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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

NI’s favourite ice cream flavours of 2023 revealed by Morelli’s Ice Cream

Ice cream on display in counter


With winter on the horizon, Morelli’s Ice Cream, the oldest ice cream producer in Ireland, has reflected on the summer and is revealing Northern Ireland's most-loved ice cream flavours.


Morelli’s Ice Cream, which boasts the biggest selection of stores in Northern Ireland with 33 hotspots in County Antrim, including Morelli’s at Mandy’s in Broughshane and Culbertson’s Spar in Galgorm, has unveiled the county’s most popular ice cream flavour of summer 2023.


Locally, the people of Ballymena and across County Antrim stand with the majority of Northern Ireland's sweet-treat fanatics who enjoy the classic comfort of Double Cream Vanilla, and have declared it as their champion flavour for 2023.

Morelli’s ice cream counter


2023 sales data from Morelli’s Ice Cream shows:


  • Double Cream Vanilla is the most popular flavour in Ballymena and across County Antrim, followed by Honeycomb in second place and Mint Choc Chip in third

  • Double Cream Vanilla is Northern Ireland’s favourite flavour, followed by Honeycomb

  • Newer flavours have entered the bestseller charts this year, led by the candyfloss-flavoured Unicorn

  • Ice cream preferences have a generational divide as Gen Z and millennials opt for large tubs, while pensioners prefer pokes

  • More ice cream is sold in Portrush and Portstewart than anywhere else in Northern Ireland

  • The most popular day for an ice cream is Sunday


A nation of traditionalists

Double Cream Vanilla remains the nation’s sweetheart as it continues to hold the title of Northern Ireland’s top ice cream flavour. The old favourite is followed closely by Honeycomb, with both flavours accounting for 50% of Morelli’s total sales across Northern Ireland.


The weird and wonderful

Morelli’s candyfloss-flavoured ice cream, Unicorn, has edged Bubblegum out of the top ten best-selling flavours of the year. Unicorn’s sweetness, mixed with its vibrant colours, has resulted in the flavour becoming a firm favourite this summer. 


Summer’ 23 was a season of new flavours, which proved popular with Northern Ireland’s ice cream connoisseurs. Morelli’s launched several new flavours, including Butterscotch and Cheeky Monkey (Chocolate Ice Cream with a Banana Ripple). One of its newest flavours, Toffee Popcorn, piqued the interests of many ice cream fans, with sales increasing by 12% of the later part of the summer.


Location, location, location

In four counties, Double Cream Vanilla tops the bestseller charts. This differs in Armagh and Derry-Londonderry, where Honeycomb is the bestseller. Derry-Londonderry’s tastes differ from the rest of the country when it comes to the top three flavours; it’s the only place where chocolate isn’t in the top three bestselling flavours. The maiden city prefers Raspberry Ripple.


There is one thing everyone in Northern Ireland does agree on, and that’s that Sundays are for scoops. A high percentage of Morelli’s sales take place on a Sunday, more than any other day of the week.


When it comes to where the most ice cream in Northern Ireland is purchased, there’s one clear winner. The North Coast has every other part of the country licked, as 30% of Morelli’s sales take place in Portrush and Portstewart.


How do you take yours?

The famous tub and cone debate can be put to bed for another year, as Morelli’s reveals that tubs account for 60% of its ice cream sales in 2023, ahead of cones at 40%. A generational divide is also emerging, with the majority of cone sales coming from pensioners, whilst people aged between 18-45 preferred tubs and larger servings.

Daniela Morelli-Kerr from Morelli’s Ice Cream

Daniela Morelli-Kerr from Morelli’s Ice Cream

Commenting on this year’s ice cream trends, Daniela Morelli-Kerr from Morelli’s Ice Cream said:


“While traditional flavours like Vanilla and Honeycomb remain popular in Antrim, we’re seeing a real shift towards more modern flavours like Unicorn and Toffee-Popcorn. We believe this is being driven by social media trends and a desire for ice cream that not only tastes good but looks good too.


“There are many highlights of working in ice cream production, but a highlight for the Morelli’s team is the opportunity to create these weird and wonderful new flavours. While it’s these flavours that grab the headlines in the ice cream world, our sales data shows that we still have a soft spot for traditional flavours that are being enjoyed in tubs and cones across the country, mostly on a Sunday!”


The sales figures have been released by Morelli’s Ice Cream following a successful year for the company, expanding into Sainsbury’s, winning two 3-star Great Taste Awards and a gold Irish Quality Food and Drink award for its Dunnes Stores range. The brand also collaborated with Hartley’s Jelly at the start of summer 23’ with a hamper competition.


Speaking on the company’s recent successes, which include winning contracts, awards and accolades from the food industry in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK, Daniela added:

“2023 has been a great year for Morelli’s Ice Cream. From securing a deal with Sainsbury’s stores across Northern Ireland, to winning two 3-star Great Taste Awards – it’s safe to say we are thrilled with our progress this year and we’re grateful to our customers for their continued support.”


Morelli’s top 10 bestselling flavours of summer 2023:


  1. Double Cream Vanilla

  2. Honeycomb

  3. Chocolate

  4. Mint & Chocolate Chip

  5. Raspberry Ripple

  6. Belgian Chocolate Chip

  7. Unicorn

  8. Oreos & Cream

  9. Sea Salty Caramel

  10. Strawberry


Morelli’s bestselling ice cream toppings of summer 2023:


  1. Chocolate sprinkles

  2. Rainbow sprinkles

  3. Oreo Biscuit

  4. Lotus Crumb

  5. Mini Marshmallows


Morelli’s bestselling ice cream flavours of summer 2023 by county:


County Antrim:

  1. Double Cream Vanilla

  2. Honeycomb

  3. Mint Choc Chip


County Armagh:

  1. Honeycomb

  2. Double Cream Vanilla

  3. Mint & Choc Chip


County Down:

  1. Double Cream Vanilla

  2. Honeycomb

  3. Belgian Chocolate


County Fermanagh:

  1. Double Cream Vanilla

  2. Honeycomb

  3. Chocolate


County L/Derry:

  1. Honeycomb

  2. Double Cream Vanilla

  3. Raspberry Ripple


County Tyrone:

  1. Double Cream Vanilla

  2. Honeycomb

  3. Chocolate


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