An Analysis of Chocolate Milk

An Analysis of Chocolate Milk

Image for postan array of the chocolate milks pre-tasting

So, Seth and I went to Whole Foods, a random farmers market, Wawa, and Trader Joe?s and bought every chocolate milk we could find. We consider ourselves aficionados, having been conscious chocolate milk consumers for 15+ years. We decided to spend a wild Friday night and sacrifice our bowels to bring you the following analysis of chocolate milk.

Image for postSeth and MJ shopping for chocolate milk at Whole Foods

Our ranking criteria:

Seth?s Takeaways: more or less Seth?s stream of conscious thoughts while consuming the chocolate milk.

MJ?s takeaways: more or less MJ?s thoughts while drinking chocolate milk.

Supply Chain Sustainability: light information we could find on the internet about the farm, the cocoa, and/or cows the chocolate milk came from, how the company treats workers and cows. Also, when available, we used this ranking for cow treatment from The Cornucopia Institute, an agricultural research and investigative organization. The cow scale rates how the dairy treats their cows and goes from 0?5. 0= ?Poor? to 5= ?Top Rated, beyond organic.?

Price: as reflected per 8oz, even if the chocolate milk came in a larger/smaller container.

Packaging: our thoughts and feedback on their packaging.

Nutrition facts/8oz (1 cup): selected nutrition facts including calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and calcium.

The bottom line: a takeaway regarding this chocolate milk.

Image for postSeth is a recovering techie. He has a British nutritionist, loves to swim, has lived in 6 countries, and devoured chocolate milk in each of them.Image for postMJ was a college athlete, current lightweight rower, and while she hasn?t lived abroad like Seth, she?s lived in Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and now Pennsylvania and worked in startups in funding and operations.

Price Comparison

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Nutrition Comparison

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Belgian Style Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk

Image for postBelgian Style Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk: Very smooth. It?s good for people who like dark chocolate and very smooth. Seth isn?t planning a trip to Belgium anytime soon, MJ might.

Seth?s Takeaways: Seth slaps himself in the face before drinking. He takes a sip and pauses to gather his thoughts together. ?Okay, it has a very smooth texture,? he begins. ?It has a very dark taste to it. It?s not grainy at all; very smooth. It might be a little dark for some people. It makes me feel like going camping?it makes me feel like going outdoors. It almost makes me feel a little sick but I don?t like dark chocolate, so note that. Yeah, it?s almost a little too chocolatey. It?s good for people who like dark chocolate and very smooth. but I feel like it doesn?t make me want to go to Belgium, it makes me feel like I?m sick to my stomach for eating too much chocolate.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?I?ve never had smoother chocolate milk in my life. I want it to be heavier. It?s a little light. I like dark chocolate, so the style of chocolate is good. Definitely very high-quality chocolate. Not too sweet. Regarding the setting I would drink it in? I feel like it?s fall. I?m in North Carolina and we?re about to go do something outdoorsy. Seth, I?d go drink this milk outdoors with you.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: We understand the parent company, Cocoa Metro, sources their cocoa Fair Trade from Peru. Since this is the first time we?re mentioning Fair Trade, we?ll define it using language from the certifying organization as ?producers and businesses?[that] adhere to strict labor, environmental, and ethics standards that prohibit slavery and child labor and ensure cocoa growers receive a steady income, regardless of volatile market prices?.

Price: $3.99/12 oz container at Whole Foods: $2.66 cents per 8oz. By far, the most expensive milk of the day. You could literally have 10 glasses of Wawa chocolate milk for the same price.

Packaging: Fun packaging with simple colors for an older audience with tag lines like ?You can fire your therapist?. The vibe of the packaging nicely matches their website voice.

The bottom line: Very smooth. It?s good for people who like dark chocolate and very smooth. Seth isn?t planning a trip to Belgium anytime soon, MJ might.

