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The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors

The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 50 Comments

A list of the most popular ice cream flavors will depend on who's doing the questioning and who's doing the answering!

Is it a list based on the best-selling ice cream flavors, or on which flavor people say is their favorite? Because compromises are often made when buying ice cream that everyone likes.

And sometimes people even claim to like things that they don't, or not really!

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) produce a yearly list of the best-selling ice cream flavors in America.

Here's the one for 2022. It's full of traditional favorites and pretty predictable, I suppose...

  1. Chocolate
  2. Cookies N' Cream
  3. Vanilla
  4. Strawberry
  5. Chocolate Chip
  6. Cookie Dough
  7. Butter Pecan
  8. French Vanilla
  9. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  10. Caramel / Salted Caramel

I can't imagine this list changes very much from year to year, to be honest. But I read somewhere that vanilla ice cream is slipping in popularity and has dropped from number 1 in 2019, to number 3 in 2022.

But it's so versatile, complimenting so many different dishes, it's hard to imagine it will ever drop much further than that. Let's see!

YouGov also conducted a survey last year (2022) where they asked 1,000 American which was their favorite flavor. And the results were very similar to the IDFA.

Which is perhaps hardly surprising really...

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Strawberry
  4. Cookies N' Cream
  5. Chocolate Chip
  6. Butter Pecan
  7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  8. Mint Chocolate Chip
  9. Caramel
  10. Neapolitan
  11. Rocky Road
  12. Chocolate Peanut Butter
  13. Coffee
  14. Pistachio
  15. Cherry
  16. Peach
  17. Peanut Butter
  18. Birthday Cake
  19. Raspberry
  20. Butterscotch
  21. Cake Batter
  22. Other

The top four are the all same flavors, just in a slightly different order.

What's more interesting is the differences in flavor preferences according to region, gender politics, age and income levels!

If you're from the North East, you skew strongly towards Chocolate and Coffee. Southerners are more likely to love Butter Pecan and Strawberry. Midwesterners skew strongly towards Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

While in the West, people skew most strongly towards Vanilla and away from Chocolate!

Women seem to prefer fruit flavors more than men. While they're also less keen on Vanilla and more keen on Mint Chocolate Chip and Butter Pecan than men.

In fact, men are more likely to go for the traditional plainer flavors like Vanilla and Chocolate Chip. Maybe Butter Pecan challenges their masculinity?

Trump supporters love Chocolate ice cream. They're also far less keen on Neapolitan ice cream than Biden supporters, who seem more likely to go for more niche flavors.

It's no surprise that old people tend to be more keen on the traditional flavors of Vanilla and Chocolate. And much less keen on Cookies N' Cream, which the kids love!

Butter Pecan skews massively popular with the oldies too!

Predictably, the traditional Vanilla is more popular with the rich. But strangely, the traditional Chocolate is more popular with the poor. Cookies N' Cream is also much more popular with the poor.

Of course, you're always going to be limited by what's available in the shops. Unless you make your own! Inventing your own flavors is one of the best parts of making your own ice cream!

And the thing is it's really easy and doesn't have to be expensive. Check out my guide to the best ice cream makers. One of the machines that performed best in my tests is also one of the least expensive!

But what's your favorite flavor (either store bought or homemade)? Let me know in the comments below...

About the author 


Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

  • I really miss your pumpkin ice cream.
    I do not like the pumpkin with coffee in it.
    I do not drink coffee.
    I hope you will think about bringing pumpkin back.
    Thanks for listening.

  • Ok lemme get this straight, I love ice-cream, but it’s true, vanilla is probably the most popular around, since it’s available almost everywhere. Not saying other flavours aren’t as good though-

    Oh and by the way, heyyyyy have a great day :DD!

  • I love butter pecan. My husband buys it every week. No body touches it they have their own flavors. My husband loves strawberry.

  • I love Vanilla and Cookie dough ice cream it’s is my favorite ice cream forever. I like Vanilla and Cookie dough too. It is so great and good too. I always loves Poplar ice cream so much to me.

  • 1. Cookies n Cream
    2. Strawberry Cheesecake by Ben & Jerry’s
    3. Birthday Cake by Cheesecake Factory
    4. Beach Day by Baskin’ Robbins

    Hands down, didn’t even have to think about it

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