Remember the leg-shaking, pencil-eraser-biting excitement you had before lunch in elementary school? What about the exponential growth of anticipation and wonder of what special treat mom packed that day? For many of us, that special treat was creamy, ever-so-delectable chocolate milk. No matter what brand your mom bought, that stuff quenched thirst and boosted endorphins like no other. It made you believe that you could take on the playground and cure the cheese touch, all from a little squeeze of a brown cow.
But as we’ve aged, the hype of chocolate milk has died down. This only provides the perfect excuse to find out what chocolate milk is best with our exquisite adult taste buds. Below we have tried four popular chocolate milk brands, all to help you determine which will be your next college lunchbox treat. Each milk is rated on its chocolaty-ness, advertising, consistency and flavor.
Kroger 1% Lowfat Milk
At first glance, this chocolate milk does not look like much. Its advertising is boring, and the white and gray color scheme does little to draw consumers in. The blandness continues into the initial taste. It’s like drinking water…until a brief and sudden realization that it is chocolate milk hits you — don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Oddly enough, the milk tastes a heck of a lot better on a second tasting. Whether it has to do with its 63 delicious grams of sugar or its amazingly unhealthy amount of high fructose corn syrup, this chocolate milk cannot be judged on first impression and is worth a second swig.
Katie’s score: 8/10
Jenna’s score: 7.5/10
Now this one is a classic, and most likely found its way into your lunchbox as a kid. You were either the kid who downed it in one gulp or traded it for a fruit roll-up. Regardless of who you were, we are not here to judge. If there is one word we could use to describe this chocolate milk, it would be “mid.” Yes, it’s a classic, but it still has that weird weird bunny as a mascot. The bottle has fun, bright colors compared to the other chocolate milk brands. Its taste is lighter, smoother, and has a consistent chocolate flavor; however, it’s not a traditional chocolate flavor — it’s unique. (Maybe it’s the 14 grams of protein that were definitely added in a lab?) Nevertheless, you will not be satisfied nor will you want more of Nesquik.
Katie’s score: 5.5/10
Jenna’s score: 5/10 (the powder version is better)
Almond Breeze Chocolate Almond Milk
If the elementary school versions of ourselves heard that we were drinking chocolate nut milk, they would be perplexed. Yet since alternative milk is now hot in the market, it wouldn’t be a complete milk tasting without non-dairy options. This almond milk is smoother, darker, and creamier than the other milks we tried. But unfortunately, it is more watery and lacks that classic chocolate flavor. Any slight depiction of chocolate flavor is overpowered by the taste of almonds, which only one of us found appealing. The sugar content is more mindful than the dairy options we tested, but unfortunately for the protein-crazed, this option only clocks in 1 gram of protein per serving. While this didn’t satisfy our craving for chocolate milk, it is a good dairy-free alternative.
Katie’s score: 7.5
Jenna’s score: 8.5/10
Oatly Chocolate Oat Milk
This milk takes the cake for most entertaining advertising. The box has a dialogue with the drinker, and it really hypes itself up. The nutrition facts are labeled as the “boring side,” but don’t worry, we read the boring stuff for you: this milk has 3 grams of protein and 16 grams of sugar per serving. It’s the same dark color as the Almond Breeze option and has a similar liquidy consistency. This took us by surprise, as other Oatly products are creamier…and honestly, tastier. While you can’t taste the oats like you can the almonds in almond milk, you can definitely feel the oats’ residue. The chocolate flavor was underwhelming, especially compared to all the other milk options.
Katie’s score: 4.5/10
Jenna’s score: 6/10
Written By: Katie Morris and Jenna Bernath