The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in America
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The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in America

How did rum raisin end up in there?
The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in America
Sheena Bates/Photodisc via Getty Images Plus

Ice cream and summer go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly and mac and cheese, and Americans sure eat a lot of it. Over 6 billion pounds of ice cream and frozen yogurt are produced in the United States each year, and the average American eats 22 pounds of the stuff annually. July is the busiest month for ice cream production and consumption but which ice cream flavors are the most popular? We have a state-by-state breakdown.

Last year, we used Google search data to determine the most-searched-for ice cream flavors in every state. This year, Instacart was able to dig into their own data to see what kinds of ice cream folks are buying disproportionately compared to the nation as a whole. The data is from July 2020 to June 2021. Some of the favorites are regional — like rocky road in the Southwest and green tea ice cream in the Northwest — while others — like rainbow sherbert and birthday cake ice cream — cross borders. Here’s what flavors reign supreme across the U.S.

Vanilla

Vanilla
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We may use the word vanilla to indicate something is boring, but Americans think vanilla ice cream is anything but. This classic flavor accounts for 26.2 percent of all ice cream purchases in the U.S., so odds are, it’s the most popular flavor in your state, which is whyInstacart looked beyond vanilla to parse out regional differences.

Chocolate chocolate chip

Chocolate chocolate chip
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Despite the nation’s love of vanilla, New Mexico likes a chocolate base — with more chocolate mixed in. You may just call them chocoholics. Chocolate chocolate chip is the top ice cream flavor here, and they’re one of 24 states who love chocolate in their ice cream.

Mint chocolate chip

Mint chocolate chip
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Pennsylvania, meanwhile, prefers mint-flavored ice cream to go with their chocolate chips. Mint chip takes the cake — er, cone — in the Keystone state.

Cherry

Cherry
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Delaware has gotten a lot of ice cream-based attention recently since it’s President Joe Biden’s home state and he’s known for his love of ice cream. But while Biden’s fave flavor is purportedly chocolate chip, the majority of the state prefers cherry.

Chocolate chip

Chocolate chip
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Perhaps Biden would feel more at home in Kentucky or Ohio, the two states in the nation whose residents reach for more chocolate chip ice cream than any other. Not to be confused with mint or chocolate chocolate chip, we’re talking specifically about a vanilla-based ice cream with chocolate chips mixed throughout.

Mango

Mango
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From sea to shining sea, tropical-flavored mango ice cream is a hit in Hawaii and the District of Columbia. We get it; mango is super refreshing, whether it’s in lassi or a smoothie, charred on the grill, added on top of a salad or in soft serve form.

Rum raisin

Rum raisin
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We admit it; we were surprised to see rum raisin on this list. But Florida and Georgia have some serious love for this classic flavor, and we respect that.

Pistachio

Pistachio
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The people of the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York see eye-to-eye when it comes to their cooled confections. Nutty, green pistachio ice cream gets the most love in this east coast enclave.

Cookie dough

Cookie dough
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Meanwhile, folks in Oklahoma, Maryland and Missouri don’t want to have to choose between cookies and ice cream. If you’re also someone who favors cookie dough ice cream, you might want to consider making cookie dough ice cream sandwiches. Just sayin’!

Rainbow sherbet

Rainbow sherbet
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Step aside vanilla and chocolate: the good people of Arkansas, Montana, Kansas and Texas like their frozen desserts full of fruity flavor. Rainbow sherbert is the most purchased flavor in these four states.

Green tea

Green tea
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The Northwest may be known for its coffee culture but residents of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska prefer tea when it comes to their ice cream — green tea, to be precise. Bring on the matcha.

Coffee

Coffee
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Meanwhile, folks in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont want a caffeine buzz to accompany their dessert. Coffee ice cream reigns supreme in these New England states.

Birthday cake

Birthday cake
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If you live in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota or Virginia, chances are you don’t want to be relegated to celebrating your birthday just once a year. That must be why birthday cake ice cream is the favorite flavor ’round these parts.

Rocky road

Rocky road
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With their national parks and hiking trails, it’s no wonder rocky road ice cream is so popular in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. With a chocolate ice cream base and chopped nuts and marshmallows, it has a little something for everyone.

Moose tracks

Moose tracks
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And the most popular ice cream flavor? The resounding favorite in 12 states, moose tracks — with its vanilla base and fudge and peanut butter cups mixed in — is in the lead by a long shot. Folks in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin all scream for this flavor. If you’re hungry for more ice cream-based trivia, find out what the most popular ice cream truck treat is in every state.

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