This Country Eats the Most Ice Cream in the World — And It’s Not the U.S.

published Jul 14, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Ice cream is loved around the globe and if you think the United States is the largest per capita consumer of the treat, it’s time to recalibrate your knowledge. According to an annual report from Mintel, the U.S. is neither the country that consumes the most ice cream nor the nation with the highest per capita intake.

Last year, the U.S. scarfed down 2.7 billion liters of ice cream. That’s a lot. But not when you consider China — the nation that invented the dessert — consumed 4.3 billion liters. It’s honestly not too surprising considering China’s population is 1.37 billion and the United States is home to 321 million people.

When you break it down by per capita rates — this factors in population and gives a more accurate representation of which country’s people are eating the most ice cream — the United States is still not a frontrunner. Or runner-up either. Norway ranks the highest with 9.8 liters per person, followed by Australia (9.4 liters/person) and Sweden (8.9 liters/person).

As for the country with the most growth potential, that’s India — the second most populated nation in the world. According to Mintel’s data, India’s ice cream market is expanding rapidly. And since the per capita intake is so low in the South Asian nation, it foreshadows the potential the nation’s ice cream market has if the per capita consumption were to rise. The case is similar in China, which has been seeing the fastest annual rise since 2013.