Dairy Queen: More than Just a Blizzard

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When it comes to Dairy Queen, what’s the number one memory you have of it? For me, it meant that it was Friday during my younger years. My brother and I use to have weekly appointments in a town 40 minutes from where we grew up. To bring sunshine on our weekly visit, our mom would take us out to Dairy Queen.

I used to always get a butterscotch Dilly Bar, before I branched out to blizzards. I never really thought how, when, or why the brand was created. All I thought about was what toy I was going to get. Little did I know that there was history behind the doors of my favorite childhood fast-food location. And today, I wanted to share that history with you.

  • Its first location opened in 1940.
    Even though the recipe for their well-known soft-serve was created in 1938, its first location opened in Joliette, IL in 1940.
  • The meaning of the name.
    The man and creator behind the first store and its soft-serve recipe, Jack McCullough, stated that his dessert was “a queen among dairy products.”
  • In 1985, a storm to remember was created.
    And by a storm, I mean the blizzard! Within the first year of the release date, 175 million blizzards were sold.
  • DQ hosted the formation of a band in 1986.
    This happened? Yep, there’s No Doubt about it…see what I did there? Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric both worked at a Dairy Queen. It was there that they held discussions on forming the band.
  • Royal Blizzards exist!
    DQ has a blizzard that is similar to Ben and Jerry’s core series. However, besides being loaded in the center with sauces, they’re blended with mix-ins like Heath or Snickers.
  • The Blizzard has a popular flavor.
    Not just any flavor, but Oreo! This isn’t a shocker because virtually every dessert on the planet that contains this cookie and cream treat is mouthwateringly delicious.
  • There was a 22’ tall Blizzard.
    In Springfield, MA, someone decided to break the World’s Largest Blizzard record in 2005. And they did! It came in at 22’ tall and weighing in at 8,224.85.
  • Free ice cream exists.
    If you have a social media account, be sure to follow this brand. You’ll enjoy posts like Free Cone Day and enjoy special recipes at no charge.
  • The soft-serve is trademarked.
    You ever notice the curly-Q on the top of your cone or cup? This is a signature DQ move and it’s with the trademark look. And speaking of recipe in the previous bullet, “[The formula] is kept in a safe deposit box and there are only a few keys to it,” stated former chief branding officer Michael Keller.
  • The Dilly Bar was born in 1955.
    Like the soft-serve ice cream, this treat also features the signature curl in the center. This was introduced to the franchise by the co-owner of a location in Minnesota: Robert Litherland.
  • You aren’t really getting ice cream after ordering a cup or a cone.
    GASP* How can that be? Well… I’ll have you know that DQ brand soft-serve doesn’t meet the qualifications to be categorized as ice cream. In order to do so, the minimum butterfat content must be 10%; DQ’s soft-serve only contains 5%.
  • If you go traveling around the world…
    You can stop at any DQ shop. With over 6,000 locations in over 30 countries, you can get any of their treats when you’re craving it across the globe.

With this new knowledge of the Dairy Queen we all know and love, will you be venturing there today on your lunch break, or for an after dinner snack? I’m not quite sure how you can resist.