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Canberra's 'Freakshake' phenomenon: Five reasons these shakes have taken off

A little Canberra cafe - Patissez - has become the trendiest little joint in the national capital because of its over-the-top "freakshakes".

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Long wait for viral freakshake

Waiting 40 minutes for a freakshake - a drink that has gone Facebook viral for ex MKR hopeful Anna Petridis.

Some come with brownies, others with a third of a (large) jar of Nutella.

"Just looking at them clogged my arteries," wrote one woman on Facebook.

Two of Patissez's co-owners, Anna Petridis, left, and her mother Gina, inside the new cafe.
Two of Patissez's co-owners, Anna Petridis, left, and her mother Gina, inside the new cafe.  Photo: Graham Tidy

"Diabesity," wrote another.

When The Canberra Times posted an article written on the new cafe and its popular shakes on Facebook - a post which has so far reached over 360,000 people - among the 1700-plus comments were thought bubbles of road trips to Canberra just to try them and friendship circles confirming the cafe as their next meeting place.

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Here are five reasons why the 'freakshake' place has gone viral.

1. FOMO

‚ÄčThe cafe started with a marketing campaign based around social media. Last week it had 3300 Facebook followers and now has 10,000. The long lines out the door and 40 minute wait for shakes or a table increases the "fear of missing out" - a social blight experienced by millennials.

2. Over-indulgence

"For me [the shakes] have to look as good as they taste," said cafe owner Anna Petridis. This taps into the ability for customers to share photos of whatever they buy at the Manuka shop on social media.

"I wanted to do some really great shakes, and so ridiculous and over the top that people just had to take a photo of it before they ate it."

3. No copy cats

As Ms Petridis said, she did not want any competitors to be able to copy her easily. And it could be said that if competitors did start sticking pretzels on top of milkshakes, the imitation would be so obvious it would flatter and bolster her business as a trend setter.

4. "Nutella, Nutella and more Nutella"

‚ÄčThat's the quote from Ms Petridis who said one of her Nutella-heavy shakes was aimed at "people who eat Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon". While people often guiltily binge on the pantry favourite in the privacy of their own home, she has made a secure place for them to do it without judgment. In public.

5. Happiness

It's a loud cafe with lots of laughing and people taking photos of food. A place where a stranger is happy to spoon-feed a pecan to another person (watch the video). People aren't going there just for lunch. It's a good time.


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