In honor of National Ice Cream Month, the International Dairy Foods Association has released a telling survey of America's 10 most favorite ice cream flavors. The main takeaways? Nothing beats vanilla, and you can't go wrong with a chocolate mix-in.
The results come from sales of ice cream by IDFA members, which include major manufacturers like Blue Bell and Nestle, as well as ice cream shops that belong to the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, according to PR Newswire.
In first place is vanilla, which a vice president of the IDFA speculates is because of its versatility.
"Vanilla has long been the best selling ice cream flavor not only because it is creamy and delicious, but also because of its ability to enhance so many other desserts and treats," said Cary Frye in a press release. "It tastes great topped by whipped cream and fudge sauce in a sundae, with root beer in a float or atop a warm slice of apple pie."
Next comes chocolate, revealing that at the end of the day, Americans love getting back to basics. Satisfying in ice cream cakes or right out of the pint, chocolate ice cream remains a steadfast favorite.
The next eight flavors are a little more interesting. In third place is cookies and cream, a variety that is just as delicious as it is fun to eat, searching for huge cookie chunks in a bowl of sweet vanilla ice cream. Next comes mint chocolate chip, beloved for its refreshing minty taste, studded with crisp bits of chocolate for a photogenic treat. Fifth is chocolate chip cookie dough, as it's never a bad idea to mix America's favorite cookie with its favorite frozen treat.
In sixth place is buttered pecan. Speaking of the nut, respondents said it's the most popular nutty addition to their ice creams. Eighth is strawberry, which is also the most popular fruit add-in.
Who's doing most of the eating? The survey says the Great Lakes region, which encompasses Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, buys the most ice cream nationwide. Still loyal but not as ice cream-obsessed are the Southwest, Plains and Mideast regions.
The top 10 is made up of mostly simple flavors, though moose tracks -- vanilla ice cream swirled with fudge and peanut butter cups -- and Neapolitan -- a combination of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams -- found spots on the list. Surprisingly, coffee didn't make the cut.
So as not to neglect the ice-cream vessel, the survey also found that waffle cones and sugar cones are equally popular. Ice cream sandwiches outsell other novelties like pops and bars.
National Ice Cream Day falls on July 16 in 2017, but the entire month is a celebration. Be sure to make your own ice cream, visit your favorite shops and stock up on plenty of pints; you've got the holiday as an excuse.