Watching athlete montages on TV makes me feel superhuman—like I could save the world, create a real cloak of invisibility or engineer Internet 3.0 (picture a vending machine-style Blizzard® Treat delivery system attached to your computer screen). But it’s not just the athletes representing the homeland who make me feel invincible; it’s also our very own OREO®Blizzard 100 competitors. Teams from every part of the country have been showing their love for OREO® cookies and Blizzard Treats by aiming to check in at DQ® locations 100 times since March. And now, as the Aug. 31 finishing line fast approaches, it’s time for teams to go the extra mile. Weekly prizes are still up for grabs, as is the $100,000 jackpot. Plus there’s the opportunity to enjoy a Blizzard Treat every time you check in. Next time, try treating yourself in slow motion to an emotional soundtrack. It’ll feel like you’ve just won gold, because in my book, you have. Go team!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Open to eligible legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 13+ years old or the age of majority in their state or province of residence, whichever is greater. Void in Quebec and where prohibited and restricted by law. Promotion begins at 8:00:00 AM ET on April 1, 2012 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on August 31, 2012. For Official Rules, alternate method of entry, odds of winning, and prize details, visit www.dq.com/oreo or send SASE to Oreo Blizzard 100 Promotion c/o Brandmovers, PO Box 94079, Atlanta, GA 30377. Sponsor: American Dairy Queen Corporation.
Who would have thought back in 1998, when the DQ® system opened its first location in China, that just over 20 years later, the brand would be celebrating the opening of its 500th location in the Hu Dong finance district in Shanghai? Thanks to the commitment to growth, quality service and products, as well as awesome franchise partners including Mr. Marvin Hung of Hop Hing Fast Food; Mr. Li Ping of Shanghai Shida Catering Management; Mr. Lee of the Xinjiang San Run Yuan Catering Company; and Mr. Norris Man of the Centriod Group, the DQ system is thriving in China.
According to John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc., who attended this milestone event on Feb. 9, 2012, “China is a tremendous expansion market for the DQ system, which is attributed in large part to our strong alliances with our development partners. However, we cannot forget that it is our customers who have embraced our wonderful brand and have made it part of their lives.”
The Dairy Queen® system has nearly 1,000 locations in 18 countries outside of the United States and Canada, and more than 6,000 stores world-wide. In addition, at least another 100 locations are planned for China in 2012.
Whether it is enjoying your favorite Blizzard® Treat, having lunch with friends and family or celebrating at home with a DQ Cake, the Dairy Queen system’s mission is to “create positive memories for all who touch the DQ brand,” no matter where you might be in the world.
A few short weeks ago, John Gainor, the Dairy Queen® system’s president and CEO, was on hand to celebrate the 6,000th store concept opening in Shanghai, China. The celebratory day was filled with pomp and circumstance as our dedicated Chinese franchisee group, Shida Catering of Shanghai, threw a grand party in honor of this monumental occasion. When you think about it, this is a truly amazing milestone for a system that in 2010 celebrated its 70th anniversary.
While it’s true that our humble beginnings date back to Joliet, Ill., circa 1940, no one back then could have imagined that we would be opening a restaurant in a country halfway around the world that is now one of our most important growth markets globally. This event also demonstrates that the DQ® concept and products are as popular today as they were back then, except they now appeal to an entirely new customer base. With more than 300 DQ locations currently open throughout China, we are on pace to add an additional 100 stores per year there for years to come.
The continued success of this brand is due to the dedication, passion and loyalty of our franchisees, not only in China, but in all of the countries in which we are located. The 6,000 store opening celebration wasn’t just for our valued franchisees in China, it was an event that demonstrates the success and growth of a concept that continues to be relevant. With our sites set on the future, we’re proud to announce that we will soon be opening new DQ locations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Trinidad and Tobago.
As Dairy Queen locations continue to be the center gathering spot for many communities and cultures around the globe, we are excited to share our heritage with new customers, who will no doubt create their own memories and DQ smiles and stories.
Anyone who has grown up with the DQ® brand may find it hard to relate to what it must be like for a brand to enter the international food and treats industry for the first time. What I think of as a brand that has been around “forever” can be confusing to someone in another country who has never even heard the words “Dairy Queen®.”
The International Division at International Dairy Queen, Inc. has this distinctly unique challenge. Both potential franchisees and consumers have to first be educated about what the DQ brand is before they can begin to understand how it can generate positive memories.
There are currently more than 550 DQ locations in 19 countries outside the United States and Canada. Recent development has been focused on five key global markets: Mexico, the Middle East, China, Thailand and The Philippines. New DQ markets opening during 2009 include Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago and the Mexican markets of Saltillo and Manzanillo.
While many products offered in international DQ locations are similar to those in the United States and Canada, others differ based on consumer preferences and local menu offerings. For example, fruity treats are popular in Mexico and Caribbean countries, while mint flavoring and Cookie Dough mix-ins are not as popular.
Mexico features products such as Chamoy and Horchata. Chamoy is a plum, tamarind (fruit tree) or apricot fruit base mixed with chili powder, while Horchata is a sweet, milk-based treat with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Other popular products in Mexico include the Mango Blizzard® Treat, Oreo MooLatté drink and the Lemon Cheesecake Blizzard Treat.
