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America's trendiest ice cream may surprise you

TODAY logo TODAY 7/16/2018 Erica Chayes Wida
Woman holding melting ice cream cone © Getty Images stock Woman holding melting ice cream cone

We got the scoop on this summer's trendiest ice cream flavor ... and it's far from vanilla.

In honor of National Ice Cream Day this past Sunday and National Ice Cream Month (oh yes, it's still going all July), a software company conducted some studies on the delicious frozen dessert and the result is very surprising.

Just when it seemed that rainbow-colored foods were sizzling out in foods like bagels, burgers and drinks, it turns out they're not going anywhere.

In fact, unicorn ice cream is the hottest ice cream flavor of the summer, according to Square, a software company that helps businesses process sales. Square examined data from more than 50,000 ice cream sellers that use its technology and found that from January to June, unicorn ice cream jumped grew three times in popularity, a total of 191 percent.

Unicorn flavors ran rampant last year and even Starbucks created a sticky magenta Frappuccino that had baristas in a tizzy. Later that winter, Kellogg's came out with Unicorn cereal and who could forget the rainbow of dough that was unicorn bagels.

More than a year after the trend surged, however, it persists in ice cream shops like a sugar-induced fairytale. The large ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins even launched a "unicorn freak shake" for this past Sunday's food holiday.

The second fastest growing ice cream is vegan or non-dairy, which increased 153 percent from January to June, followed by matcha, which jumped 73 percent.

Despite the nation's quest to have a taste of fantasy, Square confirmed the way to this country's heart is through its stomach ... and with good ol' fashioned flavors.

The top five most ordered ice creams (based on dollars spent from January to June) are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and cookies 'n cream. And people prefer cones to cups — because, if you're going to indulge — do it right!. One year of ice cream sales from June 2017 to June 2018 proved that cones are 2 times more popular than cups.

While one might expect someplace with a hot climate would take the cake for most ice cream ordered, Square found that the states that consume the most ice cream are actually ones with more intense winters. The data was collected at "peak" ice cream season (April through June), according to a Square spokesperson.

In order of ice cream-obsessed, the states that eat the most are Oregon, Montana, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, Connecticut, Colorado, Alaska and California.

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