Coffee and cocoa drinkers may be divided, but no one can turn down a really good cup of hot chocolate. Fortunately, there are a large variety of brands and styles out there to satisfy any palate. Here is a detailed list of the top 15 manufacturers of drinking chocolate.
One of the more popular brands, Swiss Miss keeps its cocoa products compact and easy to make. They also cater to those trying to cut back, with their “Diet” and “No Sugar” varieties. They have several lines of cocoa, including the “Great Start Cocoa’ (with 15 vitamins and minerals) and “Pick-Me-Up” cocoa fortified with caffeine. Swiss Miss also manufacturers pudding, which is just as rich and creamy as its cocoa!
Ghirardelli is the second oldest chocolate company in the United States. You can buy both their superb chocolates and cocoa mix at most retail stores, and in some venues you can purchase their pre-made hot chocolate on the go. Their main store is in San Francisco, but you can find Ghirardelli shops in a variety of cities. You can even find one in Disneyland, where you can stop in and get some “iced” hot chocolate for a hot California day!
Cadbury is the closest we’ve come to having a real-life Willy Wonka in our world. With a wide array of products, Cadbury stands as the second largest confectionary company in the world. They specialize in everything chocolate today, but their drinking chocolate was one of their first products back in the 1800’s. You can buy the mix in most stores, or you can visit their large factory in England for a cup!
A somewhat smaller company (as far as ownership goes), they are beginning to branch out across the United States. Stephens has many flavors, including their most-popular “Candycane Cocoa” mixed with real, melt-able chucks of peppermint candy cane. Recently they added “single cups” to their line for the Keurig coffee maker. They also carry mixes for wassail and cider.
This diverse company produces cocoa made from real chocolate shavings, never cocoa powder. It comes with pre-packaged marshmallows, sealed air-tight to preserve their freshness. They also carry a mix for their own special “frozen chocolate”, a slushy chocolate beverage. If you’re looking for high-quality mixed with home-charm, this is the brand for you.
Try hot chocolate instead of coffee on your next visit, and you might add a new morning regular! Their vanilla and mocha syrups work beautifully together to produce this treat-of-a-drink. You can also buy their cocoa as a mix in flavors like “salted caramel” at your local grocery store. A dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup is all you’ll need to make your cocoa Barista-worthy!
Godiva is a Belgian chocolatier that is a name seen commonly all over Europe. They normally specialize in truffles, but the quality of their chocolate gives them room to manufacture many treats. They offer products all the way from ice cream to gift baskets, but you can purchase their cocoa mix in special canisters. All it takes is water, and you’ll be surprised how rich a beverage their powder makes.
Guittard is one of the longest family-owned chocolate companies in the US, passed down for four generations. It is one of the few companies in the United States that works directly with cacao bean growers. The family works together to ensure the highest quality chocolate products manageable. They use traditional French methods for their cocoa and chocolate manufacturing, so expect the best for your Guittard hot cocoa.
Only having been around for 20 years, Moonstruck is still a small and intimate provider of hand-crafted goodness. Their hot cocoa mixes come in milk, dark, and Mayan chocolate. While the stores may carry the mixes, nothing’s better than finding an authentic Moonstruck Chocolate Café to enjoy your cup at! There are five locations throughout Oregon, and hopefully it will expand across the nation soon.
Made by “Mr. Chocolate” himself, Jacques Torres’ hot cocoa is always crafted from real chocolate. His flavors are always exciting, including his “Wicked Hot Chocolate” made with real chili peppers. If you’d rather not warm up that much, try his delicious original style cocoa. Check out his other sophisticated chocolate treats to further satisfy your sweet tooth.
11 Trader Joe’s
The products that come from this grocery store are anything but generic. Trader Joe’s sells completely organic cocoa, made with love from premium beans. Luckily, it’s quite affordable, and reinforces the Mayan style in its richness and taste. It comes in packets to be mixed with water.
If you’d like to make a difference in the world while enjoying a hot chocolate beverage, this is probably the closest you’ll come. Dagoba’s mix is certainly superior in taste and quality, with real dark chocolate bits mixed in with the powder. Plus, the company is completely Rainforest Alliance Certified, and is conscientious about its effect on the environment.
Sarabeth’s specializes in jams and other gourmet foods, so hot cocoa is only one of her many great products. It is made from all-natural ingredients, and requires only hot milk to produce a heavenly beverage. Find one of her restaurants if you’d like to enjoy a handmade cup, possibly by Sarabeth herself!
14 365 Organic
This is one of the most organic hot cocoa brands you will find on the market today. They never use any artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or hydrogenated oils in their cocoa mixes. A sub-brand of Whole Foods, you can find this mix at any Whole Foods store or dispensary.
The “green” stands for environmental concerns, and the “black” stands for quality cocoa. The company won the Worldaware Business Award for their conscious business practices in 1994. At this point, it stands as one of the largest organic chocolate companies in the U.S.
About Guest Author
This post is submitted by Candice Harding, who enjoys writing about the great products and technology she finds online. When she’s away from the computer, she loves riding her bike and exploring the outdoors. She loves working with quality businesses and scours the Internet for quality deals to publish on her website, myredbicycle.com.