MINNEAPOLIS -- In a merger of two major brands, the Dairy Queen system is rolling out Orange Julius Premium Fresh Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals to all DQ locations in the United States and Canada.
"With an assortment of fruit choices, variety and convenience we will offer in this beverage category, it will be like having a smoothie shop within a DQ restaurant," said Barry Westrum, executive vice president of marketing for American Dairy Queen Corp. "This is a perfect addition to our menu for customers who want a healthier quick snack or a treat at any time of the day."
It will roll out Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals to more than 4,000 Dairy Queen locations in the United States and Canada by November. Currently more than 800 DQ Orange Julius stores in the United States and Canada, most of which are mall locations, carry Orange Julius beverages.
"We are looking to shake up not only the $3 billion smoothie category in the U.S., but also our competition," said Westrum. "Just like there is only one DQ brand, there is only one Orange Julius brand."
Customers will have a choice between Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals. The Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothies are made with real fruit and low-fat yogurt and are blended fresh for customers upon ordering. Julius Originals are also blended fresh. Flavors for both Julius Originals and premium Fruit Smoothies include Orange, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Tripleberry and Mango Pineapple.
"Adding Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothies and Julius Originals to all Dairy Queen locations fits with our strategy to keep our menu fresh and enhances not only our beverage offerings and menu appeal but also our competitive advantage," said Westrum.
International Dairy Queen Inc. acquired the Orange Julius concept in 1987, but the brand has been around for more than 85 years. The original began with Julius Freed, who operated an orange juice stand in Los Angeles. His friend Bill Hamlin liked oranges, but they upset his stomach. So Bill decided to blend his orange juice with a few choice ingredients that made it less acidic. Bill introduced the drink to Julius who then began selling the beverage. Soon fans were asking, "Give me an orange, Julius!" Sales escalated and the name of an original was born, according to the company.
"Consumers have told us they are looking for a premium branded fruit smoothie and beverage option in the sea of low quality smoothies available today," said Westrum as to why the DQ system was introducing Orange Julius beverages. "The Orange Julius concept has stood for premium blended fruit beverages for more than 70 years, so the time is right."
American Dairy Queen, Minneapolis, develops, licenses and services a system of more than 6,000 Dairy Queen stores in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries. ADQ is part of the Berkshire Hathaway family, a company owned by CEO Warren Buffett.