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What is the USAs favorite ice cream?

The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors In America

The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in America

Ice cream and summer go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly and mac and cheese, and Americans sure eat a lot of it. Over 6 billion pounds of ice cream and frozen yogurt are produced in the United States each year, and the average American eats 22 pounds of the stuff annually. July is the busiest month for ice cream production and consumption but which ice cream flavors are the most popular? We have a state-by-state breakdown.

Last year, we used Google search data to determine the most-searched-for ice cream flavors in every state. This year, Instacart was able to dig into their own data to see what kinds of ice cream folks are buying disproportionately compared to the nation as a whole. The data is from July 2020 to June 2021. Some of the favorites are regional — like rocky road in the Southwest and green tea ice cream in the Northwest — while others — like rainbow sherbert and birthday cake ice cream — cross borders. Here’s what flavors reign supreme across the U.S.



We may use the word vanilla to indicate something is boring, but Americans think vanilla ice cream is anything but. This classic flavor accounts for 26.2 percent of all ice cream purchases in the U.S., so odds are, it’s the most popular flavor in your state, which is whyInstacart looked beyond vanilla to parse out regional differences.

Chocolate chocolate chip

Chocolate chocolate chip

Despite the nation’s love of vanilla, New Mexico likes a chocolate base — with more chocolate mixed in. You may just call them chocoholics. Chocolate chocolate chip is the top ice cream flavor here, and they’re one of 24 states who love chocolate in their ice cream.

Mint chocolate chip

Mint chocolate chip

Pennsylvania, meanwhile, prefers mint-flavored ice cream to go with their chocolate chips. Mint chip takes the cake — er, cone — in the Keystone state.



Delaware has gotten a lot of ice cream-based attention recently since it’s President Joe Biden’s home state and he’s known for his love of ice cream. But while Biden’s fave flavor is purportedly chocolate chip, the majority of the state prefers cherry.

Chocolate chip

Chocolate chip

Perhaps Biden would feel more at home in Kentucky or Ohio, the two states in the nation whose residents reach for more chocolate chip ice cream than any other. Not to be confused with mint or chocolate chocolate chip, we’re talking specifically about a vanilla-based ice cream with chocolate chips mixed throughout.



From sea to shining sea, tropical-flavored mango ice cream is a hit in Hawaii and the District of Columbia. We get it; mango is super refreshing, whether it’s in lassi or a smoothie, charred on the grill, added on top of a salad or in soft serve form.

Rum raisin

Rum raisin

We admit it; we were surprised to see rum raisin on this list. But Florida and Georgia have some serious love for this classic flavor, and we respect that.

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The people of the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York see eye-to-eye when it comes to their cooled confections. Nutty, green pistachio ice cream gets the most love in this east coast enclave.

Cookie dough

Cookie dough

Meanwhile, folks in Oklahoma, Maryland and Missouri don’t want to have to choose between cookies and ice cream. If you’re also someone who favors cookie dough ice cream, you might want to consider making cookie dough ice cream sandwiches. Just sayin’!

Rainbow sherbet

Rainbow sherbet

Step aside vanilla and chocolate: the good people of Arkansas, Montana, Kansas and Texas like their frozen desserts full of fruity flavor. Rainbow sherbert is the most purchased flavor in these four states.

Green tea

Green tea

The Northwest may be known for its coffee culture but residents of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska prefer tea when it comes to their ice cream — green tea, to be precise. Bring on the matcha.



Meanwhile, folks in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont want a caffeine buzz to accompany their dessert. Coffee ice cream reigns supreme in these New England states.

Birthday cake

Birthday cake

If you live in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota or Virginia, chances are you don’t want to be relegated to celebrating your birthday just once a year. That must be why birthday cake ice cream is the favorite flavor ’round these parts.

Rocky road

Rocky road

With their national parks and hiking trails, it’s no wonder rocky road ice cream is so popular in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. With a chocolate ice cream base and chopped nuts and marshmallows, it has a little something for everyone.

Moose tracks

Moose tracks

And the most popular ice cream flavor? The resounding favorite in 12 states, moose tracks — with its vanilla base and fudge and peanut butter cups mixed in — is in the lead by a long shot. Folks in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin all scream for this flavor. If you’re hungry for more ice cream-based trivia, find out what the most popular ice cream truck treat is in every state.

