25 Best Snow Cone Flavors Ranked

The American snow cone can be traced back to as early as the 1850s in Baltimore, Maryland, where it was rumored that during the hot summer months, kids would follow around ice delivery wagons to see if they could score ice chips to cool off (via Hawaiian Shaved Ice). The invention of an ice crushing machine in Texas in the 1920s began to see a rise in interest in this super simple dessert. But it wasn't until 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, that the first electric ice shaver was invented in New Orleans. This made snow cones an affordable treat for individuals that were seeking a bit of normalcy during an otherwise turbulent time. 

This summertime treat consists of finely crushed or shaved ice that's served in a vessel of some sort and topped with at least one sugary syrup. Universally, it's known as a snow cone, but it goes by different guises depending on where you're at in the world. According to United Planet, it's called a snoball in New Orleans and halo-halo in the Philippines. The Japanese have kakigori, which was originally reserved for royalty during the Heian Period (via Star Advertiser), and in Hawaii, it's shave ice (there is no D, as noted by Happy Shave Ice). 

Though the original egg custard isn't a fan favorite anymore, there are still a few popular flavors that you'll find no matter where you go, and here they are — the top 25 best snow cone flavors ranked.

25. Tutti Frutti

If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear tutti frutti is either a song by Little Richard or the pink, rainbow-speckled Jelly Belly, you're not alone. But unlike the jelly bean, this flavor doesn't taste like bubblegum. (It's also not musical, because, you know, it's a food item ... but it might make you break into a little dance when you try it.) With some snow cone purveyors stating that it tastes like mixed fruit (via Snowball Supply), others (like Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone) claim that it tastes more like a mixture of fruits and berries. Whatever the case, its flavor profile is a little sweet and a little tart, and incredibly refreshing.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice says that it's one of the more requested flavors and does well with the ice cream crowd, while the tourist blog Only in Arkansas likens it to eating fresh fruit at a farmers market farm stand. While it's hard to imagine a snow cone syrup tasting like farm-fresh produce, tutti frutti is undoubtedly one of those strangely refreshing flavors that will always somehow slide its way in with the popular flavors. Why? Because everyone loves tutti frutti, that's why. (Even if they don't admit it.)

24. Bubblegum

It could be a demographic thing because sweet, pink bubble gum seems to be a flavor more synonymous with childhood (and cutting gum out of your hair after you blew that huge bubble in the fifth grade). Statista reports that this "pink flavored" gum seems to be more of an age-related thing.

But somehow, when it comes to snow cones, bubble gum is available in not only one, but two varieties — blue and pink. It doesn't even go with any other syrup flavor, and yet, SnoWizard says that it ranked seventh as a national bestseller in 2021, and Snowie ranks it in the top 20.

If it's truly a taste that the younger generation enjoys, it kind of makes you wonder why more kids aren't interested in this flavor as a snow cone. Let's think about that for a second. You chew on bubble gum, and then spit it out once it loses its flavor, right? (You don't want it sitting in your stomach for seven years ... which actually isn't true, as noted by Insider). Bubble gum isn't something you drink. So when your snow cone melts, you're left with liquid that tastes like gum. Liquid bubble gum. Just chew on that for a second. What does liquid bubble gum remind you of? Pepto-Bismol? Yeah, no, thanks.

23. Passion fruit

In its fresh form, the passion fruit is less than appealing to look at (and eat). While it tastes sweet, tangy, and is incredibly juicy, the method for consumption leaves much to be desired. This is because the inside of this tropical fruit is filled with seeds that are covered in gelatinous flesh. If you can get past the textural freak-out, the flavor is exotic, tasty, and unlike anything you've ever tried.

While not native to the islands (it's originally from Brazil, writes Hawaii Magazine), the passion fruit is roughly the size of a golf ball and is an incredibly popular flavor over in Hawaii, where it's called lilikoi. Because the actual fruit isn't widely available in the contingent United States (it doesn't travel too well), this flavor hasn't climbed the ranks as quickly as, say, pineapple. Passion fruit can be a bit much as a single flavor, and that's why it goes well with other fruity syrups like orange, papaya, and guava (two of which sadly did not make this list).

