Dairy Queen has earned its moniker for being the “queen” of all things ice cream – cakes, shakes, sundaes and more! DQ could have been the inspiration for the children’s chant “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”. So get ready for a blizzard of 10 Dairy Queen facts that will make you scream for ice cream.
10. There Was A BlizzardMobile
That’s right, there was a mobile truck that drove around to cities in the United States and Canada handing out free blizzards! In 2010 the famous Dairy Queen celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard, and what better way to celebrate than by giving away free Blizzards across the continent. The BlizzardMobile went to 25 cities across the U.S and Canada giving out Blizzards to those lucky enough to come across the truck. There was a catch though, the Blizzards were only mini size, but still enough to give you that ice creamy cold satisfaction. Nothing like a Blizzard to cool down on a hot day, right? The BlizzardMobile staff also played games with DQ fans and gave out coupons and prizes. Another way you can score a free small vanilla soft serve ice cream cone is on the first day of spring! DQ has a tradition of welcoming the warm weather by giving out free soft serve cones at participating Dairy Queen and DQ Grill & Chill locations in the U.S. They say they started the tradition to celebrate the arrival of spring and just want to make people happy! Because who isn’t happy with free ice cream?
9. Dairy Queen Used To Serve Fro-Yo
Unfortunately, frozen yogurt is no longer on the DQ menu because it seems not everyone liked it as much as their ice cream. It did, however, stay on the menu for a decade. It was introduced in DQ locations in the 1990s when everyone was all about the low-fat fad diets. Dairy Queen wanted to appeal to the market so they brought in a low-calorie option for customers by serving frozen yogurt. The most shocking part about fro-yo is that it sounds healthier and lower in calories than ice cream, because after all it is yogurt, but it actually can have just as much if not more sugar than ice cream! DQ also had a fro-yo version of the Blizzard they called the “Breeze”. It was made with frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Eventually, all the fro-yo menu items were taken off the menu. Dairy Queen tried to make fro-yo successful for 10 years but it didn’t last. They finally gave up because when it came down to it, there was just very little demand for it. Often times DQ was tossing out the frozen yogurt because it would go bad before it was all used up. Fro-yo lovers can now only dream of the Breeze but we’re pretty sure that the Blizzard will keep ice cream fans cool for a long time to come.
8. DQ Ice Cream In Over 30 Countries
Near and far you can find a DQ location for your favorite ice cream treats. And if you are in Texas, you really don’t have to go very far to find one. Texas has more Dairy Queen locations than any other state! They have 600 DQ locations across the state so it’s safe to say you can find the ice cream joint in almost every town. Worldwide they have locations in over 30 countries including Italy, Morroco, Japan, South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, and many more. They have also adapted to each country’s favorite tastes when it comes to ice cream flavors. For example in China they love the Green Tea Blizzard, whereas in America their favorite is the Oreo Blizzard. You may also be surprised to know that the largest DQ location is actually outside of the United States, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – where it’s always scorching hot and ice cream is in season all year round! This DQ in Saudi Arabia is 7,500 square feet with 2 floors and has enough space to seat 240 customers. You might also then think it’s the busiest location in the world considering it’s the largest – but it isn’t! The busiest location is actually in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It seems these Canucks from PEI really love their DQ ice cream! Charlottetown’s population is just over 36,000 whereas Riyadh’s population is about 7.6 million and PEI is not known for its desert type weather. Really goes to show how almost everyone in town must be going to Dairy Queen to get their ice cream fix – summer, winter, spring or fall. The largest location in the United States is in Bloomington, Illinois. This location is 5,000 square feet and can seat 140 customers.
7. Blizzards were A Hit From the Start
The Blizzard came out in 1985 and immediately had a lot of success. It is their premier dessert and has been one of their most popular menu items for decades because it’s cool and refreshing and can be customized with a variety of flavors. When the ice cream Blizzard made its debut, customers loved it so much that DQ sold 175 million of them in the first year! Today, Dairy Queen is known for this iconic menu item. Blizzards became so popular because they are so tasty and versatile, you can mix in your favorite candy, chocolate bar, cookies or brownies with your favorite soft serve ice cream. Although the most popular flavors for the Blizzard are Oreo Cookie, Cookie Dough, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, DQ is always coming out with new Blizzard flavors and combining flavors. This is one of their little secrets to keep people coming back for more and making sure the Blizzard continues to keep its crown. They frequently release new Blizzard flavor combos like the Salted Caramel Blondie or the Frosted Fudge Brownie. Each new flavor attracts more customers and becomes yet another favorite amongst DQ lovers and fans everywhere!
6. DQ Always Turn Blizzards Upside Down
Getting a blizzard at DQ is a different kind of experience! The employees will turn it upside down for you before they hand it over just to show off how thick it really is. Some locations will say that if the upside down trick doesn’t work or if they forget to do it, then they will give you a Blizzard for free! It’s like Blizzard quality control right in front of your eyes – how cool is that? The Blizzard and the upside down trick was inspired by a shop in St. Louis called Ted Drewes. They are a frozen custard shop and they serve the frozen custard very thick with bits of fruit in them and call the treat concretes. The Blizzard was inspired by the thickness of these concretes and how they don’t budge even if you were to flip them upside down. So, the Blizzard upside down trick is really just for show and to impress the customers with how thick it really is! Back in the 1950s a 14-year-old fan of the Ted Drewes frozen custard shop would come in on a regular basis and ask for the chocolate malt. Each time he would ask Drewes to make it for him thicker and thicker. Eventually, Drewes started to get annoyed with being asked to make it thicker so he made it as thick as he could and would turn it upside down to show the boy just how thick it was without him needing to keep asking. This novelty stuck at the Ted Drewes shop and moving forward all the frozen custard was made thick enough to be able to turn the cup upside down to prove it. Years later a Dairy Queen franchisee, Sam Temperato, fell in love with the idea of the thick custards at Drewes and brought forward the idea of the Blizzard to DQ executives, including the upside down trick. We assume those executives liked what they heard.