Trickling Springs Organic

Image for postTrickling Springs Organic: don?t buy this if you don?t plan on returning those glass bottles for $2 and if you think someone might break them. But a casual brunch with friends? Yes, absolutely.

Seth?s Takeaways: ?That was so good. Oh god. So super smooth. It has a delicious aftertaste that leaves me wanting more. It feels very satisfying. I see myself drinking this when?I?m surrounded by friends ? we?re outdoors on the patio wearing sunglasses, and birds are chirping. One of my friends just told me really great news and it makes me feel like it?s going to be a really great weekend. Okay, back to the chocolate. It?s a milk chocolate ? muted milk chocolate ? but it?s a good balance with the milk so it?s not overwhelming in the way chocolate milk can be; this has optimal milk: chocolate ratio with enough to satisfy you without feeling too gross because of too much sugar. I guess the organic things make me feel like it?s a little upscale ? it?s like a little upscale cafe that serves only organic and the waitstaff has impeccable hairdos. This chocolate milk is like Gwyneth Paltrow. Don?t get me wrong, I?m obsessed with her and the Goop Lab store but it?s like a smooth sophistication that feels like it?ll never be a staple of my daily, but rather something I only splurge on now and then.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?I don?t like this as much as I thought I would. It?s good, don?t get me wrong, and it?s the first chocolate milk I had when I moved to Pennsylvania. I drank it after workouts at boathouse row, which was refreshing and a great post-workout beverage. Also heavier than the Belgian. A little too sugary. Very smooth. Makes me feel relieved. Like I made it to Pennsylvania. I made it through that practice. And that problem set. I made it enough that I can purchase milk in a glass bottle without freaking out. I?d want to add protein powder if I were going to drink it after a workout.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: Milk comes from Trickling Springs Creamery where we understand there are grass-fed cows involved. The cocoa is Fair Trade Certified. Cow treatment rating ?Excellent? 4/5. Since this is organic, (along with 365, Organic Valley and Horizon) we?ll define that. Organic means the cows have taken no added hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, consumer and for the most part most of the cows from organic suppliers on this list live and graze on open pastures.

Price: $4.99 per bottle. $1.25 per 8 oz. Comes with a glass bottle so the store will charge you $2 (bring it to $6.99 total) until you return the glass bottle to the store.

Packaging: To be painfully clear, this comes from a glass bottle-so it can cause condensation and if you?re getting brown paper bags from Whole Foods, you better believe that might soak through it and cause you to spill all of your groceries. We like glass, though it?s a little heavy. We like how simple it is. No nutritional label, but nutrition info available online or below. Packaging wise, it doesn?t have the cognitive overload that other packages do, because it can be a lot to take it in. It doesn?t even say chocolate milk, but you know what it is.

The bottom line: Don?t buy this if you don?t plan on returning those glass bottles for $2 and if you think someone might break them. But a casual brunch with friends? Yes, absolutely.

Wawa Chocolate Lowfat Milk

Image for postWawa Chocolate Lowfat Milk: Depending on how you look at it, this is either the Joe Biden or Katy Perry of chocolate milk. Best price/chocolate milk we saw.

Seth?s Takeaways: ?Too much sugar. Very smooth. I?m tasting a little grainy. I mean it?s like ? part of it is smooth ? part of it is grainy, it?s difficult to understand.? He pauses. ?It?s a little thicker ? it leaves an aftertaste that makes my mouth feel dehydrated.? He pauses to reflect where he?d drink it?. ?I?m drinking it with donuts from a mom and pop donut shop. It?s early morning. It?s a little too much sugar ? it?s definitely on a Saturday ? early morning; got up to go to a donut shop with my dad and I?m drinking this and it?s a lot of sugar so I feel sick to my stomach, but I?m enjoying the experience.? Seth considers other places he?d consume this milk and says, ?Alternatively maybe with school lunch. It reminds me of someone who has a good taste in music, but it?s overbearing ? like Katy Perry (we love her new song, ?Never Really Over? and listened to it while drinking these chocolate milks) like a jam we could go for ? but after listening to or drinking on repeat?it might make me ill.? (Sorry to alienate any Katy Perry fans.)

