IDFA survey reveals vanilla still favourite ice cream

6 Jul 2017

While vanilla ice cream continues to reign supreme as America’s favourite, chocolate-filled flavours dominate the top five bestselling ice cream flavours according to a recent survey of ice cream makers and retailers across the United States.

IDFA survey reveals vanilla still favourite ice cream

While vanilla ice cream continues to reign supreme as America’s favourite, chocolate-filled flavours dominate the top five bestselling ice cream flavours according to a recent survey of ice cream makers and retailers across the United States. The survey was conducted by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) among its members who make and market ice cream as well as members of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, which includes operators of ice cream parlours in the United States.

IDFA released the results to launch its celebration of National Ice Cream Month, which runs throughout the month of July.

According to the survey, America’s top five flavours are: vanilla, chocolate, Cookies N’ Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

“Vanilla has long been the best-selling ice cream flavour not only because it is creamy and delicious, but also because of its ability to enhance so many other desserts and treats,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs and nationally respected expert on ice cream and frozen desserts. “It tastes great topped by whipped cream and fudge sauce in a sundae, with root beer in a float or atop a warm slice of apple pie.”

When asked to name their most daring and creative flavours, the respondents listed less traditional options including Lemon Poppyseed Muffin, Black Sesame and a bourbon- and caffeine-spiked concoction called Exhausted Parent.

Survey results also confirmed that many ice cream makers and retailers have family-owned businesses, have been in operation for more than 50 years and primarily market their products locally and regionally.

From neighbourhood scoop shops to national brands, the ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39.0 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs nationally.

The Great Lakes region of the United States in particular, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, is a hot spot for the chilled treat. For respondents who market their products regionally, the area earned the top spot for the most successful and the most served market.

Respondents also ranked the Southwest, Plains and the Mideast regions as their next most successful markets, helping to answer the often-asked question: “Which region consumes the most ice cream?”

When asked about ingredients added to ice cream, the majority of those surveyed said that pecans are the most popular nut or nut flavouring, while strawberries are the most popular fruit added to their frozen treats.

Waffle cones and sugar cones were voted as equally popular containers with consumers, while ice cream sandwiches came out on top as America’s favourite novelty product. Respondents voted the ice cream sandwich as their best-selling novelty over ice cream cups, pops, cones and bars respectively.