Arby's liger shake Courtesy of Arby's

Arby’s pokes fun at Starbucks with Liger Shake

Orange-chocolate concoction is latest invention in summer of beverage competition

Restaurant chains aren’t done naming drinks after mythical creatures.

Arby’s, perhaps trolling Starbucks, has introduced the “Liger Shake,” a mashup of chocolate and orange flavors that will be available through the end of June. 

A liger is a hybrid of a male lion and a female tiger. The mythical creature was made famous in the movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” in which the main character drew ligers and said they were known for having magical powers. 

“Despite rumors of magical skills, the liger is a very real and breathtaking beast,” Atlanta-based Arby’s said in an announcement. 

Arby’s Liger Shake is a cross between its Ultimate Chocolate Shake and Orange Cream Shake, with stripes of Ghiradelli Chocolate sauce on the sides. The result is a “liger-like blend of colors that is bursting with rich, sweet flavors.”

The drink continues what appears to be a summer of beverage specials at quick-service restaurants.

Restaurant chains, fighting hard for sales in a stagnant market, have focused on innovation and targeted discounts in a bid to win customers. These efforts have increasingly focused on beverages, amid success by beverage-focused chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as Sonic.

In April, Starbucks generated considerable buzz with its Unicorn Frappuccino, a drink that changed colors and flavors when mixed. The company declared it a success and vowed more innovation in the future.

Other chains have worked to bolster beverage sales as the warmer months approach. McDonald’s started offering any size of drinks for $1, a discount credited with improving same-store sales this year.

McDonald’s also targeted Sonic with a line of slushies, and in March combined its Shamrock Shake and Chocolate Shake. Meanwhile, rival Burger King added Froot Loops to a shake.

Arby’s has been among the most aggressive chains in terms of product innovation in recent years, and the Liger Shake, its first beverage mashup, brings innovation to the chain’s drinks.  

The sandwich chain has staged a remarkable comeback in recent years, generating 26 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. 

Much of the growth has come from innovative sandwiches, such as pork belly and smoked brisket, and attention-getting creations such as the Meat Mountain sandwich, 150,000 of which were sold in March.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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