In preparation for July and National Ice Cream Month, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) conducted a survey among its members to find the bestselling ice cream flavors.
The IDFA is comprised of members who make and market ice cream as well as members of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, which includes operators of ice cream parlors in the United States. According to these members, the top five ice cream flavors are:
- Cookies n’ Cream
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Unsurprisingly, vanilla tops the list. IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs Cary Frye believes this has more to do with vanilla’s versatility than anything else. “Vanilla has long been the best-selling ice cream flavor not only because it is creamy and delicious, but also because of its ability to enhance so many other desserts and treats,” she says. “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.”
Members were also surveyed on the top ingredients added to ice cream. A majority said that pecans are the most popular nut flavoring, while strawberries are the most popular fruit.
The most popular container for ice cream is a lock between sugar cones and waffle cones, while ice cream sandwiches are an incredibly popular novelty product for ice cream.
Some of the more daring flavors reported by those surveyed include Lemon Poppyseed Muffin, Black Sesame, and a bourbon- and caffeine-spiked concoction called Exhausted Parent.
July was named National Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The third Sunday of the month is National Ice Cream Day. President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”