I regularly enjoy a hot steaming cuppa of hot chocolate, and I have tried many different brands over the years. Some of these brands have been what I would class as 'Premium' brands, whilst others are more 'budget-minded.' I had not previously tried out the "Instant Hot chocolate" from the well-known Asda Smartprice brand and thought I'd give it a try out recently, when it caught my eye during a recent internet grocery shop at the Asda website. (www.asda.com).
The Smartprice brand, for those who are not aware, is a 'budget' brand that is exclusive to Asda's supermarket. I have tried out many of the assorted items in the Smartprice range over the years and whilst I have found that some of the items are quite terrible and have never been repurchased, there are some really great little 'gems' available in the brand too which gives it more credibility overall.
As @ the time of writing (September 2012), the Asda Smartprice Instant Hot Chocolate is available in only one size of container, which is a generous 400g. This cost me the excellent value price of only 48 pence when I purchased it recently.
I believe that the packaging for the product has changed slightly in recent times, but as @ the time of writing, the product is presented in a plastic jar with a screw-top lid which is attractive enough. There is a useful 'curve' in the jar's side which provides a steady grip to be maintained and I have never found there to be any difficulty in removing or replacing the plastic lid, even with limited mobility in my hands. The top of the jar had a foil 'seal' intact to keep its contents fresh and dry prior to use. Full details of the product are provided on the jar's label and I was pleased to note that the plastic jar could be recycled, although it is the ideal storage container for my feline companion's treats and biscuits and thus, it has been given a new lease of life in my girl's food cupboard..!
Anyway, the Asda Smartprice Instant Hot Chocolate is a similar product to any other brand of hot chocolate that I would purchase regularly, in that it comprises a dark brown coloured powder that requires hot water added to it to produce a mug of liquid hot chocolate. As with most similar products that I buy regularly, the Smartprice Chocolate needs a generous serving of its powder to be placed in a cup or mug - the instructions state 3 or 4 heaped teaspoons should be used with each serving and I have found this amount is indeed required to provide enough flavour to the drink. Any less, and you run the risk of having a watered-down taste being present, and to be fair I do find that the price of the Smartprice drink is economical enough to use as much as I like with each serving.
There is a very sweet smell evident, even as I spoon the powder into the mug and whilst this is welcoming, I could not confess to finding it particularly mouth-watering. To be fair, the smell develops once the hot water has been added and it becomes more full-bodied as you would expect. The instructions on the product's jar inform me that I should 'Stir Well' and I would agree with this wholeheartedly, to ensure that the powder mixes completely with the hot water. If you skimp on this part of the drink's creation, you risk ending up with powdered lumps floating around on the surface of your drink... not particularly pleasant, by any means.
When the drink is completely mixed, it resembles most other instant hot chocolate drinks that I regularly consume, although I find the colour of the Smartprice version is slightly darker than other brands. This is an observation rather than a criticism and as I tend to add a drop of milk to my hot chocolate - irrespective of which brand is being used at the time - I find that this adds a pleasant 'cloud' to the dark colouring of the Smartprice version, and it pales slightly as a result.
I find the Smartprice Instant Hot Chocolate provides a pleasant enough drink that is surprisingly moreish. It is true that the chocolate is rather sweet, perhaps too much for some consumers, but it has proven to be no real match for my sweet tooth and I will happily finish my cup each time it is served. Whilst it could never be described as being the most robustly rich, or 'full-bodied' drinking chocolate that I have ever consumed, I find its flavour is pleasant enough and is without the familiar 'sickly' edge that other budget-branded hot chocolate drinks contain. I really have nothing negative to report about the taste and flavour of the drink at all, and for the price I paid I was genuinely pleasantly surprised.
I have to confess that the Smartprice chocolate has a tendency to leave behind a powdery residue at the bottom of the mug, so much so that it has never been possible to completely drain my mug completely. This is something that is evident with most other powdered drinks that I consume regularly however, so I won't be deducting any points from the product rating score for this.
The nutritional information provided on the jar's label informs me that 100g of the Instant Hot Chocolate provides: 399 kcal and 3.5g fat which seems quite high but is hardly surprising given the product is a chocolate-flavoured product. I am also informed that the product is suitable for vegetarians and that it contains milk, so may be unsuitable for those consumers with certain food allergies.
The jar actually contains 14 or so servings, which works out at less than 5p per serving, and in my book, that's excellent value for money.
In summary, I am really pleased that I purchased the Asda Smartprice Instant Hot Chocolate and think it is an excellent 'budget' drink for those cold winter nights. As a result, it comes with my full recommendation together with full marks in the product rating score.
