And as the nation is set to tuck into 2.18 billion ice creams before September, a food scientist has finally unveiled the science behind Britons’ love for the soft stuff.
Working in partnership with online supermarket, Ocado, Gastro-physicist Józef Youssef claims a combination of physical and emotional factors make ice cream a ubiquitous treat.
Milk in ice cream contains a-Lactalbumin, a protein which contains more tryptophan than other proteins.
Ingestion of this protein can improve mood and cognition due to increased serotonin, and aid in dopamine production.
According to Józef, the soft texture of ice cream often coupled with surprising bursts of crunch, a firm mouth feel that slowly melts on the tongue, cold temperature and uniquely dense flavours observed in the average ice cream serve create the ‘ultimate taste experience.’
Happy memories of ice cream
Meanwhile the study of 2,000 adults found the top reasons for enjoying ice cream include looking for contentment (76 per cent), to feel like a kid again helping bring back happy memories (52 per cent) or invoking nostalgia (46 per cent).
Another 23 per cent remember being given ice cream to soothe a sore throat on a day off school, while for 39 per cent it was a treat reserved only for the most special occasions during their childhood years.
Following the findings, the online supermarket has launched a unique menu of ice cream servings scientifically designed and personalised to match a variety of moods and occasions.
Each of the 10 ice creams uses 63 ingredients from Ocado’s range to combine unexpected flavours, surprising textures and even scents – creating multi-sensory servings that can boost energy, aid relaxation, reduce stress or even help to improve gut health.
The intricate sundaes, cones and bowls will enable Brits to ‘mood match’ desserts to their individual desires.
Creations such as the ‘Maxin Relaxin’ combine sweet butterscotch ice cream with soothing camomile tea while the ‘Don’t be dis-grunt-led’ has Percy Pig ice cream topped with crunchy bacon.
The serve contains selenium, which can help prevent cell damage and improve mood by reducing inflammation, while the pumpkin seeds manage blood pressure.
And the ‘Ice Love You’ features romantic red and pink colours, designed to be enjoyed by ‘hopeless romantics’, as well as pomegranate, the seeds of which are associated with fertility.
Józef Youssef said: “Combining my wealth of expertise and flair for creativity with the breadth of products available really enabled us to devise a stand-out, innovative menu to suit all manner of moods.
“Ice cream is a food so many of us enjoy and indulge in for numerous reasons, so we purposely created pairings to ensure that each individual could choose an ice cream serve perfectly suited to them.”
Seven in 10 adults admit ice cream is still their favourite dessert, with 59 per cent saying it’s the one thing that turns their mood around when they’re feeling low.
This rings true even when eating out, with 57 per cent seeing ice cream as the perfect pudding to end a posh meal, and men slightly more likely to order an ice cream at a restaurant than women (58 per cent versus 56 per cent).
Laura Harricks from Ocado added: “Our research shows the extent of Brits’ long love affair with ice cream.
“It’s been great to team up with Jozef to create a unique menu of ice cream servings to suit the wide range of moods that we all experience - whether you’re hungover, need an energy boost or are feeling nostalgic. Across the ten servings there’s 63 ingredients, so there’s an Ocado just for you no matter what your favourite combination might be.”
BRITS’ TOP 10 FAVOURITE ICE CREAM FLAVOURS:
4. Mint Choc Chip
5. Caramel/Salted Caramel
6. Rum and Raisin
10. Cookies and Cream