturally sweet and incredibly juicy popsicle.

The agave nectar adds just enough sweetness to make the popsicle taste like a true dessert.

The watermelon flavor isn’t that cloying, fake, fruity taste that sometimes comes with watermelon-flavored products.

It tastes like a chilled-out, sophisticated version of the popsicles we all grew up eating.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 4

Calories: 40

8. Nestle: Push-Up Pops

Unlike Good Pop’s watermelon agave popsicle, this next pick is anything but refined.

Push-Up Pops are sweet, tangy scoops of sherbet shaped and pushed into a small cardboard cylinder.

As you push up the plastic stick on the bottom, the sherbet comes out of the cylinder and is ready for you to eat.

There have been plenty of flavors throughout the years (does anyone else remember the Scooby Doo-themed Push-Up Pops?!), but the steadfast trio of flavors that are always sold is the variety pack with Turbo Grape, Cherry Blast, and Outrageous Orange.

The sherbet in this pop has a creamy, smooth texture, setting it apart from most of the other ice pops on our list.

The grape flavor is probably my favorite here (controversial, I know), but you can’t go wrong with any of them if you’re looking for a fruity, tangy treat.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 9

Calories: 70

7. The Original Bomb Pop

One of the most famous (and certainly the most patriotic) popsicles of all time first hit the scene in 1955.

Since then, red, white, and blue popsicles have dominated the dessert scene, especially in the summer.

But it all started with the Original Bomb Pop.

The bottom layer of this popsicle is blue and tastes like blue raspberry. The middle white section is lime flavored, and the top red section is cherry flavored.

When all three flavors are mixed together, you get a citrusy, tangy popsicle that tastes like summertime.

Bomb Pop is one of the best popsicle brands because it fits all three criteria to consider when discussing a truly good ice pop: flavor, aesthetic, and nostalgia factor.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 4

Calories: 40 

6. Nestle: Fudgsicle Original Fudge Pops

These are the first and only non-fruit-flavored popsicles on our list of the best popsicles.

To really be a popsicle, I think the dessert has to be two things: on a stick and fruit-flavored. Otherwise, it becomes an ice cream bar.

However, I’m making an exception for Fudgesicles since I think most would agree these give off more of a popsicle vibe.

Fudgsicles are chocolate-flavored and have a creamy, pudding-like texture.

They’re much softer (and richer) than your average popsicle.

These ice pops have a super chocolatey flavor, too, so if you’re looking for a popsicle that’s less on the fruity side and more on the creamy, rich side, Fudgsicles are your best bet.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 10

Calories: 80

5. Outshine: Creamy Coconut Fruit Bar

Outshine is a popsicle brand that’s very similar to Good Pop.

It doesn’t contain anything artificial, and the main ingredients here are frozen fruits.

Outshine makes some great flavors, like pineapple, lime, and mango, but my favorite, by far, is their Creamy Coconut bar.

These popsicles are made with coconut cream and flecks of shredded coconut.

It’s hands-down the creamiest fruit-flavored popsicle on the market, with a consistency closer to sherbet than ice.

The flecks of shredded coconut are plentiful, so true coconut lovers will find these to pack the perfect punch of tropical flavor.

The flavor of the bar itself is more milky and less sweet than a lot of the other popsicles on this list, but that’s mostly due to its natural ingredient list.

This popsicle is perfect for those looking for a dessert that’s simple yet a bit more indulgent than your average ice pop.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 2 pops

Servings per container: 3

Calories: 110

4. Trader Joe’s: Tangerine Cream Bars

Tangerine Cream Bars are Trader Joe’s take on a classic orange creamsicle.

Instead of orange, though, TJ uses a tangerine sorbet, which gives the popsicle a more unique and tart flavor.

The ice cream inside these ice pops is the real deal – it’s rich, creamy, and packed with vanilla flavor without tasting artificial.

The tangerine sorbet also has an authentically fruity flavor, and it’s much softer than a regular popsicle, so you can bite into it without any discomfort.