More from The Daily Meal

Ice Cream: An American Favorite Since the Founding Fathers

Ice Cream By Molly Yun, Researcher at A Taste of History As researcher for Chef Walter Staib’s A Taste of History show, it’s always surprising when we stumble across foods that were as popular in the 1770s as they are today. Chef Staib will flip through period cookbooks and find “receipts” (now known as recipes) for exotic and out-of-fashion foods, such as peacock hen, and get the team moving on finding out more. But sometimes we also find familiar foods like ice cream! Chef Staib is a food historian who focuses on the gourmet delicacies of early America. He discovers what the elite of society, such as the Continental Congress and later U.S. Congress and presidents dined on while in their homes and in the White House. The team has filmed his show A Taste of History at the first five presidential homes and cooked in many historical locations. Chef Walter StaibWe’re always looking for first-person accounts of what those famous foodies ate. As it turns out, ice cream is no modern-day love affair. Well before the first ice cream truck rolled down our streets, Thomas Jefferson, George and Martha Washington and even regular colonists screamed for ice cream. Ancient Romans enjoyed iced treats under Nero’s reign when large blocks of ice were harvested from nearby mountains. By the 1700s, ice creams and sorbets were all the rage in European courts. This love of creamy, decadent and cold dessert spread to the American colonies as epicureans settled into their new homes. In 1790, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York. In late June 1791, a notice appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette announcing the details of that year’s July 4th celebration. On the menu that year at Grays Gardens were the confections of Mr. de la Croiz, including “iced creams of a great variety.” Great estates, including Mount Vernon and Monticello, had their own “cream machines for ice.” In the upcoming book A Sweet Taste of History, due out in November published by Globe Pequot Press, there are hundreds of dessert recipes from the 18th century. We worked with Pastry Chef Diana Wolkow to recreate the sweets of a bygone era in modern terms for today’s cooks. Among those recipes are an entire chapter on ice creams and this excellent vanilla version below. In the forthcoming book and on his show, Chef Staib dedicates a favorite American treat to an epicurean first lady who was famous for her parties. Dolley MadisonDolley Madison, the first lady of the United States and wife of James Madison, fourth president of America, popularized ice cream in the White House. It was still a very impressive dessert because modern freezers were not introduced yet. To make ice cream, an estate relied on an ice house with large blocks of ice cut from frozen water, packed on straw and held in a cool place. Chef Staib recently visited the Madison home in Montpelier, Va., to learn her tricks to make the best ice cream. He cooked a few of the first lady’s favorite dishes, including the Southern inspired menu of Hoppin’ John, Virginia Ham and Oysters, Kidney Dijonnaise and topped it all off a dessert of hand churned vanilla ice cream, peaches and raspberry sauce. Dolley preferred oyster ice cream. She used small, sweet oysters from the Potomac River near her home to churn up an interesting dessert. In 18th century cookbooks, chefs didn’t stick to the basics. Recipes for parmesan ice cream, asparagus ice cream, chestnut cream and many other flavors that don’t grace our modern day tables were popular. But if you prefer something a bit sweeter and more conventional to the 21st century palate, stir in other toppings at the last moment, such as cookies or fresh berries, or enjoy on its own. Dolley Madison and Chef Staib

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Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Chef Walter Staib of A Taste of History shares this vanilla ice cream recipe. In a fun article, Chef Staib explains that the founding fathers were critical in bringing the dessert to America, even Dolley Madison was a fan.




This vanilla ice cream is pictured with sauce and almonds, which you may add or change to include your own toppings.

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Meet the Author

Molly Yun writes about her love of the culinary arts, historical customs and a variety of topics in print and online. Her passion is to tell the real stories of the past through relatable subject matter. She researches and writes scripts for the PBS cooking show A Taste of History. Her theatrical script was seen on stage as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. She is co-author of the forthcoming A Sweet Taste of History cookbook.

Meet Chef Walter Staib

Walter Staib has made numerous appearances on local and national cooking shows, such as the Today show and the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate and Iron Chef. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show A Taste of History, which received the 2012 James Beard Foundation nomination for Best TV Show On Location. The show is a vehicle for Staib to share 18th century cuisine with a growing audience. Currently, he can be seen nationwide for the fourth season on PBS and on national cable on RLTV. The show was awarded three Emmy awards in its first two seasons.

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America’s 7 Most Popular Ice Cream Brands

popular ice cream brands

The increasing number of popular ice cream brands goes to show that America loves ice cream! What’s more exciting these days is that aside from cones and tubs, you get to enjoy ice cream in a variety of products and combinations.

Most customers gravitate towards brands that they recognize, and it’s the same thing with ice cream. If you are an avid devourer of the delectable frozen dessert, join us as we count down the top selling ice cream brands in America.

7 Most Popular Ice Cream Brands in the U.S.

With literally dozens of ice cream flavors and brands competing for the top spot, a handful of companies stand out. Let’s list down seven of the most popular ice cream brands that Americans drool over, based on actual unit sales in 2018.

The number one spot may take you by surprise!

7. Halo Top

As more consumers look for healthier options, Halo Top captures this market by offering ice cream products with significantly less guilt (around 280-360 calories in every pint).

Despite the healthy label, the company made sure that its products are still exciting with flavors such as Birthday Cake, Sea Salt Caramel, Black Cherry, and Cinnamon Roll. Halo Top also sells some of these flavors in dairy-free variants.

6. Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill has earned its stripes in the frozen dairy treats industry with its wide array of flavors – Black Cherry Fudge, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Mango, Mocha Swirl, and more. In addition, the company also sells its products in various forms such as premium and light ice cream, sherbets, and no-sugar treats.

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The famous ice cream company boasts of its all-natural ingredients to make unforgettably rich frozen delights. Judging from the fact that it has been in operation since 1954, it’s easy to conclude that Turkey Hill is doing something right.

5. Häagen-Dazs

This legendary brand has become a force to reckon with in the ice cream industry. From its original line of flavors (Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla), Häagen-Dazs has expanded its product line to offer more than 50 flavors. Some of the well-loved Häagen-Dazs flavors include Cookies & Cream, Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Dulce De Leche, and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

In recent years, the Brooklyn-born ice cream brand has started transitioning towards no GMO ingredients in all of its products. It also keeps the ice cream industry a tad more exciting by dishing out new flavors every so often, including alcohol-infused ice cream products.

4. Blue Bell

Another important brand in the history of ice cream is Blue Bell, which has its humble beginnings in the town of Brenham, Texas in 1907. What makes the brand sellable is its unique line of ice cream flavors that most Americans don’t see in other companies. See if you spot any of these flavors in non-Blue Bell products – Moo-llenium Crunch, The Great Divide, Cookie Two Step, Tin Roof, Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream, and Southern Blackberry Cobbler.

Some of its newer flavors include Bride’s Cake, Banana Pudding, Ultimate Neapolitan. Sounds out of the norm, right?

The company isn’t depriving its customers of classic flavors either, such as Rocky Road, Milk Chocolate, Pistachio Almond, Chocolate Chip, and Coffee.

3. Breyers

When it comes to the history of ice cream, nothing on this list can beat the rich and illustrious background of Breyers. Touted as an American classic since 1866, this long-running ice cream brand uses the highest quality ingredients for its classic line of flavors.

Although its classic flavors (such as Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip) have become staples in homes across America, Breyers continues to excite the market by churning out new and unique products in its arsenal – Oreo Cookies & Cream, Waffle Cone with Chocolatey Chips, Vanilla Fudge Twirl, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

2. Ben & Jerry’s

Compared to the other entries on this list, Ben & Jerry’s is a relatively new player. From its startup operations in Burlington, Vermont in 1978, the giant ice cream brand has enjoyed skyrocketing sales with its extremely well-crafted ice cream names. Just look at some of the products on the company’s top 10 flavors of 2018 – Chunky Monkey, Americone Dream, Phish Food, The Tonight Dough, Cherry Garcia, and Half Baked.

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It doesn’t hurt that Marvel Studio’s summer blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War mentions Ben & Jerry’s new and fictitious ice cream flavors Hulk-A-Hulk-A-Burning Fudge and Stark Raving Hazelnuts.

1. Private label

Although Ben & Jerry’s is the top solo brand in the ice cream industry in terms of sales, the sheer number of private label ice cream companies far exceeds sales expectations by light years. Sales for private label ice cream products amounted to 347 million units in 2018, more than double the sales of Ben & Jerry’s.

What makes private ice cream brands enticing to the public is their proximity and local feel. Buying ice cream from a homegrown brand feels like you’re helping the community.

This is the reason why some of the best ice cream franchise companies such as DoDo are gaining momentum and popularity in their locations. There’s something homey and organic when you buy from these stores – they don’t come off as too commercial or corporate.

Sure, private label companies may look smaller than the other entries on this list, but the product line is as rich as the popular ones. Check out some of the DoDo products available in the market today: Vanilla Bean, Minty Moose, Snickerdoodle, Praline Pecan, Raspberry Sorbet, Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, and Red Velvet Cupcake.

Be Part of America’s Popular Ice Cream Brands with DoDo!

Want to become part of the number one spot in the country’s bestselling ice cream brands? Run your own DoDo store! By getting your own DoDo franchise, you can start selling delicious and exciting ice cream flavors, and join the entire country in making ice cream great again.

Your first step towards having your own DoDo Edible Cookie Dough and Ice Cream store is filling out this inquiry form. Once we receive your form entry, we will send you information about our company and details on how to invest on one of the best ice cream franchise opportunities today.

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7 responses to “America’s 7 Most Popular Ice Cream Brands”

John Dyer says:

Yes growing up in a family restaurant which in later years grew to sell soft serve ice cream shearly for profit margins, and let’s not kid ourselves what goes better after a great pizza than soft serve ice cream I will say never really cared too much for Mint Chocolate Chip but it is now my new favorite. Kiddos to you at Edys for such a delish ice cream

John A Dyer Jr. says:
Very very good refreshing brand thank you very much for all your hard work.
Andrew R Burke says:

Without a doubt Blue Bell is the best on the best on the list. Anyone in the south knows this. And most people I know that are from the north, and know about it. Are usually disappointed it’s not sold in their region.

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