Product review: International Delight Iced Coffee

I signed up as a product reviewer with BzzAgent – an agency that specializes in social media and word of mouth marketing. It’s a great way for me to get informed about new products that enter the market that I might not be aware about. I was recently selected to take part in a campaign for International Delight iced coffee. I am a huge coffee snob and iced coffee isn’t something that I usually keep in my fridge (I usually buy it as a treat when I’m out and about) but it’s always good to know about products that are out in the market, especially for people who really enjoy their iced coffee in the summer.

A 1.89L carton of International Delight iced coffee retails for $4.99 which is a better deal than any iced coffee that you would buy from a coffee shop such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons or McDonalds (even with their $1 summer drink menu). It’s also more economical than the Starbuck’s bottled frappuccino ($2.99 for a 498mL) that has been in grocery stores for several years.

But despite this information, taste is still what ultimately matters.

I brought the three flavours of International Delight iced coffee to work and shared it among my work colleagues – it was a nice change from the usual 3pm coffee break.  Here is the information about the iced coffees we sampled.

International Delight iced coffee ($0.99/375mL/12 oz)

  • Vanilla
  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Mocha

In order to make this an informed taste test, we also compared it against another grocery store counterpart – Starbucks bottled frappuccino.

Starbucks bottled frappuccino ($2.25/375 mL/12 oz)

  • Vanilla
  • Mocha


Some taste testers even put it up against homemade.

Homemade iced coffee ($0.35/375 mL/12 oz)

The Results:

My colleagues and I tried each of the three flavours and all of us noticed that the coffee flavour wasn’t obvious. The International Delight iced coffee tasted more like a “coffee-flavoured beverage” than iced coffee. Of the three flavours, vanilla was the favourite. It was the closest in taste to what we’d expect in an iced coffee and it didn’t have the bitterness that we noticed in the mocha flavour or the overly sweet, artificial butterscotch flavour that we noticed in the caramel macchiato flavour.


The Starbucks bottled frappuccino had a stronger coffee flavour and, as a result, was preferred by the majority of the taste testers. The homemade iced coffee tasted the weakest out of all the samples which made us appreciate the fact that making perfect iced coffee isn’t as easy as most people assume.

Despite the higher cost, my colleagues and I chose the Starbucks bottled frappuccino over the International Delight iced coffee because it tasted better. We also appreciated the fact that it’s sold in a smaller container (a 405 mL glass bottle versus a 1.89 L carton). We felt that a 1.89 L carton would be difficult to get through.

We thought that  the International Delight iced coffee would be a good base for making frappuccinos so we decided to test it out. We took 1 part ice, 2 parts iced coffee and whirled them together in a blender.


It tasted great! Actually, it tasted even better as a frappuccino!

The Bottom Line:

I would buy iced coffee from a coffee shop (because I have it as an occasional treat). If I were to have it at home I would choose the Starbucks bottled frappuccino. If I wanted to make frappuccinos for a large party, I would use the International Delight iced coffee.

Interesting note about the caffeine content:

Both the International Delight iced coffee and Starbucks bottled frappuccino don’t have as much caffeine (76 mg/8 oz) compared to brewed coffee (100-160 mg/8 oz). So if you’re used to getting your caffeine fix from brewed coffee, these iced coffees might not cut it. Check out this chart on Caffeine Content of Food & Drugs by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for more information.

4 thoughts on “Product review: International Delight Iced Coffee

  1. Thank you Lisa for the opportunity to try these products. I love my iced coffee and I’ve certainly been tempted in the past to purchase the bottled Starbucks. Like you, I enjoy buying iced coffee/fraps when I’m out and about – quintessential summer!

    I was surprised by the level of sweetness of the International Delights products – that is, that they are not as sweet as I would have expected! (I do prefer my coffee on the bitter side). The vanilla, followed by the caramel were decent. Not overly artificial in flavour and decently creamy. I wouldn’t necessarily run out and buy them, but I wouldn’t turn them away either. The mocha flavour was not remotely pleasant. There was something synthetic tasting about it. I’m not actually sure what flavour they were trying to achieve.

    The big issue with these drinks is that they don’t taste like coffee. They were sweet, creamy, milky drinks – but not coffee flavoured. This is where the Starbucks won out because those really tasted of espresso – and surprisingly, unlike most of their coffee drinks – not so sweet.

    I would be more inclined to take brewed iced coffee and add the International line of non-dairy creamers to it rather than buy these iced coffee products. I’m sure there is a market for their new products, but when I want iced coffee, I’d rather have the real thing.

  2. When I tried the International Delight Iced Coffee the first thing I thought was “This really doesn’t taste like coffee. It isn’t strong enough. It tastes more like a ‘coffee flavoured’ beverage.” It also comes in a 1.89L carton which seems like a huge amount. For my caffeine fix, I brew my own coffee in the morning and in the summer, I have an iced coffee as an occasional afternoon treat.

    The vanilla flavour was my favourite out of the three. The mocha flavour had a bitter flavour associated with it and the caramel macchiato flavour had an overly sweet, artificial tasting butterscotch flavour.

    Needless to say, I would rather go out and buy a really good iced coffee from a coffee shop rather than settling for a weak ‘iced coffee flavoured’ beverage in my fridge. Sorry International Delight – I prefer my iced coffee to taste like coffee and am willing to pay more for the real thing.

  3. I don’t usually drink coffee so this was a new one for me. I found the International Delight Iced Coffees to be ok (not something I would run out to buy but not something I would refuse if offered). The Vanilla flavour was my favourite out of the three, it tasted a bit more real and less artificial.

    The Starbucks version was much sweeter then the International Delight Coffees and I could/would not drink it straight from the bottle.

    I did manage to try the International Delight Coffee made into a Frappucino which I liked better then drinking it straight. As an occasional drink, it’s not bad.

  4. I am a big fan of iced coffees, the perfect drink on a warm day. So I was excited to see what International Delight Iced Coffee had in store for me!

    I must say that I was not a fan of any of the flavours. They were very sweet and had a really artificial chemical taste to them and I couldn’t really taste much of a coffee flavour. I would not be able to drink more than a few sips of these iced coffees. Of the three flavours I like the vanilla the best but it was no comparison to the bottled Starbucks iced coffee.

    The Starbucks iced coffee had better packaging and better flavour. You could taste the coffee in it and they weren’t as sweet. Still I probably wouldn’t go out and buy the Starbucks iced coffee in a bottle, if I want an iced coffee I am going to go to a coffee shop for the real deal.

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