National Ice Cream Day may be history (July 15 came and went), but consumers’ appetite for the cold, creamy stuff extends through the summer and beyond. How to feed those cravings? Some fans always fill their cones with familiar flavors, while others see ice cream as a low-risk way to test their taste buds. Here’s the scoop on today’s ice cream trends, based on Technomic data.
1. Classics come out on top
No surprise here: Vanilla is the No. 1 ice cream flavor on menus, with almost 2,000 mentions. Chocolate follows close behind (1,798), but there’s a steep drop-off to strawberry, which garners 950 menu mentions. Rounding out the top five are banana and fudge, two slightly lesser-known flavors.
2. Fastest-growing flavors
More exotic flavors rise to the top when tracking the fastest-growing ice creams. Fruit and alcohol-infused ice creams are trending in a positive direction, with guava increasing 73% year over year and limoncello up 67%, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Sea salt and spiced ice creams are also on the upswing, growing 27% and 42%, respectively.
4. Consumer picks to lick
Indulgent flavors appeal more to younger consumers, with Gen Zers and millennials favoring cookie dough and cheesecake ice creams. Women gravitate toward classics, including vanilla, strawberry and caramel, while men are less likely to find those traditional flavors appealing.