A Definitive Ranking Of America's Chocolate Milk Brands

A Definitive Ranking Of America's Chocolate Milk Brands

For all of my fellow chocolate milk enthusiasts, this list is for you.

As a chocolate milk enthusiast, I have had my fair share of many different kinds of "choccy milk," as the memers like to say. For this list, I've ranked the best chocolate milks to the worst ones. I obviously couldn't get every single chocolate milk brand, but I did go out of my way to find the ones I had not yet had. I truly wish I could try every chocolate milk out there. At restaurants, if chocolate milk is a choice, I always buy it just to see for myself how good it is. Sometimes those chocolate milks cost three dollars, maybe more, but it's the one bougie thing I won't back down from. I also had a very hard time because there are so many awesome local brands of chocolate milk which are usually right up there, close to #1, so just give them the disclaimer that local brands are great quality chocolate milks.

So, in this list, I'll discuss price if necessary, creaminess, chocolatiness, and thickness. Is chocolatiness a word? I don't care. Is there a difference between creaminess and thickness? Yes, there is. Will I discuss the health side of these brands? Absolutely not. Completely irrelevant. I also might discuss their actual branding as well, because some of them really drop the ball.

So, here are the best to worst chocolate milk brands that I have ever tried.

1. Prairie Farms

Prairie Farms has always been there for us and it has never disappointed. I used to drink at least a pint of Prairie Farms chocolate milk every day during my sophomore year of college. My dorm was right above a little market where I could buy one little pint. On my way back from class or work, on my way to watch a movie with friends? I always stopped in and used my dining dollars on the beautiful, perfectly rich chocolate milk. Not only is it delicious, but its' reasonably priced. Prairie Farms is first on the list not only because my heart lies with this brand, but because the chocolate milk (1% or 2%!) is the perfect amount of chocolatiness, the perfect creaminess, simply the perfect brand. Prairie Farms is the superior chocolate milk brand (but much to my dismay, my university switched from Prairie Farms to the worst brand, which you can see at the bottom of this list).

2. Promised Land

I stumbled upon this brand at Kroger one day, and as a chocolate milk enthusiast, I of course had to try it. The chocolate milk was so pure and chocolatey and creamy. The reason why it's #2 though, is that I felt it was almost too creamy at times. When I buy chocolate milk that's smaller than a half gallon, I intend on drinking it all in one sitting. This brand I had to pause myself due to its thickness. Nonetheless, it was quite delicious and when I'm at Meijer or Kroger (who don't sell Prairie Farms) I gladly buy a bottle. Promised Land is also very wholesomely made and has no artificial colors or hormones. For a quart, it is not too overpriced for the quality of the richness you get. Promised Land is always there for you when Prairie Farms is not.

3. Fairlife

One thing I like about Fairlife is that on their website they have "testimonials." Yes, I have submitted a testimonial. Hopefully, it's published by the time you read this. The price is reasonable for the quality. I thought the thickness was good, because as you know by now I like to drink a lot of chocolate milk in one sitting but if it is too thick then I cannot and that is saddening. So, the thickness was excellent. Best feature. I thought the chocolatiness was good too, almost unique, like what type of chocolate do they use, you know? The creaminess could've been a little creamier, though. Slightly watery but still the other redeeming qualities brought me back. Good job Fairlife.

4. Great Value

Great Value is Walmart brand, and so you're just as surprised as me that it's ranked #4. It's the perfect amount of chocolatiness and is creamy in all the right ways. It could be a little thicker, but surprisingly this generic brand of chocolate milk is really good. To me, a lot of generic brand products are way more delicious than you would think at first. Since this is Walmart brand too, then it's incredibly convenient to buy and it's really well priced. You can't buy it in a smaller bottle so this is usually my go-to for milk I want to buy in bulk. 8.5/10 Walmart.

5. Shamrock Farms

This brand I often buy at Subway or a donut shop. The bottles tend to be small in the most convenient places to purchase this brand, which is an issue because of course I love to drink lots of chocolate milk, but also because I feel as though I don't get the whole experience of this chocolate milk and I don't have enough to really appreciate it. So, I usually get two bottles. Anyway, my sister proclaimed to me once that this was the best chocolate milk she's ever had (you're wrong Stacie), but I must agree it's rather delicious. It is as thick and creamy as Prairie Farms but not the same type of chocolatiness I must say. It's chocolatey, but it's almost like a different chocolate brand or something. Very peculiar but still delicious to go with my subs from Subway. Also, they're famous for hosting tours for schools where you can get free samples of their chocolate milk, and we all know free stuff is the best stuff. And education is important too I suppose.

