You know it has arrived when you see “Peach” in the marquee. Fans wait for it all year long. The anticipation of a brief, sweet season of bliss.
It’s understandable if you are a bit confused. Are we talking about the Chick-fil-A Peach Milkshake - or the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl? Both are steeped in homespun Southern goodness and have devotees counting the days ‘til their arrivals.
While the beloved, seasonal peach shake comes to a close with the end of summer, it’s time to say hello to the other. Football season is here.
Televisions all over the country already are primed to record the first big Saturday of college football, Sept. 5. Along with other match-ups that day, the Auburn Tigers and the Louisville Cardinals will play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.
All of the action leads to a bevy of bowl games, including one of the most prestigious, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
A Peach of a Game
The Georgia Lion’s Club founded the Peach Bowl in 1967 and hosted its first NCAA-sanctioned Peach Bowl game in Atlanta in 1968. From those humble beginnings, it grew to become one of the top six bowl games across the college landscape.
Chick-fil-A’s involvement for the past 20 years, says John Shackelford, senior marketing coordinator, is about creating the ultimate fan experience.
“We want people to walk away with memories to last a lifetime,” he says.
That same sense of history and creating the ultimate food experience is behind the Peach Milkshake.
Angela Wadlington, a Chick-fil-A chef tasked with concocting new menu items, says the peach milkshake, introduced as a limited-time offering for the first time in June 2009, is rooted in family and memory.
“The vision I shared was thinking about both my grandmothers and my mother and how they used to make homemade peach ice cream,” she says, “with fresh milk, and how in the summer when they would get ripe peaches and make it with the old hand-crank machines.”
When people find out she worked on the creation of Chick-fil-A’s peach milkshake, Wadlington says they immediately share their own memories about childhood sweets and the mothers and grandmothers who prepared them.
“The vision I shared was thinking about both my grandmothers and my mother and how they used to make homemade peach ice cream,” she says, “with fresh milk, and how in the summer when they would get ripe peaches and make it with the old hand-crank machines.”–Angela Wadlington
Since its initial offering, the peach shake has been an annually anticipated treat each spring or summer for about three months at a time. Just this past year, Chick-fil-A used 1.24 million pounds of blended chunky puréed and peach pieces. The chopped peaches are handspun each time with delicious Icedream®, topped off with whipped cream and one crucial cherry.
So, is it a stretch to pair Peach Milkshakes and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl? Not so, if you’re a true fan.
“Our peach shake is always for a limited time,” Shackelford says. “College football is a relatively short season, too. People who love college football wait for it all year long, and it’s the same with the peach milkshake. While it’s here, it’s awesome.”