Does Dairy Queen have a smoothie?

Dairy Queen is a popular fast food restaurant chain known for its soft serve ice cream treats. In recent years, many fast food chains have expanded their menus to include healthier options like smoothies. So a common question is – does Dairy Queen have smoothies on their menu? The quick answer is yes, Dairy Queen does offer smoothies. However, the availability and variety of smoothies can differ between locations. Keep reading to learn more details about Dairy Queen’s smoothie menu.

A Brief History of Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen opened its first store in Joliet, Illinois in 1940. Founder John Fremont “Grandpa” McCullough pioneered the concept of soft serve ice cream. At the time, soft serve was a novel idea and helped distinguish Dairy Queen from other ice cream parlors. The chain quickly expanded across the United States and became known for its signature soft serve treats like the Blizzard, Peanut Buster Parfait, and Dilly Bar.

For many years, Dairy Queen stuck to its tried and true menu of soft serve sundaes and novelties. But starting in the 1990s and 2000s, the chain expanded into offering more food items like hot dogs, burgers, and chicken strips. Offering expanded food menus became a way for established chains like Dairy Queen to compete with newer quick-service restaurants. Expanding into smoothies was a natural progression for Dairy Queen to appeal to health-conscious consumers looking for lower calorie options.

The Evolution of Dairy Queen’s Smoothie Menu

Dairy Queen launched its first smoothie flavor, the Strawberry Smooothie, in 2002. The following year, they introduced a second smoothie flavor – the Wild Berry Smooothie. Early smoothie offerings were only available seasonally during the summer months. The reason for the limited availability was due to the thick, icy consistency of Dairy Queen’s signature soft serve. Thicker soft serve requires different blending equipment to achieve a smooth texture. So smoothies could only be offered seasonally when the equipment was available.

After receiving positive feedback on the initial smoothie launches, Dairy Queen decided to expand both the flavors and availability. In 2004, Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothies were added after Dairy Queen acquired the Orange Julius chain. This expansion brought classic Orange Julius flavors like Strawberry Julius and Banana Julius into Dairy Queen locations.

The next big breakthrough came in 2009 when Dairy Queen debuted its Blizzard Blender machine. This new equipment was engineered specifically to blend soft serve into smooth, creamy textures. The Blizzard Blender made it possible to serve smoothies year-round instead of only seasonally.

With this new technology, Dairy Queen’s smoothie lineup rapidly grew over the following decade. Tropical flavors like Pina Colada and Mango Pineapple were added in 2013. Today there are over a dozen fruit flavored smoothies found on Dairy Queen’s ever-expanding menu.

What Kinds of Smoothies are at Dairy Queen?

Dairy Queen offers two main types of smoothies:

Fruit Smoothies

Fruit smoothies are blended treats made with real fruit juice and Dairy Queen’s signature soft serve. They tend to be thicker and creamier than traditional smoothies. Popular fruit smoothie flavors include:

  • Strawberry
  • Wild Berry
  • Orange Julius classics like Strawberry Julius and Pineapple Julius
  • Pineapple
  • Mango Pineapple
  • Triple Berry
  • Peach
  • Banana
  • Raspberry

Fruit smoothies range between 300 to 600 calories depending on size and flavor. They offer an icy, thicker texture compared to fast food smoothies from chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks. A small provides around 2 servings of fruit, giving fruit smoothies some nutritional value in addition to the tasty flavors.

Smoothie Treats

Smoothie treats blend fruit flavors with candies, cookies, or other confections. These provide a dessert-like experience in smoothie form. Popular smoothie treat flavors include:

  • Oreo
  • Heath
  • Butterfinger
  • Cookie Dough
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
  • Snickers
  • M&M’s
  • Cheesecake

Smoothie treats range from 600 to over 1000 calories depending on size. The indulgent flavors make them more of an occasional treat compared to the fruit smoothies. Those looking for a more nutritious option are better off choosing a fruit smoothie.

Availability of Dairy Queen Smoothies

The availability of smoothies can vary between Dairy Queen locations. Here are some guidelines:

  • Most locations will offer 2-6 fruit smoothie flavors year-round.
  • Larger or newer locations may have 10+ smoothie options.
  • Treat smoothies are usually seasonal or rotated throughout the year.
  • Not all Dairy Queens have the Blizzard Blender machine needed for smoothies. So smoothies will not be available at every location.
  • Smoothie availability can depend on the owner’s preference. Some may choose to only offer a small smoothie menu.
  • Newer locations built in the last 5-10 years are more likely to have smoothies. Older locations may lack the equipment.

The best way to check smoothie availability at your local Dairy Queen is to either call ahead or check the menu on the Dairy Queen website. This will provide flavor options and confirmation if they serve smoothies.

