Krystal launches new line of soft-serve products in Macon restaurants


Image: Will Darragh

The four flavors of milkshakes are Oreo, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.

Will Darragh, Staff Writer

Krystal has been in Macon for almost 65 years, and while they are most well-known for their burgers, they are introducing a new line of soft-serve ice cream and handspun milkshakes that they are testing out in Macon.

Krystal was already serving milkshakes, but this new line of products will be handmade upon order.

Their new products, both soft-serve and milkshakes, will come in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and oreo.

As part of their launch, Krystal hosted a tasting event where members of the Macon community were able to try the new products and give feedback.

At the event, I was able to try all of their new products, and I give them two thumbs up.

The vanilla soft-serve ice cream is smooth and not too sweet, which is great, because this is the base of all the other products.

The other flavors are just toppings added to the vanilla base. For chocolate, they drizzle chocolate syrup; for strawberry, they add strawberry syrup with real strawberry chunks; and for oreo, they add crushed oreos. The milkshakes are the same, except handspun in a milkshake machine.

By using the same great vanilla base, Krystal achieves delicious consistency across their products. They all have a fresh, homemade taste to them, and they set a high bar for fast food ice cream. My personal favorite was the Oreo milkshake.

Normally a small soft-serve sundae would cost $1.49, but for the launch of the event, all soft-serve cones and cups will be for only 59 cents until January 29th, and only $1 from January 30th to February 19th.

The pricing for the soft-serve after the promotion runs out will be $1 for a small vanilla soft-serve, $1.49 for any small sundae, $2.99 for any regular shake, and $3.49 for any large shake

Nicole Echelard, self-proclaimed ice cream lover, is a field marketing manager for Krystal who was at the tasting event.

“We had shakes before, and now it’s about handspun, handmade, with better variety,” said Echelard.

She said that Krystal is constantly trying to improve their menu based on the feedback that they receive from their customers, and from volunteers at their test kitchen in Atlanta.

“What can we do to have something else to offer?” is the question Echelard said that Krystal operates upon. “Sweet and savory” is the answer for 2017 according to her.

“You see this in our competitors — people want sweet items,” said Joe Artime, Director of Brand for Krystal.

“We want to offer the best soft serve. The new soft serve is a lot better product than what we’ve previously had,” Artime said.

He said that to him, the Krystal brand has strong ties to its southern roots. He said that generations of people have been coming to Krystal, and the restaurant is a part of a Southern tradition.

According to Artime, the launching of better ice cream products stays true to Southern roots, and it makes sense to serve something cold in the South where it is so hot.

He also said that while Krystal has been a lunchtime and dinner favorite, they were missing a product for “snacktime.”

On college students, “Students have been loving Krystal for years, we want to give them more variety, more options, something for everyone,” Artime said.

On top of the new line of soft-serve, he says that people can expect to see new blenders brought into the restaurants that will be able to make frozen coffee, lemonade and tea.

Bobby Atkinson, general manager of Krystal on Riverside in Macon, helped host the event, and he was excited to better the menu to better serve the community. To him, Krystal means fresh, hot, and friendly.

Atkinson believes that Krystal appeals to college students because they can get a lot of food for a great price.

“We’re a big supporter of Mercer,” he said. Atkinson hopes to continue to create ties between Mercer and Krystal, including potential Krystal eating contests after football games.

About the new line of products, “Sweet sells itself,” Atkinson said.

Krystal, though a large franchise, is still a down-to-earth establishment, always trying to improve. Their new line of sweet products is sure to please anyone who is looking for a home-style treat, or any college student who just finished their 2 a.m. Krystal burgers.