The Wendy's Staple Vanilla Frosty Is Making A Return

Vanilla Frosty fans rejoice! According to Chew Boom, Wendy's announced on January 21 that the frozen treat will be making its comeback this winter following an eight-month hiatus. The vanilla Frosty, which The Street notes was first introduced during the summer of 2006, was temporarily replaced in June 2022 when the chain introduced the summer special strawberry Frosty, which they kept until November when the peppermint Frosty made its debut.

At the time of its release, the vanilla Frosty was only the second flavor of Wendy's famous dessert ever created by the brand. As Wendy's website notes, when the restaurant was first started by Dave Thomas in 1969 there were only five items on the menu, square burgers, chili, fries, soft drinks, and the now iconic chocolate Frosty. Although widely considered to be inferior to its chocolate older sibling, The Street notes that the vanilla Frosty has become a fan favorite since its introduction, especially among those watching their weight as the small vanilla Frosty contains just 190 calories.

Rotating flavors

So why has vanilla been gone so long? CNN says the summer strawberry flavor did so well that it accelerated the brand's plans to promote more limited-time flavors, leading to the first-ever holiday special flavor, the peppermint Frosty. Although Thrillist reported at the time of the peppermint Frosty's announcement that vanilla would return to stores, it was unknown until this week when peppermint would be phased out and vanilla would be welcomed back — or when it might once again take a back seat to a second flavor.

According to The Street, there is a slight problem with Wendy's dabbling in new flavors, in that the current Frosty machines can only hold two flavors at a time. In order to introduce a new flavor, either chocolate or vanilla has to be sidelined, and the chain is unlikely to discontinue an original item that Fast Food Nutrition notes is continually one of its top sellers, even temporarily. 

The brand first subbed out vanilla in 2019 for the limited time birthday cake Frosty, which commemorated the company's 50th Anniversary (per Food Business News). Now, with the idea of seasonal flavors becoming popular, it will be interesting to see if vanilla comes on and off the menu in the future, or if Wendy's stores will get bigger Frosty machines.