Nutritional Information on Dairy Queen Smoothies

Dairy Queen smoothies provide a tasty way to get some fruit nutrition, but can vary in calories and sugar content. Here are some key nutrition facts to help inform your choices:

Fruit Smoothies

Size Calories Sugar (g)
Small 370-450 48-68
Medium 490-590 63-92
Large 610-730 79-115

As shown, calorie and sugar content increases significantly with larger sizes. A small or medium fruit smoothie can provide 2-3 servings of fruit. But the large sizes push the calorie and sugar content into dessert territory.

Smoothie Treats

Size Calories Sugar (g)
Small 610-680 88-98
Medium 850-950 128-148
Large 1090-1190 170-197

Smoothie treats have roughly twice as much sugar as the fruit smoothies. The large sizes can contain over 4 days worth of recommended added sugar intake. Smoothie treats are best enjoyed as an occasional indulgence in the small or medium sizes.

Price of Dairy Queen Smoothies

Pricing for Dairy Queen smoothies varies by location but generally fall within the following ranges:

Size Price Range
Small $2.99 – $4.49
Medium $3.99 – $5.49
Large $4.99 – $6.49

Expect to pay $1-2 more for treat smoothie flavors over the basic fruit flavors. Smoothies are one of the more expensive menu items at Dairy Queen but provide more nutritional value than most ice cream treats.

Benefits of Choosing Dairy Queen Smoothies

Here are some benefits that make Dairy Queen a good option if you’re craving a smoothie:

  • Thick and creamy texture – Blending with soft serve gives an indulgently thick milkshake-like texture you can’t find elsewhere.
  • Unique flavors – Treat inspired flavors like Snickers and Cheesecake provide a dessert experience.
  • Real fruit juice – Fruit smoothies use real juice, giving more nutritional value than syrup flavored smoothies.
  • Customization options – Can customize with extras like banana or pineapple for added flavor.
  • Blizzard Rewards – Smoothie purchases earn you points towards free food and treat rewards.

The thickness and unique flavors make Dairy Queen smoothies worth the higher price compared to other fast food chains. They provide more enjoyment and satisfaction for your smoothie craving.

Smoothie Recommendations at Dairy Queen

Based on nutritional values, flavors, and costs, here are my top smoothie recommendations for your next visit to Dairy Queen:

Fruit Smoothie Choices

  • Strawberry Smoothie (Small or Medium)
  • Mango Pineapple (Small)
  • Triple Berry (Small)
  • Banana (Small)

Fruit smoothies are your best bet for something nutritious and indulgent but not overboard on sugar. Stick to the small or medium sizes.

Smoothie Treat Choices

  • Oreo (Small)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (Small)
  • Snickers (Small)

For a dessert or occasional treat, the small sizes of the candy and cookie flavors hit the sweet spot on taste and nutrition. Avoid the large sizes of treat smoothies.

Tips for Enjoying Dairy Queen Smoothies

Here are some tips to get the best smoothie experience when visiting Dairy Queen:

  • Ask the staff which flavors are available that day, don’t assume all are.
  • Modify your smoothie with banana or pineapple slices for extra flavor.
  • Request light or no whipped topping if watching sugar and calories.
  • Smoothies pair great with food items like burgers, chicken strips, or hot dogs.
  • Join the Blizzard Fan Club for exclusive member discounts and rewards.
  • Download the Dairy Queen mobile app to order ahead and earn rewards.
  • Stop by earlier in the day as smoothie machines need frequent cleaning later at night.

Using these tips will ensure you get the most satisfaction out of enjoying smoothies from Dairy Queen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Dairy Queen’s smoothie menu:

Are Dairy Queen smoothies healthy?

Fruit smoothies can provide healthy nutrients from real fruit but often have high sugar content. Smoothie treats are considered more of an indulgent dessert. For nutritional value, stick with small or medium fruit smoothies.

Are there vegan smoothies at Dairy Queen?

No, Dairy Queen smoothies are not vegan or dairy-free. They blend soft serve ice cream made with milk and cream. Vegans would not be able to enjoy them.

When did Dairy Queen start serving smoothies?

Dairy Queen launched its first smoothies in 2002. The menu has expanded over the years, especially after introducing the Blizzard Blender machine in 2009.

Can you order smoothies all day at Dairy Queen?

Most locations serve smoothies during normal business hours. However late at night the blending machines need to be cleaned and may be unavailable.

Do all Dairy Queens have smoothies?

Not necessarily. Older locations may lack the proper blending equipment. Check your local Dairy Queen’s menu to confirm if they offer smoothies.

The Bottom Line on Dairy Queen Smoothies

Dairy Queen provides a unique twist on smoothies blending soft serve for thickness. The fruit flavors give some nutritional value while the treat flavors provide an indulgent dessert-like experience. Stick to small or medium sizes for the best texture and nutrition. Smoothies are a tasty accompaniment to classic Dairy Queen menu items like burgers and chicken strips. Check ahead to see if your location offers them and enjoy a thick blended treat on your next visit.

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