National Ice Cream Month: Sales Soar as Americans Indulge in Sweet Treats During Pandemic Recovery

Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, a day to celebrate everyone’s favorite frozen treat. The day was established in 1984 by President Reagan, who proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, Americans consume an average of 20 pounds of ice cream per year, or about four gallons.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, ice cream sales saw a significant increase in 2020, with a 17% rise to $8 billion. However, sales declined by 6.7% in 2021 before rebounding with a 5% increase in 2022. Over the past 52 weeks, ice cream sales rose by 8% and exceeded $8.1 billion, but unit sales decreased by 3.2% due to inflation.

Ice cream enthusiasts are now spoiled for choice when it comes to flavors. Baskin Robbins, known for its 31 flavors, now offers over 1,400. Vanilla remains the favorite flavor, followed by chocolate and Neapolitan. The popularity of birthday cake-flavored ice cream is also on the rise.

Vanilla’s popularity extends to online purchases as well. It accounted for 30% of all ice cream purchases made through Instacart from June 2022 to May 2023 and was the favorite flavor in 21 states. Chocolate was the favorite in 15 states.

To celebrate National Ice Cream Day and National Ice Cream Month, several ice cream brands are offering special deals and discounts. Baskin-Robbins is offering $5 off purchases of $20 or more through various delivery platforms and its app. On July 31, guests can also enjoy 31% off all scoops in stores. Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream is offering discounted 6-packs and free samples at select locations. Carvel has a $5 discount on orders of $25 or more, and Cold Stone Creamery is surprising loyalty program members with offers in their app.

Dippin’ Dots is giving away free servings of their original beaded ice cream at participating locations, and DoorDash is offering discounts on ice cream bundles and various ice cream brands. Friendly’s is selling single scoop cones for 88 cents, and Happy Joe’s is offering 99-cent cones for a limited time. River Street Sweets and Salt & Straw are offering free samples and buy three, get one free deals, respectively.

Whether you prefer classic vanilla or adventurous flavors, there’s something for everyone this National Ice Cream Day. Treat yourself to a sweet and cold indulgence to beat the summer heat.