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Guess which is the favourite ice cream flavour

In a survey of ice cream and frozen dessert makers by the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) released this week, 92 percent of participating companies in the US named their favourite flavour to be...

india Updated: Jun 27, 2012 14:03 IST
Ice-cream
Ice-cream

When it comes to ice cream, it seems consumers are pretty vanilla.

That is, in a survey of ice cream and frozen dessert makers by the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) released this week, 92 percent of participating companies in the US named vanilla as the most popular flavor among consumers, followed by chocolate chip mint and cookies-and-cream.

Consumers are also treating themselves to the fancy stuff, as 70 percent of producers named premium lines as the most popular product. Premium ice cream is described as having a lower amount of aeration and higher fat content such as Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's.

The association is made up of 550 dairy companies, 67 percent of which export products around the world to Latin America, China, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. Data for the survey was compiled with the participation of 40 percent of members.

Meanwhile, 10 percent of companies named novelty products like ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks as their most popular products.

According to figures from the IICA, 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and other frozen desserts were produced last year -- a $10 billion business.

The report found that frozen yogurt is likewise becoming increasingly popular, as more than half or 52 percent of companies said that they're seeing rising demand for the healthier version of ice cream.

This year, the popularity of Greek yogurt -- a denser, thicker version -- has spilled over into the frozen foods section with brands like Ben & Jerry's, Stoneyfield and Yasso putting frozen yogurt on ice.

Fifteen percent of manufacturers surveyed said they're also seeing a rise in interest for no-sugar-added products.

Among ice cream ingredients, pecans topped the nut category, while strawberry remains the most popular fruit followed by cherry and raspberry.

While Western consumers may favor vanilla, in Peru an ice cream based on lucuma, a tropical South American fruit described as a mix of sweet potatoes, maple and caramel, is wildly popular. In Asia, flavors like red bean, black sesame and green tea are also common.

The survey comes in advance of National Ice Cream Month in July, a holiday created by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1984.