22. Blue Hawaiian

According to SnoWizard, a Blue Hawaiian is actually a rum-based drink with berries. Hawaiian Shaved Ice says it tastes like Hawaiian punch with a hint of coconut (and ranks it at 26 out of 100 for bestsellers, which is promising). Meanwhile, Only in Arkansas lists it as one of the best flavors to pick, and swears that it's a traditional fruit punch with coconut. (And you also might get hints of orange, cherry, coconut, and peach, too.) Everyone seems to have their own twists on this snow cone classic, but it seems like it's safe to say that Blue Hawaiian is a tropical fruit-based syrup that tastes somewhere between a nonalcoholic Blue Hawaiian and your typical kids' punch ... but just with more pizzazz.

Unfortunately, there's no real information out there as to when this alcoholic beverage was turned into a snow cone syrup — but what we do know is that the original adult version was created in 1957 at the Hawaiian Hilton Village (via KHON) and that nowadays, it looks more like an adult ICEE.

21. Peach

While peach did make the top 26, it's the least popular on the list. Snowball Supply notes that it tastes like peach candy, which could be a good or a bad thing. That just makes it sound incredibly sweet, and not like biting into a juicy piece of fruit. But there is quite a bit of interest in this flavor when it comes to the world of candy. 

The German candy company, Haribo, has gummy peaches (that actually look like the fruit), while brands like Trolli have peach rings. It really is a niche flavor. But perhaps that's where the money is because when candy brand Jolly Ranchers discontinued their peach flavor back in 2015, people were distraught (and even made petitions, like this one to bring back the peach Jolly Rancher on Change.org). Five years later, Jolly Ranchers caved in and re-released peach back into the world. They even began selling a bag filled with only peach-flavored candies (via Best Products).

As a snow cone, peach has trouble taking center stage. But because it has a mild, sweet, and creamy taste, it lends itself well to other flavor combinations (like peach and strawberry or peach and coconut). SnoWizard totes it in the top 20 bestsellers for the nation. So why not just try and give peach a chance?

20. Blueberry

Not to be confused with the other blue one (or other blue ones, since this color seems to run rampant in the world of snow cones), this dark-blue syrup is just like the fruit ... in that it will leave one nasty stain on anything it touches. This could possibly be one reason why it ranks near the bottom. Luckily, Hawaiian Shaved Ice has some tips on stain prevention and removal, so if you're planning on adding blueberry to your shave ice repertoire, maybe you should err on the side of caution first. Besides it being one humdinger of a shirt destroyer, blueberry is okay on its own. But what this syrup really needs is a little something extra to help cut the singular sweetness.

Unfortunately, as pretty a color as it is, its flavor is just a bit too overpowering. Maybe that's why blueberry candy isn't too common — though it seems to be a thing in Japan (via Japan Candy Store). When it comes to snoballs (or snow cones or shave ice), you'll more often find blueberry as a secondary flavor. It does well with creamier-tasting syrups like banana, vanilla, peach, or even wedding cake. These other flavors will help balance out the abruptness that blueberry syrup typically has.

19. Pineapple

This should be further up on the list, but it's not. Perhaps it's because it's too overwhelming on its own, or that the pineapple isn't as common a flavor in areas where people haven't been exposed to it as in its fresh or canned version. But whatever the reason, this regal fruit has found itself in the lesser end of the popularity pool. 

Pineapple syrup is incredibly sweet and tart, which might not be everyone's favorite cup of ... snow? This crown-wearing fruit does well as a secondary or tertiary flavor — after all, you can't rule the snow cone kingdom if there's no one else around you, right? Tropical flavors like coconut, orange, and even vanilla or wedding cake, really allow the somewhat aggressive pineapple flavor to shine through. (Not that we want to dim its "majestic status" or anything.) For obvious reasons, pineapple is incredibly popular in Hawaii (via Hawaiian Shave Ice), though it's important to note that snowball manufacturing websites SnoWizard and Hypothermias both rank it in the top 20.

The shave ice truck, Kona Ice, uses pineapple in a variety of flavor combinations, like piña colada, mai tai, Bahama mama, and even a hand-crafted combination called pineapple habanero (which obviously is sweet, tart, and spicy). So maybe one day, the dream of ruling the land of summer snow treats could be a possibility for this fruit ... but not this year.

18. Wedding cake

This seems like a completely random flavor, especially when you bring something like cake into the mix. (Cake mix pun not intended). It's also a bit strange that you're subliminally thinking about weddings while enjoying a treat synonymous with childhood ... the last thing you want to think about is getting married when you're a 10-year-old slurping down a snow cone on a hot summer day. Wedding cake also seems to be a regional flavor, with mentions of it in the New Orleans Reddit circuit. Apparently, it's also an option at actual weddings (via Hawaiian Shaved Ice) that take place during summer — it's a different dessert option that will also cool off guests (but let them have their cake and "eat it," too).

