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CHICAGO -- Mintel has released new findings about three of the hottest food and drink markets: ice cream, coffeehouses and alcoholic beverages.
 
Flavor wars: Men and women want different things from (ice cream) relationships
 
Mintel found that seven in 10 men prefer plain ice cream flavors, like chocolate or vanilla, while 74 percent of women seek out those containing chocolate or candy bits. Still, each gender seems to enjoy the other's taste preferences: 66 percent of women say they also look for plain ice cream, and 63 percent of men go for jazzed-up flavors too.
 
Fruit flavors don't bode well for either male or female ice cream-eaters. Less than one in three respondents told Mintel they look for fruit-flavored ice cream.
 
Coffee dilemma: Americans' torn between Starbucks and independents; plain and fancy drinks
 
Mintel's latest survey shows people firmly split between the coffee conglomerate and the shop next door. One in five respondents say Starbucks is their favorite, but another one in five choose an independent.
 
America remains equally undecided on its preferred coffeehouse drink. Coffee with milk or cream leads in popularity - 30 percent of respondents say they drink it most often - but black coffee, lattes, cappuccino and iced coffees all enjoy near identical favor among respondents.
 
Toasting basics: Beer the favored alcoholic beverage at restaurants, bars, home
 
According to Mintel's latest survey, 46 percent of adults report drinking beer at home, 26 percent reported drinking beer in bars and 27 percent reported drinking beer in restaurants, more than any other alcoholic beverage. Wine is a close second at home and restaurants, while cocktails are the second most common choice at bars.
 
Mintel found people are loyal to one or just a few different alcoholic beverage brands. Seventy percent of respondents agreed, "when it comes to alcoholic beverages, I like to stick with what I know."

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