Horizon Organic Chocolate Milk: The Promise of 22 Grams of Sugar for Your Kid

October 22, 2015   31 Comments

I am tired of this kind of post but it needs to be done.

Horizon Chocolate Milk Review

I was looking for a milk for my son to bring to school because he said that the school milk didn’t taste very good. I remembered these Horizon milks at the store and thought I would see if there was one that would be acceptable.

Horizon makes an 8 ounce container and a promise:

No high fructose corn syrup! Organic cocoa! 8 grams of protein!

But on the thing that matters to this consumer the most?

Twenty-two grams of sugar – and that means that they added 12 grams because milk naturally has about 11 grams in an 8 ounce serving. Twelve grams is about 2.5 teaspoons.

Every thing about Horizon – non-GMO, organic – goes out the window if they are adding a highly addictive substance to their product in large amounts.

I ask the question – does it need to be SO sweet?

How about Horizon makes a promise to cut the sugar in half. This way we are supporting the environment and the continued health of our children AT THE SAME TIME.

Does this kind of product make you angry? Or should I get off my high horse?

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I would hope most moms are aware that choc, van, or strawb anything is a treat not an everyday lunch thing. Horizon is a pretty good brand in my book, keeping it real, including their non-flavored milk with no added sugar. I always loved choc milk as a kid [ok even now] but I def drink it as an occasional treat much like hot chocolate. yum.

on October 22, 2015

Its chocolate milk - extra sugar is pretty much expected. Plus, if it wasn't sugar it would be some chemical substitute.

on October 22, 2015

I totally agree with you; I still think it would be sweet enough with half the sugar! Go Snack Girl!!

on October 22, 2015

Not angry... It's chocolate milk! The low fat organic white milk has 12g of sugar.

on October 22, 2015

I'm thinking with the 12 grams of sugar already in it,that should be sweet enough. It's adding the chocolate that is adding more sugar, isn't it??How can you have chocolate milk without adding chocolate???

on October 22, 2015

My kids hate the taste of white milk (and frankly, so do I). Since yogurt is also honestly a "treat" as well, their dairy intake is almost solely cheese. So if I can give them some chocolate milk now and again, sugar or not, I'm happy that it's a method to actually get them to drink it!

on October 22, 2015

My concern would be what is it about the school milk that doesn't taste very good. Is it out of date? Not refrigerated properly? In any case, I think chocolate milk should be a treat, not something put in a child's daily lunch box so then wouldn't worry about the extra sugar once in awhile.

on October 22, 2015

I wish you had access to Winder Dairy products. They're all local and they have a no sugar added option for their chocolate milk--and it's good. This one does of 12 grams of sugar. For some reason there are whispers of sucralose...but I can't verify it and that makes no sense to me knowing who made it.

on October 22, 2015

My problem with this product is the deception for folks who don't read labels or can't understand them. The product professes healthy, natural(the most over used word in product marketing). I think most folks just believe this is a healthy alternative unaware it is liquid candy.

on October 22, 2015

Hate to say it holly, but yes,… there's sucrose, ace-k, and carrageenan in there. Sounded like a good enough thing I had to look it up!

Guess this article explains why I always thought their flavored milks were the best tasting ones (well, til I switched to whole milk anyway). :)

on October 22, 2015

Yes this makes me angry. It is difficult enough to keep our children healthy. Please continue to reveal these deceptions!

on October 22, 2015

It is infuriating as their branding appears wholesome and healthy. What I found worse was their vanilla milk! I am glad I checked the ingredients because they use syrup instead of a vanilla bean! I would assume chocolate would not be too healthy but vanilla seems like it would be a little better....until you read the label!!!!

on October 22, 2015

We use Silk Dark Chocolate Almond milk, 17g of sugar - less protein and a much higher sodium content but it also has potassium, vitamin E, magnesium, and a higher amount of calcium. Doesn't come in convenient lunch box sizes but my kid takes a thermos for water and a second one when he wants something other than water for the day.

on October 22, 2015

I too get annoyed at how much sugar gets added to our food by the food companies. Even though this is chocolate milk and a little sugar would be expected, adding 12 grams (2.5 teaspoons) seems excessive. Perhaps an added 6 grams would be more reasonable and still give the chocolate milk a sweet taste.

on October 22, 2015

How can you expect chocolate milk to not have a bunch of sugar? Its chocolate milk for goodness sake!

on October 22, 2015

Totally agree! It's ridiculous what we feed our kids thinking it is healthy. My daughter's kindergarten snacks include "fruit" bites and animal crackers in the promise that all snacks are healthy.

on October 22, 2015

Thank you for this post. It's a good reminder.

on October 22, 2015

YES! Thank you! Please keep up the pressure on these companies to reduce added sugars. Our kids don't need it.

on October 22, 2015

I don't mind it that much because it's not like they will be drinking it everyday it will be a once in a while type of thing. A friend of mine actually makes her own chocolate milk for her son. It takes a while, but she knows what is in it. So I say if prepackaged upsets you, do what she does and make your own. I think I will.I've learned that as tired as I may get, by scratch is the best way to do it. That way I know what is going into my body and I have no one to blame but myself.

on October 22, 2015

No, chocolate milk does NOT need to have a bunch of sugar. Chocolate anything does not need a bunch of sugar. However,eating all the other stuff that is overloaded with sugar has programmed many people into thinking they need to have things overly sweet. Don't eat anything sweet for one week; then taste this milk. It will be disgusting.

on October 22, 2015

I am one who likes to think for herself instead of relying on outlandish claims.

