This Is Why Wendy's Frostys Are So Delicious

There's just something about that bright red cup, filled to the brim with chocolaty goodness. You guessed it — we're talking about the Wendy's Frosty. If you've ever made your way through a Wendy's drive-thru or sat inside the restaurant, chances are, you didn't escape without a Frosty at some point. Next to Wendy's square-shaped burgers, Frostys are one of the chain's most quintessential menu items, and whether it's for lunch with your college roommate or with your kids as an after-soccer-practice treat, the iconic Frosty is always a classic you can count on.

Whether you're having a Frosty for dessert or as a middle of the day treat, the majority of us can all agree these frozen treats are ridiculously delicious. Wendy's serves millions of Frostys each year, so there must be a reason we're all so crazy for them. But what is it? What exactly makes Wendy's Frostys so good? We decided to take a look. This is why Wendy's Frostys are so delicious.

They've been there since the beginning

You know the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." We're thinking this may be the Wendy's mantra when it comes to the iconic Frosty — along with some of their other original menu items. According to Wendy's, the first menu featured hamburgers, chili, french fries, soft drinks, and the Frosty, and all of those items have stuck with the growing chain since then. Wendy's was founded in 1969, so it's safe to say the treat was a success.

Obviously the founder of Wendy's didn't invent the great American burger, chili, soda, or fries, but the same does not apply for the Frosty. The original Frosty was the brainchild of Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas himself, and Thomas was very specific in his desire to offer customers a mixture between a milkshake and soft serve ice cream. He wanted something on the menu so thick that guests would need to eat it with a spoon, and they've been doing that ever since day one. The tried and true Frosty recipe has been on the menu for 50 years now, and with that track record, we're pretty sure people love it.

They have a ton of sugar

Is anything actually ridiculously delicious unless it's chock-full of sugar? That's debatable. But we all know it's unavoidable to crave a sweet treat from time to time. With sugar listed as the second ingredient in the Frosty recipe, we know it plays a huge part in what makes those things so darn tasty.

A small Frosty contains 47 grams of sugar, much more than the recommended amount we should all consume in an entire day. According to Healthline, the max amount of added sugar an adult man should eat in a day is 37.5 grams, while women should consume 25 grams or less. With 47 grams in a small size, all the way up to 81 grams of sugar in a large Frosty, obviously this frozen treat is offering us the good stuff — way too much of the good stuff, in fact. 

Despite those high numbers, we still love them. Sugar is highly addictive, and according to BBC Science, our bodies have no way of telling when we've had enough — we just know it makes us happy. It's no wonder a sugar-filled Frosty is always able to hit the spot.

They're made at a very particular temperature

The desire to have a menu item that exemplified the wonderfully balanced mixture of a milkshake and soft serve ice cream was always Thomas' plan, and he knew what he was talking about. It's refreshing. The Frosty is delicious. It's exactly what you wanted, without even knowing it. And that unique, consistent texture has a lot to do with it — and it continues to this day. But that smooth, creamy texture comes with very specific instructions if you want to achieve perfection.

According to Wendy's (via Reader's Digest), Frostys are always kept between 19 and 21 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the ideal composition, and they're unwavering on that number. Any warmer and it would be too thin, and any colder and it would be way too thick. We certainly thank them for that attention to detail. That strict temperature balance produces the ideal dessert, and there's nothing else out there quite like it.

They're actually made with milk

Fast food chains have had their fair share of scandals and accusations about what really goes into their products. But other than some talk about the potential addition of seaweed (stemming from the inclusion of carrageenan to help with how smooth a Frosty is), Frostys haven't taken much of a beating. In fact, most Wendy's press releases regarding the Frosty actually boast about the sweet treats being "made with quality ingredients — like fresh milk, rich cream and cocoa," contributing to what makes them so creamy and so good.  

Wendy's combines a list of 16 ingredients to produce its impeccably smooth Frosty. But the real highlight on the ingredients list is that milk is at the very top of it, with cream following not too far down on the list. You can taste those real ingredients, and they're one of the reasons Frostys taste so good. And especially with our love for consuming milk when we're looking to quench our cravings, or when we're just looking for comfort, Frostys definitely keep us coming back for more.

Chocolate Frostys aren't completely chocolate

Most of us will down a Frosty and not realize that it's not entirely chocolate. Sure, it's not as rich and wildly sweet as some of its other chocolate dessert counterparts, but that has never really mattered — it still tastes like chocolate. If you're one of the few who can tell the difference, you might realize it's not all chocolate, but don't worry. They're actually made that way on purpose.

