Ice cream with mix-ins have risen 55 percent on menus year over yearfrom 2011 to 2012, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor.
What many chains are mixing into their frozen desserts this summer clearly intends to bring back memories of other favorite sweets.
Dairy Queen is promoting two flavors of its signature Blizzard Treats in July at its 4,462 domestic units. Its Blizzard of the Month is a new Lemon Meringue Pie flavor, which combines lemon meringue pie filling with crunchy pie pieces and vanilla soft serve, topped with meringue-flavored whipped topping.
The chain also continues to promote its S’mores Blizzard, a blend of marshmallow-filled chocolate bars, graham crackers and soft serve, topped with whipped topping. The s’mores flavors also are available as a Royal Shake or Frozen Hot Chocolate.
Denver-based better-burger chain Smashburger is tugging at childhood memories with its Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake. It combines vanilla ice cream with strawberry syrup and crushed peanut butter cookies.
The company said in a press release that the shake has been on the 210-unit chain’s secret menu for some time, but is now promoting it as a limited-time offer through September.
“Our customers have been coming up with secret menu items for several years, and the Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake has become a favorite,” Smashburger founder and chief concept officer Tom Ryan said in a press release.
Zaxby's and Baskin-Robbins
Zaxby’s, a 578-unit fast-casual chicken chain based in Athens, Ga., has revamped its milkshake program, doing away with its traditional chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors and replacing them with Birthday Cake, Banana Pudding and Chocolate Cookie.
The first two had been offered for a limited time before, but now they and the new Chocolate Cookie milkshake have been added permanently to the menu.
“Many of our menu items have a loyal following, some of the most popular being our milkshakes. Since being introduced, our passionate fans have pleaded with us to make flavors like the Birthday Cake Milkshake permanent, and it’s exciting for us to make that happen,” Zaxby’s co-founder and chief executive Zach McLeroy said in a press release.
The Birthday Cake Milkshake is a cake-batter-flavored treat mixed with multicolored sprinkles. The Banana Pudding Milkshake, which was introduced in April, is topped with vanilla wafer pieces. The Chocolate Cookie Milkshake is blended with chocolate cookie crumbles, vanilla ice cream and rich chocolate syrup.
Other chains are using branded ingredients in their frozen treats. For instance, Culver’s, a quick-service burger chain of nearly 500 units based in Prairie du Sac, Wis., is pairing its signature Concrete Mixer with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in its new Welcome to Delicious campaign.
Baskin-Robbins has teamed up with Oreo for a range of new items offered in July.
The chain’s flavor of the month is Oreo ’N Chocolate, made with chocolate ice cream, Oreo cookie pieces and a crispy fudge cracker ribbon. It is also offering an Oreo ’N Chocolate 31° Below, vanilla soft serve swirled with chopped Oreo cookie pieces and hot fudge; an Oreo Ice Cream Cake Bite, a bite-sized combination of Oreo Cookies ’n Cream ice cream and chocolate cake wrapped in a chocolate-flavored coating; and an Oreo Cookie Cake, the chain’s classic ice cream cake topped with a circle of Oreo cookies, drizzled in chocolate and lined with a fudge border.
Baskin-Robbins also now lets customers mix and match flavors to customize their own milkshakes at participating locations among its 2,463 domestic units. Recommended combinations include Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Oreo ’N Chocolate, Mint Chip and Oreo Cookies ‘N Cream, and Jamoca Almond Fudge and Oreo Cookies ’N Cream.