MELVILLE, N.Y. — More than two-thirds of respondents consider taste the No. 1 driver of ice cream purchases. That was one of several findings from Comax Flavors, working alongside Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite LLC, as part of its study on ice cream products.

The study examined the growing activity in plant-based ice cream, as well as consumers’ behavior, usage and attitude toward both dairy and plant-based ice cream products.

Seventy per cent of respondents who consume ice cream said taste is the most important attribute driving purchases. Half or more said they look for milk, cream or sugar in their ice cream.

Vanilla/vanilla combinations were the No. 1 flavor category across all age groups. Chocolate/chocolate combinations and strawberry/strawberry combinations were the second and third most popular flavor category, respectively.

Half of respondents’ ice cream habits change depending on the season, and 80% said they consume ice cream during the spring and summer.

Ice cream noveltiesNearly all respondents who consume plant-based ice cream cited plant-based as the primary attribute driving purchases. A little over half of respondents look for fruit, almond, protein and coconut ingredients.

Three-quarters of respondents cited health and wellness as their primary reason for consuming plant-based ice cream, while more than half cited taste, and a third cited environmental sustainability. Chocolate/Chocolate combinations were identified as the most popular plant-based ice cream flavor among all generations. Vanilla/vanilla combinations were the second most popular flavor category, and strawberry/strawberry combinations ranked third. More than three-quarters of respondents said they consume plant-based alcohol infused ice cream.

The Ice Cream and Plant-Based Ice Cream study was fielded in the United States in January 2019 with 1,000 respondents age 18 and older. It is the 14th study completed by the company’s primary market research program.