A Complete Ranking of the Best Store-Bought Hot Cocoa
On a chilly, winter day, you might remember your mom opening up that sky-blue Swiss Miss box, tearing open one of the hot cocoa mix packets and pouring that light brown powder into a hot cup of milk. You might also remember the way the tiny marshmallows all gather and float around in packs.
Hot cocoa is not only hands down the best way to warm up on a chilly winter day, but it seems we always want to reach into our respective pantries to stir up a cup one, two, maybe even three times a day.
According to a 2017 Statista report, 15 percent of the over-1,000 people surveyed drink hot chocolate two to three times per month, while 12 percent drink it multiples times per week and 7 percent drink hot chocolate every single day.
And according to an industry market research report published in September 2017, the cocoa- and drinking-chocolate-production industry has grown by 2.1 percent over the past five years, reaching a revenue of $893 million in 2017. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 3.6 percent and the number of employees has grown by 2.7 percent.
The number of businesses may have grown, but the most popular — and best — hot cocoa mixes out there are the ones we grew up with: store-bought hot cocoa.
Ahead, we’ve ranked the best store-bought hot cocoa from grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Target and more.
Williams-Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate
Kicking off our list is Williams-Sonoma’s hot chocolate. While it’s the most expensive hot cocoa on our list, it would still make for a great gift.
Classic Hot Chocolate, $19.95 at Williams-Sonoma
Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix
Of course Trader Joe’s has a solid hot cocoa mix. Reviewers on Amazon tout this particular mix as one that dissolves easily and is full of flavor. Plus, the box comes with 10 packets.
Organic Hot Cocoa Mix, available at Trader Joe’s
Guittard Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate
With over 75 reviews and a 4.2 overall rating on Amazon, Guittard’s drinking chocolate is considered a quality hot chocolate, which makes sense considering the steeper price. Some reviewers have even said they add it to their hot coffee; not a bad idea.
Guittard Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate, $6.99 at Target
Cadbury Drinking Chocolate
Cadbury’s hot chocolate drink has a 3.7 rating on Amazon with over 160 reviews, so you know it’s worth a try. Similar to the rest of the hot cocoas placed on the lower end of our list, it’s priced a little higher than one would expect, but when made with milk, it’s heaven in a mug.
Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, $7.99 at World Market
Ghirardelli Chocolate Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa
Considered the premium baking brand in the U.S., Ghirardelli pulls through with a solid hot cocoa option. With a 3.9 Amazon rating and over 200 reviews, this rich hot cocoa mix tastes best with milk.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa, $0.99 at Target
Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa
According to reviewers on Target’s website, this Starbucks hot cocoa mix is “tasty and not [too] sweet” and “doesn’t lose the flavor when extra milk is added to make a taller cup at home.” We’ll take it! Overall, this product has a 4.5 (out of 5) rating and over 150 reviews.
Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa, $5.69 at Target
Equal Exchange Organic Hot Cocoa
An Amazon’s Choice product, Equal Exchange’s hot cocoa mix is very popular. With over 240 reviews and a 4.6 rating on Amazon, this fairly traded organic hot cocoa has a rich, chocolaty flavor.
Equal Exchange Organic Hot Cocoa, $6.49 at Target
Godiva Hot Cocoa Variety Pack
Each of Godiva’s hot cocoa canisters has 10 servings of premium milk chocolate hot cocoa. Made with all-natural ingredients, this product has great ratings on Amazon, with an overall score of 4.4 and over 380 reviews.
Godiva Hot Cocoa variety pack, $45 at Kohl’s
Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics Hot Cocoa Mix
You likely associate Land O Lakes with butter, but apparently, they have an incredibly popular hot cocoa mix too. With over 350 reviews and a 4.6 rating on Amazon, each packet is less than $1, and people love it so much, it’s been called the “best hot chocolate ever!!!!!” Yes, with five exclamation points.
Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics Hot Cocoa Mix, $0.98 – $5.13 at Walmart
Nestlé Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
Nestlé has over 100 years of chocolate heritage, so you’d better believe they’ve nailed hot cocoa. This particular products contains 35 percent less sugar than other brands, so you won’t feel nearly as guilty once you’ve downed your third cup. On Amazon, Nestlé’s Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix has over 440 reviews and a 4.5 rating.
Nestlé Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix, $5.19 at Target
Hershey’s Cocoa in Special Dark
Not a fan of overly sweet hot cocoa? Hershey’s has you covered with its 100 percent cacao Special Dark cocoa. With over 570 reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.2, this Hershey’s cocoa is deliciously rich and can be used for baking.
Hershey’s Cocoa in Special Dark, $3.19 at Target
Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
There’s a reason households, to this day, continue to carry this classic mix during the holidays and winter season: It’s incredibly inexpensive, and it has the most consistent chocolate flavor. Swiss Miss’ milk chocolate cocoa also has over 460 reviews and a 4.5 rating on Amazon.
Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate hot cocoa mix, $1.79 at Target
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