PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – “I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!” But what flavor do we want when we’re screaming for ice cream? National Ice Cream Day has been the third Sunday in July – that’s July 18, this year – since 1984. Thank you, President Ronald Reagan. The 40th president of the United States not only declared July National Ice Cream Month, he also put National Ice Cream Day on the calendar, and we will be forever grateful.

“Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States,” reads Reagan’s proclamation. “It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.” While that was in the ’80s, ice cream is still the perfect dessert, especially during the dog days of summer, which we’re smack in the middle of.

Favorite flavors

Let’s talk flavors. The basics – chocolate and vanilla, with regular appearances by the classic strawberry – are consistently among the most popular flavors. Chocolate and vanilla usually trade off for the top spot, depending on the poll.

Last year,’s survey of 20,000 people put chocolate squarely first, vanilla not too far behind in second, and strawberry a pretty distant third. But according to Instacart’s survey this year, that No. 1 position belongs to vanilla.

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“Because vanilla is hands down the most purchased ice cream flavor in every state — accounting for more than a quarter (26.2%) of all ice cream sales in the U.S. — we dug a little deeper to find out what people are buying when they step out of their vanilla comfort zone,” the food delivery company says.

Still, don’t count out chocolate. Instacart says 24 states “prefer ice cream with rich, chocolatey flavors.” The Grand Canyon State is among them. We like chocolate plus a little extra. According to Instacart’s data, Arizona’s favorite flavor is the timeless Rocky Road, which is chocolate ice cream with bit of marshmallow and chopped almonds or other nuts.

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Based on Instacart’s purchasing trends, Rocky Road is part of a four-way tie for America’s second most-popular ice cream flavor. It shares the honor with Green Tree, Coffee, and Birthday Cake. That’s not what we would have guessed, but people like what they like. Instacart came up with its list by looking at state sales and comparing them with the national average, and while most flavors appear more than once, three states scooped up something different. Instacart mapped it out, showing the 14 flavors U.S. shoppers favor.

That said, Instacart only looked at what we can buy in stores. Ice cream shops all over the country specialize in unique flavors. They’re always coming up with new scoops and we love it.

According to Yelp, cereal-inspired flavors are popular this year. Think Lucky Charms and Corn Flakes. On the fruit front, we know strawberry is a perennial favorite, but Yelp says its users are going for blueberry, raspberry, and raspberry-infused goodies. Caramel, crumble cookie, banana cream, and banana bread are also trending.

Novel Ice Cream

While looking at the top frozen treats in North America, Yelp came up with a list of the top 10 places to get frozen treats in Arizona. They looked at their ice cream and froze yogurt categories and then used factors like total volume and ratings of reviews to rank the businesses. Most are in the Phoenix area, but places in Tucson, Sedona, and Prescott made the list, too.

  1. Novel Ice Cream, Phoenix
  2. Scooptopia, Phoenix
  3. Dessert in the Desert, Scottsdale
  4. PussyCat Gelato, Scottsdale
  5. Soda Jerk, Phoenix
  6. Cucara Macara Ice Cream Shop, Phoenix
  7. HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery, Tucson
  8. Joe’s Italian Ice, Tempe
  9. Rocky RD Ice Cream, Sedona
  10. Fite & Sons Mercantile And Ice Cream, Prescott

Now, we have a question for you. 

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

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