Chocolate or Vanilla? Cup or Cone? And What About Hot Fudge?

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – August 14, 2013 – The decision is a very hard one. Should you go traditional or a little more ‘out there’? And, you know it’s hot and all you want is that nice cold treat. But now, which flavor are you going to go with? Well, if you want to follow what other Americans do, chocolate is the way to go, as over one-quarter (27%) say it is one of their two favorite ice cream flavors, followed by vanilla (23%) and cookie dough/cookies and cream (22%).

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,242 adults surveyed online between July 17 and 22, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

    For one in five Americans, butter pecan/Swiss almond is tops (19%), as is mint chocolate chip (19%), followed by strawberry (14%), rocky road (12%) and peanut butter (10%). Less than one in ten U.S. adults say one of their two favorite flavors is coffee (9%), cherry vanilla (8%), pistachio (7%), black raspberry (6%), a seasonal flavor such as eggnog or pumpkin (5%) or peach (3%). One in ten (10%) have a different favorite flavor, and 2% say they do not eat ice cream.

    There is a little bit of gender divide when it comes to favorite flavor. For women, chocolate is on top (29%), followed by mint chocolate chip (23%) and cookie dough/cookies and cream (22%). For men, vanilla is the narrow favorite (27%), then chocolate (26%) and cookie dough/cookies and cream (21%).

    How do you want that?

    Now, once the flavor is chosen, the decision doesn’t end there. How should you actually eat the ice cream? More than two in five Americans (45%) say their favorite way to eat ice cream is in a cup, followed by cone (31%), sundae (16%), and sandwich (4%) while 5% say their favorite way to eat ice cream is something else – maybe in a cake? Men are more likely than women to prefer cups (49% versus 42%) and sundaes (17% versus 14%). Women, however, are more likely to say their favorite way to eat ice cream is in a cone (36% versus 25%).

    And, any toppings?

    So the flavor is chosen and the how you are going to eat the ice cream is set. Now there is one more major decision to make. Are you in the mood for something crunchy, or maybe something warm? Maybe there’s a choice for something a little ‘healthy,’ or even pure decadence? Ah, what topping should you have on that ice cream?

    Over half of Americans (53%) say hot fudge is among their favorite toppings for ice cream, followed by two in five who say nuts (41%). Just under two in five say whipped cream is among their favorite toppings (39%), while 38% say caramel. Three in ten say their favorite is fruit, such as strawberries or bananas (31%), while one in five choose sprinkles (20%), followed by 17% who go for candy bits and one in ten who say marshmallow (11%). There are some purists out there, as 16% say they prefer their ice cream plain.

     

     

    TABLE 1

    FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR

    What would you say your favorite two ice cream flavors are?

    Base: All U.S. adults

    Total 2009

    Total 2011

    Total

    2013

    Region

    Gender

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Chocolate

    27

    28

    27

    26

    31

    30

    21

    26

    29

    Vanilla

    22

    26

    23

    22

    21

    27

    20

    27

    19

    Cookie Dough/ Cookies and cream

    22

    22

    22

    17

    26

    22

    21

    21

    22

    Mint Chocolate Chip

    17

    15

    19

    20

    19

    17

    21

    15

    23

    Butter Pecan/ Swiss Almond

    20

    19

    19

    15

    19

    21

    19

    17

    21

    Strawberry

    13

    12

    14

    12

    15

    14

    12

    16

    11

    Rocky Road

    14

    11

    12

    10

    13

    12

    13

    11

    13

    Peanut Butter

    8

    8

    10

    9

    13

    9

    8

    10

    10

    Coffee

    9

    9

    9

    11

    7

    9

    9

    9

    9

    Cherry Vanilla

    9

    7

    8

    10

    4

    8

    11

    10

    6

    Pistachio

    8

    7

    7

    11

    3

    6

    10

    7

    7

    Black Raspberry

    6

    6

    6

    9

    5

    4

    8

    7

    5

    Seasonal, such as pumpkin or eggnog

    2

    4

    5

    8

    4

    4

    4

    5

    5

    Peach

    4

    5

    3

    3

    2

    4

    4

    3

    4

    Other

    9

    13

    10

    10

    10

    8

    13

    9

    10

    Do not eat ice cream

    3

    3

    2

    4

    2

    1

    2

    2

    2

    Note: Up to two responses accepted

    TABLE 2

    FAVORITE WAY TO EAT ICE CREAM

    What is your favorite way to eat ice cream?

    Base: Eats ice cream

    Total

    2009

    Total

    2011

    Total

    2013

    Gender

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Cup

    45

    44

    45

    49

    42

    Cone

    29

    30

    31

    25

    36

    Sundae

    18

    16

    16

    17

    14

    Sandwich

    2

    2

    4

    4

    3

    Other

    6

    7

    5

    5

    4

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


    TABLE 3

    FAVORITE TOPPING

    What are your favorite ice cream toppings?

    Base: Eats ice creams

    Total

    2009

    Total 2011

    Total

    2013

    Generation

    Echo

    Boomers

    (18-36)

    Gen X

    (37-48)

    Baby

    Boomers

    (49-67)

    Matures

    (68+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Hot fudge

    57

    52

    53

    54

    55

    51

    54

    Nuts

    43

    38

    41

    37

    48

    41

    39

    Whipped Cream

    40

    36

    39

    45

    39

    37

    32

    Caramel

    35

    38

    38

    39

    43

    34

    37

    Fruit (Strawberries, bananas, etc.)

    31

    31

    31

    32

    36

    29

    26

    Sprinkles

    18

    19

    20

    32

    24

    12

    8

    Candy bits

    13

    15

    17

    34

    14

    9

    5

    Marshmallow

    12

    11

    11

    13

    13

    9

    9

    Other

    4

    5

    5

    6

    4

    4

    4

    None- I prefer to eat my ice cream plain

    16

    19

    16

    10

    11

    21

    21

    Note: Multiple responses accepted

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between July 17 to 22, 2013 among 2,242 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

     

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J43564

    Q906, 910, 915

     

    The Harris Poll® #53, August 14, 2013

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

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