The McDonald’s Grimace Shake is going viral on TikTok, but in way the fast-food giant probably wasn’t expecting. When consumers drink this purple milkshake in honor of Grimace’s 52nd birthday (announced in mid-June), they create absurdist horror videos pretending the drink kills or possesses them. While marketers likely wouldn’t want their products to be associated with danger or death, this trend has been positive for the brand, boosting sales and resonating with the younger audience on TikTok.

According to CivicScience data, 11% of U.S. adults have tried the infamous purple shake, and another 13% plan to try it – both figures that jump among McDonald’s customers. The remaining percentage of the Gen Pop are either uninterested in trying it or haven’t heard of the milkshake.

In particular, Gen Z adults aged 18-24 are the most likely to have purchased the drink (28%), followed by Millennials aged 25-34 (21%) – which is expected given TikTok’s younger demographic. 

So, how does the Grimace Shake trend shape milkshake sales? CivicScience data show that 14% of U.S. adults have seen Grimace Shake videos – slightly higher than the percentage of the Gen Pop who’ve tried the milkshake (n=8,216). Among those who’ve watched a Grimace Shake video, a staggering 42% have tried the shake, and 23% intend to try it (rebased among social media users and those familiar with the trend). Compared to those who have not seen any Grimace Shake trend videos, just 13% have purchased the drink, and a slightly lower percentage intend to try it (21%).

5 Unexpected Insights About Grimace Shake Customers:

Analyzing the data via the InsightStore – CivicScience’s Consumer Insights Enablement Platform of thousands of always-on questions – here are five unexpected correlations of Grimace Shake customers. 

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