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Vanilla Remains America's Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

National Ice Cream Association survey shows uptick in frozen yogurt popularity; ranks most preferred toppings and ice cream 'additions'

Published on: Jul 30, 2013

Results from a survey of International Ice Cream Association member companies has determined that vanilla remains America's favorite flavor for the second year in a row.

Chocolate and butter pecan took second and third while coffee, Neapolitan and Rocky Road tied for fourth place. The companies surveyed make and distribute an estimated 85% of the ice cream and frozen dessert products consumed in the United States.

"Our member companies are making a wide-range of flavors and product types that allow consumers to choose the treat that appeals to them," said Peggy Armstrong, vice president of communications for the International Dairy Foods Association.

National Ice Cream Association survey shows uptick in frozen yogurt popularity; ranks most preferred toppings and ice cream additions
National Ice Cream Association survey shows uptick in frozen yogurt popularity; ranks most preferred toppings and ice cream 'additions'

Nearly 70% of companies surveyed said that premium ice cream – which has a lower amount of aeration and a higher fat content than regular ice cream – is the most popular product, followed by regular ice cream, which contains at least 10% milkfat. Novelties, separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks, came in third.

In addition, approximately 50% said they are seeing increased demand for frozen yogurt, and nearly 15% reported an increased demand for no-sugar-added ice cream.

The survey also asked about popular additions to ice cream, such as fruits, nuts, candies and other ingredients.  The majority of companies said that pecans are the most popular nut, followed by almonds and peanuts. Eighty-six percent of companies said that strawberry was the most popular fruit topping, with cherry coming in second.

Among companies offering novelties, the ice cream sandwich and ice-cream-on-a-stick tied as the most popular. Bars, push-ups, four-ounce tubes and mini-cups are also popular products, according to the survey. For companies with dipping locations, it doesn't matter how they serve it; cups, sugar cones and waffles cones are all popular. Hot fudge, sprinkles and nuts proved to be the most popular toppings. 

The survey coincides with the wrap-up of July, National Ice Cream month. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the "holiday," also proclaiming the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."