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What’s the Difference Between a McFlurry and a Blizzard?

Small McDonald's McFlurry

While some might argue that Dairy Queen is ice cream royalty, especially when it comes to the brand’s signature Blizzard treat, there’s no denying that McDonald’s McFlurry gives the Blizzard some competition. You might have a personal favorite, and we’re not about to try to sway you one way or another—but there are some differences between the two ice cream concoctions.

Which came first, the Blizzard or McFlurry? DQ has McDonald’s beat by ten years, there. The Blizzard was introduced in 1985—the McFlurry in 1995.

So, it makes sense that McDonald’s took some “notes” from its ice cream competition,  but what are the differences?

First, it’s important to note that both confections were inspired by the classic milkshake. While you probably won’t be sipping a McFlurry or Blizzard, they are both soft-serve concoctions that are essentially scoopable milkshakes with mix-ins.

The McFlurry actually originated in Canada, with the first one rolled out at McDonald’s in New Brunswick.

Today, a traditional McFlurry features a cup of McDonald’s soft-serve and whatever mix-ins a customer desires. The original options were Butterfinger, Oreo, Health, Nestle’s Crunch, and M&Ms, but different locations offer different mix-ins, and flavors can change seasonally.

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The Dairy Queen Blizzard is created with the same concept in mind. Take a cup of DQ soft-serve, add your favorite mix-ins, and whip into a frenzy. DQ has become famous for how thick their Blizzards are, even will even tip the treats upside down in front of customers—if it falls, it’s free!

Is there a clear winner between McDonald’s and Dairy Queen? Not necessarily. It’s nothing more than a matter of preference. However, Dairy Queen tends to blend their Blizzards a bit more thoroughly. You’ll enjoy smaller pieces of your mix-ins throughout the ice cream, rather than large chunks every few bites.

You’ll also almost always have more options when it comes to your Blizzard treat. Dairy Queen has countless candy and cookie mix-ins, and you can combine more than one to create your own custom concoction. The company also adds new seasonal flavors throughout the year, from pumpkin pie in the fall to peppermint in the winter. They’ve even linked up with the Girl Scouts in the past to create a Thin Mint Blizzard!

So, the real differences between a McFlurry and a Blizzard are how thoroughly they’re mixed, and the toppings and mix-ins you can add. If you don’t already have a favorite, try a side-by-side taste test and see if you can notice any other subtle differences that sway you one way or the other.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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