While you might think that wedding cake is a new-flavored fad, it's actually been around for quite some time — Ralph's SnoBall Supply has been manufacturing it since 1972! According to SnoWizard, wedding cake ranks sixth in the nation for most popular snow cone flavor. It's supposed to taste like vanilla and almond, which basically sounds like an Italian soda or a vanilla latte (sans coffee). So while it might be a regional favorite and not a national phenomenon, wedding cake is a pretty big deal. (Isn't the cake always a big deal, though?)

17. Coconut

On its own, coconut is a pretty mild flavor (via Real Hawaiian Ice). It's also kind of an acquired taste. Not everyone likes coconut, but supposedly, it really depends on what form the coconut is in, according to this Reddit chain. Perhaps this humble tree nut is on the lower end of the list because it's also still a relatively new food item to a majority of the United States, as noted by the environmental advocacy group, the Sierra Club. It really only started gaining traction within the last two decades due to an increased interest in coconut milk, MCT oil, and coconut water.

That being said, the research company Knowledge Based Value documents that while coconut was once considered a niche flavor with a focus primarily on the sweet side of the culinary world (and not that popular), it's now trending upward and gaining traction in the savory side, too. So apparently, coconut is becoming "a thing," but until it can break free from being cast in a supporting role, coconut is going to be staying on the lower rung on the flavor popularity list. Aww, nuts.

16. Vanilla

Yet another flavor that is rather uncommon in the land of the snow cone, vanilla seems more apt for a latte or Italian soda instead of as a topping for a frozen dessert. (Interestingly enough, Kona Ice sells a snow cone called French vanilla latte, so there you go. The proof is in the, uh, snowball?) As a solo ingredient, vanilla isn't that high in demand, and is actually more popular as an additional ingredient, according to Hawaiian Shave Ice. Just like the Kona Ice creation above, you can also mix vanilla with banana, peach, blueberry, strawberry, or cherry and concoct a snow cone version of your favorite fruity baked goods.

Because it does so well in conjunction with other syrups, vanilla ranks in the top 20 bestsellers on Hypothermias and SnoWizard. When it comes to taste, what kicks this flavor up a few notches on the popularity list is that some snow cone vendors are now using syrups that source quality ingredients, like real vanilla extract, which means more of the good taste and less of the artificial.

15. Lemon

Real Hawaiian Ice describes lemon as basic, claiming that customers who order it see it as a lemonade alternative because it's not too tangy and not too sweet. But like many of the mid- and lower-ranking flavors, lemon has a more team-minded approach to the snow cone. It may not be great standing on its own, but when paired up with other flavors, it works wonders. This citrus isn't that prominent in Hawaii, where shave ice is what you're craving when you're looking to beat the heat. But if you head over to Matsumodo's Shave Ice on Oahu, their classic flavor combination uses lemon as a base with pineapple and coconut. They also have the Rainbow, which has strawberry, lemon, and pineapple.

While there are multitudes of frosty-lemony desserts out there in the world — Italian ices, frozen lemonade, and lemon gelato, to name a few — lemon snow cones just aren't that intriguing to consumers. Perhaps you can blame that on the whole "don't eat yellow snow" thing.

14. Orange

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, over one-third of the nation's vegetables and two-thirds of fruit and nuts are grown in the Golden State. When it comes to oranges, California has even surpassed Florida — which used to be known as the top producer of citrus — in orange production (via Orlando Sentinel).

That being said, when it comes to snow cones, orange is one of those "just there" flavors (that's why it's in the middle). It's recognizable because it's both a fruit and a color. On its own, it's just a bit nondescript. There's nothing incredibly unique about orange (other than the fact that nothing rhymes with it), but what this flavor does excel at is being a great base. Just like its other mid-ranking flavors, orange works well with others, especially tropical-themed flavors. Kona Ice considers it to be a classic flavor in its own right, but also utilizes it as a base in their mai tai, Bahama mama, Hawaiian dreamsicle, and orange ginger snoballs.

13. Cola

While this isn't the most popular flavor on the list, cola still holds its own and comes in smack in the middle. Why? For one, it's not a high ranker among various snow cone shops, but it does have a following. It's somewhat traditional, but it's not really a super "exciting" flavor because, you know, you can get a coke with chipped ice any day of the week, now, can't you?