When chocolate is added to a drink, it becomes more bitter. Chocolate is bitter by nature.

Do you have a better idea? I submit that you do not.

Ask yourselves, "Do you give your child candy?", Do you give them cake?" "Do you feed your child carrots?"

One carrot has 3.4 grams of sugar.

14 grams of sugar in one medium size banana.

17 grams of sugar in a slice of watermelon (280g).

Candy, dried fruit, jams and jellies, sodas, cookies, certain cereals are all high in these. Are these off your child's plate? I suspect not.

My solution? Make your own chocolate milk at home using unsweetened cocoa. Then you may want to add your own sugar or sweetener to it. Or, drink it without sweetener. Yummy!

I make my chocolate drinks at home using unsweetened cocoa powder.

If you think 12 grams added sugar is too much, try adding that amount to your homemade chocolate milk and see for yourself if it is too much.

Think for yourselves. Don't rely on claims from anyone without doing the work yourself.

on October 22, 2015

I agree - there is no reasons r it to be *so* sweet. Pretty much everything is over sweetened in America, which is too bad that our tastebuds are set to "super sweet"!

on October 22, 2015

When it comes to food, we cannot make any assumptions! The labels should always be checked, especially if the product is being marketed as healthy or natural. It is easy to find out the amount of sugar from a label. IMO, we don't have any excuses on not knowing the amount of sugar in a product. Manufacturers use ingredients that they believe will appeal to the greatest number of customers. They are in business to make money. We, as consumers, have the responsibility of making the right choices for ourselves and our families. It's definitely more time-consuming to shop that way, especially at first, but if enough consumers start reading the labels, maybe change will slowly happen.

on October 22, 2015

I wonder if the milk at school trays weird because they reduced the sugar in it. I keep looking for chocolate milk fire a treat but the sugar grams are so high!

on October 22, 2015

It doesn't bother me because I wouldn't think that chocolate milk without sugar, would taste very good, chocolate is bitter. I guess my answer would be to not drink chocolate milk

on October 22, 2015

No one is expecting chocolate milk to be sugar free. The question is why do they have to add as much sugar as they do. Chocolate does not require a ton of sugar. There is no reason for it. If you are watching sugar intake and it fits into the daily allowance, there is no reason a lower sugar version of chocolate milk can't be part of lunch. For those of us who don't resort to lunchables, juice, packaged cookies, and other junk, we can figure out ways to give our kids a 'treat" of chocolate milk with lunch. It's not like milk is empty calories like soda. However, to the point being made, 22g of sugar is way too much.

on October 23, 2015

Chocolate milk can be a good source of dairy for kids. It's so important for them to get the calcium! As a pediatrician I always recommend buying the Lowe sugar nesquick or ovaltine and make it yourself. Then you can make it less sweet and sugary then the ready made ones. I also found a chocolate milk made by fair life that says only has 12 Gm of sugar per serving.

on October 23, 2015

Milk is naturally high in sugar because it's meant to feed a baby calf, which weighs several hundred pounds, not a growing human. I know that's not exactly the question you're asking, but I can't help but bring it up - dairy is a totally unnecessary, high-fat, high-sugar addition to the human diet. My son has been bringing a thermos filled with ice water for his lunchtime beverage every day since kindergarten. We don't have any milk in the house whatsoever. He gets plenty of calcium from the beans and vegetables he eats, thus avoiding the issue of how much sugar is in chocolate milk altogether. I think the idea that kids need milk or juice in their lunch is totally screwy.

on October 28, 2015

I like sweet things, but when I make hot cocoa I use almond or cashew milk (unsweetened & I do check the ingredients because some say unsweetened and do use some sweetener) and cocoa powder. They can cut down on the sugar used or use stevia. People do get used to using less sugar.

on November 4, 2015

Stay on your high horse. Good for you. Keep fighting and thank you for fighting for the rest of us. I am with you totally.

on November 11, 2015

Nope. Compared to other chocolate milk brands, horizon is far less sweet. If you're a health conscious mom you shouldn't be sending chocolate milk in your kid's lunch pale every day anyway. And if you want to control the amount of sugar, buy some chocolate syrup and make your own.

on December 5, 2015

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