Company Updates

Instacart Dips a Cone into Summer Ice Cream Flavors



Jul 9, 2024

As the summer heat rolls in, there’s one universal truth we all know: ice cream makes everything better. From backyard barbecues to festive family gatherings, a scoop of our favorite frozen treat can turn any day into a delight. With this in mind, we delved into our data from June to August 2023 to uncover the latest ice cream trends across the U.S. and Canada. Whether you’re a fan of classic flavors or adventurous scoops, here’s a frosty peek at America’s sweet tooth.

America Screams for Ice Cream

According to Instacart’s purchase data, these are the top ice cream flavors in North America:

  • Vanilla – This top ice cream flavor is a versatile superstar – perfect for serving à la mode, starring in a sundae or milkshake, and inspiring countless other delicious treats. In fact, 29% of Instacart orders included vanilla ice cream between June – August 2023.
  • Chocolate – Second to vanilla, chocolate ice cream never goes out of style, offering loads of indulgence for cacao lovers.
  • Cookies & Cream – Rounding out the Top 3, Cookies & Cream offers the vanilla base Americans love with the crunchy chocolate cookie goodness we crave. 

These top flavors are just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s explore the unique regional preferences scooped up on the daily.

Biggest (& Smallest) Scoopers

When it comes to ordering ice cream, some states have a more pronounced sweet tooth than others:

  • Vermont tops the charts, ordering 36% more ice cream than the national average.
  • Hawaii, on the other hand, craves ice cream a little less, ordering 28% less than the national average. Perhaps shave ice is more Hawaii’s jam!

Top Ice Cream Flavors by State

While Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cookies & Cream hold broad appeal across the nation, certain flavors have a more regional following.

  • Rocky Road reigns supreme across the entire western region. 
  • “It’s fascinating to see Rocky Road’s regional popularity in the West, likely fueled by its creation in California during the Great Depression, which gives it a strong regional connection. Additionally, its bold and diverse textures perfectly align with the adventurous spirit of the West.” – Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert 
  • Moose Tracks captures Midwestern hearts.
    • “Moose Tracks is another ice cream with strong regional roots, having been created in Michigan. The delectable mix of vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cups, and fudge perfectly matches the hearty food culture of the midwest.” – LR

Seasonal Sweetness

While most ice cream flavors have peak sales moments in the summer, there are a few favorites that spike during other times of the year. ⤵️

  • Vanilla – This top ice cream flavor saw a 66% increase in purchases around Thanksgiving, solidifying its status as a holiday dessert must-have.
  • Moose Tracks – Interestingly, Moose Tracks sees its peak in the last week of January, proving there’s nothing like a hearty bowl of ice cream to warm up those winter days!

A Cart to Cart

These top 10 food items are most often purchased with ice cream:

  • Frozen Desserts (galore!) – With ice cream bars, popsicles, and ice cream sandwiches all taking top spots, it’s clear that ice cream purchases inspire…well, more ice cream purchases. 
  • Root Beer – Coming in at #8 on the Top 10 list, this must mean Americans love to make root beer floats!

A Sweet Finish

With National Ice Cream Day coming up on July 21, we hope everyone takes a moment to enjoy some of their favorite ice cream flavors. Here’s to many more summer days filled with the perfect ice cream cone! 🍦



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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