June 28 2024 11:44 AM

    Start July by celebrating National Ice Cream month with a frozen dairy treat.

    The dog days of summer have been rearing their ugly head as we have been experiencing hot, sultry temperatures across the country. Summer activities such as sports leagues, water sports, and seasonal jobs are in full swing. As Americans end our long days, we often times find an ice cream treat in our hand. It is, after all, a summer staple!

    Established in 1984, Ronald Reagan declared the month of July National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday in July became National Ice Cream Day. The idea behind this proclamation was to accentuate the nutritional benefits of dairy products and the idea of enjoying the nutritious treat with loved ones. Recently, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) teamed up with Morning Consult to survey Americans across the country on their love for ice cream.

    Known as a popular dessert option, ice cream accounts for nearly 30,000 jobs and contributes 11.4 billion dollars to the nation’s economy. Ice cream also creates the opportunity for some friendly debate. We all have opinions, especially when it comes to desserts. What’s the best flavor of ice cream? Do you prefer it served in a cone, waffle cone, or maybe even a dish? The survey conducted by the IDFA revealed some surprising answers, giving staple flavors such as vanilla and chocolate a run for their money.

    Top five flavors among the general American public were as follows:

    1. Vanilla
    2. Chocolate
    3. Strawberry
    4. Butter Pecan
    5. Cookie Dough

    It was also put into question on how Americans like their ice cream served. According to IDFA, sugar cones lost to waffle cones in a 12% to 29% battle, while 27% of consumers prefer to eat the frozen treat from a bowl.

    Not surprisingly, hot fudge won the topping race, with whipped cream following in close second. Purchasing considerations such as flavor, price, and size were contributors to the decision-making process. IDFA also asked survey correspondents where their favorite place was to enjoy the frozen dairy treat. The answer? It was at home. After all, there is no better way to end the day than by cooling off with an ice-cold bowl of ice cream.

    As we kick of National Ice Cream month, it is important to remember that whether we choose to consume our ice cream in a cone, bowl, or sandwich, we are supporting the dairy industry. It is also a great reason to round up friends and family and enjoy the precious time spent together as we continue to experience the summer heat.

    Jenna Byrne

    Jenna Byrne is an associate editor for Hoard’s Dairyman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2022, majoring in agricultural business with an emphasis in communications and marketing. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Neillsville, Wis.