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In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90% of the nation's population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Far more than just a delicious dessert, ice cream impacts America’s economy at large. “According to The International Ice Cream Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generates billions in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens,” notes Ellen Schack, founder and CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream*. “They report that about 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation's dairy industry.”
If that wet your whistle for more ice cream intel, consider the below cool facts, figures and trends about America’s favorite frozen confection.
Did you know?...
• Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.
• The Northern Central states have the highest per capita consumption of ice cream at 41.7 quarts.
• More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
• Ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90 percent of households in the United States. (Source: Mintel)
• Ice cream consumption is highest during July and August.
• In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
• The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%). (Source: The NPD Group's National Eating Trends In-Home Database)
• Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.
• The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50.
The History of Ice Cream and the Cone:
The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C.
• The first official account of ice cream in America was recorded in 1700 from a letter written by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen.
• In 1812, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison's second inaugural banquet at the White House.
• The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800's, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
• Stephen Sullivan of Sullivan, Missouri was one of the first independent operators in the ice cream cone business. In 1906, Sullivan served ice cream cones at the Modern Woodmen of America Frisco Log Rolling in Sullivan, Missouri.
Sources: International Ice Cream Association, a constituent organization of the International Dairy Foods Association (www.idfa.org)
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