Category Archives: Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Loses Trademark Dispute Over “Blizzard”

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen has lost its lawsuit against office products dealer W.B. Mason over its use of the word “Blizzard.”

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard is a popular frozen confection that the quick service restaurant chain has been selling since 1985, and the company alleged that its trademark was infringed W.B. Mason’s use of the word as names for its copier paper and bottle spring water.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson sided with W.B. Mason in a 217-page decision released on June 10, 2022, and released on Friday. She wrote that “Dairy Queen introduced no evidence of an actual association between the two products.”

In Dairy Queen’s 2018 lawsuit that it originally filed its home state of Minnesota, the company asserted that “W.B. Mason’s actions constitute unfair competition and false designation of origin under the common law of Minnesota and all states, and have caused and are likely to cause injury to the public, and have caused and are likely to cause Dairy Queen to suffer irreparable injury.”

In response, W.B. Mason filed a lawsuit in its home state of Massachusetts.

“Indeed, no reasonable person would ever mistakenly believe that copy paper or spring water sold by W.B. Mason and emblazoned with the W.B. MASON mark and logo emanates from, or is associated with (Dairy Queen),” attorneys for W.B. Mason maintained in their filing.

Berkshire Hathaway, which acquired Dairy Queen in 1998, has not decided whether to appeal the decision.

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen’s New Menu Is Its Most Extensive Rollout in Two Decades

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Berkshire Hathaway’s American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) has announced its new Signature Stackburgers™ menu. Centered on cheeseburgers that deliver on consumer demand for big flavor and variety, this new menu is the most significant product rollout for ADQ in the past 20 years.

“Our hot food menu, served at our DQ® Grill & Chill® restaurants, is key to our business goal to become a balanced leader in both food and treat items. We know that means innovating and expanding our everyday food offerings, and the new Signature Stackburgers go beyond typical cheeseburgers that you find at quick service restaurants,” said Troy Bader, president and chief executive officer at International Dairy Queen. “Offered in five flavor varieties, our new Signature Stackburgers deliver on everything fans want, and we are confident these new cheeseburgers will keep our fans coming back for more.”

Created as an everyday offering to defeat burger boredom, the Signature Stackburgers menu comes in five flavor varieties in the U.S. Offered as one-third pound doubles and one-half pound triples, each cheeseburger is made with 100-percent seasoned real beef and served on a soft and toasted bun with a wide array of delicious toppings.

The New Signature Stackburgers menu includes:

• FlameThrower® with fiery FlameThrower sauce, perfectly melted Pepper Jack*, jalapeno bacon, tomato and lettuce
• Loaded A.1.® with A.1. Thick & Hearty Steak Sauce, creamy peppercorn sauce, thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, perfectly melted Sharp American* and crunchy onion rings
• Bacon Two Cheese Deluxe with perfectly melted Sharp American* and White Cheddar*, thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, ketchup and mayo
• Two Cheese Deluxe with perfectly melted Sharp American* and White Cheddar*, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, ketchup and mayo
• Original Cheeseburger with perfectly melted Sharp American*, pickles, ketchup and mustard

“We know our fans are looking for cheeseburgers that offer big flavor and premium ingredients that keep them coming back for more, and the Signature Stackburgers menu was designed to meet that craving,” said Kelly Kenny, vice president of brand and product marketing at ADQ. “We now are offering five different cheeseburgers that bring flavor variety to our everyday menu, each made with perfectly melted cheese, seasoned beef and a host of creative toppings, all served on a perfectly soft and airy bun.”

The Signature Stackburgers menu is available at all DQ Grill & Chill restaurants across the U.S.

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen to Add 600 Locations in China

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen will open 600 new locations in China by 2030, adding the first 100 by the end of 2022.

China is the fastest growing market for the DQ brand and is among the top three in size, alongside the U.S. and Canada. There are currently more than 1,100 DQ restaurants in China.

The quick serve locations will be owned by FountainVest Partners, a leading independent private equity firm with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The franchise development agreement, spearheaded by the FountainVest-acquired franchise ownership company CFB Group, expands its stronghold in China. FountainVest recently acquired CFB Group, a franchise ownership group in mainland China with more than 900 DQ restaurants.

“The market for frozen treats is booming in China and we predict the industry will continue a rapid growth trajectory during the next ten years,” said Andrew Huang, managing director at FountainVest Partners. “FountainVest is committed to fully supporting CFB Group’s growth of both its existing DQ restaurants and opening 600 new DQ restaurants by 2030.”

CFB Group has worked with IDQ to develop and launch products unique to the Chinese market, including hard pack ice cream, specialty novelties, light meals and artfully designed DQ Cakes. Across a more than 20-year relationship, CFB Group has outperformed China’s industrial average for frozen treats, making the DQ brand one of the best performing QSR brands in China.