I am quite the lover of hot drinks and I especially find myself tucking into bed every night with either a cup of tea or a hot chocolate. I am a big fan of hot chocolate and think it is a tasty treat and just so convenient to make. I never stick to a certain brand and like to try out a variety of different ones, however one problem I always seem to encounter with the stuff is that I just get through jars of it so quickly, and constantly find myself having to purchase new jars every few days at the rate our household gets through it. Because of this, I decided to give up the yummy Galaxy, Cadbury and Options hot chocolate and seek out something a bit more pocket friendly.
When carrying out my weekly grocery shop in Asda, I noticed their own branded Smart Price hot chocolate which was only a tiny 48p. Obviously this is only available from Asda's stores, and I was amazed at the price of this. I knew it wouldn't be the tastiest hot chocolate, however for the price I was willing to give it a go. As far as this is concerned I was over the moon, as many other brands can be quite expensive.
As you can imagine, it is not the most attractive hot chocolate packaging. It comes in a clearish tub, with just a white and green label detailing the product information. As you can imagine for a stores own brand budget range this is to be expected. To be honest I'm not fussy as to the appearance, as long as it does the job! It's not like anybody is going to be rooting through your cupboards. This comes in a 400 gram jar, which is quite a big one which will last you a good while also.
When I opened up this jar of hot chocolate, the first thing that hit me was the lovely scent of it. It has a gorgeous, sweet smell and I was pleasantly surprised by this. This is simple to use, and you would just do as you would with any other hot chocolate. Depending on how strong or weak you would like it would depend on the number of teaspoons you'll add. I would recommend around three to four for an average sized mug, however you can completely choose how you would prefer it. Then simply add boiled water to it and stir until all of the powder has mixed in to form a lovely, smooth liquid. I personally like to add a drop of milk into my hot chocolate to make it less rich, and I would definitely recommend doing so with this hot chocolate.
After I had prepared my hot chocolate, the first thing I noticed with this is that it looks and smells exactly like any other hot chocolate, but most importantly how did it taste? I have to say that I'm completely chuffed with this hot chocolate from Asda's Smart Price range. For a budget product, this is absolutely delicious so long as you get your amounts right. It is sweet, yet not too sweet and absolutely full of flavour. Obviously it is of a lower quality than perhaps Cadbury's and Nestle hot chocolates, however I personally don't see such a significant difference that you should pay that much more for something that tastes only slightly better. So for the taste test, I approve!
Ingredients are as follows:
Whey Powder (Milk) , Sugar , Milk Solids , Creamer [Dried Glucose Syrup, Vegetable Oil, Milk Proteins, Stabiliser (Potassium Phosphates) , Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Emulsifier (Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids) , Emulsifier (Polyoxyethylene (20)-Sorbitan Monooleate)] , Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder (8.5%) , Thickener (Carboxy Methyl Cellulose) .
Overall, this is a well recommended budget hot chocolate. If you are picky with quality and taste, you might just prefer to continue using branded stuff, however I can't really notice much difference and I think this is an absolutely delicious drink for the tiny price tag. Four stars, well done Asda. Thanks for reading.
I, myself am not a fan of milk and tend to only drink things with milk in if they do not taste of milk ( odd i know). So a good hot chocolate is something i quite enjoy from time to time. I also have a toddler who is 'a big boy mummy' and doesnt want to drink glasses of milk anymore. You can gather that we can drink a lot of hot chocolate in our household.
I am a loyal Asda customer and my cupboards have quite a few products are have the green and white labelling that is Smart Price. I will be the first to admit that some smart price products are great, and others lacking somewhat. Nonetheless, i regularly buy their Hot chocolate at 48p a jar. It is a winner in our house and i use it for more than the 'hot chocolate' label it has been given.
It can be found down the aisle with the tea bags, coffee and sugar, along with the other hot chocolate products funnily... The packaging is an opaque white plastic and very little labelling accompany the packaging really. The label has the classic smart price logo, and the reverse, a list of ingredients with Asda's trusted money back guarentee information. The lid is white in colour and is again plastic in material. On first opening, a gold paper lining covers and protects the hot chocoate powder for freshness and to protect from damp. I generally pop it with my teaspoon and decant the powder into another pot, but this pot is equally as efective and keeps an airtight seal. (The pot becomes a really handy storage device for pencils, and i have even cut it in half and used it as a paintpot for my little one!)