MJ?s takeaways: ?Honestly I really like it; I do. I feel like I?m coming back from the Poconos on a ski trip. I?m exhausted and we have a long way more to drive. It?s satisfying. I?m with a bunch of friends and you stop for gas and so you run inside the Wawa to grab a chocolate milk. The sugar content is high so I wouldn?t do on a regular basis. Chocolate wise, it is smooth but not super smooth. I feel this is the type of chocolate milk Joe Biden would drink. It?s the chocolate milk of the people. Anyone can go into a Wawa and get some. He?s great and accessible. My friends even saw him pumping his own gas once here in PA, unclear if it was actually at a Wawa though.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: sourced from Wawa Dairy which began in Delaware County, PA in 1902; meaning Wawa Dairy came before cars aka gas stations. Mind blown. Back to the cows. Cows do not receive the genetically engineered hormone rBGH, also called rBST. You can read more about the good/the bad of the hormone here. Overall, Wawa is super secretive about where it sources its milk from. Hmm. Not included in Cow Treatment Ratings.

Price: $2.05 for half-gallon, $0.26/8 ounce. Most economical chocolate milk.

Packaging: Economical. It doesn?t say sophisticated or great taste. It shows a strange chocolate bar floating in milk, and it looks a little awkwardly photoshopped. We also don?t think the shade of brown they chose complements the package as the yellowish beige doesn?t look great. We agree Wawa should rebrand their chocolate milk label so overall packaging is less busy; perhaps the background could be all white to contrast with the Wawa logo.

Nesquik Chocolate Low-Fat Milk

Image for postNesquik: Low-fat chocolate milk: Seth?s into it and it brings back fond memories. MJ think?s it?s a terrible misrepresentation of their chocolate powder.

Seth?s Takeaways: ?I consider Nesquik an American tradition. It has a really good smell before I even taste anything.? Takes a sip and pauses. ?I?m torn if it has too much sugar or not. I think maybe on its own for recreational drinking it would be too sugary, but if I needed some fast-acting carbohydrates Post-workout, it would be ideal. Especially chilled. It tastes really good cold. For some reason, I want to say that I can take the milk more in this. It?s like Zac Efron because it?s an American treasure; it?s smooth- it?s not the best, but it?s sexy enough taste-wise. I?d prefer this to the Wawa brand for on the go/economical packaging. I could see myself grabbing this and going on a car ride in the morning. I may be a little biased, but it makes me feel a little nostalgic because this was the chocolate milk I was raised on. It?s like the kind of chocolate milk grandma gives you after little league.?

MJ?s take: ?I?m not interested in Nesquick unless it?s the powder, and I can choose the milk base because I don’t like the way company mixes the base and milk together; it?s pretty bad. Like 2+2=1. Though I really love the powder separately; in fact, it was a staple with my old roommates the past two years. We had to make sure that we had enough ? ?quik?. I don?t like the smell of this prepackaged bottle of milk. I think it smells overly manufactured and weirdly reminds me of cigarettes. The milk itself is too sweet. I don?t like it. It doesn?t make me feel good emotionally. It makes me feel guilty in a bad way like I did something I don?t want to do and I never wanted to do it again.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: The milk is from both Indiana and also from Martin Farms in Pennsylvania, where Compassion over Killing profiled mistreatment of calves in April 2018; Nestle severed these ties and Martin Farm issued a statement that they weren?t aware of mistreatment. None of this bodes particularly well for how MJ feels re the milk and has given Seth serious doubts about this American tradition. Regarding Cocoa production, a large part of the production is in the Republic of Cte d?Ivoire, which is a country in West Africa. Nestle has a ?Cocoa Plan? that promotes empowerment of its farmers through means such as education, reduction in child labor and diversified income streams. There?s a lot here that someone could unpack. They?re striving to reduce child labor and educate women. The few metrics on their website include ?45 schools built in Cte d?Ivoire?, ?28,000 assisted through Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System? and ?1305 women supported in generating an income?.

