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Which is the best chocolate milk in New Zealand?

From left: Puhoi Valley's Real Belgian Chocolate milk; Primo, a NZ classic; and the delightfully named Nippy's.

Can anything top Lewis Road Creamery's Whittaker's chocolate milk?

When Lewis Road Creamery released their first run of Whittaker’s chocolate milk in October 2014, the country went wild. A five-man production team made 1000 litres in the first batch, but demand was estimated at 10 times greater, resulting in an internationally documented shortage of chocolate milk. It’s somewhat ludicrous to think security guards and rationing were implemented to ease demand. Even now, four years on, the milk retains its cult status. But with myriad copycats, are they still the best of the best?

Puhoi Valley

You can tell this contains real chocolate because the solids settle at the bottom of the bottle, which needs a good shake. As soon as you remove the cap, you can smell cocoa – and a sip covers the whole mouth in a velvety chocolate river. A worthy contender.

Cost: $3.50/300ml

Little Island

Smells like the most delicious scented candle you could imagine – this milk is proof that coconut and chocolate are best pals. The nuttiness takes the edge off the sugar, and the consistency is light. The back of the bottle suggests warming the milk to make a coconut hot chocolate – yum!

Cost: $8/1L

Nippy’s

Let it be known that Nippy’s is one of the finest hangover cures in all the land and the best fake-tasting chocolate milk on the market – it’s like a mixture of blue-top milk and chocolate syrup. Be warned: this may be “low fat” but a single contains an astounding 40g of sugar. That’s a whopping 10 teaspoons.

Cost: $3/500ml

Calciyum

Anchor changed the Calciyum recipe when I was in Year 10 and I’ll never forgive them. What was once a familiar liquid-chocolate bargain now tastes as good as the dollar you’ll pay for it on price lockdown at the supermarket. Nothing is sacred.

Cost: $1/250ml 

Primo

Another changed recipe, another ruined product. This is a lesson in why we shouldn’t “fix” things that aren’t broke. Despite being sickly sweet, it tastes nothing like chocolate, but rather sugar and watery milk.

Cost: $3.50/600ml

Lewis Road Creamery

Unbeatable. The fact you can taste that they’ve used Whittaker’s milk chocolate is remarkable. It’s such an iconic New Zealand brand and they’ve really captured the sweet, milky taste. Absolutely worth the hype – and the price.  

Cost: $3.70/300ml

This article was first published in the September 2018 issue of North & South.

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