5. DQ Invented Soft Serve Ice Cream
You can thank ‘grandpa’ John Fremont McCullough and his son Alex for soft serve ice cream! John and Alex were the first to come up with the formula for soft serve ice cream. They were responsible for the chilly treat loved at fast food joints, ice cream parlors, and by kids chasing down the local ice cream truck. They developed this creamy soft ice cream in 1938, and the first Dairy Queen location opened up in Illinois in 1940. They had a couple of years to perfect the recipe and then started selling the soft serve at a family friends’ ice cream shop—his name was Sherb Noble. The day they launched the soft serve ice cream at the shop, they sold more than 1,600 servings within two hours! The McCullough’s and Noble knew a successful product when they saw it and together opened the first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Illinois. The DQ recipe is top secret to this day. They actually keep the soft serve recipe in a safety deposit box and only a few trusted people have the key to said box. Of course, many other food chains have developed a version of soft serve ice cream but Dairy Queen claims no other chain has the original recipe with the same consistency and taste as they do.
4. The Curl On Top Is a DQ Trademark
Who would have thought that the swirl on top of your soft serve ice cream is actually a Dairy Queen trademark! It is meant to resemble the letter “Q” from DQ. The swirl looks beautiful in photos and videos and it stands apart from all others as the Queen of ice cream! Although Dairy Queen does acknowledge that their soft serve does not really qualify to be called ice cream because of the ratio of milkfat content. We don’t know the secret recipe for DQ soft serve but we do know that they only have 5 percent of milkfat content in it. They say that in order for it to be considered “ice cream”, the milkfat content is supposed to be at least 10 percent. Ice cream or frozen dessert – does it really matter when you are able to get something so cool and delicious that comes with a perfect Q-like swirl on top! You can’t top that.
3. The Chocolate Dilly Bar
It’s safe to say that Dairy Queen is literally the queen when it comes to ice cream and many of its frozen creations. The Dilly Bar is soft serve ice cream on a stick with a Q swirl on top, in the shape of a circle, dipped in chocolate. With chocolate on the outside and creamy soft serve on the inside, what’s not to love, it’s the best of both worlds. The Dilly Bar was created in 1955 by Robert Litherland who was the co-owner of a DQ store location in Minnesota. The story goes that an ice cream distributor came by to demonstrate a new technique for dipping ice cream and once completed Litherland said: “now, that’s a dilly”. This is the lore behind where the name for the bar came from! DQ did make one mistake by not copyrighting the name “dilly”. It has been popularly used for this style of ice cream bar by others. Fun fact – Dairy Queen not only created the Dilly Bar but also played a role in creating the band No Doubt. Original members Eric Stefani and Greg Spence met while working at a DQ together in the late ‘80s and talked about forming a band together. Gwen Stafani, Eric’s sister, soon joined along with a few other musicians and the rest is music (and DQ) history.
2. The World’s Largest Ice Cream Cake
On May 10th, 2011 in Toronto, Canada DQ broke the record for the world’s largest ice cream cake. Who wouldn’t want to take a big bite of that creamy frozen goodness? Many people were amazed and came out to see this large ice cream cake made by a Dairy Queen in downtown Toronto. The cake weighed over 22,000 pounds once it was finished! It was made using 20,000 pounds of vanilla ice cream, 200 pounds of sponge cake, more than 300 pounds of buttercream frosting and tons of crumbled Oreos to top it off! The giant ice cream cake was 14 feet 7 inches long, 13 feet 3 inches wide, and over 3 feet tall. This was not the first time DQ made a ginormous ice cream cake and we hope it wasn’t the last either! Back in 2006, they did this in Beijing, China. DQ was determined to beat their own Beijing record to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ice cream cake. Mission accomplished as they beat their 2006 record by 500 pounds in 2011. With such a huge ice cream cake, we think this one will be hard to beat again!
1. The World’s Tallest Blizzard
When not serving up the chilliest of treats, Dairy Queen is setting all kinds of world records. This time it’s the Blizzard. The record setting Blizzard was 22 feet tall and weighed over 8,000 pounds! The Springfield, Massachusetts DQ location made this ice cream dream come true in 2005. On June 21st, the first day of summer, they combined over 700 gallons of soft serve and more than 3,000 pounds of crushed Oreo cookies to create the world’s tallest Blizzard! It took almost two weeks to make this huge creation with 20 volunteers helping to do it. The event was not only legendary but also for a good cause, DQ was co-hosting the event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. This was also Diary Queens’ way of celebrating the Blizzards 20th anniversary! They celebrated the Blizzard’s 20th birthday for the entire year and this might have just been the most epic celebration of them all. After all, what could beat a 22 foot tall Oreo Blizzard?