Vanilla wins the popular vote in America as the favourite ice cream flavour for a second year in a row, and premium ice cream is a top seller while frozen yogurt posts a steady increase in demand.
These are a few of the findings from the second annual survey of International Ice Cream Association (IICA) member companies, which make and distribute an estimated 85% of the ice cream and frozen dessert products consumed in the US.
According to the companies participating in the survey, the top three flavours are vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan, with coffee, Neapolitan and Rocky Road tied for fourth place.
"From the rich creaminess of a scoop of vanilla bean premium ice cream to the convenience of a perfectly portion-controlled ice cream confection, our member companies are making a wide range of flavours 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. "Ice cream is a fun and nutritious food that fits into almost every lifestyle."
Premium ice cream, which has a lower amount of aeration and a higher fat content than regular ice cream, is the most popular variety with consumers, according to the survey.
Nearly 70% cited premium ice cream as the most popular product, followed by regular ice cream, which contains at least 10% milk fat, and novelties. Novelties are defined as separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks.
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.
In addition to flavours, 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. 86% 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, 4oz tubes and mini-cups are also popular products. 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.
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