Trace One | The Most Popular Ice Cream Brand in Every State

The Most Popular Ice Cream Brand in Every State

| Product Lifecycle Management | Food & Beverage | Blogs
Posted By: Federico Fontanella, PMP

With summer just around the corner, temperatures are rising and more Americans are beginning to think about how they’ll beat the heat. And there are few ways to cool off more enjoyable than that classic sweet, frosty treat: ice cream.

Ice cream is ubiquitous in the U.S., enjoyed by nearly 90% of Americans, according to the Simmons National Consumer Survey. Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually—enough for the typical American to eat roughly 20 pounds per year. And the bulk of all this ice cream production and consumption takes place in the warmest months of the year.

America's Seasonal Taste for Ice Cream

Interest in ice cream in the U.S. is highly seasonal, usually peaking in July

Source: Trace One analysis of Google Trends data

According to Google Trends data, search interest for ice cream—ice cream-related searches as a proportion of total searches—is highly seasonal, with major spikes taking place during warmer months and usually hitting a peak in July. But year-round search interest has also increased in recent years, despite the U.S. ice cream market growing roughly at the same pace as the overall economy. One reason for this growth in search volume may be that consumers today have more options than ever to enjoy as a greater variety of products enter the market. Whether it’s premium ingredients, non-dairy options, organic and sustainable dairy, or just new novelties, ice cream lovers have far more options to explore today than in years past.

Top Ice Cream-Related Searches

Americans seek out both local and national brands

Source: Trace One analysis of Google Trends data

Consumers find ways to enjoy ice cream both at home and out at their favored local ice cream shops, parlors, and creameries. In fact, many leading national ice cream brands are decades old—or older—and got their start as small, local operations. Brands like Tillamook in Oregon, Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, and Blue Bell in Texas are all still closely associated with the locations where they originated, even as their distribution has expanded nationwide. However, because most of these national producers do not have a large number of their own stores, the market for ice cream leaves plenty of room for local shops to help consumers get their fix.


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Top National Ice Cream Brands by State

Blue Bell is the most searched national ice cream brand in 22 states

Source: Trace One analysis of Google Trends data

Across the U.S., one ice cream brand stands out for its national appeal: Blue Bell. Although the Texas-based company did not expand beyond its home state until the 1980s, Blue Bell has become one of the top brands in the U.S. in the decades since. Out of the most popular national brands, Blue Bell is the most-searched in 22 states, mostly in the South and Midwest. This is more than the next two most-searched brands, Baskin-Robbins (9) and Tillamook (8), combined. 

While Baskin-Robbins finds popularity in select areas of the West and Midwest, Tillamook's appeal is concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, near its Oregon headquarters. Ben & Jerry's, headquartered in Burlington, VT, holds the honor of the most searched national ice cream brand across all six New England states. Similarly, Breyers, based in New Jersey, leads in popularity in its home state and New York, while Turkey Hill, located in Pennsylvania, is the top national brand in both Pennsylvania and Delaware.

When considering local and regional brands, 38 states demonstrate a preference for brands that are most popular in just one state. For example, Van Leeuwen—which began as an ice cream truck in New York City—is the most popular brand in the state of New York only, just as H-E-B—headquartered in San Antonio—is the most popular brand in Texas and no other state. 

However, there are four regional brands that earn the most popular distinction across multiple states. Bruster’s and Andy’s Frozen Custard are popular in several southern states, Graeter’s leads the Ohio Valley region, and Braum's is most popular in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Below is a breakdown of the most popular national and regional ice cream brands in all 50 states. The analysis was conducted by Trace One—a company specializing in software for CPG retailers and manufacturers—using data from Google Trends. For more information, see the methodology section.


To identify the most popular ice cream brands in every state, researchers at Trace One analyzed Google Trends data for the 12-month period ending in April of 2024. The most popular national brand in each state was selected from a list of the top-searched brands nationally, including (in alphabetical order): Baskin-Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, Blue Bell, Breyers, Häagen-Dazs, Halo Top, Talenti, Tillamook, and Turkey Hill. The top national brand in each state represents that which accounted for the largest share of total Google searches relative to the other national brands. The top regional brand in each state represents the most searched-for regional or local brand over the same time period. In the event of ties, the brand with the greater proportion of searches over a two-year period was selected.