July 18 2022 08:00 AM

Do you know what month it is? National Ice Cream Month! Let’s celebrate accordingly.

Across the country, farmers have struggled through incredibly warm and humid summer days this year. With that said, we should all remember the best (edible) way to beat the heat – ice cream! July has been recognized as National Ice Cream Month since President Ronald Reagan passed this law in 1984. Additionally, National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of July. This is one of the most exciting months, in my opinion, following June Dairy Month, and we get to have the two back-to-back!

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the average American eats roughly 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about 4 gallons. In 2021, ice cream makers in the U.S. created more than 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream. That utilizes a lot of milk!

If you are currently involved in Dairy Quiz Bowl or were previously, you know all too well this question: What is the most consumed ice cream flavor in the U.S.? I believe for as long as this question has been asked, the answer has always been vanilla. This flavor is a classic that is found worldwide. Not all ice cream brands make “moose tracks,” for example, but all of them provide vanilla.

When you do a simple Google search about this question like I just did, there are mixed reviews. In the last couple of years, many publications wrote about chocolate being the number one flavor, and sometimes other flavors such as cookies and cream and strawberry also make this claim to fame.

Could this possibly be true? Could other flavors have risen above the long-standing winner, vanilla? I think this is challenging to track. There are so many brands, tons of ice cream sold in the United States, and so many forms of ice cream (including one of my favorites, Culver’s custard)!

What flavor do you like best? Which one do you think is actually consumed the most? The jury might be out on this one for a very long time. No matter what, mint chocolate chip will forever have a top place in my heart.

Mikayla Peper

Mikayla grew up near Osceola, Wis. She discovered her passion for the dairy industry while working on her neighbors’ Holstein dairy farm. That spurred her involvement in 4-H and FFA, and following graduation from Osceola High School, she headed to the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in agricultural communication and marketing. During the school year, she worked as a website designer for the University of Minnesota department of animal science, and last summer, she was a farmer relations intern for Midwest Dairy. Peper is serving as the 2022 Hoard’s Dairyman editorial intern.