The Curious Case of Dairy Queen’s Cherry Dip
A sign for cherry dip at the Dairy Queen store in Lake City, Minnesota. Photo by Tina Nguyen

The Curious Case of Dairy Queen’s Cherry Dip

DQ discontinued cherry-dipped soft-serve, or did it?

Fans of the Dairy Queen cherry-dipped cone were disappointed in March when International Dairy Queen announced it would phase out the staple that dates back decades.

As summer approached, customers reported in posts to social media and call-ins to the Jason & Alexis show on MyTalk 107 that the dip wasn’t dead yet. In late June, the marquee on a Dairy Queen in Lake City still read “YES WE STILL HAVE CHERRY DIP.” Customers reported cherry dip was still available at a Two Harbors and a Moorhead Dairy Queen as well. Road trips were planned.

Diane Hanson, co-owner of the DQ at the corner of Main and Eighth in Moorhead, still has cherry dip, along with butterscotch dip, which was discontinued last year. “The minute I hear that they’re going to deplete something, I buy up as much of it as I can, so we had enough butterscotch dip to get us through [last] season, and I did the same with the cherry dip [this season].”

While Hanson notes that butterscotch dip was restored to the corporate menu, cherry is a goner. Once supplies are depleted, cherry dip will be gone for good, Dairy Queen confirmed to TCB. “While it’s great to see our fans’ love for the cherry dipped cone, we are always innovating our menus to showcase new and delicious flavors.”

Her Moorhead location only uses International Dairy Queen-authorized ingredients, but its menu doesn’t look like newer DQ Grill & Chills. Opened in 1949, the Moorhead store still holds its original license agreement, which allows it to offer a range of classic menu options that a new Dairy Queen couldn’t. For example, chocolate-covered bananas and frozen malt sticks.

Two Harbors Dairy Queen
Two Harbors
Photo by Mike Novak

Founded in 1940, Dairy Queen was once regarded as the local ice cream joint in much of small-town America. Owned by Berkshire Hathaway since 1997, DQ has expanded globally, and its Grill & Chill concepts offer drive-throughs, hot food, and indoor seating, catering to a customer far younger and less nostalgia-driven than those who excitedly count down the days to the opening of legacy seasonal walk-ups like the Moorhead store.

The power of a nostalgic taste is not lost on Hanson. “I remember what I would get when I would go to the Dairy Queen. … a kid-sized vanilla cone dipped in cherry.”

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