Does Culver’s Lemon Ice have dairy?

Quick Answer

Culver’s Lemon Ice does not contain any dairy ingredients. It is made with sugar, water, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid, and yellow 5. So it is safe for people with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.

Ingredients in Culver’s Lemon Ice

Here are the ingredients listed for Culver’s Lemon Ice:

Lemon juice concentrate
Natural flavors
Citric acid
Yellow 5

As you can see, there are no dairy ingredients like milk, cream, butter, whey, casein, lactose, etc.


The main ingredient in Culver’s Lemon Ice is sugar. Sugar adds sweetness and bulk to the frozen dessert. Plain granulated sugar is used.


Water is needed to create the icy texture when frozen. It also dilutes the lemon juice concentrate.

Lemon Juice Concentrate

Lemon juice concentrate provides the tart, citrusy lemon flavor. It is concentrated for more intensity of flavor.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors enhance the lemon taste but the exact blend is proprietary. No dairy is included.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is added for more tartness to balance the sweetness. It occurs naturally in citrus fruits.

Yellow 5

Yellow 5 provides the bright yellow color. It is an artificial food dye.

Culver’s Menu and Allergens

Culver’s is quite transparent about listing menu items that contain major allergens like dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

They have a separate allergen menu that highlights foods with these ingredients. Dairy is one of the specifically called out allergens.

Lemon Ice is not featured on this allergen menu, confirming that it does not contain dairy or any other major allergen.

No Dairy Means Lactose-Free

Since there is no dairy at all in Culver’s Lemon Ice, it is completely lactose-free.

Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. Some people lack enough of the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest lactose.

For those with lactose intolerance, even small amounts of lactose can cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

With no lactose whatsoever, Lemon Ice will not cause any stomach problems for those sensitive to dairy.

Vegan Status

In addition to being dairy-free, Culver’s Lemon Ice is also vegan.

Vegans strictly avoid consuming any animal products, including:

Animal Product

Since none of these animal-derived ingredients are in the Lemon Ice, those following a vegan diet can enjoy it.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Some reasons people choose to eat vegan include:

– Animal welfare and cruelty concerns with factory farming
– Lower impact on the environment compared to animal agriculture
– Potential health benefits like lower heart disease risk
– Lower risk of developing some cancers
– Lower BMI and rates of obesity
– Ethical reasons or religious restrictions

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition information for Culver’s Lemon Ice:

Nutrient Per 1/2 cup serving
Calories 150
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 25 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38 g
Sugars 38 g
Protein 0 g

With no protein or fat, all the calories in Lemon Ice come from carbohydrates. There are 150 calories and 38 grams of sugar in a 1/2 cup portion.

High Sugar Content

The high sugar content means Lemon Ice is more of an occasional treat. Consuming too much added sugar can lead to:

– Weight gain
– Increased diabetes risk
– Higher blood pressure
– Fatty liver disease

Enjoying Lemon Ice in moderation is recommended, along with an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle. Those managing diabetes should be mindful of the carbohydrate and sugar intake.

Cost and Availability

You can find Culver’s Lemon Ice exclusively at Culver’s fast casual restaurants. There are over 800 Culver’s locations across mostly Midwestern states.

A small cup of Lemon Ice costs around $1.99 and a regular size is $2.69. Prices may vary a bit by location.

Lemon Ice can be ordered on its own or as part of a dessert concrete mixer. It’s available all year round, not just seasonally.

Taste and Texture

Culver’s Lemon Ice has a sweet and tart lemon flavor. It tastes like lemonade turned into frozen ice.

The texture is smooth, creamy, and icy. It is soft enough to spoon or drink with a straw.

Light lemon zest flavor comes through along with refreshing, juicy lemon taste. It provides a nice cool down on a hot day.

Comparable Items from Other Chains

Some similar lemon frozen ice or icee options from other fast food places include:

Restaurant Lemon Frozen Dessert
Chick-fil-A Lemon Berry Sunjoy
Arby’s Lemon Shake-Ups
Sonic Drive-In Lemon Slushes
Steak ‘N Shake Lemon Chill
Jamba Juice Lemon Chillers

However, Culver’s stands out with their trademark creamy frozen custard texture even in something as simple as Lemon Ice.

Culver’s History

Culver’s was founded by husband and wife team Craig and Lea Culver along with Craig’s parents in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Their frozen custard recipe is based on the traditions of Lea’s family.

Some key facts about Culver’s impressive growth:

– Opened first franchise in 1990
– Expanded to over 800 locations across 26 states as of 2022
– All restaurants owned and operated by independent franchisees
– Ranked #5 on Forbes’ annual Top Franchises to Buy list in 2022
– Brings in over $1 billion in annual system sales

Despite this widespread expansion, Culver’s has stayed true to its Wisconsin roots and focus on quality ingredients.

Why Choose Culver’s

There are many great reasons to choose Culver’s:

Real frozen custard
High quality food
Signaturebutterburgers made with fresh beef
Generous portion sizes
Fast friendly service
Strong Midwestern hospitality roots
In-house fleet allows cod deliveries for fresh fish fries
Rotate limited time flavors and specials

Culver’s offers a bit of everything from burgers to custard to frozen treats like Lemon Ice. The food quality and service really shine through.


In summary, Culver’s refreshing Lemon Ice contains no dairy or animal products. The lemony frozen dessert is vegan and lactose-free, making it safe for those with dairy restrictions. It offers a sweet and tart flavor in a creamy, spoonable texture. Lemon Ice can be enjoyed as a cool treat during Culver’s visits any time of year. Just keep the high sugar content in mind and enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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