Price $2:09 414mL from Wawa; $1.19 per 8 oz.

Packaging: Seth overall likes the packaging including the bunny and the way the yellow pops. He considers it portable. MJ thinks it looks childish and doesn?t want to carry it around with her, though the screw top would ensure it wouldn’t accidentally pop off to spill chocolate milk all over your bag. That is a win. The packaging explicitly says that it?s made with real milk, which is slightly alarming because what would it be if it?s not real chocolate milk? Then again, because Nesquik is usually sold at convenience stores and placed to Yoohoo which is not real milk, maybe it is good the company explicitly points this out.

Nesquik Double Chocolate Low-Fat Milk

Image for postNesquik: Double Chocolate Milk: the dog isn?t interested either.

Seth?s Takeaways: ?Oh $#%^, it?s repulsive. Oh god, it?s like cough medicine; it?s nasty. Way too much sugar. It?s not dark as the Belgium milk. It?s not smooth; kind of grainy. I couldn?t see myself drinking this unless I had no other options. I wouldn’t buy it unless I was in an emergency ? like I needed to shit my pants and I needed to find something to help me. It tastes terrible and it ruins my appetite. Honestly, I don?t like to drink dark chocolate milk, so that could be it. This is the kind of chocolate milk I?d offer to a local member of the Republican party. It?s a big deception because I like the packaging and it reminds me of the other Nesquik that tasted good.?

MJ?s takeaways: Just before taking a sip she says, ?I really don?t want to do this considering I didn?t like the Nesquik before but I?ll be brave and take one for the team. It has the same manufactured smell?I really dont want to do this…? She refocuses her energy the way she would mid-workout on a hot and humid Philadelphia day when her coach tells her to go do another few miles on the water. Maybe she?s tired, maybe Nesquik is not her favorite, but she will do this. She takes a sip, ?It?s kind of bitter. Overly manufactured. Still, I do not like this. The chocolate isn?t right. But this confirms that I can?t do the Nestle premade milk.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: please hit Control F ?Nestle milk? or scroll up to see our notes above on Nesquik?s farm and cocoa from the other version of Nesquik.

Price $2:09 414mL from Wawa; $1.19 per 8 oz.

Packaging: The packaging is the same as the other one ?complete with bunny, yellow, blue lid, though the background is purple. It makes Seth dislike the other packaging more. MJ still doesn?t like it.

The bottom line: The dog isn?t interested either.

Organic Valley

Image for postOrganic Valley: it tastes so good and the company behind it is so sustainable

Seth?s Takeaways: ?Beautiful smell. Literally the best smell I?ve ever had of chocolate milk. It?s silky smooth ? perfect balance. My favorite thus far. I think there?s something distinct about the chocolate that tastes really good without overdoing it ? it?s like yes be happy but not so happy you make yourself sick. It?s like Amy Poehler?s comedic style ? I?d never get tired of it. I could watch it on re-run forever. Delicious aftertaste. More milk than chocolate.? Seth has converted to the Church of Organic Valley Chocolate Milk and is going to start proselytizing.

MJ?s takeaways: Nods her head before beginning, ?It?s really solid chocolate milk. It tastes organic. I don?t know if you can taste ?organic? specifically, but it?s a solid comeback after the Nesquik and redeems my trust in the world. I like the fat content, 2%; not too much or too little. The chocolate flavor is good. Really good. Has a nice weight to it. I?d do this post-workout as well.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: Organic Valley was founded ~30 years ago by 7 organic farmers who disagreed with how the food was being grown and produced. There?s a great video on it here. The founders started making $5 an hour. That is true commitment people! ?We weren?t worried about success; we were worried about trying?. Today, 2K organic farmers in the US are in the cooperative and they own part of the company. 4/5 cow star ranking-so that is great!

