The Top 10 Cities with the Most Ice Cream Shops Per Capita
For an abundance of ice cream choices, avoid tourist spots and head northeast.
The old expression is that “we all scream for ice cream,” but according to a recent analysis, depending on what city you live in, your screams could have a significantly better chance of being heard than in other parts of the country.
The data company Infogroup recently turned their analytical power to the world of frozen treats in an effort to determine the “Top Ten U.S. Cities for Ice Cream.” Digging through their database of “more than 15 million verified business records,” their team looked at metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of over 500,000 people (105 MSAs in all) to see which ones had the greatest concentration of ice cream parlors — including both large chains like Baskin Robbins and local standalone shops. In the end, it became clear which part of the country keeps more of these stores in business, and it certainly didn’t correlate to warm weather: All of the cities were in the Eastern Time Zone, with locations skewing heavily towards the Northeast in particular.
Here’s the entire list…
Top Ten U.S. Cities for Ice Cream (number of ice cream shops per 10,000 people)
- Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA (1.169)
- Portland-South Portland, ME (0.990)
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL (0.788)
- Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, PA (0.774)
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT (0.752)
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (0.741)
- Pittsburgh, PA (0.731)
- Toledo, OH (0.697)
- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA (0.696)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (0.688)
So how come warm-weather destinations like Orlando (#12), Honolulu (#18), and Las Vegas (#45) slipped down the list behind places like Youngstown, Ohio and the Mahoning Valley? Infogroup Chief Data Scientist Rohit Chowdhury said it was a sign the commuters are actually more likely to take a break for ice cream than tourists. “The Youngstown—Warren—Boardman metropolitan area, typically known as the Mahoning Valley or the Steel Valley, is not a top-ten tourist destination,” he told me, “but it is a big commuter hub. Commuters are eating more ice cream, more dependably, than tourists. That’s the kind of information marketers need in order to better target their audience and personalize their messages.”
Another important piece of information: I know you dreamed retiring to Boardman, Ohio, and opening a little ice cream parlor in your free time, but you may want to consider a place with a little less competition.