New national poll for Ice Cream Month shows ice cream is among the top 3 ways Americans recapture those summer memories

BUFFALO, NY (July 1, 2022) – More than half of American adults long to feel like a kid again – and say Summer is the most nostalgic time of year to recapture those childhood feelings.

A new poll of 2,000 Americans for National Ice Cream Month (July) found that the average person feels like a kid again four times per week thanks to summer sentimentality, and favored pastimes such as eating ice cream, riding bikes and birthday parties.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with I Love Ice Cream Cakes, shows that over half of American adults (55%) long to feel like a kid again — so much so, they do many of the same summer activities they used to in childhood. What people miss most from childhood summers is playing outside (45%), family vacations (43%) and eating lots of ice cream (39%).

Overall, the average person said eating ice cream takes them back to their 10-year old selves. Over a third of people (36%) feel happy when eating ice cream, while 30% feel relaxed.

The time-honored summertime treat is favored by all, but when it comes to America’s favorite way to enjoy ice cream the majority prefer an ice cream cake (39%), followed by the traditional cone (37%), in a cup or milkshake (both at 36%), and in a banana split (35%).


Key Findings:

  • 55% of American adults long to feel like a kid again
  • 54% of American adults feel that summer is the most nostalgic time of the year
  • Activities people miss the most from childhood summers are playing outside (45%), family vacations (43%) and eating ice cream (39%)
  • Summer activities carried over from childhood to adulthood include eating ice cream (39%), spending long days by the pool (35%), and riding bikes (35%)
  • Parents looking to recreate their favorite summer memories with their own children opt for eating ice cream together (27%), going swimming (27%), having a barbecue (27%), and taking family vacations or road trips (27%)
  • Kids’ favorite way to cool off in the summer are eating ice cream (38%), drinking a cold beverage (36%), or jumping in a pool or lake (36%)

“Summertime desserts such as ice cream and ice cream cake are a shareable summer tradition that bridge the generational gaps,” said Kimberly O’Brien, spokesperson for I Love Ice Cream Cakes. “Our results show that eating ice cream in summer isn’t just for kids, but also for the kids at heart, and triggers many happy memories for adults.”


While more than half of Americans said that their ice cream and ice cream cake preferences have changed since childhood, both kids and adults favor the classics – chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

Chocolate comes in as the #1 choice (32%) by a narrow margin, with exception to baby boomers who were more than twice as likely to choose chocolate as compared to millennials.

Ice cream cake components were also a tight race. The legendary and beloved chocolate crunchies (42%) were a close second to the ice cream layers themselves (45%) followed by icing (38%).

When asked about the weirdest ice cream toppings they’ve ever tried, responses included avocado, green beans, bacon bits, sweet pickles, coffee grounds, beets and even squid ink.

Key Findings:

  • 62% of millennials have changed their ice cream or ice cream cake flavor preferences since childhood
  • Boys were more likely to choose coffee flavored ice cream than girls
  • Baby boomers opted for chocolate far more than millennials (41%vs.18%)
  • Adults favorite ice cream flavors as a child: chocolate (32%), vanilla (31%), strawberry (29%), peanut butter (22%), mint chocolate chip (22%)
  • Kids favorite ice cream flavors: chocolate (31%), vanilla (30%), chocolate chip (26%), strawberry (25%), cookie dough (23%)

When asked what they might be willing to do for a lifetime supply of ice cream cakes, respondents are willing to go to extreme lengths, with responses like shave my eyebrows, kiss a frog, travel over 5,000 miles, and give up cell phones, streaming services or social media for life.

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The random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. adults was commissioned by I Love Ice Cream Cakes between May 16-19, 2022 and conducted by market research company OnePoll.