Rushing around the aisles in Marks and Spencer a couple of weeks ago, I stopped in my tracks after noticing these packs of hot chocolate drinks on sale. I wouldn't normally have paid too much attention, but the 'under 50 calories' label impelled me to take a closer look.
Knowing the quality of M&S food, I decided to buy a box and try them out. However, I did wonder why they were stacked up high and on sale at an extremely low price.
Checking out the 'best before' date, I noticed they had a few weeks left, so this could have been a reason. I also wondered whether they might be stopping production.
After querying this with a nearby assistant, I was told that it was because of the date and as far as she knew, they would continue to be sold.
So, onto the drinks. Each box holds 10 individual sachets of instant hot chocolate power. The box itself is quite plain. Both sides and the bottom of the pack have no text at all.
The sachets are equally devoid of chatty promotional lingo or pictures and are wrapped in plain silver packs with instructions on the back.
The chocolate itself is made with Fairtrade fat reduced cocoa powder which makes up 32% of the ingredients. Sachets contain a decent amount of powder to make up quite a rich drink. All you do is add boiling water and stir.
Regarding the taste, I found it matches the box really. Quite plain and not particularly sweet. When making this type of instant hot chocolate drink, I usually mix the powder with a bit of milk first, then add the hot water. This gives an added creaminess with just a few extra calories.
Latest style packaging:
Available in Marks & Spencer foodhalls.
Nutrition information per 12g sachet made up: 45 calories, 2.3g protein, 5.5g carbohydrate, 3.6g sugars, 1.3g fat, 1g saturates, 1.8g fibre, 0.25g salt.
Quick note: the best before date doesn't mean a food is unsafe to eat. It simply means that the contents may have lost some of its flavour or texture, but is not harmful to eat.