When it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to beat the sweet stuff. And Americans have not gotten away from that notion during the coronavirus pandemic, with more people – sometimes by a 2-to-1 margin – reporting eating more sweets now than they used to.

But it’s not just a coronavirus-related boost CivicScience looked at in this wide-ranging study of sweets.

For instance, when it comes to ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s rule the freezer, with more than a quarter of Americans saying they like the brand “a lot.” Haagen-Dazs and Breyer’s aren’t too far behind, and the trio are clearly the leaders in brand love when it comes to this frozen treat.

When breaking down and simplifying the numbers, a few obvious trends pop out. For instance, across nearly all brands, it’s Gen Z and those over 55 years old that hold the most love for their ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s is the outlier here, with near-equal love among all age groups.

Gender is also notable, as women – across all brands – like their ice cream just a bit more than men.

Coronavirus Impact

Of course, as with every last thing in American culture these days, the coronavirus looms large. Ice cream is not immune.

CivicScience has been tracking Americans’ concern about being in public spaces since early April. Obviously, answers to that question have changed over the months, depending on numerous factors, notably geography. For purposes of this study, CivicScience has looked at the last 90 days, taking into consideration the peaks and valleys of the virus across the nation.

The result? Ben & Jerry’s fans are the most likely to say they’re concerned about being in public. And the flip side? People who dislike Ben & Jerry’s are the most likely to say they are not at all afraid to share public spaces.

Blue Bell ice cream – a Texas-based operation – claims the most fans who are completely fine with being in public spaces at any point over the last 90 days, and Haagen-Dazs trends a stitch below Ben & Jerry’s in both metrics.

Another aspect after dealing with months of coronavirus and quarantine is how much Americans have been snacking. Across all brands of ice cream in this study, anywhere from 24 to 27 percent of people who enjoy any individual brand report snacking on sweets more during the pandemic, whereas only 14 to 19 percent report eating less sweets. It’s certainly worth watching if these numbers hold through not only the summer, but through the hoped-for “return to normalcy” everyone craves.

Hungry for more? Drop by again on Monday, July 20 for insights into America’s favorite cookie brands.