Former Wendy's VP of Communications, Denny Lynch, told The Daily Meal (via Fox News) that Thomas was concerned the restaurants wouldn't be able to consistently make a really thick milkshake, so he went with a plan B. He asked a dairy supplier to mix together chocolate and vanilla dairy products and to make it thick, and the result was perfect. 

According to Reader's Digest, Thomas wanted to make sure that if his guests ate the frozen treat paired with a burger that the chocolate flavor wouldn't overpower the meat. The reason they are so delicious on their own, or pair so well with a meal, is due to the perfect amount of chocolate — and it was entirely intentional. 

You can now choose between chocolate or vanilla

For 37 years, the Classic Chocolate Frosty was the only permanent Frosty option at Wendy's. Sure, over the years the company has introduced a number of variations to the OG product such as the Twisted Frosty with the option of M&M's or OREO pieces mixed in. They even tried serving Frostys in a waffle cone, and in 2019 they introduced the Cookie Sundaes

But there was never a consistent counterpart to the beloved chocolate flavor until the Vanilla Frosty was introduced in 2006. And although some may disagree, it seems to have caught on. Now, Wendy's guests have the option of an entirely vanilla Frosty or to stick with the original just as Thomas wanted it. And while the die hard chocolate lovers are still holding their ground arguing for their allegiance, the vanilla lovers are gaining traction — and if that's your thing, the Frosty probably tastes even better to you now. Either way, you still get the same consistency, and the vanilla option even has a few less calories.

They have fewer calories than a milkshake

For those of us who are conscious about our calorie intake, there may be a little bit of saving grace for this iconic dessert. After all, we don't want to deprive ourselves of something tasty once in a while, right? Although Frostys are full of sugar, they are served up with less calories than your normal fast food milkshake. Yay!

A small 12-ounce chocolate shake from McDonald's will add 530 calories to your day, and they still even pack 470 calories without the whipped cream topping. A 16-ounce chocolate shake from Burger King will add 760 calories to your day. But there is a silver lining in our list of decadent fast food options. A small 12-ounce Frosty tops out at only 350 calories, making it much easier to work it into that daily calorie limit you're working towards. And if you're really trying to cut back but still want to satisfy that sweet tooth, a Junior size will only add 200 calories to your daily count. The ability to work this dessert into almost any diet plan makes it that much more satisfying.

They're an affordable treat and always have been

There's just something so much sweeter about getting a bargain. Whether it's a shirt on sale or something as simple as a Frosty, that little bit of extra change saved adds up. Don't things just taste better when we don't have to go broke by buying them? According to Money Crashers, Meir Statman, a behavioral economist at Santa Clara University, says that when someone knows the amount of money saved, even with something as simple as a meal at a restaurant, savers experience immense pleasure.

The Frosty has always been affordable, and Wendy's has made a lot of effort in keeping it that way. In 1969, when this chocolaty treat was first introduced, it only set you back 35 cents. Sweet deal, right?! Well, as of 2019 you can still get a small Frosty for only $1.09 (depending on your location), making it affordable for pretty much anyone to enjoy. 

Plus, over the years, the company has continued to introduce promos to make Frostys even more affordable. Wendy's has introduced a promo for several summers, offering small Frostys for just 50 cents, making it that much easier, and sweeter, to enjoy the classic novelty more often. And each winter, they often release $2 key chains that allow you to get free Frosty Juniors for an entire year. If you really want to enjoy that Frosty, keep an eye out for deals.

They pair perfectly with french fries

There aren't very many frozen desserts that you can feel good about eating with french fries. You probably wouldn't eat McDonald's french fries with a pint of Ben and Jerry's, would you? In fact, other than ketchup, ranch dressing, and maybe the occasional barbecue sauce, there aren't many things that you can actually say pair perfectly with french fries. But Frostys are the exception to that rule. And frankly there are many of us who go to Wendy's specifically just for that flavor combo.

But why do we love that combination of salty and sweet so much? Well, it's actually backed by science. Matt Hartings, professor of Chemistry at American University told Thrillist, it's really just basic chemistry.

"When you look at how chefs develop their meals, they want to strike balance of flavors, and make sure everything play well together. This is an encapsulation of that. The fries have to be crispy and hot, the Frosty has to be cold. The fries bring the savory and the Frosty brings the sweet. It's how food works, and part of the reason why we love to eat." Serving up the ideal consistency for so many years has allowed for this pairing, making the Frosty infinitely more delicious.