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July Rings In 'National Ice Cream Month'

Kelli Shiroma |
June 29, 2013 | 12:31 p.m. PDT

Food Editor

Whether it's served with a chewy cookie, in a cup or in a waffle cone, ice cream is celebrated during the entire month of July (Kelli Shiroma / Neon Tommy).
Whether it's served with a chewy cookie, in a cup or in a waffle cone, ice cream is celebrated during the entire month of July (Kelli Shiroma / Neon Tommy).
With the official start of summer being in June, it’s no wonder that July rings in “National Ice Cream Month.” The official “National Ice Cream Day” is July 21. 

U.S. President Ronald Reagan actually designated July as “National Ice Cream Month” back in 1984 and declared that the third Sunday of the month be “National Ice Cream Day,” according to the International Dairy Foods Association. With soaring summer temperatures, it seems that July would be an appropriate month to celebrate all things ice cream, as Reagan recognized the cold treat as one that was enjoyed by 90 percent of the nation’s population. Reagan stated ice cream was a “nutritious and wholesome food” that had a reputation as being the “perfect dessert." To commemorate “National Ice Cream Day,” he encouraged every American citizen to “observe these events [National Ice Cream Month and Day] with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Today, ice cream continues to be a popular treat … not only during the scorching summer months, but all year round. In 2010, the U.S. ice cream industry—comprising frozen yogurt, take-home ice cream and artisanal ice cream—generated a total revenue of $10 billion, according to research firm MarketLine. Take-home ice cream sales represented the largest section of the ice cream market for that year, generating almost 68 percent ($6.8 billion) of the market’s overall value. 

Want a bigger scoop of some ice cream history? Here are some fun facts about ice cream:

Vanilla is the best-selling ice cream flavor in the U.S., followed by chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip and butter pecan.

It takes about 50 licks to finish one scoop of ice cream. 

As of last year, some of the cities that ranked the highest in ice cream consumption included Long Beach, Calif.; Dallas, Texas and Philadelphia, Pa., according to The Huffington Post

It takes 12 pounds of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.

The U.S. is the No. 1 ice cream consumer (on average, 48 pints of ice cream per person annually) nationwide, with New Zealand coming in second.

The ice cream cone was created when a vendor ran out of ice cream cups to serve visitors during the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. Thinking quickly, he used rolled-up waffle cones from a neighboring vendor to serve the ice cream in … and revolutionized ice cream history. 

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