Nesquik Powder Versus Hershey’s Syrup For Chocolate Milk Supremacy. Who You Got?
For a child of a certain age, there is a clear cut hierarchy when it comes to beverage choices. First and foremost is obviously a Coca-Cola classic, or perhaps a Surge or Mountain Dew if the child in question is a real wild son of a bitch. Obviously if a kid can get his hands on a sugary, caffeinated pop that’s what they’re choosing first, but coming in a very close second, and sometimes even first place if you’ve got a real All-American on your hands, is chocolate milk.
It is a universally loved beverage, but I think it’s important to start this out by completely eliminating Yoohoo from this conversation. Yoohoo is the runt of the chocolate milk family, and in fact there is only a very miniscule amount of actual milk (if you count nonfat drymilk as milk) in the drink.
I take it as a personal offense for anyone to consider this drink “chocolate milk” and it should only be acknowledged in the most dire of circumstances. The only reason to ever be consuming Yoohoo is if the craving for chocolate milk suddenly arises in a place where it is impossible to get your hands on the real stuff. At a gas station on a road trip or flying commercial are instances where this may happen to you. Otherwise, stay away from Yoohoo.
For the purposes of my column, I am also eliminating from the conversation any and all premade chocolate milks that one sees at grocery stores around the country. I’m talking about Dean Foods, Wegmans, Safeway, H-E-B, Prairie Farms, Borden, Horizon, Organic Valley, so on and so forth. Any brand that makes ready-to-drink chocolate milk out of the bottle is decidedly out. I’m not saying that premade chocolate milk is bad, but I am saying that it is not as good as the two heavyweight brands I’m about to hit you with.
When I was a kid growing up, it was always Hershey’s syrup versus Nesquik powder. It’s funny the things that we can remember from our childhood, and boy oh boy was chocolate milk one of them for me. My affinity, my love for chocolate milk knew no bounds. As a boy, my Coca-Cola intake was monitored closely by parents and babysitters alike and most of the time I was unable to thwart their restrictions. But milk, and it’s fun cousin chocolate milk were something I was allowed to drink whenever and wherever I wanted to.
My family was a 2% household, and in my prime milk drinking days as a precocious young boy I was probably capping out at a gallon a week by myself. It was a breakfast, lunch, and dinner affair for me.
Hershey’s and Nesquik were staples not just in my house, but around the neighborhood as well. All of my friends were chocolate milk drinkers, and I swear to God during the summer when I had school off and had friends over, my Nesquik was guarded more heavily than Fort Knox. I mean I liked sharing with my friends but get your own fucking Nesquik, you know?
I was introduced to chocolate milk by my father, only knowing that Hershey’s syrup was an option. He’s from a different chocolate milk era in a way, when Hershey’s was really the only game in town. I can only speak from my memories as a kid, but it seemed that somewhere along the way Nesquik powder took over as the number one choice for chocolate mix with kids my age as well.
They had a powerful brand without a doubt. That little bunny on the side of the Quik tubs was just appealing to kids, and I think Hershey’s just got by on name brand alone.
Hershey’s syrup was introduced in 1926, while Nesquik powder didn’t come onto the scene until 1948. When a brand has a twenty year head start you’re always going to be playing a game of catch up. I think probably until the 80s when Nesquik started advertising simply as “Quik”, Hershey’s syrup was the hands down favorite.
That’s clearly a drink for kids. But then you think about Smalls in “The Sandlot” licking that spoon as he makes himself a tall glass of chocolate milk just before bed in 1960s America. I’d imagine he was using Hershey’s syrup. He was a victim of the times, during an era where I’m sure Nesquik didn’t have the marketing power to be reaching his household.
And in that way, this is sort of like an argument between Coca-Cola and Pepsi, with Hershey’s being Coca Cola because they came out first and the copycat Nesquik being Pepsi. Nesquik has the flashy ads and fun, gimmicky bunny. Hershey’s has what? This?
Much like Coca-Cola, Hershey’s really doesn’t need advertising for their syrup to let people know that you can use it for chocolate milk. It’s already conditioned in your head that the natural thing to reach for when you want chocolate milk is Hershey’s syrup.
This is an unfair comparison in a lot of ways because I hate Pepsi. When I get to a restaurant and the wait staff asks me the dreaded “Is Pepsi okay?” I always sigh quietly and ask for a lemon water. I don’t hate Nesquik like I hate Pepsi.
But as my tastebuds have become more refined through the years, I’ve found myself gravitating towards Hershey’s syrup now more than ever. It’s more difficult to mix with a spoon than the Nesquik powder, but it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished a little more. Your wrist actually hurts a bit after having mixed a glass of milk with Hershey’s syrup, where with Nesquik there isn’t a whole lot that has to be done.
A glass of chocolate milk with Hershey’s syrup is thicker, a tad bit darker than it’s Nesquik counterpart, which I believe to be a good thing because you don’t want to suck down a glass of this stuff too quickly. Nesquik is a two scoop affair, while Hershey’s is a bit of a guessing game. I go with a firm 3.5 second squeeze from the Hershey bottle.