Price $4.99 for half-gallon//Whole Foods $0.63/8oz

Packaging: It looks like a happy farm. Though we like the blue sky and the green grass and the fact that they?re clearly selling chocolate milk, we think that overall the packaging is too busy.

The bottom line: This chocolate milk tastes so good and the company behind it is so sustainable.

Horizon Organic 1% Chocolate Milk

Image for postHorizon Organic 1% Chocolate Milk: Horizon is a good company, but the milk itself may not be worth the hype.

Seth?s Takeaways: He has a sip and pauses before saying, ?It?s good. This is like better than?I think it?s better than your average chocolate milk in terms of taste, but not better if you factor in price. If you?re considering the price, I?d say buy Wawa. It?s on the edge?it depends on what?s in your grocery store; it?s not amazing chocolate milk. It?s just kind of average chocolate milk. It?s for the kind of person who thinks they?re doing something good/buying something high quality but they?re ignorant that there?s better stuff out there and they are kind of complacent with what they have. It?s like rich people who send their children to a low-quality private school instead of a good public school.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?It?s a light chocolate milk. The company is a certified B corporation. The milk itself isn?t my favorite. I feel like I?m drinking something healthy/good for the planet, but nothing too special. A little expensive. It?s okay. Maybe buy it maybe not. I wouldn?t go out of my way. Not the indulgence I?d splurge on. But I like what the company is doing based on packaging. I feel like I?m drinking it while visiting a family friend with small kids.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: 700 dairies in 23 states that are certified organic. The company is a certified B corp, meaning they meet ?very high standards of public transparency, legal accountability, and environmental standards in order to balance profit and purpose?.

Price: $4.99/half gallon; $0.63 per 8oz

Packaging: It feels like this milk screams to the millennial mother who needs to buy chocolate milk for her growing quadrilingual child. It just screams high maintenance. Like what is DHA Omega-3? How does that promote brain health?* The red makes it stand out next to the other glasses of milk. The cartoony cow is cute. It?s leaping in front of the world like it?s going to save it. Lofty jump there, cow. We?re glad we know the milk is organic and comes from pasture-raised cows.

Bottom Line: Horizon is a good company, but the taste of the milk itself may not be worth the hype.

*DHA Omega-3 info: While I did not dive into these studies, according to Web MD, ?Hundreds of studies suggest that omega-3s may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases? including ?cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis? because they reduce the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic conditions.

365 Lowfat Chocolate Milk

Image for post365 Lowfat Chocolate Milk (Whole Foods brand): feels good for body and wallet; a fuck yeah kind of milk.

Seth?s Takeaways ?Yeah?fuck yeah? good aftertaste. Really pleasant. Maybe leaves the mouth a little too dehydrated. It makes you feel like you need to brush your teeth. With this milk, I have the aftertaste of dryness but the taste is better than Nesquik and Wawa. The taste itself is good, but I’m in agreement that it?s not the best. I mean if we’re drinking this fast ? it would be a good post-workout drink for budget, taste and [seemingly for] overall nutrition. If I had to say it was a person, I would say…it?s like Anne Hathaway ? I like her and I don?t have anything that I dislike about her, but she?s not my favorite actress, though I always love her movies.

MJ?s Takeaways: ?Really good chocolate. A tad too much sugar. The texture is there, though I liked like to see it a bit smoother. I?d grab this smaller bottle of this after I?ve made weight for rowing, have finished my race and am going to Whole Foods to refuel and celebrate. I?m also grabbing a chocolate muffin while I?m at it. But this would be what I consciously choose to put into my body when I can eat again. Not my absolute favorite, but close. Feels good for my wallet and for my body.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: Certified organic, sourced from ?the nation?s leading cooperative of organic family farmers who promote regional farm diversity and economic stability?. Cow ranking 3/5 ?Very good?

