Best supermarket rocket ice lollies – and the cheap ones worth snapping up

Having a stash of ice lollies in the freezer can be handy for a hot summer’s day, especially if you’re trying to keep kids hydrated in the heat. But which supermarkets make the most refreshing snacks?

We asked a panel of lolly fans to try a range of supermarket rocket lollies and rate which was tastiest. Co-op’s offering came top, but some cheaper options from Tesco and Asda are only a smidge behind, and worth stocking up on.

Read on to see what tasters liked about these lollies, how other supermarkets fared, and how the sugar content stacks up between brands. Plus, which two lollies don’t actually have any fruit juice in them.

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Best rocket-style fruit ice lollies

Co-op came out on top, but Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda’s offerings are all tasty choices if you have one of their supermarkets locally. Tesco and Asda are some of the cheapest around too.

Best Buy: Co-op Rocket Lollies – 78%

£1.40 for 8, 29p per 100ml

Co-op just pipped rivals to the post with its top-notch rocket lollies. The panel loved the bold colors, and the texture, which was smooth without melting too quickly. They’re nice and fruity-tasting too.

Available from Co-op.

Sainsbury’s Rocket Ice Lollies – 77%

£1.20 for 8, 26p per 100ml

Despite these lollies having the highest fruit juice content, around a third of our tasters found the fruit flavor a bit on the weak side. However, they still impressed our panel with just the right amount of sweetness, and the nice bright layers.

Available from Sainsbury’s.

Tesco Rocket Lollies – 77%

£1.10 for 8, 24p per 100ml

Our tasting panel liked the softer texture, which was easier to bite straight into if you want a bigger hit of flavour. Tesco’s promise of ‘juicy and fruity’ flavor came through for our tasters, though four in 10 found the strawberry taste a bit lacking.

Available from Tesco.

Asda 8 Rocket Lollies – 77%

£1.10 for 8, 24p per 100ml

The firmer texture didn’t go down so well with some of our panel, but they loved the look of Asda’s rocket lollies, with its striking block colours. Tasters liked the flavor overall, but you might find it weaker than some others we tried, as half the panel felt the orange didn’t come through enough.

They have the least added sugar of the bunch, but most of the panel thought the sweetness was spot on, so they’re a good choice if you’re trying to cut back.

Available from Asda.

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How M&S, Iceland and Morrisons rocket ice lollies scored

Iceland and M&S lollies are still decent choices, particularly if you aren’t fussed about fiery colours, but Morrisons and Spar shoppers may want to look elsewhere.

  • Iceland 8 Rocket Lollies – 76%. Tasters were less keen on the look of this lolly than any of the others, rating the colors as less bright. They really liked the texture though, melting in your mouth without being too mushy. These lollies don’t contain any fruit juice, relying instead on flavourings 21p per 100ml. Available from Iceland.

  • M&S Fruit Flavored Rocket Lollies – 75%. These lollies look the part and the flavor isn’t bad, but some of our panel found them too hard and most didn’t get as much orange hit as they would have liked. 31p per 100ml. Available from Ocado.

  • Morrisons Rocket Ice Lollies – 70%. The texture didn’t hit the spot for our panel, but the flavor was their biggest issue – the majority found it not sweet enough for their palette, with none of the fruit flavors coming through strongly enough. Not surprising, considering they don’t actually contain any fruit juice. 22p per 100ml. Available from Morrisons.

  • Spar Rocket Lollies – 69%. The priciest lollies per 100ml (with two fewer in the packet too) might be worth leaving on the shelf, according to our tasters. They weren’t a fan of the texture or taste, with weak strawberry and orange disappointing those after a fruity flavor hit. 36p per 100ml. Available from Spar.

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What flavor are rocket lollies and what are they made of?

Most rocket lollies have three flavors – pineapple, orange and strawberry – for a fruity summer vibe. Beware though, not all actually contain fruit juice.

When we checked the packs, we realised Morrisons and Iceland rocket lollies don’t actually contain any fruit. The rest all contain fruit juice from concentrate, ranging from around 21% juice content (M&S) to 25% (Sainsbury’s).

Otherwise, as expected, water is the main component for all lollies, but sugar features highly too.

Flavorings and preservatives are mostly from natural ingredients like beetroot and citric acid, though one (M&S) contains E numbers.

Are rocket ice lollies healthy?

Rocket lollies are a sweet, sugary treat, so it’s best to eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The lollies we tried range from 11.5g of sugar per 100g (Asda) to 16g (Co-op).

The NHS recommends that children aged seven to 10 should have no more than 26g of free sugar per day (including naturally occurring sugars from fruit), and children aged four to six no more than 19g. The sugariest lollies we tried, from Co-op have around 10.6g per lolly, so are ok provided you stick to no more than one in a day.

If you want to limit the sugar and save some money, consider making your own:

  • Asda Good Living recommends blitzing fruit with water in a blender until smooth and pouring each into molds one by one to create the layers.
  • BBC Good Food’s recipe uses a mixture of honey-sweetened Greek yoghurt as one of the layers, which adds some protein to your snack.

What about big brand fruit stack lollies?

These tend to be pricier, and we didn’t test them as they have slightly different flavor combinations so aren’t comparable.

Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles Lollies

77p per 100ml

These don’t have the fun rocket shape of supermarket versions but the brightly stacked colors are still like catnip to kids.

You get extra flavours: pineapple, orange, lemon, raspberry and blackcurrant, and they’re slightly bigger than the typical rocket lolly too.

At 17.8g of sugar per 100ml, they’re also more sugary, so a smaller supermarket version could be a savvier choice.

Available from Tesco and Ocado.

Little Jude’s Fruit & Veg Rockets

84p per 100ml

Little Jude’s rockets are made from a mixture of whole fruits and vegetables (like apples, spinach and carrots) and juices from concentrate.

They have the advantage of looking similar to standard supermarket rocket lollies, but they claim to have ‘30% less sugar than comparable rocket ice lolly products’.

At 9.7g per 100g, they do have slightly less than the lowest-sugar supermarket brand, and it’s all from fruit or veg. But sugar is still sugar, and they’re almost four times the price of the cheapest lollies we’ve tested.

Available from ocado and Sainsbury’s.

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How we tested rocket ice lollies

The rocket ice lollies were tasted and rated in June 2022 by a large panel of consumers who regularly consume these products.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK. Each product was assessed by 70 people.

The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the rocket ice lollies was fully rotated to avoid any bias. Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 30% appearance
  • 10% aroma
  • 10% texture

Recycling your lolly wrappers

Most come in a cardboard box which can go in your recycling. The plastic lolly covers aren’t usually recyclable, but the wooden sticks are (or you can save and re-use to label plants in the garden, or for craft projects).

Prices correct as of 28 July 2022

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