Milkshakes: Are You Ready to Shake Things Up?

Pop cakes were fun, Cronuts® very creative, but the new “thing” has moved on to the beverage category, with a spotlight on … milkshakes! The sweet and creamy classic frozen beverage, once the sweet object of America’s love affair with desserts, has evolved to take over the world. With this progression, Extreme Milkshakes are born.

Extremely …  Over-The-Top

Extravagant, extreme, monster, or crazy are only few of the many adjectives that characterize the evolved beverage. The giant, garnished milkshake is normally constructed in several steps. First, topping is poured on the inside wall of the glass before adding a milkshake base consisting of blended ice cream and milk. Next, for the decoration, a ganache is spread on the rim of the glass to hold pieces of chocolate or candies. It is then topped with whipped cream and a donut, brownie, cotton candy, or a slice of cake. Finally, decorative straws will give it the final touch.

Following the path of hybrid trends, Patissez, an Australian bakery and café, was the first to serve “Freakshakes” in a mason jar with this interesting take on the classic cold beverage. Since then, many operators have continued to test the boundaries of milkshake making. When the dessert was first introduced to a shop in London, people waited in line for two hours to try it! In the U.S., adventurous dessert lovers will find these insane beverages in New York City at the Burger and Beer establishment called Black Tap. The restaurant has about twelve monster-sized milkshakes to choose from.

Extreme Milkshakes are Insta-Worthy

According to Michael Whiteman, renowned food consultant and president of food and restaurant consulting company Baum + Whiteman, the popularity of the shakes is due to social media and shock value. He states, “Continuing the trend of outlandish, bigger-is-better mentality, there’s still a large presence of in-your-face ice cream desserts.” The craze started back in July of 2015 when Patissez’s pictures of overstuffed milkshakes hit social media. In a world where sharing pictures of one’s food has never been so intense, the most outrageous food trends will always get instant attention.

According to NPD Group/Crest, 85% of people are influenced to buy a dessert based on a picture. And whereas traditional milkshakes became popular because of taste, Monster Shakes became popular because it’s impossible to ignore a 3-foot-tall milkshake dressed in cereal, whipped cream, and an entire piece of chocolate cake. But a towering shake could also very well be the answer to a demand from customers who often use the word “crave” when ordering a milkshake (according to Donata Russell Ross, chief executive of Atlanta-based Concessions International).

Nevertheless, while customers are ready to wait two hours in line to get the experience, chefs also get satisfaction from people’s reactions to their creations. “Watching the faces of people when they get them,” said Black Tap chef Joe Isidori, “especially the kids, is the best thing.”

From Bali to Boston, the extravagant milkshakes have taken over the world in many different ways and fortunately for the lactose lovers, shows no signs of slowing down. Floats and affogatos are other beverages that are gaining momentum in the extreme category. But with an average
of 1600 calories per intake, the diet will have to wait.