Hot chocolate review. Which hot chocolate powder is best?

Hot chocolate is right up there with woolly jumpers and open fires as the perfect accompaniment to cooler weather. The original comfort food, there's nothing quite like a mug of hot choccy to warm you from the inside and leave you feeling content.

So which store-bought hot chocolate is best? 

We compare the price, ingredients, nutrition details and country of origin of 36 supermarket hot chocolate products from brands including Lindt, Cadbury, Nestle, Jarrah and Avalanche and share our top picks for indulgence, a guilt-free experience, best value and more.

Avalanche Coffee 99% Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate

Lowest sugar hot chocolate

  • Avalanche Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate

If you're trying to avoid or reduce added sugars in your diet – but want to treat yourself to a guilt-free hot chocolate – Avalanche Sugar Free is the lowest sugar (and kilojoule) product we reviewed, closely followed by Avalanche 99% Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate, with just 0.1g and 5g sugars per 100g respectively.  

They both contain non-nutritive sweeteners – erythritol (additive number 968) and steviol glycosides (additive 960, more commonly known as Stevia) – which add a sweet taste without the kilojoules associated with added sugars.

All up, non-nutritive sweeteners erythritol and Stevia plus acesulphame potassium (950), aspartame (951) and sucralose (955) are used – either alone or two or three in combination – in 11 of the 36 products we looked at. 

While products with non-nutritive sweetener ingredients are usually lower in sugars, they're not always. Woolworths Classic Hot Chocolate, for example, is 45% sugar (it contains non-nutritive sweeteners aspartame and acesulphame potassium but also glucose syrup and sugar), whereas Lindt Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate Flakes is 43% sugar and non-nutritive sweetener free.


Is hot chocolate vegan?

The majority of the hot chocolate products we looked at contain milk solids. But if you're vegan, or have an allergy or an intolerance to milk and can't drink it, we found 10 options that don't include dairy in their ingredients list:

  • Akta-Vite
  • Avalanche Drinking Chocolate Dairy Free (sachets)
  • Avalanche Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate
  • Cadbury Drinking Chocolate
  • Coles Drinking Chocolate
  • Coles Fairtrade Organic Drinking Chocolate
  • Nestle Nesquik Chocolate
  • Nomad Organic Drinking Chocolate Ruby Bliss
  • Nomad Organic Drinking Chocolate West Africa 45% Dark
  • Woolworths Instant Drinking Chocolate Powder

All but the Avalanche Drinking Chocolate Dairy Free recommend that you prepare them with milk, so if you're avoiding dairy you'll need to choose a suitable milk alternative.


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