The ratio of tangerine to vanilla is pretty even, and the tangy, sour tangerine brings out the subtle sweetness in the vanilla ice cream.

Overall, the ice pop has just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for more, making it one of the best popsicles on the market.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 2 pops

Servings per container: 3

Calories: 250

3. Helados Mexico: Mini Cream Paletas Variety Pack

These ice pops look small, but they’re jam-packed with flavor.

Helados Mexico’s Fruit & Cream bars come in three different flavors: strawberry, coconut, and mango.

Each popsicle is made with all-natural ingredients like fresh cream, real fruit, and cane sugar, which is already a major plus in my book.

Each of these bars has the perfect balance between creamy and tangy fruit flavors.

Neither element overpowers the other, making for an indulgent yet light dessert.

These popsicles are creamy and packed with flavor without relying on sugar too much.

They’re definitely sweet, but you can taste the cream and natural fruit flavor more than any added sugars.

I go back and forth on which flavor is my favorite, but my current go-to is the strawberry flavor.

It has tiny chunks of strawberry throughout, which brings a fun textural element along with bursts of fresh strawberry flavor.

These are some of the best popsicles out there, and they’re the perfect size for a snack or a little something sweet after dinner.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 12

Calories: 80-100

2. Philly Swirl: Swirl Stix

I know I keep going on and on about nostalgia, but these popsicles genuinely are as good (if not better) than I remember them being.

Philly Swirl’s Swirl Stix features two or three flavors mixed into one popsicle for an exciting, multi-flavored dessert.

Each box comes with six different flavor options: Rainbow, Orange Dream, Cotton Candy (my sister and I fought over who got this flavor on several occasions), Very Berry, Fruit Punch, and Banana Split.

These are some of the best popsicles because they have a full-bodied flavor.

Some ice pops lean toward the watery-tasting side (to be fair, they are mostly made with water), but Philly Swirl does something to these popsicles that makes them just burst with flavor.

The texture of these ice pops also makes them a standout.

They’re not going to hurt your teeth if you try to bite into it because the texture is a little softer and more similar to a sherbet than a hard popsicle.

Cotton Candy will always be my favorite flavor, but the Rainbow flavor is perfect for those who want something a little fruitier.

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 12

Calories: 45

1. Popsicle: SpongeBob SquarePants Pop

Ranking SpongeBob Pops as the number one best popsicle of all time may be insulting to some, but I need to speak my truth.

SpongeBob popsicles have an unbeatable flavor profile.

The ice itself is cotton candy and fruit punch flavored, which, to be fair, sounds like a foul combination, but it just works in this scenario. (Although the fact that it isn’t pineapple flavored is a huge wasted opportunity, in my opinion.)

Texture-wise, this popsicle is soft and smooth, similar to a sherbet or sorbet.

In June 2023, SpongeBob’s classic gumball eyes were replaced with chocolate chip eyes. The horror!

Adding chocolate to a dessert that already has so many other flavors going on is definitely a choice.

I imagine they were replaced because the gumballs were a choking hazard rather than being for flavor purposes only.

Either way, the SpongeBob popsicle will always remain number one to me.

It’s such a whimsical design, and it’s always fun to see what your SpongeBob will look like each time you open the wrapper because they can vary quite a bit.

The flavor of this popsicle is sweet and nostalgic, and the texture is smoother and creamier than most others on our list.

This is a popsicle I’d buy again and again, even if it was from the Chum Bucket!

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: 1 pop

Servings per container: 1

Calories: 90


Popsicles are a beloved treat that can hit the spot any time of day during all months of the year.

From sweet, creamy coconut to peelable banana-flavored ice pops, there’s a popsicle out there for every palate.

My favorite will always be SpongeBob pops, but if you’re looking for something less mainstream, I recommend trying out Helados Mexico’s fruit and cream bars.

About the Author

Samantha Jenkins is a food writer and digital marketing manager with a passion for storytelling, perusing grocery store aisles, reading menus, and eating really good food.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, performing in musicals, and cohosting the East Coast Haunts podcast.

September 19, 2023