Every month, we break out our calendars to compare days celebrating food. National Beans ’n’ Franks Day? Skip. National Caviar Day? Too expensive. National Gingersnap Day? It’s July, not Christmas. But National Milk Chocolate Day? We were all over that one. After all, who doesn’t love milk chocolate? Even self-professed dark chocolate lovers were willing to “force it” when we brought stacks of brightly wrapped bars into the office.
Our testers tried nine basic bars—no almonds or hazelnut crunch here—all purchased at local supermarkets and drugstores. The bars were chopped to conceal the brands and judged on flavor, texture, and appearance. A perfect score would be 25 points.
Green & Black’s Organic
We included this brand after finding it in all three supermarkets we went to, but maybe we would’ve been better off not discovering it. It was the lowest-rated brand in our taste test, and tasters gave it remarks like “weird taste,” “powdery texture,” and “bitter, nasty, and unpleasant.”
We were surprised that Cadbury didn’t fare better in the line-up. Perennial fans of the brand cited a change in quality since the true, British-made bars were banned from being imported to the USA. Still, some tasters enjoyed the chocolate, while the majority felt it tasted “like cheap Easter Bunny chocolate” and had a “chalky, weird” texture.
With no writing or markings, the design of Whole Foods milk chocolate was unremarkable, and we found that the taste followed suit, with tasters saying it “tastes okay” and “doesn’t stand out.”
We wondered if the nostalgic value of Hershey’s would propel it to the top of the pack and weren’t surprised that it received mixed reviews. Some tasters described it as having a “classic candy bar taste” that’s “so bad it’s good,” while others noted that it was “too sweet” and “artificial” tasting, but it “would be good on s’mores.”
Tasters gave Ghirardelli high marks for texture calling it “creamy,” “very milky,” and noting that it had a “good snap too.” Flavor-wise, it didn’t stand out, with remarks like “just ok” and “nothing special.”
Some tasters loved Dove for its “smooth, creamy texture” and chocolate flavor, but the brand lost points for being overly sweet with one taster remarking that it “makes me kind of nauseous.”
With so many varieties of Lindt chocolate, we weren’t sure which to try. We settled on the standard milk chocolate bar, and it earned rave reviews for both flavor and texture, with tasters calling it “very creamy and milky,” and “really rich/decadent.”
Endangered Species had the highest percentage of cacao by far of any milk chocolate we tasted. The appearance was deceivingly dark, with commenters saying it looked “misleading” and “like dark chocolate.” While it wasn’t overly milky, tasters said it had a “nice, deep chocolate taste,” and was “so chocolate-y and delicious.” A bonus: 10 percent of the profits benefit conservation efforts for animals and their habitats.
We nearly forgot about Godiva, thinking it was a brand that could only be found at specialty stores, but there it was in our local supermarkets. The Godiva milk chocolate bar was the total package with “good flavor” and a “smooth,” “creamy” texture that “melts in my mouth.”