Real Hawaiian Ice illustrates the rather mundane side of any soda-flavored syrups but goes on to explain that it makes a great base for other flavors. This is what makes it a popular option. By adding other flavors to a cola snow cone, you're elevating a somewhat boring element to something special. Its versatility is what helps boost it up a few notches on the flavor train. For example, instead of just cola, add cherry, lime, vanilla, or even chocolate. Why not get super crazy and make a trifecta of cola, cherry, and lime? Live a little. Summer only comes once a year.

12. Cotton candy

Cotton candy flavored ice. And not ice cream. Just ice. Not quite sure about this one. Perhaps its popularity is based on the fact that during summer fairs across the country, you can purchase both cotton candy and snow cones. For some reason, people just really like this flavor. Maybe it could be a nostalgia thing — after all, nothing says childhood like noshing on a 2-foot lollipop made of finely spun sugar, right? Because with the snow cone version of cotton candy, you still get the sticky fingers, the mouth full of sugar, and a glucose spike that will undoubtedly send you crashing within an hour of consumption (via NDTV Food). Maybe it's just the more refreshing option of the two?

Nevertheless, cotton candy is a relatively popular flavor because it doesn't need any supporting flavors to mellow it out. It also can sometimes come in blue and pink (with no taste difference, though). Cotton candy ranks in the top 20 preferred flavors in the nation (according to SnoWizard, Snowie, and Hypothermias). So if you find yourself at a county fair and decide to taste test both, just be sure to not mix the spun sugar cotton candy with the shaved ice version ... because that could just end up bad in a whole multitude of sticky, stuck-to-your-teeth (and your face) ways.

11. Lime

According to Fona International, from 2013 to 2018, the United States was responsible for at least 18% of all new lime-flavored products brought to market. Lime-flavored bevvies make up 65% of drink items on fast-causal menus, and it's most commonly paired with — can you guess what it might be? — lemon, of course. It's an incredibly versatile fruit that can be used in both sweet and savory applications — key lime pie, anyone? What about coconut lime shrimp?

As a snow cone flavor, it's not too strong to be enjoyed as is, but also works well with a range of other syrups, like lemon (obviously), cherry, cola, pineapple, and coconut. When it comes to flavor popularity, Snowie ranks lime in the top 25, Hypothermias ranks it in the top 40, and Kona Ice totes it in the top 10. Lime goes well with tropical flavors. But just remember that if you put the lime syrup in a coconut and drink it all up, you'll get ... a stomach ache. A really bad stomach ache. Do yourself a favor and don't drink the syrup straight.

10. Banana

According to Healthline, the banana is one of the top 10 healthiest fruits you can eat. That being said, banana flavor isn't exactly winning any gold medals in the most popular category (via Spoon University), though that seems to be up for debate among Redditors.

Banana flavor-haters say it tastes nothing like a real banana. But surprise, surprise — this controversial fruit flavor is actually based on a real banana called the Gros Michel (Big Mike) ... it's just that this particular variety is incredibly rare and hard to find (via Hello Giggles). The Gros Michel was actually bred to taste extra sweet ... and artificial. Sound's like it was made with candy creation in mind. 

But if people dislike banana flavoring so much, how is it ranked in the top 25? Maybe it's all in the actual flavor of the syrup because Snowball Supply says that it doesn't just taste like plain old banana. It actually tastes like banana popsicle. This creamy-taste element is also echoed on the SnoWizard website (where banana ranks fifth in the nation for favored flavors). It also pairs well with other flavors, like strawberry-banana, pineapple-banana, or even banana-vanilla (which sounds like banana pudding). Well, doesn't that sound a-peeling?

9. Root beer

Another soda-flavored syrup, root beer makes it in the top 10 because it just naturally goes with chipped ice. It's not too sweet and has an element of creaminess — two aspects that cola does not have. Its flavor is pretty much indescribable, and according to Thought Co, there is no single recipe. Perhaps the fact that it's not 100% replicable (and that it has somewhat of a cult following, according to City Beat) also gives it a boost up the flavor rank.

Root beer is also synonymous with summer, in the form of an effervescent, creamy dessert: the root beer float. It's just a few scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with root beer and served in a glass bier stein (with a spoon and a straw), but this concoction is also typically served around the 4th of July. When the soda finally stops foaming, there are tiny little root-beer-flavored ice chips that form on top of the vanilla ice cream. Perhaps a root-beer-flavored snow cone is akin to a lighter, dairy-free version of the float.