Price $1.19 for 0.473 L/ $0.60/8 ounces

Packaging: simple, portable. Too brown. The cow is a bit unnecessary. 365 brand has good branding so highlight that. The packaging doesn?t explicitly say it is organic though the website does.

The bottom line: It?s a fuck yeah kind of milk; good for taste, price, earth and you.

TruMoo

Image for postTruMoo: the milk that brings back memories.

Seth?s Takeaways: Seth took a long time drinking this one. It brought him back to Brazil during Carnival which is very strange?in his words, ?I had just been out? for lack of a better description?partying and drinking for over 24 hours straight and was walking on the streets of Rio with my friend and was starving?all I?d had was vodka and sugary beverages and I really craved something that tasted wholesome…[to be clear Seth did not drink TruMoo chocolate milk in Brazil] but it was something I bought on the street when I needed chocolate milk. This particular milk reminds me of that. If it was in a convenience store ? it?s a safe buy ? not an amazing thing I?d go out of my way for, but it?s good enough ? as it meets the minimum threshold to have a place in my decision calculus for consideration.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?Omg it takes me back to college. I drank TruMoo in college a lot, specifically in the art building in my junior spring after an architecture art history class that ultimately brought down my GPA. The after taste of this milk is unfortunately not super pleasant. The milk seems a lot higher quality, though I dislike the chocolate mix it with. But I feel like it?s improved a little since I?ve had it in college. Depending on price and where I was, it?s within the realm of possibility that this could be an impulse buy.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: TruMoo uses different farms. Sometimes they use Mayfield (Wow, have you had their ice cream!?) The milk we tasted (see our photo above) is from Tuscan Farms. We appreciate this level of transparency. Their cows do not have artificial growth hormones and do not have GMOs. Not much info on where their cocoa is from.

Price: $2.99 from trader joes for half gallon/$0.37 for 8 oz.

Packaging: Like others, TruMoo suffers from an unattractive unappealing packaging; the plastic does feel sturdy. The label on the packaging is busy…all of the white line sunbeams coming out are a little much. Website and milk are designed with branding the milk for kids; though they?ve come out with new chocolate milk for parents branded as ?After Dark?. Have not tried.

The bottom line: the milk that brings back memories.

Trader Joe?s Chocolate Whole Milk

Image for postTrader Joes Chocolate Whole Milk: Best packaging. MJ?s favorite taste. Not great for cow treatment

Seth?s Takeaways: ?Ohh. Oh? I like it. It?s really good. I think it?s good chocolate milk. It?s not too strong in terms of chocolate intensity. Has a good smooth taste. It is different ? you can taste the whole milk in it as opposed to reduced-fat milk. It has that kind of richness/creaminess that skim and reduced-fat milk lacks. It?s the kind of chocolate milk I?d expect to get as a kid if I was invited to a friend?s house and mom decided to give us snacks. I think the whole milk leaves me wondering why it?s there ? is it really necessary? I don?t think so it?s not jaw-dropping in the way the Organic Valley was.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?The smell is good. It smells like actual chocolate, like it didn?t come from a factory. I appreciate whole milk. It?s rich, what I would want to make a homemade mocha ? little of this, little espresso ? it would be amazing. I?m trying it out tomorrow. [Update, tried it; it?s great] The taste of this chocolate is really good, maybe the best so far. I?m drinking this when I?m writing.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: Rated ?poor? for the way it treats its cows. TJ?s does not disclose specific dairies. The cocoa is ?fair trade.?

Price $3.99/half gallon $0.50/ 8oz

Packaging: We like it. It?s simple. Even though it?s brown like the playful text, it works. It?s easy to read, digestible info, cute stories on the side cute cow. It?s funny. Iconography is well utilized. Easy to absorb; doesn?t have the cognitive overload of the others. Uses colors well to draw one’s eyes drawn to the chocolate, cow cocoa. This is the overall packaging winner.