The powder itself has a speckled nature of a mushroom like colour and a dark brown. A very fine powder that smells very chocolatey. Going by the instructions, you are advised 3-4 heaped teaspoons per cup i believe (i never go by the instructions). Personally, and especially where my son is concerned, i use 2 heaped spoonfuls and fine that this is more than adaquate for a chocolate taste. Whoever i am making the hot chocolate for, i put in the powder, add a little boiling water and make a paste before adding half a cup of milk and then topping up with hot water again, stirring all the time! Creamy, frothy and ready to drink. My son never leaves any and i enjoy a cup in the evening, especially in this winter weather! Not as depicted on the instructions, but my method has never failed me yet, and if you are after a choclatier taste (as i am trying to preserve my sons teeth from rotting too prematurely, lol) just add the desired amount!
Another little something i like to do with this budget powder, is add it to a crumble topping. If you like your crumbles, either a cherry or red berry fruit base compliments a crunsty crumble topping with added chocolate flavoring. My cherry chocolate crumble s a winner!!
Well, the packaging is very basic but then i can make use of that so i can make it a positive :)
All in all, a 48p jar of hot chocolate that delivers lovely drinks, a great dessert topping and makes a great craft tool is great by me!!
Thank you for reading.
Yesterday morning, I received a phone call from my daughters school to say they were closed due to the heating breaking down, so their request on how to spend this extra day off? A dvd day snuggled under blankets drinking hot chocolate! Now it sounded great to us, so we were only too happy to oblige!
Our local Asda store hasnt been open very long, and we havent shopped there much so have not had chance to try out much of their own brand products. But we decided to pop in there yesterday, and as our children go through so much hot chocolate on these cold days, we decided instead of splashing out a fortune on one jar, we would grab a couple of the Asda Smart Price jars instead.
The jar is what you would expect from a no frills range. It is a white plastic jar, with a white screw lid, and the Asda Smart Price ranges green and white label, with a little picture of a mug, with steam coming out of the top.
The information is pretty basic, no fancy jargon, but the instructions tell you to put 3-4 heaped teaspoons into a mug and fill with hot water, and to stir well.
I did this, using a little extra powder in the kids mugs as they are smaller. I was slightly put off when adding the water as the drink went really dark and made it looks as though it was a dark chocolate drink, whereas other brands make me think of milk chocolate. Stirring the powder in was not too bad, I always find that I need to stir for ages to get rid of any powdery lumps, but this one dissolved really well.
For 48p a jar, I must admit I wasnt expecting a great taste, I imagined it to be like when you buy a cheap chocolate bar and are left with a bitter aftertaste, and because of how dark it was, I expected the worst.
But actually, it is lovely! There was no cheap, aftertaste, just a nice strong chocolate flavour that tasted quite rich, but in a good, way! If I made this for someone else, they would never guess it was a cheap brand. In fact, I had a leftover sachet of a Cadburys hot chocolate and used it this morning, and it tasted really weak compared to this one.
The kids loved it too, and considering we were spending £2 plus on jars before, I would much rather pay 48p for a jar and let them drink as much as they like! It will definitely become a firm favourite in this house now
I'm not a huge fan of hot drinks, I hate coffee and have to be in the right mood for tea (with 3 sugars!), but I quite enjoy a hot chocolate on a cold evening cuddled under a blanket. Now it's becoming that time of year again, my hot chocolate consumption is getting bigger.
----- Packaging -----
Asda's Smartprice hot chocolate now comes in a plastic container it has a funny colour to it, its whitened but you can still see how much contents is inside. With all Smartprice products it has a white and green label showing us the name and a picture of a cup. The back of the label contains all the usual information.
----- Hot chocolate -----
Making the hot chocolate is easy. Just put 3 or 4 heaped teaspoons of the powder into a cup and add water. I guess you just add to taste as no two heaps of powder contain the same amount of powder! I personally add 4 mountain teaspoons to my mug. As with most hot chocolates, when the water is poured in, it raises some of the powder to the top of the drink, I found that it doesn't take much stirring to get rid of this and to dissolve all of the lumps. Once stirred, there are a few bubbles, a light froth on the top of the liquid, it has a rich brown colour and looks delicious.
The hot chocolate tastes lovely. It isn't as rich and indulgent as some more expensive brands, but for the price who could complain. The consistency is quite thick and not as watery as I thought it might be, it is the same consistency all the way through, even though it didn't take long to stir, there are no lumps left at the bottom of the mug. The after taste is still chocolaty and leaves you wanting more!
