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Ice Cream Sales & Trends

Just the Facts


America’s Favorites

America’s top 10 favorite ice cream flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies N’ Cream
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Buttered Pecan
  • Cookie Dough
  • Strawberry
  • Moose Tracks
  • Neapolitan

 America’s favorite novelty products are:

  • Sandwiches
  • Mini cups
  • Sticks or pops
  • Cones
  • Bars


  • Retailers say premium ice cream is most popular with their consumers, while ice cream makers say regular ice cream, usually sold in stores, is most popular with their consumers.
  • Pecan is the most popular nut flavoring, and strawberry is the most popular fruit in ice cream.

  • Candy and chocolate pieces are the most popular confections in ice cream.
  • Waffle cones and sugar cones tie for most popular containers.

Ice Cream Production


  • June and July are the busiest months for ice cream production.
  • About 1.54 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the U.S. in 2015 (most recent data). 
  • 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 in communities across the country, according to Dairy Delivers℠, IDFA’s economic impact tool.
  • The majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years and many are still family-owned businesses.
  • Hard frozen dairy desserts accounted for almost 75 percent of

     all frozen dairy products made in 2015.

Ice Cream Marketing

  • Families are the primary customer group for ice cream retailers.
  • Ice cream marketing is primarily done on a local or regional level.
  • Two-fifths of companies see increased demand for premium ice cream.
  • Ice cream makers and retailers say the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) is the most successful ice cream market. 


  • The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year.
  • Regular ice cream is the most popular category of frozen desserts.
  • U.S. ice cream companies made more than 898 million gallons of regular ice cream in 2015.
  • Based on production figures, low-fat ice cream is the second most popular category.

Dairy Delivers