“China remains an important growth market to us, and this expansion with FountainVest provides the opportunity to widen our footprint in one of the fastest-growing countries for QSR,” said Jean Champagne, chief operating officer, international, at International Dairy Queen. “The continued success of our investment in China, which includes several unique-to-China food and treat offerings, showcases the strength of the DQ brand to fans throughout the country.”

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Adds Plant-Based, Dairy Free Dilly Bar

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen has added a dairy-free version to its iconic Dilly Bar. Warren Buffett has long been a fan of the classic version, but now vegetarians can enjoy a Non-dairy Dilly Bar that is gluten free, dairy free and plant-based.

The bar uses a coconut cream based protein that is encased in a crunchy vegan chocolate coating.

“The Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is being offered in response to fan requests, as well as to align with consumer and industry trends,” Dairy Queen’s Corporate Communications Director Amie Hoffner explained to QSRweb. “Many families have members who follow a variety of diets, including dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan, and we at DQ want everyone to have access to a treat that suits their needs.”

Summer just got better!

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

9 Dairy Queens Close Suddenly in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

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A local Dairy Queen franchisee has gone belly up in Fort Worth, Texas, forcing the closure of nine Dairy Queen Grill restaurants.

The restaurants were owned by Lickety Split Food Services and located in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Euless, Hurst, Keller, and Roanoke.

A letter posted on the front door stated:

“It is with deep regret that we have discontinued operating our Dairy Queen restaurants. Nothing gave us greater joy than to serve you DQ’s amazing treats and eats. Thank you for the wonderful season we shared. Fun numbers: 9 DQ locations opened 2013 – 2016. 6 years and 7 months in business. 7,500,000+ customers served. 4,250,000 Blizzards flipped. Special thank you to our amazing team members who worked hard to make your DQ experience better than you remember.”

Never fear DQ lovers, there are some 40 other DQ locations in the area that are owned by other operators and are doing business as usual.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Targets Columbia, South Carolina for Expansion

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As part of a nationwide franchising initiative, American Dairy Queen is focused on expanding its regional footprint in Columbia, South Carolina.

The franchisor is looking for qualified, multi-unit capable franchisees who “have the ambition and skillset to succeed with a timeless company.”

Taking a proactive development approach, the brand has outlined immediate franchise opportunities with potential DQ Grill & Chill trade areas already identified.

“The Dairy Queen brand has been bringing joy to people worldwide for many years. Its reputation and staying power are what attracts dedicated franchise ownership groups and encourages them to add the DQ brand to their portfolios,” said Julie Davis, Director of Franchise Sales and Development U.S. “With immediate opportunities available, strong multi-unit operators have the chance to grow with a classic brand while being among the first to introduce DQ Grill & Chill® to the Columbia community.”

Maintaining its recipe for success throughout more than 75 years, the DQ system currently has more than 7,000 locations worldwide and is expanding nationwide with a focus on 10 additional growth markets in: Sacramento, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; Orlando, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Tulsa, Okla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Albany, N.Y.; Fresno, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; and New Orleans, La.

After perfecting the DQ Grill & Chill design prototype and adding new executives to its franchise development leadership team, ADQ is launching incentive programs to attract motivated multi-unit operators who are eager to grow with a timeless brand and execute through the development process at an advanced pace. These programs include a timeline, multi-unit opening, year on year and a re-purpose incentive.

“We launched these incentives for elite franchisees with a fast-track mindset and our team is eager and ready to support them,” added Davis. “The Dairy Queen brand’s existing customer base in Columbia has been lucky enough to experience the sweet treats we have to offer. Now, we’re ready for them to be able to enjoy a full dining experience with made-to-order lunch and dinner options.”

The industry leading DQ Grill & Chill business model, includes site selection intelligence, seasoned business consultants and ongoing marketing support. It is designed to attract individuals and operating teams with a strong business acumen, proven ownership experience, an interest in multi-unit franchising and a net worth of at least $1,000,000.

DQ Grill & Chill® restaurants offer a full line of fresh, high-quality food and frozen treats to delight fans of all ages. Moving forward, ADQ is focused on building freestanding drive-thru restaurants. The investment for this model ranges from $1,091,025 to $1,849,625, which includes the initial $35,000 franchise fee but does not include the cost of land.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Shopping for New PR Firm

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Berkshire Hathaway’s International Dairy Queen, Inc. has cool new headquarter in Bloomington, Minnesota, and it may soon have a new PR firm as well.

