Let’s get one thing straight: vanilla is, by far, the most popular ice cream flavor in the U.S. According to Instacart data sent to The Takeout, vanilla accounts for 26.2% of all ice cream sales in this country. And that makes sense, because vanilla ice cream is delicious. But what kind of ice cream do Americans buy when we’re looking for something with a bit more zing? What’s our go-to adventurous ice cream? What ice cream flavor takes us out of the comfort zone and into the flavor zone? Let’s find out: in honor of National Ice Cream Month (July, apparently), Instacart mapped the nation’s second-favorite ice cream flavors.
“To celebrate the country’s affinity for ice cream,” explained a press release from the grocery delivery service, “we dipped into Instacart’s purchase data featuring thousands of different ice cream products to reveal each state’s favorite ice cream flavor.” (Excluding vanilla, for reasons explained above.) To do this, Instacart determined which ice cream flavor each state buys the most compared to the national average.
A few highlights: my current home state of Illinois chose Moose Tracks, which is apparently the top ice cream flavor in 12 states. I find this suspicious, maybe because I, personally, have never once purchased Moose Tracks ice cream. My preferences fall more in line with my native state, Missouri, where consumers rely on cookie dough ice cream to make it through the dog days of summer. Finally, according to the data, there’s a four-way tie for the second most popular ice cream flavor between Rocky Road, Green Tea, Coffee, and Birthday Cake.
Granted, this data is based solely on Instacart orders. I’d love to see some sort of study that contrasts Instacart orders with in-store purchases. Are grocery store-goers selecting entirely different flavors? Is Instacart in bed with the Moose Tracks Trade Association? Who knows. This data is meaningless. Happy National Ice Cream Month.