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Dairy Queen introduces light smoothies

Orange Julius Light Smoothies are available across North American units

Dairy Queen has rolled out Orange Julius Light Smoothies as an extension of the blended-fruit beverages it debuted last August at its more than 4,000 locations in North America.

Dairy Queen executive vice president of marketing Barry Westrum said in a statement that the introduction makes Dairy Queen the first chain in the United States to introduce light smoothies systemwide.

“This is big news for our system,” he said. “Not only are we the first QSR to offer light smoothies, but we introduced Orange Julius beverages because consumers have told us they are looking for a premium branded fruit smoothie and beverage option better than the sea of lower-quality smoothies available today.”

The drinks are blended to order with real fruit and low-fat yogurt and contain 170 calories or less in a small smoothie. The item comes in eight flavors — including orange, strawberry, strawberry banana, Tripleberry, mango pineapple, berry-pomegranate, OrangeBerry and piña colada — and offers two boost options of protein or fresh banana.

By comparison, small versions of McDonald’s Wildberry Real Fruit Smoothie and its Cherry Berry Chiller have 200 calories, as does Burger King’s strawberry banana smoothie, according to those chains’ websites.

Westrum disclosed in a previous interview with Nation’s Restaurant News that the company would launch the first national advertising campaign for Orange Julius this month.

When the items began rolling out on a market-by-market basis last year, average retail prices for the drinks were $2.89 for 12 ounces, $3.39 for 16 ounces and $3.89 for 24 ounces.

In 1987, Dairy Queen acquired Orange Julius, which was founded in 1926.

Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen is a holding of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway and operates or franchises more than 6,300 units in the United States, Canada and 20 other countries.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

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