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The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors

The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 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 flavors people say is their favourite? 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 2019. It's full of traditional favourites and pretty predictable I suppose...

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cookies N' Cream
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  6. Buttered Pecan
  7. Cookie Dough
  8. Strawberry
  9. Moose Tracks
  10. Neapolitan

I can't imagine this list changes very much from year to year to be honest. I read somewhere that vanilla ice cream is slipping in popularity.

But it's so versatile, complimenting so many different dishes, it's hard to imagine it will ever be knocked off the top spot.

YouGov conducted a survey this year (2020) where they asked 20,000 American which was their favourite flavor. And the results were very similar to the IDFA.

Which is perhaps hardly surprising really...

  1. Chocolate
  2. Vanilla
  3. Strawberry
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip
  5. Butter Pecan
  6. Other
  7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  8. Cookies N' Cream
  9. Rocky Road
  10. Coffee
  11. Chocolate Chip
  12. Pistachio
  13. Neapolitan
  14. Birthday Cake / Cake Batter

Although maybe the slight difference at the top of the lists backs my original point. Vanilla is the top selling flavor not because it's the favourite of more people but because it's a flexible compromise.

The real favourite of the American public is Chocolate!

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. Southerners are more likely to love Butter Pecan.

Women also seem to be much keener on Butter Pecan than men. While they're also less keen on Vanilla than men.

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

Republicans love Chocolate ice cream. They're also less keen on Coffee ice cream than the Democrats who seem more likely to go for less known 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.

And again Butter Pecan is much more popular with the poor.

So there you go. If you're a old, female, from the American South on a low income, there's one thing we can be sure of: you definitely love Butter Pecan ice cream in 2020.

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 home made)? 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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