‘Rocky Road’ is how most Americans describe Congress in an ice cream flavor

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2024— National Ice Cream Month will be here before you know it! In celebration of America’s favorite frozen treat, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has partnered with Morning Consult to survey America’s love for all things ice cream and frozen desserts. In addition to this broad survey of the general American population, IDFA conducted a separate survey of staff on Capitol Hill to get their take on flavors, toppings, and what ice cream best describes the U.S. Congress.

So, what’s the scoop? 97% of Americans love or like ice cream. While traditional ice cream flavors still dominate IDFA’s list, newer flavors like Butter Pecan and Cookie Dough are shaking up the top five. According to the survey, America’s favorite flavor is Vanilla, while staff on Capitol Hill prefer Cookie Dough. But before you lose your sprinkles, let’s compare the two groups:

Top 5 flavors among the general American public:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Strawberry
  4. Butter Pecan
  5. Cookie Dough

How does this lineup compare to previous years? You can find results from the 2022 and 2019 surveys on IDFA’s website.

Top 5 flavors among Capitol Hill staff:

  1. Cookie Dough
  2. Cookies and Cream
  3. Mint Chocolate Chip            
  4. Birthday Cake
  5. Coffee

“It’s no surprise that America loves ice cream,” said IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M. “And America’s favorite frozen treat is more than dessert—it also supports nearly 30,000 jobs and pumps $11.4 billion into our nation’s economy each year according to IDFA’s Dairy Delivers data. This July, celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a cone, pint, or half-gallon of your favorite flavor and know that you’re also supporting dairy farmers and manufacturers across this great nation.”

More results from the IDFA-Morning Consult survey:

What type of container do consumers prefer?

  • Waffle cones beat out sugar cones 29% to 12% among consumers, but 27% of consumers prefer to eat their ice cream out of a bowl.

What type of toppings do consumers prefer?

  • Hot fudge is the top ice cream topping at 35%, beating out caramel sauce at 24% and chocolate sauce at 21%. Whipped cream is the second most popular topping at 29%.

When weighing ice cream options, what consideration is most important to consumers?

  • 94% of respondents said that ice cream flavor is the most important consideration, though four fifths of adults think size and price are important as well.

Where is your favorite place to eat ice cream?

  • 63% of Americans say their favorite place to eat ice cream is at home; 21% of young adults (18-34) are more likely than other groups to say outdoors is their favorite setting.

When asked what flavors best describes the U.S. Congress, 30% among the general American population respondents and 50% among Capitol Hill staff picked “Rocky Road: Anything but Smooth.” Other popular responses were “Banana Split: Split Down the Middle” and “Butter Pecan: Rich and Nutty.”

To see the full results, visit here.

IDFA will kick off our celebration of National Ice Cream month with the 40th Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party on June 12, 2024. Join us for free ice cream to celebrate America’s favorite frozen treat!

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.2 million jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages and $794 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent most of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.

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Andrew Jerome

Associate Vice President, Communications