One of Texas’ most beloved brands, Blue Bell Ice Cream, recently emerged from a recall of its products due to a multistate listeria outbreak tied to the ice cream. How do Texans feel about the Brenham-based company in the wake of the outbreak? The Texas Pulse surveyed residents of the Lone Star State about whether they would buy Blue Bell now that it is back in the freezers at their local stores. Overall, almost half (49%) of poll respondents said they were very likely to buy Blue Bell, and a further 20% said they were somewhat likely.
This feeling is strongest among conservative respondents, with 57% very likely and 19% somewhat likely, for a total of 76% likely to purchase Blue Bell, compared to liberal respondents who were 34% very likely and 24% somewhat likely, for a total of 58% likely. There is no evidence that Blue Bell somehow tastes better to conservatives – otherwise it would probably be called Red Bell – but there are slight cultural differences among Texans related to their consumption of the state’s most famous homegrown dairy product.
Blue Bell is more popular among whites (70%) and Hispanics (67%) than among African-Americans (62%). Men (70%) are slightly more likely than women (67%) to crave Blue Bell, though the study did not specifically ask pregnant women, who might be more likely to answer yes. Parents with children at home were more likely (71%) than those without them (68%) to buy Blue Bell. Texans making over $200,000 were among the least likely to buy Blue Bell, though still well over a majority at 59%. The poll did not ask whether respondents were on a diet, and the lack of this crucial information may be responsible for disparities in the poll responses.