Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
August 30, 2023
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream

Few things say summer quite like a cold, creamy ice cream. And most consumers love the sweet treat, with the average American eating around 20 pounds of it a year. The country’s culinary landscape offers ice cream lovers seemingly endless options for frozen desserts, from mall chains like Baskin-Robbins to small artisanal shops like Salt & Straw, and everything in between. With the last licks of summer upon us, we take a closer look at some of the most popular ice cream chains across the country. 

Peaks and Valleys

Perhaps unsurprisingly, visits to ice cream chains rise in the spring and summer and drop in the fall and winter. But with the exception of COVID-impacted 2020 and 2021, visits don’t peak during the hottest month of the year – comparing monthly visits to a January 2018 baseline reveals that visits in 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023 (so far) were highest in May. This may indicate that consumers are most drawn to ice cream chains in late spring and early summer, as the weather heats up and the sweet treat still feels like a novelty.

Regional Sweet Treats

Analyzing the statewide visit share for the ice cream sector – excluding chains such as Dairy Queen, Braum’s, Friendly’s, and Culver’s, which also offer on-site restaurants – reveals distinct patterns. For example, Pennsylvania native Rita’s Italian Ice is most popular in Pennsylvania and neighboring Maryland, while Salt & Straw is most popular in Oregon. And Vermont residents are loyal to their home team of Ben & Jerry’s

Major Scoopers

Four of the major players in the ice cream segment – Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Rita’s Italian Ice, and Carvel Ice Cream –  saw elevated foot traffic over most months analyzed on a year-over-year (YoY) basis. This may indicate consumers’ current willingness to splurge on affordable treats that won’t break the bank. 

One chain in particular is having a strong 2023 – Rita’s Italian Ice. The East Coast chain, which is now expanding into the Midwest, also launched its first ever iced coffee drink in April, driving a YoY foot traffic spike of 39.6%.

Artisanal Shops 

Ice cream fans can also find artisan chains across the country, offering up unique flavor combinations and high quality products. Salt & Straw, a Portland native, serves up a Pear and Blue Cheese ice cream alongside more classic offerings such as Salted Caramel or Honey Lavender. Van Leeuwen offers more traditional ice creams with an emphasis on quality, and Jeni’s, originating in Columbus, Ohio, serves ice creams that utilize local ingredients as much as possible. 

And the psychographic data for the three chains shows that their visitors are indeed more likely to be discerning diners who appreciate their specialty approach. Trade Area Analysis using the AGS: Behavior & Attitudes and Demographic Dimensions datasets reveals that visitors to Salt & Straw, Van Leeuwen, and Jeni’s over-index (compared to a nationwide average is 100) for the “Nutritionally Aware” and “Fast Food Avoiders” segments. Visitors to these chains also tended to appreciate organic food and were more adventurous than the average consumer. 

Last Licks Of Summer

Ice cream remains a summer classic, a cold treat with widespread appeal to all. From artisanal brands to chains with thousands of locations, there’s something for everyone. 

Follow the latest data-driven retail data at placer.ai/blog.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Ice Cream
Text Link
Baskin-Robbins
Text Link
Dairy Queen
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023
Blockbusters Drive Movie Theater Comeback
Crocs and Boot Barn: Shoe-Ins for Success
McDonald’s and Chipotle's Winning Recipe
The State Of Steak: Checking in With Texas Roadhouse
Pleasant Pastimes: Pickleball Potential Proves Potent
Who’s Driving Downtown Manhattan’s Weekend Revival?
Diving into Downtown Manhattan Foot Traffic Trends
Rite Aid: Rightsizing Right
Major League Soccer: Its Die-Hard and Casual Fans
The Anchor Recap: September 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: September 2023 Recap
Placer Mall Index Recap: September 2023
September White Paper Recap
The Consumer Habits of College Students
JCPenney: Rightsizing and Revitalizing
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream