McFlurry consists of whipped, soft-serve McDonald's vanilla-flavored ice cream in a cup. The McFlurry has a specially designed spoon with a hole in the handle which is attached to a blender. Sprinkles or various types of candy are added to the cup, which are then blended using the spoon. McFlurry flavors vary from market to market, and new flavors are introduced regularly.
The ice cream in a McFlurry is the same that McDonald's uses for its cones and sundaes. The ice cream is made from UHT milk, extended with methylcellulose. CNBC reported that, beginning in the fall of 2016, McDonald's started phasing out artificial flavors from its vanilla ice cream. The change was part of an effort to recover the more than 500 million customer visits it had lost since 2012.
Daniela Galarza and Ryan Sutton of Eater called the dessert "one of the least worst things anyone can order at McDonald’s, which is an accomplishment worthy of some recognition." Despite calling the McFlurry "a quick-serve medley of gelatinous, innocuous ice cream that some reviewers might consider closer to caulk than dairy," Wil Fulton of the Thrillist ranked the M&M McFlurry at the end of his list of the 17 Best Fast Food Desserts, ultimately concluding that the dessert "is the antithesis of pretension, and the epitome of low stakes, drive-thru fun. In other words, just relax, nerds. This isn't Per Se, per se." The Daily Meal put the Oreo McFlurry on its list of the Best Fast Food Desserts.
Prior to September 2006, McFlurry container lids were of a size that caused some animals to become trapped with their heads inside the container. A small outcry in the UK, particularly to protect hedgehogs and skunks, caused a redesign in the container shape. After "significant research and design testing," the size of the opening was reduced to prevent entry of these animals.
The program 30 Rock prominently featured the McFlurry in the plot of its season 3 episode 11 show called "St. Valentine's Day." The intentionally heavy-handed product placement caused a controversy in the media.
- Gillan, Jennifer (2010). Television and New Media: Must-Click TV. Routledge. ISBN 9781135965679. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "McFlurry USPTO trademark information". United States Patent and Trademark Office. 1997-12-19. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
- Whitten, Sarah (18 May 2017). "McDonald's changed its vanilla ice cream 6 months ago, and nobody noticed". CNBC. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Galarza, Daniela; Sutton, Ryan (April 10, 2018). "The 12 Best Fast-Food Desserts in America, Ranked". Eater. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Fulton, Wil (7 June 2018). "Ranking the Country's 17 Best Fast-Food Desserts". Thrillist. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "WORST: Burger King Caramel Sundae from The 10 Best and Worst Fast Food Desserts". The Daily Meal. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Review. Institute of Public Affairs. 2006. p. 56. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- "Hedgehogs humble McDonald's". Reuters. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
- Gillan 2010, pp. 188-189.