6. Nesquik

I don't know what it is about this brand. It's almost too sweet. There's always this weird twang about it. It's very similar to the next brand, but one thing that gives it the x-factor is its chocolate milk mix. The chocolate powder from Nesquik you mix in with milk is really good. Some people just suck at making chocolate milk, but Nesquik mix is so awesomely priced (I always buy the biggest container) and it's a great back up for when I run out of Prairie Farms. But again, the individual bottles and what not just have this weird sweetness to them that just doesn't do it for me. Their strawberry milk is actually really good, probably because of that sweetness thing going on. I used to drink this a lot as a kid too, so maybe my sweet tooth has been deteriorated. Who knows?

7. Hershey's

This is pretty much similar to Nesquik. There's some weird sweetness to this brand and it's also too chocolatey. Like, we get it, it's a chocolate brand, not a milk brand, but it's still too chocolatey. Their chocolate syrup is decent enough to make chocolate milk, though. It doesn't mix as well as the Nesquik mix, but still good. Hershey's chocolate syrup actually really saved me when I worked at a sweet shop and wanted some chocolate milk. I drank that just about every day. So for that I'm thankful. But the actual chocolate milk is inferior. Plus, I don't like the way the bottles look at all. I'm kind of a minimalist, and I tend to not like bottles where the wrapper covers the whole bottle. It just doesn't do it for me so the physical appearance of the chocolate milk literally turns me away. I would gladly design a new look, though. Just saying, Hershey's.

8. TruMoo

Trash. Literal trash. If you like water that's probably got a little dirt in it mixed with more dirt, then you'll get yourself TruMoo. TruMoo is Dean's if you didn't know, and I think one of the many reasons why I hate TruMoo is because Dean's used to have delicious chocolate milk. I remember in middle school I would always buy one of those giant bottles of Dean's chocolate milk (the ones that are still featured on the side of their truck by the way, how misleading) and a sprinkled donut from Marsh. Then they decided to go to TruMoo, which I hate the name of anyway. There is not truth in this milk anywhere. Garbage!

This is the milk that my university decided to replace Prairie Farms with. Junior year I lived in the same dorm but no Prairie Farms. So I actually ended up drinking more soda because they had good cherry Coke (wait for that article), and I always want something with flavor but not flavored water, so - I actually had to go to the gym. All because of TruMoo and their disgusting, putrid blend. It literally tastes like water with Nesquik mix. Don't believe me? Trust me, I tried that and no surprise - it tastes like TruMoo! I don't know what happened, but TruMoo is a monstrosity. I have a personal vendetta against the Dean's corporation. If they don't make their chocolate milk better (because it's sold everywhere!) then I will find one way or another to ruin them. And I want the company to take my comments seriously. I don't actually want the company to fail. Trust me! I want it to be better because I know it can. I have faith in Dean's, but by god if they don't put out some decent chocolate milk then whatever future of failure is their own fault. Yeah. It is.

Do you have a favorite chocolate milk not on the list? Share in the comments below!

Cover Image Credit: AP Stock

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A Few Minutes Of My Life At Panera Bread

This is what I usually order and I had to share the deliciousness!

Panera Bread wasn't a restaurant I really ever thought about. Of course I'd see its chains around my town but I never made the decision to check out the restaurant. During my first year in college, a few friends of mine began talking about how good their food is. I couldn't participate in the conversation because I didn't know how good anything of theirs was. I stuck out like a sore thumb when I said, "I've never been to Panera." My friends were shocked and said that they needed to take me there. Fast forward two years later and here I am writing an article about a day in my life at Panera. Funny how I basically went from "I don't know that place" (Mariah Carey voice) to "I love that place!" Below I specify my usual, customized order at Panera!

The first thing I do is go to the computer ordering station; I find it much easier than bothering the employees with my very specific order. Any who, I then go to the "sandwich" option and choose "Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt." If you go on their website, you'll see what the sandwich looks like. I click "customize" and then I begin my order.

I switch the black pepper focaccia bread for a hoagie roll. I keep the smoked pulled chicken and gouda cheese but remove the avocado and cilantro. For the peppadew peppers, I choose "light" instead of regular. The other day, for the first time, I added red onions and tomatoes (chose "light" for both) and I must say that they were good additions. For the condiments, I remove the "Chipotle Mayonnaise" but I don't replace it with anything. I know, I completely demolished the original order but I promise my version is delicious as well! For my free side, my junk food loving self chooses the chips.

