Reported from ice cream shops and frozen food aisles in Boulder, Colorado.

Banana pudding, chocolate brownie, salted caramel, Cherry Garcia, Dr Pepper Float and dozens of other flavors filled the ice cream freezer at a local Safeway. Robin Sawyer, on a recent Sunday afternoon, was reaching for her favorite piece of dark chocolate with raspberry.

Her husband, Mark, 68, has long been a chocolate chip fan, but he doesn’t see it much anymore.

“Here it is!” Mrs. Sawyer, 66, told him, kneeling in front of the Haagen-Dazs section. “In the small container.” She then corrected herself: “Oh, that’s it. chocolate chocolate chips.”

Vanilla Chocolate chip ice cream, once a staple of the ice cream world and one of the best sellers of all time, has fallen out of favor. The flavor can still be found (a closer inspection of the Safeway aisle in this mountain college town revealed pints of Baskin Robbins Chocolate Chip), but it has been losing ground to flavors with more stuff, like cookies and cream and dough. for chocolate chip cookies.

Those two flavors are among the country’s top five sellers, according to the International Dairy Foods Association, while chocolate chip is no longer in the top 10. It is now sold only in select markets or at certain times of the year, according to major manufacturers. .

“Chocolate chip used to be a flavor we produced all the time,” said Caroline Crowley, communications specialist at Babcock Dairy Plant, which has 75 years of making ice cream under its belt, in Madison, Wisconsin. Chocolate chips haven’t been a staple for a decade, she said: “It’s seasonal now.”

That is, made only for summer. Even then, chocolate chips don’t sell as well. Last summer, it took Babcock four and a half months to sell the 110 gallons of chocolate chips he had made, compared to three months for the same amount of chocolate chip cookie dough. “It’s not fair,” Crowley said of the comparison. “We keep chocolate chip cookie dough in stock year-round,” giving it such an advantage that its popularity is “slowly gaining on vanilla.”