July 19, 2019

The Top 10 U.S. Cities for Ice Cream in 2019

Natasia Langfelder - Content Marketing Manager

Americans love to eat ice cream to cool down in the hot summer months. In fact, the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream a year and U.S. ice cream companies produce over 898 million gallons of ice cream a year. It’s no surprise that National Ice Cream Day has been a national holiday for over 30 years, when President Ronald Regan signed proclamation 5219 

To commemorate National Ice Cream Day, Infogroup utilized it’s verified database of more than 25 million records to determine the U.S. cities with the most ice cream parlors. This study compiled information on ice cream parlors in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). To get a definition of an MSA, we turned to the U.S. Census Bureau, which defines an MSA as a Core Based Statistical Area associated with at least one urban cluster that has a population of at least 50,000. This Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises the Central County or counties containing the core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic integration with the urban core. This study compiled information on ice cream parlors in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).  

The specific MSAs we looked at for this study, had a population of 500,000 or more. We ranked the cities by their concentration of ice cream-related businesses per 10,000 residents. 

Top Ten U.S. Cities for Ice Cream 

  1. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA  
  2. Portland-South Portland, ME  
  3. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL  
  4. Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA  
  5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT  
  6. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD  
  7. Pittsburgh, PA  
  8. Toledo, OH  
  9. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA  
  10. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA  

The Youngstown–Warren–Boardman metropolitan area, typically known as the Mahoning Valley or the Steel Valley, grabbed the first spot on our list. The Mahoning Valley is known as a big commuter hub, as well as the center of America’s rust belt. Those familiar with “Milkshake Marketing” will know that it’s not surprising for a big commuter city to have a high number of ice cream shops.  

In his book, Competing Against LuckHarvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen discusses how McDonald’s had to change their milkshake marketing strategy in order to succeed. When the fast-food chain dug into who was actually buying their milkshake, they discovered that their target demographic for milkshakes wasn’t children, it was adult commuters. McDonald’s was able to alter their product and their marketing strategy to better serve the early morning commuters who needed a sweet treat to get them excited for the workday. This success story not only proves that knowledge is power…it explains why a big commuter town might have a higher demand for ice cream than a popular tourist destination.  

 “Where is the market over-saturated? Where is the opportunity? Those are the questions we hope to help marketers and business owners answer as they look to grow their businesses,” said Rohit Chowdhury, chief data officer of Infogroup. “This data can be used to analyze trends in ice cream purchasing. Do you want to target tourists in a vacation destination, or do you want to target local families? Marketers need this information to better target their audience, personalize their messaging and run an effective campaign.”  

Want to see what else our data can do? Contact us to learn more.