Dairy Queen is reportedly shopping for a firm to replace its current PR firm, Pierson Grant, which has represented Dairy Queen’s 4,500 U.S. franchises for over a decade.

Pierson Grant is a full-service public relations, digital strategy and creative marketing firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

No information has been released as to a reason for making a change, or when it is anticipated to happen.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Has Cool New Headquarters

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That most iconic of American brands, Dairy Queen, now has a modern new headquarters.

Berkshire Hathaway’s International Dairy Queen, Inc. has relocated its headquarters to 53,000 square feet in the Normandale Lakes Office Park, 8000 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, Minnesota.

The new workplace connects multiple floors with unique collaborative spaces and state-of-the-art technology, all reflecting the energy of the DQ® brand and its forward-looking vision. Modern personal workspaces together with creative meeting/social spaces and a new test kitchen and product lab all foster flexibility and help spark innovation and collaboration. Improved daylighting and views, ergonomic adjustability and custom artwork celebrate the iconic brand’s mission of creating positive memories for all who touch DQ.

“Our new headquarters reflects the joy of the DQ brand and the passion of its fans and employees around the world,” said IDQ President and CEO Troy Bader. “Along with our international and field teams, our nearly 250 U.S. franchisee support center employees work hard every day to support franchisees and grow the DQ brand. We believe it is important to give our employees the tools they need to be successful, and that starts with providing an incredible work environment and the opportunity to develop their careers and have an impact on this iconic brand. We are proud to be an employer of choice in the Twin Cities.”

The new DQ headquarters was designed by HGA Architects & Engineers of Minneapolis.

New IDQ Headquarters at a Glance:

Employees: 250

Square Footage: 53,000 sq. ft.

Address:
8331 Norman Center Drive
8000 Tower, Suite 700
Bloomington, MN 55437

Just off of highway 100 in the Normandale Lakes Office Park, adjacent to the 2,500-acre Normandale Lake Recreational Area.

Pictures of the new headquarters can be seen at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Cool Offices.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

China Key to Dairy Queen’s Dramatic Growth

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That most iconic of American brands, Dairy Queen, is growing fast far from American shores.

Of Dairy Queen’s 394 new locations, 331 are international, and China is the number one market for growth with 194 new outlets.

The growth in China isn’t new, as the frozen treat purveyor added 150 locations in China in 2017.

“This year we will open our 1,000th location,” President and CEO Troy Bader explains. “And we opened our 500th location in China and 100th in the Philippines.”

While frozen treats remain the primary attraction, the tea and smoothie lines are a big hit in China. DQ has worked hard at tailoring products to local tastes. While the All-American hot dog is a hit, it’s been flavored and spiced for the Chinese palate. The same has been down in the beverage category, with Okinawa Black Sugar especially popular.

Fruit flavors such as apricot, peach and durian are also popular.

Tea is also used in its frozen desserts, with Ceylon black tea blended in with ice cream as one of its Blizzard menu items.

Much like in the U.S., DQ in China is doing well with food, frozen treats, beverages and cakes. However, they feature additional snack items, such as chicken wings and bone-in drumsticks. They also have a popular spiced gravy that goes on French fries.

Bader believes there’s lots of potential for growth in China, and the numbers clearly back that up.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Cheers Up Nation With Free Cone Day

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Can happiness be measured? Yes it can, if cool treats and sticky chins are involved. According to a national consumer survey* commissioned by American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ), 92.2 percent of Americans say a DQ® soft-serve cone would make them happy. The good news is that like the start of spring, DQ Free Cone Day is just around the corner.

On Wednesday, March 20, fans can enjoy a free small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on top (limit one per customer, while supplies last) at participating non-mall DQ® and DQ Grill & Chill® locations throughout the U.S.

“We love that our tradition of Free Cone Day has become synonymous with return of warmer weather and bringing people together,” said Maria Hokanson, Executive Vice President of Marketing at ADQ. “We know the start of soft-serve season brings joy to our fans, and we can’t wait to help spread smiles.”

The consumer survey also uncovered that:

• People are happier on Free Cone Day than they are on their own birthday.
• 61.6 percent would share a bite of their DQ cone with their significant other, but only 23 percent would share the first bite. (Rightfully so.)

Following Free Cone Day, DQ is offering a small regular or dipped soft serve cone for 50 cents, available for redemption only with the DQ mobile app, March 21-31 at participating DQ and DQ Grill & Chill locations. This offer includes the NEW DQ orange, creamy and crunchy dreamsicle dip, or try the DQ classic chocolate dip
.
Throughout the year on the DQ mobile app, fans will receive national weekly exclusive DQ deals on treats, food and beverages, redeemable only at participating DQ restaurants in the U.S., excluding Texas.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.