----- Other information -----
This hot chocolate is available from Asda stores for 48p and contains each 400g. For people with allergies, it contains milk. It's free from artificial colours and flavourings, and it suitable for vegetarians.
----- Overall -----
The price of this hot chocolate was the first thing that attracted me to this hot chocolate, we all know times are getting tougher and the price of branded hot chocolates is a whole lot more than 48p. Now that I've purchased this and tried it out, I doubt I'll go back to more expensive hot chocolates, the taste is fantastic and really does taste like chocolate.
The other reviews for this this hot chocolate arent too great, but I actually love it!
I bought it for the first time yesterday, while waslking through ASDA I had a bit of a craving for hot chocolate, but didnt want to spend too much on what I see as a "luxury" for myself. This was the perfect choice, cheap and cheerful.
I tried it as soon as I got home; the ingredients list didnt look too appealing (milk solids, creamer, milk proteins, anti-caking agent, fat-reduced cocoa powder 8.5%and various chemical-sounding names), but as per the instructions I put 4 heaped teaspoons of powder into a mug, and filled with hot water.
The liquid quickly turned a lovely deep-brown colour, although a few lumps of kind of jellified powder floated to the surface; but I get that with Cadburys hot chocolate and the lumps taste ok :)
I love the fact you dont need to add milk or even sugar; this hot chocolate was plenty sweet enough for me, and I usually add sugar to EVERYTHING!
Contrary to what the other reviewers have said, I DID think that this tasted chocolatey - not overly so that it is too rich and sickly, but just enough.
It didnt taste "plastic" or fake, and also satisfied my thirst; something which other branded hot chocolates dont do, I find.
I will definitely be buying this again.
Why do we do it? Tempted by those uber-low prices only to be disappointed time after time!
Jars, tins and bottles that slowly make there way to the back of the cupboard until 11 months later when you finally throw it in the bin!
Asda Smartprice Hot Chocolate is just one of these jars - I cant even get my daughter to drink it!
At 60p for 100g it was a third of the price of my usual brand and even the plain tasteless label wasnt going to put me off trying it this time.
A quick glance at the label and it can be made with hot water which is my only other requirement as making it with water instead of milk obviously saves calories.
Getting caught in the rain on the way home from shopping, I felt it was the ideal opportunity to try my new drink.
Making it is easy simply add boiling water to 4 heaped teaspoons of the powder and mix well.
As the kettle boiled I took the opportunity to compare the label to my favourite Malteser Hot Chocolate brand and was disappointed that it actually contained more calories and saturated fats ... but it was just 60p so I had to be onto a winner didnt I ?
The first thing that struck me was the 'malty' smell as I lifted my mug it was a bit sickly and sweet smelling and unfortunately can put you off before you even try it. It didnt get much better either when I tasted it. There is no chocolate taste at all as far as Im concerned. In fact the taste is a ll a bit non-descript. Its just like sweet hot washing up water really. Ive made it again since using more powder but unfortunately this is never going to pass as chocolate to me.
Dried Whey (from Milk) , Sugar , Lactose (from Milk) , Fat-Reduced Cocoa (7%) , Dried Glucose Syrup , Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil , Thickener (Carboxy methyl cellulose) , Thickener (Carboxy methyl cellulose) , Milk Proteins , Stabilisers (Sodium Citrates, Potassium Phospates) , Emulsifier (Sodium Stearoyl -2- Lactylate) .
Its hardly suprising really that it doesnt taste anything like chocolate with the 7% fat reduced cocoa.
I won't be buying this again. If I need to save the pennies in the future then Ill either just buy whatever named brand is on offer that week or stock up in poundland.
Asda Smartprice Hot Chocolate Drink
I'm not a huge fan of hot chocolate drinks, preferring my chocolate fix to come in the form of a large bar. However on days when I simply need that fix and can't get out to the shop I have to make do with hot chocolate.
This is the first time I've brought this power, normally aiming at the higher end brand names variety; I decided it was worth a try.
This powder needs to be mixed with boiling water rather than milk and it's estimated that you need around 28g (3-4 heaped teaspoons) per cup. Personally I find it's not quite chocolately enough unless I use 5 good size spoonfuls. There's no need to add sugar, it's more than sweet enough although a splash of fresh milk does add to the richness.
I can taste the difference between this and some of the more expensive powders, but that said I have managed to use the entire jar. It's a product I'll use again, but it won't be top of the list.
400gms of powder per glass jar, suitable for vegetarians is around £1.20 (depending on offer/store)