Hot Chocolate Taste Test: What Brand Reigns Supreme?

Which store-bought hot chocolate brand is the best? We tested them to find out.

Store-bought Hot chocolate comparison

We rounded up all the hot chocolate mixes at our local grocery store and did a taste test to see which one was best. They differed in a few ways.

  • chocolatiness
  • sweetness
  • creaminess/thickness
  • serving size (we weren’t fans of the 3/4 cup serving sizes which barely filled any of our mugs. Maybe we should get new mugs).
  • difficulty in dissolving the powder

In all cases we followed the instructions on the packet exactly as written. If they instructions called for water but mentioned milk as a richer alternative, we used milk. If milk was not mentioned, we didn’t use it.


Ovaltine Rich Chocolate

Method: 2 Tbsp. Ovaltine to 1 cup hot milk.

Verdict: Weak chocolate flavor, not sweet. Thin. Good serving size. Easy to dissolve. Pretty blah over all.



Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Powder

Method: 1 cup milk in mug. Microwave 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir in 2 Tbsp. powder.

Verdict: Its light in color but it dissolves very easy. The milk chocolate flavor is a bit weak. A bit sweet. Not very thick. Good serving size.



Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup

Method: 2-3 Tbsp. Syrup to 1 cup milk. Microwave 1 minute 30 seconds.

Verdict: Grayish in color. We tried adding an extra tablespoon of syrup, it added more chocolate flavor but then it was overly-sweet. Not very thick. Easy to dissolve. GOod serving size.



Publix Original Hot Cocoa Mix

Method: Empty 1 – 1oz package into a mug. Add 3/4 cup hot water and stir. Use milk for a creamier drink. (We used milk).

Verdict: It’s a small serving size but it has rich in flavor and texture. Very sweet though. Dissolved easily.

Public Original Hot Cocoa


Land O’Lakes Cocoa Classic Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix

Method: Empty 1 – 1oz package into a mug. Add 3/4 cup hot water and stir.

Verdict: Small serving size. Very creamy and thick, especially considering that this one only recommends using hot water (hot milk is not mentioned on the packaging anywhere but the mix does contain dry milk powder so that explains it). Harder to dissolve than any other brands. Good chocolate flavor and not too sweet.

Land O'Lakes Cocoa Classics


Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate Sensation

Method: Empty 1 – 1oz package into a mug. Add 3/4 cup hot water and stir. Use milk for a creamier drink. (We used milk).

Verdict: Small serving size. Hard to dissolve. Very rich and very chocolatey. Not too sweet, just right.

Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation

And the winner is…


Starbucks Hot Cocoa Double Chocolate

Method: Empty 1 – 1oz package into a mug. Add 1 cup hot milk and stir.

Verdict: Taste’s just like our homemade hot cocoa! Rich and slightly bitter, not overly sweet. Tasted homemade compared to the other brands. Slightly hard to dissolve.

Starbucks Double Chocolate


This post originally appeared in December, 2015 and was revised and republished in January, 2020.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful, COOKtheSTORY and IsThisThatFood. Her sites reach over 1.5 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!