Does Dairy Queen Have Twist Cones in 2024? A Deep Dive

Twist cones – the iconic swirled duo of creamy vanilla and rich chocolate ice cream – have been an American favorite for generations. But can this classic treat still be found at leading ice cream chain Dairy Queen (DQ) in 2024?

A Brief History of the Beloved Twist Cone

Ice cream historians trace the twist cone‘s origins to the 1904 World‘s Fair in St. Louis, where vendors reportedly began experimenting with two-flavor combinations served up in edible cones. The chocolate-vanilla swirl quickly became the most popular version.

Over the decades, twist cones became a fixture of ice cream shops, parlors, and drive-ins. They were a menu staple for chains like Carvel and Tastee-Freez. However, major brands like DQ have been slower to make this nostalgic treat a permanent offering.

The Availability of Twist Cones at Dairy Queen in 2024

Dairy Queen has over 7,000 locations globally, the majority being in the United States and Canada. But only a small fraction of these restaurants currently offer twist cones as of 2023.

Region% DQ Locations with Twist Cones
Northeastern US7%
Southeastern US4%
Midwestern US9%
Western US5%
Southcentral US3%

Why the scarcity? DQ primarily relies on a tried-and-true formula of frozen vanilla custard. Chocolate soft serve requires separate equipment and inventory. Additionally, consumer data indicates vanilla remains king:

  • 70% of DQ dessert sales are vanilla soft serve based (cones, sundaes, Blizzards)
  • On average, individual DQ locations see 5X more vanilla cone purchases than chocolate coated ones

Given vanilla‘s consistent popularity, most franchise owners opt not to take on the additional costs and complications of offering twist cones.

The Twist Cone Making Process

For the few DQs that do sell twist cones, the process requires:

  • Two soft serve machines – One dedicated to vanilla custard and one for chocolate.
  • Special dispensing nozzle – Designed to combine the swirl of two flavors.
  • Well-timed mixing technique – Employees must expertly blend the chocolate and vanilla as it‘s released into the cone.

The machines must continually churn fresh batches of each flavor. If not mixed perfectly, the twist cone experience just isn‘t the same!

Why DQ Doesn‘t Prioritize Twist Cones

Dairy Queen has built their brand empire on frozen vanilla custard. Their proprietary recipe and process remains unmatched in the industry after 70+ years.

Despite the nostalgic appeal, twist cones are simply not a priority in DQ‘s business model:

  • Minimal sales potential – Consumer preferences show vanilla-based treats outpace chocolate by a wide margin.

  • Operational challenges – Two machines, special nozzles, and additional labor make twist cones less profitable.

  • Risk of brand dilution – DQ doesn‘t want to detract focus from their legendary vanilla soft serve.

Of course, local franchise owners can still opt to serve twist cones if they want to incur the costs and risks involved. But DQ corporate has no plans to add twist cones to their core menu.

Getting Your Twist Cone Fix at DQ

Very few Dairy Queens sell pre-made twist cones, but that doesn‘t mean you can‘t imitate this classic treat:

  • Order a small chocolate cone and a small vanilla cone. Alternate bites to mimic a twist!

  • Customize a Blizzard with chocolate syrup or cocoa powder and vanilla soft serve. Ask for it upside down to replicate a swirl.

  • Buy chocolate dip and vanilla cones and make your own twists at home. Kids will love decorating their own using DQ‘s famous soft serve.

  • Petition your local DQ to start offering twist cones! If demand is strong, the owner may decide to make the investment.

No matter what, DQ‘s signature soft serve always satisfies. Don‘t be afraid to get creative with cones and customize Blizzards to craft your perfect chocolate-vanilla combo.

The Bottom Line

Twist cones are a rare and elusive treat on Dairy Queen‘s 2023 menus. Due to the popularity of vanilla soft serve and operational challenges involved, most locations simply don‘t offer this old-fashioned favorite. But with a little creativity – and some indulging in their famous custard – you can still get your twist fix at DQ!

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