8 Things You Probably Never Knew About the Dairy Queen Blizzard

Updated: Dec. 19, 2022

Only the biggest Dairy Queen fans will know these fun facts about the iconic Blizzard treat.

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dairy queen blizzard ad

The Blizzard wasn’t always on the menu

The first Dairy Queen opened in Joliet, Illinois in 1940, but the iconic Blizzard treat wasn’t introduced until 45 years later in 1985! The original Dairy Queen sold soft serve, sundaes and containers of ice cream, and you could get a cone for just 5 cents.

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Blizzards technically aren’t ice cream

You may not have ever noticed, but Dairy Queen doesn’t call its Blizzards ice cream. That’s because they can’t! According to the FDA, a product must contain at least 10 percent butterfat or milkfat to be called ice cream, and DQ’s soft serve only has 5 percent—hence why it’s always referred to as a Blizzard “treat.”

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The Blizzard was invented by a franchise owner

The idea for the now-iconic Blizzard came from a Dairy Queen franchisee in Missouri. Samuel Temperato, who owned a whopping 67 DQ locations, came up with the concept after seeing a competitor’s ice cream shop selling frozen custard.

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The Oreo Blizzard is the most popular

The Oreo Blizzard has been a menu staple since the treat’s invention, and it remains the most popular flavor today—in the United States, anyway. In Asia, the top spot goes to the Green Tea Blizzard, which isn’t available in the U.S.

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KITTERY, ME - JUNE 23: Neva Carroll, 18, of Eliot serves ice cream at Dairy Queen for the summer. On the Job. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Portland Press Herald/gettyimages

The upside-down test can score you a free Blizzard

At many DQ stores, employees flip every Blizzard upside down before serving to prove the treat is thick enough, and at certain locations, you can get your Blizzard for free if they skip this key step. (However, this policy is up to the franchise owner, so you’ll have to ask at your local store.)

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There’s a Blizzard in the Guinness Book of World Records

The world’s largest soft-serve dessert was created at a DQ in Massachusetts in 2005. The record-making Blizzard was more than 22 feet tall and weighed over 8,000 pounds—we just want to know how many people it took to eat it!

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Close up of crushed peppermint candy ready to be mixed with chocolate to make peppermint bark.
Cyndi Monaghan/gettyimages

DQ employees used to crush the candy by hand

When Blizzards were first introduced, some candy companies were reluctant to sell pre-crushed candy for the mix-ins. As a result, DQ employees used to spend hours crushing M&M’s, Snickers and more by hand. Just think, those candy cane DQ holiday blizzard pieces might not have once been so easily added.

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DQ has been offering a Blizzard of the Month since 2003

There are several classic Blizzard flavors that are always on the Dairy Queen menu, but to keep things fresh, the brand introduced its Blizzard of the Month program in 2003. The flavors are often seasonal, so you’ll definitely want to stop by to try the latest sweet treat.