In Panama, nachos and jumbo hot dogs are popular, and they are working on introducing local flavors such as guava, avocado and marcuya (passion fruit.) In China, the best-selling Blizzard flavor is Green Tea. Also in China, portion size is smaller because many Asians are not accustomed to eating a lot of treat products at one time. In the Middle East, DQ restaurants are open 24-hours a day because it is cooler outside at night, and they serve Halal-certified meat, which means that the food is permissible according to Islamic law.
Obviously, international tastes and preferences vary. No matter what the country though, the Blizzard Flavor Treat is still by far the most popular product on the menu. Are there any international flavors you wish you could see at your local DQ restaurant?
The first Dairy Queen® store opened in 1940 in Joliet, Ill. The first location opened in Canada 13 years later, and one year after that, the first international location opened in Iceland. Today there are more than 5,600 Dairy Queen stores in the United States, Canada and 19 other foreign countries.
So where in the world could you find a DQ® store today? Below is a listing:
The Bahamas: 2
The Cayman Islands: 1
The Philippines: 16
United Arab Emirates: 4
And the numbers continue to increase. During 2009, people in Kuwait and Trinidad and Tobago also learned about the great products sold at DQ stores, and now have the opportunity to join the league of loyal DQ customers. If you could go to any DQ location in the world outside the United States and Canada, where would you go?
When military personnel travel overseas, they miss many of the sights and sounds of home. Oftentimes, the country where they are stationed has a different language, different climate and the stresses of political or religious unrest, all of which can make it even more difficult to be far away. Luckily, some military personnel in Afghanistan are able to enjoy a little bit of home in the form of Dairy Queen treats.
Three DQ locations are currently open in Afghanistan, and all are located on military bases. A Dairy Queen corporate employee received this photo from a friend who is currently stationed in Afghanistan. In the area where he is stationed, military personnel are able to get DQ treats through their military exchange store.
How wonderful that these soldiers can still enjoy some of the “comforts” of home. Even when far away from their loved ones, perhaps a little DQ treat helps brighten their day.
The Dairy Queen® Expo is a convention that American Dairy Queen Corporation holds for it’s franchise system every other year. This event is an opportunity for DQ® franchisees to meet and talk with corporate staff and vendors. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn more about our strategies for the current year. Here’s a highlight video from this year’s convention:
To celebrate Canada Day on July 1, employees at the DQ® Canada corporate office came up with a huge idea—to build the nation’s largest cake. The massive soft-serve cake weighed in at 1,540 pounds and was made of 120 gallons of vanilla and chocolate soft serve, 264 pounds of chocolate crunch, 20 gallons of cold chocolate fudge and 14 gallons of vanilla icing! The cake was made on eight tables and was eight by ten feet in size. A total of 128 sheet cakes and 46 eight-inch round cakes were used to complete the record-breaking DQ Cake.
Planning for this gigantic cake began back in March and nearly 30 people helped out in making this feat possible. For five hours the day before, volunteers worked in a -25 degree Celsius warehouse to make the cakes. When they were finished, the product was loaded into a freezer truck and transported to a park the next day. It even arrived with a police escort!
Once at the park, it took 30 minutes to reassemble and ice the cake. Then it took another 20 minutes to serve it to the more than 600 people who showed up on that rainy day. It was sliced into 3,500 pieces and all leftovers were donated to The Salvation Army and a homeless shelter. Now what are they going to come up with for next year?
Everyone in the United States knows that the Dairy Queen® system has been around forever… or at least for about the last 70 years. But what many people might not know is that the Dairy Queen brand exists in other countries besides the United States and Canada—19 other foreign countries to be exact! There are more than 5,600 DQ® locations around the world, and the numbers keep growing.
In 1959, the first Dairy Queen restaurant in the Central American country of Panama opened to the public. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that store’s opening, and to date there are seven other DQ locations in Panama. The official celebration took place in March, but there are festivities and celebrations that will continue throughout the rest of the year.
To kick off the “50 Years Growing With You” campaign, a birthday party was held for DQ staff, special guests and the local media. Shortly after that, the general manager from the DQ store visited TV and radio stations to participate in morning talk shows, and on one radio program they developed “Dairy Queen Memories,” where people could call in to share their memories of growing up with the DQ brand. The event was so successful it prompted the launch of a Facebook page, and those who shared stories and photos were entered to win prizes like digital picture frames and cameras. And in September, they held a Customer Appreciation Day.
Panama, which is located between Colombia and Costa Rica, borders the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. It is slightly smaller than the size of South Carolina and has a population of more than 3 million people. The most popular menu items are Blizzard® Treats, chili dogs, shakes, Moolatte® beverages and banana splits. They also sell DQ Cakes, which were just introduced to the country last year.
Last summer, the Dairy Queen® brand reached a huge landmark when the 500th international DQ® location outside of the United States and Canada opened in Manila, Philippines. That’s right—there are DQ stores in the Philippines! In fact, the Philippines is home to 20 DQ locations on last count, and there are currently DQ locations in 19 countries other than the U.S. and Canada.
The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeastern Asia east of Vietnam. The country is slightly larger than the size of Arizona, but has a population of more than 96 million. All of the DQ locations in the country are DairyQueen/Orange Julius® stores that only serve treats, not food.
The most popular treat internationally is the same one that is No. 1 in North America—the Blizzard® Treat, with the Oreo® Blizzard Treat being the favorite in the Philippines. The products on the menu are similar to those found in the United States and Canada, but they are sold in smaller sizes. Internationally, the Blizzard Treat is guaranteed to be served “upside down or it’s free,” which the Filipino customers love.