The United States is unabashedly proud of its sweet tooth, especially when it comes to ice cream. Around the country, we’ve got the frozen treat in tons of different forms. From traditional scoops of vanilla and ice cream sandwiches made with cookies to other iterations, like ice cream rolls and mochi ice cream, it would seem like we’ve got it all when it comes to the beloved delight.
While we definitely consume our fair share of ice cream, a new annual report from consumer insights juggernaut Mintel reveals that the U.S. has some work to do when it comes to ice cream consumption. We’re not the country that consumes the most overall ice cream or even the country that consumes the most ice cream per capita, which is shocking considering how much of the stuff we go through every year.
Mintel’s research indicates that in terms of total tonnage, our country plowed through 2.7 billion total liters of ice cream in 2016. While we dwarfed the competition below us (Japan was next on the list at 756 million liters), China ate a whopping 1.6 billion more liters than we did to take the top spot. Considering China is the place that reportedly invented the dessert to begin with and has a leg up on America in total population, that makes sense.
However, in terms of how many scoops each person went through in 2016, we don’t even crack the top 3. Per capita, Norway takes the top spot at 9.8 liters per person, followed closely by Australia (9.4) and Sweden (8.9). Granted, if you take Mintel’s data for our total consumption and factor in the Census Bureau’s estimate of the United States population, we don’t fall too far behind at roughly 8.3 liters per person. But we’ve definitely got some catching up to do if we want to be the nation known for having the most love for ice cream.