Making peach magic with "real peaches"

04/05/2010 02:48:21 PM
Tom Karst

Chick-fil-A is making magic again with peach milkshakes, but how are they doing it?

From PRNewswire on April 5:

Last summer, Chick-fil-A® offered a peach-flavored milkshake for a limited time that proved to be wildly popular among customers.  Starting today, the chain is bringing the Peach Milkshake back as a limited-time flavor through June 26 at the chain's mall and stand-alone restaurants nationwide.  

The Peach Milkshake is made with real peaches and, as with the chain's year-round milkshake flavors, is hand-spun with Chick-fil-A's popular "home-style" Icedream® and topped with light whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Milkshakes are offered in 14 oz. or 20 oz. cups and priced at $2.55 and $2.95, respectively (at most locations).  

Since Chick-fil-A first introduced its line of Hand-Spun Milkshakes in May 2006, the desserts have quickly become one of the most popular products on the menu.  

"We continue to build upon the overall success of our Hand-Spun Milkshakes by creating limited-time flavors as a way to celebrate special times of the year," said Woody Faulk, Chick-fil-A's vice president of brand strategy and design, who oversees the chain's menu strategy.  "Our previous limited-time flavors have helped maintain interest in our milkshake line among existing customers and also have helped us win new customers who were not aware of Chick-fil-A's Milkshakes.  The peach flavor in particular was a tremendous hit with customers last year, so we are excited to bring the flavor again.  We have a feeling we will be making a lot of customers happy!"

I've had these peach milkshakes before and they are amazing. However, given the timing of the announcement, I am coming to terms with the fact the peaches being used are apparently not fresh peaches. Consider the fact that for the most recent reporting period, March 21 to March 27,  the USDA reported total fresh peach shipments of twenty  100,000 pound units. While that may sound substantial, that volume represents only a tiny fraction of combined domestic and imported peach volume. 

Alas, the just announced reprise of the "real peach" shake at Chick Fil A is not "real fresh," at least according to my common sense deductions.

Here is how the fresh peach crop is marketed in the U.S., according to the USDA

% of fresh peaches marketed by month - 2009
April  0.2%
May 1%
June 18%
July 26%
August 22.9%
September 12.8%

Kudos to Chick-Fil-A for a scrumptious peach milkshake and creating the illusion of seasonality with limited time availability. Considering the peach milkshake is likely made with frozen peaches, Chick Fil A could make and market these shakes year round. Add the Chick Fil-A milkshake to the McRib and Girl Scout cookies on the list of  "limited time only" foods consumers will doggedly seek out  "while supplies last."



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John    
Florida  |  August, 07, 2013 at 08:16 AM

I looked all over chick-fil-a's website, and they do not list the ingredients of their peach milkshake. They do list the ingredients of their strawberry milkshake, and it certainly is not making me want to drive on down to try one of their peach milkshakes: Icedream (whole milk, sugar, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor, corn starch, mono & diglycerides, microcrystalline cellulose, carrageenan, guar gum, Yellow 5 & 6), milkshake base (whole milk, sugar, cream, whey powder milk, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, guar gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan), strawberries (water, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar syrup, modified food starch, salt, erythorbic acid, potassium sorbate as preservative, citric acid, artificial color, [contains FD&C Red #40]), whipped cream (cream, milk, sugar, sorbitol, nonfat milk solids, artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, polysorbate 80, mixed tocopherols [vitamin E] to protect flavor, propellant: nitrous oxide), cherries, (high fructose corn syrup, water, potassium sorbate [a preservative], sodium benzoate [a preservative], citric acid, artificial flavor, FD&C Red #40, sulfur dioxide [a preservative]).

John    
Florida  |  August, 07, 2013 at 08:19 AM

"Made with real peaches" could mean that they use a syrup that is 99% high fructose corn syrup and 1% processed peach extract.

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