Sometimes I get iced coffee, but now I usually choose an item from the bakery. For so long, I got the candy cookie. However one day, I experienced the oatmeal raisin with berries cookie and let me tell you: it's one of the BEST cookies I've ever tasted by far. I love it so much to the point where I looked online for a copycat recipe. I still have yet to try it out.

Usually, I hungrily wait for my order and internally jump for joy when it's ready. If you ever try my customized order from Panera, let me know!

"Food is not just eating energy. It's an experience." - Guy Fieri
Cover Image Credit: ppcorn.com

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Quitting Veganism Is Going To Be The Best Decision For Me

Sometimes we have to do what's best for us.

About a year ago, I made the decision to go vegan. I had spent the majority of my first year of college experimenting with pescatarianism, vegetarianism, etc. and I was ready to take the plunge into veganism once and for all. So, on my last day of school, I began to do just that.

Over the Summer, my family and I tried a bunch of new recipes and vegan restaurants in the area. I was seriously enjoying this plant-based lifestyle and everything it had to offer me.

In late August, I returned back to school, excited to live in a dorm with a kitchen so I could continue to make my favorite meals throughout the year. I brought along tons of kitchen equipment with me; pots, pans, spatulas, and more.

I was thought I was entirely ready to be a "vegan college student."

However, throughout the year, I noticed that it was becoming difficult for me. Like most students, I live on a seriously tight budget throughout the school year.

Although it is much cheaper to grocery shop when your list consists of primarily fruits and vegetables, it became a constant routine of having to take the shuttle to the grocery store almost every week. With the extremely limited options available in the cafeteria, unless I want to eat salad for every single meal, I was faced with having to make my own meals most of the time.

This brings me back to the kitchen situation. Yes, there was a kitchen in my dorm, however, it was a floor up from my room, which meant I had to lug all of my pots and pans up and down the stairs each time I wanted to cook. Not to mention that the kitchen was almost constantly in use by other students, making the space crowded and stressful.

So, in this case, I decided that the kitchen wasn't really going to work out in my favor like I had anticipated at the beginning of the year. So my only other option was to eat what my school had to offer, which was literally only salad or try to put a balanced meal together with the random snacks I had in my room.

Not to mention, this constant intake of high-fiber foods (like vegetables) every single day was taking a serious toll on my stomach, causing me to feel sick most of the time.

I don't have to tell you that college food is not the most enjoyable stuff in the world. Each time I went to the cafeteria, the vegan option was either not appetizing, or suffered some type of cooking error (under-cooked rice, I'm looking at you).

Therefore, pretty much every meal I eat at school is salad. I try to throw what I can on top, but the options are super inconsistent, constantly lacking in vegan protein sources which is honestly annoying.

As I was faced with these constant trials in my life as a vegan student, I began to reconsider why I really wanted to live this lifestyle. I watched all the documentaries, read the articles, and followed the influential vegans on social media.

But when I really thought about it, I know that a part of me only wanted to be vegan for reasons unrelated to animal rights.

I struggled with an eating disorder during the last year of high school and throughout much of my freshman year of college. In fact, I still struggle with it now, as recovery is a long, strenuous process.

So, when a vulnerable, struggling girl discovered a new "diet" where she could have a reason to say no to any meat and dairy products, it was like a miracle.

Of course, I did my own research on the topic and found out just how terrible the meat and dairy industry are for both the environment as well as the animals' well-being.

While I am passionate about animals and how they are treated, I had to give myself a huge reality check and recognize that, although I do care, I'm not doing this for all of the right reasons.

At this point in my life, veganism is not sustainable in order for me to be healthy and fully recover from my eating disorder.

On May 11, it will be officially one entire year since I went vegan. But after many long, honest conversations with friends and family, I've decided that it's not a lifestyle I can continue to pursue at this point in my life. I'm devoted to being vegetarian for the rest of my life, as I've always found meat a bit repulsive, to be honest.

Perhaps one day in the future, when I'm out of school and have a grip on my mental and physical health, I will consider veganism again.

But I think it's really important to think about the reasoning behind our dietary decisions. If you're eating a certain way that does not feel sustainable to you, it might be time to think about making a change.

If you can see yourself eating a certain way, and enjoying it, for the rest of your life, by all means - do it! But if you're not 100% enjoying it, and it feels more like something you have to rather than what you want to do, don't feel embarrassed to admit that you'd like to try something different.

Nobody should feel like they are required to eat a certain way. In my opinion, life is so short, so we should eat what makes us happy and what makes us feel good.

Cover Image Credit: AF Mil

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