Now there are fancier and fatter ways to get brain freeze.
The report show milkshakes getting bigger and bigger and with more and more calories. One shake has all the calories a 6-foot man needs for the entire day. That's right, the entire day.
These shakes are the ultimate in indulgence and gluttony. We don't need them that big. Why can't a treat be small and delicious? Why does it have to have heart attack written across it?
We know why. It makes more money for restaurants; a lot more than healthy foods.
Don't buy these obesity shakers.
Even as sales of fruit smoothies keep growing, a counter-move is afoot in the restaurant industry to give the old-fashioned milkshake extra buzz by taking it upscale.
It's working: Sales of milkshakes, malts and floats rose 11% in 2006, says NPD Group, an industry research specialist. They're picking up steam at odd hours, too: Nearly 1-in-10 of the dairy drinks is sold at breakfast and 3-in-10 are sold as late-night snacks. The drivers: nostalgia for the customer and profits for the restaurant.
For restaurants, milkshakes are easy money. "They're enormously profitable," Muller says. The average price of a restaurant shake in 2006 was about $3.38, reports Technomic, a market research firm.
About 75% of that is profit, Muller says.•Twinkie shakes. For $5 to $7, 5-month-old BLT Burger in New York serves a Twinkie Boy shake — made with a Hostess Twinkie, vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup. "We sell a lot of those," says Tim Murphy, manager.
•Hand-scooped. Since launching hand-scooped shakes nearly two years ago, shake sales at Hardee's and Carl's Jr. have tripled — even though the price jumped nearly a buck to $2.99, says Brad Haley, marketing chief. Coming to the chains in May: Orange Cream (Creamsicle-like) shakes.
•Bottled shakes. Ben & Jerry's has taken three of its most popular ice cream flavors — Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie — and put them into $1.99 bottled shakes that are sold mostly through convenience stores.
But most shakes, particularly candy-filled shakes, are full of calories and fat, warns Amy Lanou, nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina.
A large Health Bar shake weighs in at 2,160 calories, she says. "That's the total calories many adults need for a day."