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.