8. Mango

According to Produce Business, the humble mango is one of the world's most popular fruits. While it's not as big in the United States, it is steadily gaining traction, all thanks to the multiple different cultures that make up America's melting pot identity. (Yay for diversity!) There are at least six main varieties of mangoes that are commercially sold (via Mango.org), and their flavors range from tropical to floral to citrus to peach. That being said, the mango isn't for everyone because this tropical fruit is also creamy and floral, which are two flavor profiles that some individuals just can't stand, as noted on Libreddit.

That being said, mango makes one heckuva snow cone and is an incredibly popular as-is shave ice flavor in Hawaii (via Real Hawaiian Ice). It ranks sixth in the top 10 best sellers with the mobile shave ice business, Kona Ice. Tropical flavors, like mango, pineapple, and lychee (which did not make the list — if you think mango is floral, lychee will turn your world upside down) typically stem from Hawaii since these are the dominant flavors of the area. So while the creamy, sweet, and citrusy notes of the mango can be enjoyed on their own portable ice cap, they also pair well with their tropic buddies.

7. Piña colada

Snowie ranks it number four, SnowCone totes it in the top five, and Kona Ice and SnoWizard have piña colada ranked eighth. Pretty interesting that this flavor is so popular, considering it's made up of two flavors — pineapple and coconut — that both fall in the "meh" category on this list. With the addition of alcohol, a piña colada is basically just a tropical-themed smoothie for adults. This frosty rum-based drink was originally created in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the mid-1950s (via Forbes) and is considered to be one of the best alcoholic bevvies to consume on a hot summer day. Since it's a summer drink, and snow cones are pretty much a summer treat, doesn't it make sense to turn it into a decadent kid-friendly dessert?

The snow cone version is obviously sans booze (though Hawaiian Shave Ice has a recipe for adults that will most definitely keep you chill all summer long). It ranks high among tasters for its delicious flavor profile — it's pretty sweet, a little sour, a bit creamy, and 100% tropical island vibes. All you need is a hammock on the beach. (Though trying to eat a snow cone in a hammock might end up a bit messy.)

6. Grape

Grape is one of those flavors that varies from consumable to consumable, yet it doesn't even taste like the real thing. Or does it? Food historian Nadia Berenstein explains that scientists originally began whipping up artificial flavorings back in the mid-1800s, and based those tastes on fruits they were already familiar with (via Science Friday). This initial round of flavors — cherry, banana, and grape, for example — are still popular today. Our friend grape was actually based on the Concord grape, which can be described as thick-skinned, sweet, and tart, notes Minneopa Orchards. (That pretty much sounds like artificial grape flavoring, doesn't it?)

But if you've ever tried a grape snow cone (or grape anything), you know that it can be cloyingly sweet, which might offend some more delicate palates. However, that's one great thing about this flavor when it comes to snow cone syrups — if it melts, you don't get a watered-down flavor (which is gross). You just get grape juice. Because this syrup is so, uh, syrupy, it retains its flavor, even if your snow cone turns into a cup of purple water. It's strong but not too overbearing, and it also plays well with others. Hawaiian Shave Ice says that it's consistently in the top two for best-selling syrups. Isn't that just grape?

5. Watermelon

A lover of this sweet, juicy, summertime staple, Mark Twain sums up just how divine this oblong melon is, stating "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat" (via Forbes). While that might be a bit of a stretch — what about angel food cake? — and is definitely one (historically significant) person's opinion, it does illustrate just how naturally decadent this fruit really is. You also know that when you start to see watermelon at your local grocer, summer is on its way. From seed spitting contests to creative cooking uses — pickled watermelon rind, anyone? — watermelon is to summer like pumpkin spice is to autumn. (And just like pumpkin spice, people just can't seem to get enough of this sweet, super juicy, summer fruit.)

That's why this refreshing flavor ranks in the top 10, according to at least five different vendors, with three of them raking it in the top five (like Kona Ice and Snowie). Watermelon is so tasty that it can stand on its own, but it also mixes well with other snow cone syrups like lime, pineapple, and mint. If you really want to get creative and show your adoration for this globular melon, try mixing crushed watermelon in with your watermelon shave ice. It's like summer on steroids.

4. Tiger's blood (watermelon, strawberry, and coconut)

It's not the most appetizing or humane-sounding name, but don't worry ... no tigers were harmed in the making of this syrup. Tiger's blood, writes shaved ice vendor Snow Cone, is a mixture of watermelon and strawberry, with a hint of coconut. It's a favorite among kids and adults, consistently ranking in the top five, according to at least five different vendors, including Sno Wizard and Kona Ice.

