Test Kitchen: Arctic Zero

Yes, Courtney, we KNOW you love Arch’s. You talk about it all the time, and we’re pretty sure the guy at the store on Ivy Road knows you. By name. One time, he even tried to convince you to buy an ice cream pie, and was shocked when you turned him down. That’s a bad sign.

But guys, listen: Arch’s has “Wow Cow” – it’s frozen yogurt that has only 12-15 calories per ounce. That means, a 9 oz Wow Cow only puts me back [at most] 135 calories. Don’t you see, guys? I can eat the equivalent of over a half-pint of ice cream for only 135 calories.

Still need convincing?

  • It’s made with whey protein, so you will be full. Other desserts made with refined sugars and fat cause you to crash and become hungry in less than one hour.
  • Since it’s dairy-free, it can be eaten by many lactose intolerants.
  • It’s gluten free, too.
  • P.S.: It’s fat free. Have you forgotten I’m talking about ice cream, yet?
  • It’s naturally sweetened.
  • It’s low in carbohydrates, which helps avoid the aforementioned sugar/fat crash.
  •  Oh yeah, it comes in a bazillion awesome flavors [white chocolate cheesecake? peanut butter? oreo cookie? angel food cake? coffee? coffee toffee? grasshopper? double chocolate? check].
  • Those bazillion awesome flavors taste incredible. You’d never know you weren’t eating whole milk with a bar of chocolate in it.

So yes, when I get a craving for sweets, my first reaction is always to go for Wow Cow at Arch’s, because compared to the 170 calories in ONE Reese’s peanut butter egg/pumpkin/christmas tree, its the tastiest and most physically and mentally satisfying dessert.

That’s why when Shaun and I were casing Whole Foods last weekend, and we discovered Arctic Zero, we stopped dead in our tracks. Partly because we were both like, hey, that sounds like a SUPERHERO. The other part because, well, read the label.


Photo Source. Megan also provides her own review!

We stood awkwardly in the aisle and did the math [this took a while] and figured out that one pint of Arctic Zero has even fewer calories than Wow Cow. Needless to say we each picked out a flavor to sample.

It’s whey protein based [14g per pint], fat-free, gluten free, lactose-friendly, made with natural ingredients, and low in sugar, just like Wow Cow. It also has 8 grams of fiber per pint. To date I haven’t been able to figure out why it has fewer calories than Wow Cow. My best guess is that it has something to do with the density.

First test: Chocolate peanut butter. Took a while to melt into an eat-able texture, and had a bit of an icy flavor to it. We split a pint topped with half a banana, meaning dessert set us back around 100-125 calories. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this flavor, it was almost metallic. Wow Cow peanut butter flavor is super creamy, which is what you expect with anything peanut-buttery, but this was a let down.

Second test: Cookies and cream. We prepared this one like a smoothie: in the blender with 1/2 cup or so of soy milk, topped with a 1/4 cup of cereal for crunch. Cookies and Cream wins by a landslide. It tasted like a bowl full of Oreos [literally EXACTLY like a bowl full of oreos], all for around 100-125 calories, again. I think 2-3 Oreo cookies alone puts you back like, 140. I took a little spoonful before we smoothie-ified it, and the texture was more agreeable, too.

Test kitchen results? Thumbs down to the chocolate PB for its freaky, unrealistic flavor and texture, but I’d definitely recommend the cookies and cream. I’m not a big hard ice cream fan, so I’d love to see how it holds up for those of you who enjoy Ben and Jerry’s or Turkey Hill. Plus, at $4.19 a pint at Whole Foods, it’s cheaper than two 9 oz. Wow Cow servings at Arch’s [$3.50 each] for roughly the same amount of dessert.

Will I buy it again? Not sure. I’m hesitant to set the precedent of having dessert around the house. The more sweets you have, the more you prime your body to want them all the time, and the actual act of going out to Arch’s every now and then makes it more of a treat than a given. Plus, the Wow Cow flavors at Arch’s are creative and change daily, and I would hate to forego supporting a local business in favor of a grocery store brand.

Has anyone else tried Arctic Zero? Let me know your thoughts!


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Categories: Food


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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3 Comments on “Test Kitchen: Arctic Zero”

  1. Jacqui
    November 13, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    My favorites are vanilla maple and mint chocolate cookie…..so good! My big draw to this stuff is the 14 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber and no junkie ingredients.

    • November 13, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      I agree! I think it actually bills itself as a protein smoothie more than an ice cream, which I’m 100% fine with. Also, mint chocolate cookie!?!? I might have to look for that today…


  1. My Personal Top-Ten of 2011 | Ryes and 'Shine - December 31, 2011

    […] “Test Kitchen: Arctic Zero” – Remember, that funny ice-cream like […]

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