Convert Text to a "Sum"

I am in the bowels of Smartsheet lessons and trying to figure out which formula can assist with the following:

If a column has 3 dropdown options - Apple, Orange, Banana - I would like to run a formula so a total can be realized from the number of times Apple appears, Orange appears, and so on so it can report to a dashboard.

If favorite fruit Apple is chosen 8 times I need it to feed 8 to the dashboard by realizing that "Apple" is in that column 8 times, etc.

I understand I may have to add another "feeder" sheet to then feed to the dashboard.

Is this as simple as I think it should be? I am having trouble finding this solution. Thanks!