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Despite the vast array of ice cream flavor varieties available at retailers nationwide, it turns out that vanilla has further staked its claim as the most popular among consumers, followed by chocolate and butter pecan in second and third place, respectively, and Neapolitan and Rocky Road tied for fourth.
According to this year’s survey of International Ice Cream Association (IICA) member companies – which collectively make and distribute an estimated 85 percent of the ice cream and frozen dessert products in the U.S. -- vanilla has taken the top spot for the second consecutive year.
Peggy Armstrong, VP of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association, chalks up consumers’ continued love of vanilla to the “rich, creaminess of a scoop of vanilla-bean premium ice cream,” as well as the “convenience of a perfectly portion-controlled ice cream confection,” adding that IICA’s member companies continue to make “a wide-range of flavors and product types that allow consumers to choose the treat that appeals to them.”
Contrary to Americans’ ever-present focus on calorie-counting, premium ice cream, which maintains a lower amount of aeration and a higher fat content than its regular counterpart, is the most popular variety among consumers.
In fact, nearly 70 percent cited premium as the most popular, followed by regular ice cream, which contains at least 10 percent milk fat and novelties – i.e. separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks.
In addition, approximately 50 percent of the companies surveyed said they are seeing increased demand for frozen yogurt, and only 15 percent reported an increased demand for no-sugar-added ice cream.
In terms of popular ice cream “add-ons,” such as fruits, nuts, candies and other ingredients, the majority of those surveyed said that pecans are the most popular nut, followed by almonds and peanuts. Additionally, 86 percent of companies said that strawberry ranked as the most popular fruit topping, with cherry following in second.
Given the IICA’s recent survey findings, is your company’s performance in the ice cream category aligning with these trends? PG wants to know what you think!