The bottom line: Best packaging. MJ?s favorite taste. Not great for cow treatment.

Kreider Farms Chocolate Milk

Image for postKreider farms Lancaster County Fresh +1 for local -1 for price

Seth?s Takeaways: Seth downed his sample of chocolate milk and now he wants a refill. Considering how much chocolate milk we?ve drunk already this evening, that?s truly incredible. He still hasn?t said anything. MJ is on the edge of her seat waiting to hear what Seth thinks?he begins, ?It?s really solid chocolate milk. Whole milk gives it a creaminess that makes it special. This is very similar to the Trader Joe?s. Dare I say the chocolate is a bit better ? I feel it?s a good mixture. It feels a little bit thicker. It feels like the chocolate milk I?d order at dinner after a long day. It?s the reward chocolate milk I?d want. The creaminess is too much to be sustainable for everyday life. It?s a treat yourself chocolate milk. It?s what I?m drinking in Amish country for the day. This is special milk. It?s from a cow nearby. From a cow who has grazed near me. I enjoyed this.?

MJ?s takeaways: ?I?ve never had bad local farm milk, so I was eager for this one. I love that it doesn?t taste like there?s too much sugar in it. But there is a lot on the label, so it doesn?t taste like it. I do like the middle/after taste, but not the initial taste. Smooth. Not super creamy. Makes me feel like there?s hope for the world, because of how it?s local and it?s well done overall. Truly, it?s not the best milk of the day, but you know what? Not everything has to be the absolute best to have value.?

Supply Chain Sustainability: Kreider Farms Lancaster County has been a farm for over 275 years. This makes us question their supply chain a little bit and why I bought them in an obscure farmers market considering they had about 200 years on the competition. But nonetheless, the farms are supportive of their local community including their local high school athletics, EMS, and water treatment facilities. They commit to environmental stewardship in their land practices and wastewater management.

Price $2.00/pint; $1.00/8 oz

Packaging: It?s busy. This packaging, TruMoo, 365 ? they all look the same and this doesn?t show anything special. It is local so we?re glad they?re getting their milk out there in the world. We admit the cartoon cow icon poking its head out is super cute and maybe the cutest cow we?ve seen on the packaging.

The bottom line: +1 for local -1 for price

Image for post5 hours into chocolate milk tasting

11 chocolate milks and 5 hrs later,

Seth is 3/4 the way into a pre-diabetic coma. Though MJ has put up a much better fight against the chocolate milk sleepies, she has had to excuse herself to the bathroom multiple times. This is the first hint of lactose intolerance in her 25 years of life. Nonetheless, it?s time to crown an overall champion.

Packaging: Trader Joes

Price: Wawa

Overall for Seth: ?Organic Valley. Tastewise, I think it?s either best or second-best after the Trickling Springs Organic, but when you factor in cost this is the true winner. It?s sustainable to be a fixture in your daily life without breaking the bank or your tastebuds. I drink this after swims to get fast-acting carbohydrates but I could just as easily see myself drinking this with cookies for a mid-afternoon snack.?

Overall for MJ: ?It was a tight decision between 365, Trader Joes and Organic Valley. Wawa and Trickling Springs get honorable mentions. Belgian Style would get an honorable mention if it weren?t so damn expensive. I also went back, bought all 3 again over a period of 3 weeks and after deep discernment particularly around taste, price, and company, the final winner is Organic Valley. The company?s founding, business practices, sustainability, and branding as a whole knocked it to the top. If I find myself at Whole Foods, chances are I?m buying it to drink solo, with friends, maybe at a park or on a road trip, and maybe in class or while doing some work, with an added espresso of course.?

Image for postOrganic Valley: The Winner!

We thank you, reader, for making it this far on the wild ride of chocolate milk. Let us know what your chocolate milk thoughts are! If you have more in-depth information, please cite your sources so we can take a look too!

Image for postCheers!

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