But what's with the strange name? Happy Shave Ice claims that there are a few different theories, one being that it's based on the real thing, which is just unappealing and really ramps up the ew factor. A much less graphic route is that the taste is unlike any other snow cone flavor out there, so it's "roaring" with flavor. (Such a bad pun.) The name tiger's blood also sounds way more macho than, say, dog's blood or rat's blood (and also not as gross). It sort of conjures up the image of a ninja warrior or something.

Tiger's blood has been around longer than you'd think — for at least three decades — and while snow cone buffs can't quite pinpoint where this zesty flavor originated from, it's guesstimated that it was probably born in the Southern US and then moved West (via Hawaiian Shave Ice).

3. Strawberry

Consistently ranking in the top 10 among select vendors, everyone loves strawberry. Everyone. People love strawberries so much that at least 33 states have one (or more) festivals dedicated to this cute fruit on a yearly basis (via Strawberry Plants). The University of Illinois notes that strawberries are grown in every state, with California supplying 75% of the nation's annual harvest. Americans love strawberries so much that they eat 3.4 pounds of fresh berries annually, and another 1.8 in frozen form per capita.

The strawberry is also a somewhat traditional and introductory flavor (and food). Have you ever witnessed someone teaching a toddler how to eat a cherry? No. Because the pit spells trouble. But strawberries, well, that's a different story. There are even websites dedicated to teaching kids how to eat strawberries. My Food Job Rocks notes that the strawberry also pairs well with an assortment of different flavors. (Strawberries and cream or strawberries and vanilla, strawberry cola, strawberry banana ... the list could probably go on forever.)

It's also considered to be one of the core favored syrup flavors for the New Orleans snowball, where syrup and equipment purveyor SnoWizard cites it as being the number one bestseller in the nation. Still, depending on the person, strawberry flavoring might not be your flavor of choice (via Reddit). But hey, if it's mixed with other flavored syrups, you never know.

2. Cherry

You can never go wrong with cherry, and even Snow Cone, the all-things-shaved-ice website, states that it's a top-five seller. It's just a fact that everyone loves cherry. This universal flavor has not only been utilized in sweet desserts (pies, candy, and, well, flavored syrups), but it's also graced beverages, spreads (jams and jellies), and even items in the healthcare industry (cough syrup, toothpaste, and lozenges).

But why is this such a popular flavor (and why isn't it ranked first)? The flavor company Abelei explains that it's been a featured flavor since the 1800s (when the commercial flavor industry first began). Cherry trees are hardy and have been cultivated for thousands of years. It's basically one of the most universally recognized fruits known to mankind. When it comes to ranking, its worldwide prominence might make it less appealing — in other words, "too safe" or boring — for some shave ice lovers. It is important to note, though, that SnoWizard states that cherry ranked third nationally. Blue raspberry came in fourth. That's the fun with the "red" and "blue" — they'll always be duking it out for the number one spot, just like siblings trying to one-up each other. Ah, sibling rivalry. At least cherry is a real fruit.

1. Blue raspberry

Do you know what a blue raspberry is? Besides it currently being the favored flavor (at the time this article was written), no one really knows. While it sounds like it's some weird, imaginary berry that Willy Wonka (who is also obviously imaginary) probably invented, blue raspberry is actually based on a different, but very much real, naturally occurring fruit: the whitebark raspberry (via Spoon University). Notice that the blue raspberry is based on the whitebark raspberry and not a pure representation of it —this berry is also not white and not really blue, nor is it red. It's actually kind of purple. (But purple raspberry doesn't flow off the tongue as nicely as blue raspberry, now does it?) 

Making it blue was also the ultimate marketing ploy, because back when this flavor was conceived in the 60s and 70s, manufacturers needed an in-your-face way to differentiate it from the other red fruits (cherry and strawberry ... and now watermelon, red velvet cake, and tropical punch, to name a few). On top of that, the taste isn't based on a berry flavor, either. In fact, this imaginary raspberry is actually a melding of three fruits:  banana, cherry, and pineapple. (Well, at least one of those flavors earned spots in the top 10.)

Regardless, across the web, snow cone slingers, like Real Hawaiian Ice and Kona Ice, state that blue raspberry is pretty much the most popular flavor among consumers. (And leaves the worst stains).