We Have the Inside Scoop on Dairy Queen's Blizzard Development Process

We Have the Inside Scoop on Dairy Queen's Blizzard Development Process

Dairy Queen didn't become America's go-to sweet treat destination with second-rate treats. That's why, when a new Dairy Queen Blizzard hits the menu, you can almost guarantee it will be everything you hoped for and more.

Dairy Queen's iconic Blizzard celebrates its 40th birthday next year. So, it's no wonder Dairy Queen's expert team of food scientists know a thing or two about creating a winning flavor, and they never settle for anything short of soft-serve perfection. "When your brand has such a high bar for treats, you have to do things with intention," says Product Development Director of Treats Mary Joyce.

A lot more goes into creating a DQ-worthy Blizzard flavor than the average consumer might think. We went straight to the source, Dairy Queen's Minnesota-based headquarters and test kitchen, to discover exactly how each and every one of their more than 170 Blizzard flavors came to be.

Creating the Perfect Blizzard

Of course, every Blizzard must maintain a certain standard of thickness. Since 1985, Dairy Queen has put this quality to the test with their infamous "upside down or free" policy. No Blizzard has made it out of the testing process without several flip tests for good measure.

DQ has its thickness standard down to a science, but when it comes to perfectly capturing complex flavors and achieving the perfect texture, trial and error is expected. At the core of each Blizzard is Dairy Queen's unique vanilla soft serve. Mary Joyce explains that Dairy Queen's secret to fluffy soft serve is a higher standard and a lower amount of air, compared to other brands.

us economy retail food
JIM WATSON - Getty Images

All Dairy Queen locations are required to carry vanilla soft serve, so one of three different types of chocolate sauces or a special variegate is incorporated into each Blizzard to create the perfect base flavor. Dairy Queen's variegate sauces contain very small particulates which add texture and flavor to the soft serve and allow them to achieve a spot-on flavor.

Dairy Queen CEO Troy Bader's favorite Blizzard flavor, S'mores, took a total of seven years to get just right before it was finally released. The key to unlocking that authentic s'mores flavor was a graham cracker variegate and specially designed chocolate and marshmallow add-ins. Unfortunately, the flavor is not currently on the menu.

If you've ever eaten chocolate straight out of the freezer, then you'll understand why Dairy Queen specifically designs their chocolate pieces to be enjoyed at 18 degrees. Dairy Queen uses chocolate pieces with a low melting point that won't melt in the cup, but will melt in your mouth. Each add-in is designed and tested specifically for the unique frozen environment of a Blizzard.

dairy queen blizzard
Dairy Queen

Creating a new Blizzard flavor is hard work, but luckily Dairy Queen has a stock pile of winning flavors. They've opened the doors to the Dairy Queen freezer: a vault containing all past and future Blizzards. This summer, they brought their most requested flavor back from the freezer: Frosted Animal Cookie, and fans everywhere are begging for the return of their favorite Blizzard's return. Brownie Batter also made its way out of the freezer and onto the menu for summer 2024.

Luckily for fans of Oreo (Dairy Queen's number one Blizzard flavor), you can always count on DQ to have your favorite. New flavors will return from the vault each season, so make sure to lobby for your favorite!

dairy queen blizzard
Dairy Queen

If you now have a sudden craving for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, go enjoy this summer's limited time flavors, including: Frosted Animal Cookie, Cotton Candy, Ultimate Cookie, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Party, Picnic Peach Cobbler and Brownie Batter.

You Might Also Like