It's time for Brand Wars again! Today we're pitting Dairy Queen's M&M Blizzard against McDonalds' M&M McFlurry.
Dairy Queen's claim to fame is the classic Dilly Bar, but a close second is their line of Blizzards.
McDonald's, on the other hand, is known more for their burgers and Big Mac than their diabetic comas in a cup.
The first thing to consider in this competition is price. McDonald's won this round, no contest. The 12-ounce McFlurry runs $2.89 ($0.24 per ounce) whereas the 11.5-ounce Blizzard will set you back $3.69 ($0.32 per ounce). That's a 30% price difference!
The second thing I'd like to point out was the difference in service. Even though the DQ wasn't especially busy, we sat at the speaker for three minutes before we could place our order, and then it was another three minutes or so before we got up to the window. When we got up there no one was rude, per say, but they had no time to waste on pleasantries. McDonald's, on the other hand, had the McFlurry in our hands within two minutes of pulling into the parking lot. Both girls at McDonald's were cheerful and provided phenomenal service--I was blown away. That scores some major points in the McDonald's column.
As you can see, the DQ is sliding in the competition already, and we haven't even taken our first bites! This is where it gets interesting.
Both treats are comprised of vanilla soft serve ice cream mixed with M&Ms (just in case you've been living under a rock or something), but the key difference between the two is Dairy Queen's addition of chocolate syrup which adds another dimension to the dessert experience. My roommate, being the chocoholic he is, figured that out and immediately declared the Blizzard his favorite.
I, however, being the honorable food blogger I am, had to put the contestants through a more rigorous screening process.
My first qualm was with the spoons. Could someone please tell me what's up with the giant boxy straw-wannabe spoon at McDonald's? Ice cream gets all kinds of stuck up on the handle, so you have to decide whether to tackle the drips coming off the spoon part first or the handle. When there is a cup of super-delicious ice cream in front of me I do not have the cognitive skills required to make these decisions. Dairy Queen gained points in this contest for having a straightforward spoon.
The next thing to take into consideration, since I'm a food blogger who takes all her own pictures (could you tell?), is that the McFlurry is way prettier. Since it doesn't have any of my roommate's beloved chocolate syrup, the candy coating from the M&Ms dyes the ice cream lots of pretty colors. The Blizzard, on the other hand, just becomes more brown as the candy melts. This isn't exactly a problem, but McDonald's was the clear winner for aesthetics.
After the chocolate syrup, the biggest difference between the Blizzard and the McFlurry is that while the Blizzard uses chopped up regular-sized M&Ms, the McFlurry opts for unscathed mini M&Ms. Now, I don't know if there's any actual scientific truth to this or if it's just my own bias, but I'm pretty sure mini M&Ms are the way to go. Not only are they cuter, but there's a better candy-coating-to-chocolate ratio and the McDonald's M&Ms were much easier to bite into than the Dairy Queen ones.
Now, before I tell you the winner, I'd like to address the other considerable pro running in the Blizzard's favor. Whereas the McFlurry is limited to a whopping two flavors (M&M or Oreo), the Blizzard offers twenty or so varieties, plus their monthly limited edition flavor. Chances are at least one of the Blizzards will strike your fancy even if M&Ms aren't your thing. Also, if M&Ms aren't your thing you should seek professional help.
AND NOW! The moment you've all been waiting for! The winner of this Brand War is......
*drum roll please*
My roommate and I discussed this decision at great length, and while we couldn't come to an agreement on the chocolate syrup issue, we did agree that McDonald's had won our business thanks to their pricing and exceptional service. (Are you reading this, McDonald's? Those chicks were awesome. Give them raises.) Also, McFlurries are damn delicious and who can be bothered to trek all the way down to the DQ when you need a sugar fix?
Are you a McFlurry person or a Blizzard person? We can probably still be friends, no matter which is your favorite, so let me know in the comments!
Also, you can catch up on past Brand Wars here and here and here.