We All Scream for Wendy’s 50 Cent Frosty

The Wendy’s Frosty Recipe is a Secret, But We Will Share its History

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When was the last time you could roll-up anywhere and get a sweet, satisfying, creamy, delicious dairy dessert for only half a dollar? Well, if you frequent Wendy’s® as much as I do, it was last year when we offered our signature Frosty® for only 50 cents.

Folks, we’re happy to share that again, for a limited time, we’re doling out a delicious small Frosty for only 50 cents*.

Should I say it one more time? The Frosty is 50 cents.

We’re proud of the fact the Frosty, or what some call our take on a Wendy’s milkshake, has been nearly the same for more than 40 years. It’s not hard to get cocoa, milk and sugar right, but when the Frosty recipe was created, Dave Thomas was striving for something special. It had to have just the right consistency and a sweet, but not too sweet flavor. It took some time, but Dave was committed to getting the Frosty right.

In this post we’re sharing a bit of history about how the Frosty came to be what it is today. We hope you enjoy digging through a piece of Wendy’s history while enjoying a delicious 50 cent Frosty, and hey, we won’t judge you if you dip your fries in it.

From The Wendy’s Vault: The History of The Frosty

In the late 60’s Dave Thomas wanted to create a unique dairy dessert for his new concept, Wendy’s. Dave had a vision of what he wanted. It was supposed to be a thick product, which you would eat with a spoon, and it would have a clean, mild chocolate flavor. One key element was to make it a “light chocolate flavor.” Dave felt his customer would eat their Frosty with their meal and did not want the Frosty to have too strong a flavor that would detract from his great hamburgers. A friend worked with Dave to develop the original formula for the Frosty. Under Dave’s guidance, they put together a formula, developed a stabilizer system and sourced cocoa for the Frosty. The cocoa was key, as he wanted a quality cocoa that had a clean flavor.

In the very early days of Wendy’s, before our supply chain evolved, if the Frosty Mix was not available, a restaurant would use 50% Vanilla Soft Serve mix with 50% Chocolate Soft Serve mix to make the Frosty. When a location would have enough volume to justify running the Wendy’s Frosty recipe, they would switch to the Wendy’s Frosty Mix.

The Frosty is a unique product in the fast food industry. It is not a milkshake and not soft serve. If you want to get technical, most quick service shakes have a higher overrun and are filled with air. Shakes can be sipped with a straw and have a grainier more ice crystal-like structure. Soft serve is of course thicker and has less overrun. The product is drier and has different eating qualities than a Frosty, so we see the Frosty as a hybrid of the two.  

Many believe one of the reasons the Frosty has been so successful is that Wendy’s has maintained a quality product using only premium dairy ingredients. We’re not going to give you the recipe for how to make a Wendy’s Frosty at home. Because, secrets. But we will tell you that the Frosty wouldn’t be the Frosty without quality ingredients like, real milk, real cream, natural vanilla flavor and chocolate that uses real cocoa. Plus, the Frosty contains no artificial flavors.

 All these factors help make the Frosty the unique and very successful product it is today.

 It’s time to go to your nearest Wendy’s and get that small Frosty for just 50 cents.

* At participating Wendy’s for a limited time.

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