Product Type: Options Soft Drink
Newest Review: ... of the powder and it tastes like it smells, chocolaty and sweet. To make a drink with the Options the instructions state that you need t... more
Consider Your Options Wisely!
Options Belgian Chocolate 220g
Member Name: littlepenguin
Options Belgian Chocolate 220g
Advantages: Low in calories & can be used in alternative ways to those instructed.
Disadvantages: Not suitable for vegetarians, a bit dear, not a great taste.
Do you remember having Coco Pops or Nesquik just to finish off the chocolate milk at the end? Or perhaps various chocolate milk drinks that we were given throughout our childhood? Perhaps this is why we associate chocolate with a positive feeling as, let's admit it, many parents use it as a reward! Maybe this is why so many of us are on the verge of a chocolate addiction!?
But as we get older and more self-aware, we realise what is good for us and what is not so and sadly chocolate falls into the less favourable category. *Insert sad face here!*
Options - product of Ovaltine UK - is one of many brands who have invented a compromise for the more health-conscious of us: Options Belgian Chocolate in a 220g tub, suitable for all the family.
I can see how this would offer a guilt-free option for parents to give to their children as a night-time drink. And I can certainly understand how people like me view it as an innocent treat. In fact, it has prevented me from quickly nipping to the local shop in the evening when I've been craving something sweet. It is, as the name would suggest, an alternative option.
The Taste Test
Contrary to popular opinion, I find Options Belgian chocolate rather watery. It's like an average vending machine hot chocolate, only with fewer calories. I guess I must expect this to a certain extent because the product is instant - but I kind of feel it would be worth putting in the extra time and attention in order to create a thicker, creamier treat, for instance, Cadbury's drinking chocolate.
Through a little experimentation I have found that using milk instead of water in this drink to be pretty advantageous. Skimmed milk works just as well, whilst saving on the calories and the drink is nice both hot and cold. When I had a sore throat I also tried the drinking chocolate with a little honey, which worked surprisingly well.
A tip that stood out in another review was having it with Baileys! Now, I can't exactly say that promotes healthy eating/drinking - but it does taste bloody good!
When I was at Slimming World I also used to mix the hot chocolate powder with natural yoghurt in order to create a healthy but quite sweet dessert. It's not amazing, but worth a try of you are serious about dieting.
In relation to the design, the first thing that strikes me is the skinny, twenty-something woman on both the front and back of the tub. If I'd had any doubt, I would now be feeling reassured that this product is aimed at women who want to lose weight! I guess it is (like most advertising) slightly deceiving because unless you regularly have high calorie chocolate drinks you are incredibly unlikely to lose weight because of this hot chocolate!
The tub itself is both light blue and brown, the latter being a fair representation of the colour you can expect your drink to be! I'm not convinced that these two colours actually go well at all together, but I guess what really sells it is the "only 40 calories a cup" label.
How to Make
It is a very easy drink to make. I did however find that it took longer than I would have liked to dissolve the powder and often there were still grains of powder left at the bottom of the cup, even after much stirring.
1. Boil water. It is advised to let it cool down a bit before pouring it into the cup.
2. Place three teaspoons of the instant chocolate powder in your mug.
3. Add the water and stir, stir, stir!
You can buy this particular product from most supermarkets, but mine specifically was purchased from a small Sainsbury's store in town for £2.49. I find this to be quite expensive, but it is actually on a par with many similar products.
I am a vegetarian and have drunk this on and off for the past couple of years. Therefore I was utterly shocked to discover that they are NOT actually suitable for vegetarians! The drink contains whey powder which is not always veggie and according to the website it certainly isn't vegetarian on this occasion. *Insert swear word here!*
If you're a meat muncher and are not put off by this then you might also like to know that Options is available in single packets (weighing 11g, the same as 3 teaspoonfuls) in Belgian chocolate, orange, banana, toffee, vanilla, hazelnut, white chocolate, coconut, choca mocha, double choc, Turkish delight and mint.
This specific item contains both milk and soya, but is gluten free.
- All the Options contain at least some real Belgian chocolate
- Each cup contains at least half the calories of a standard hot chocolate
- The hazelnut variety does not contain nuts, but the white chocolate does (go figure!?)
- The company makes some effort to come across as ethical, but there are many flaws and it is not registered as Fairtrade
They also have a pretty comprehensive website which can be found here: http://www.optionstreats.co.uk/
Upon learning more and more about Options, my opinion of it just fell lower and lower. I think it is pretty appalling that it is not vegetarian (although I realise it's not great that I haven't checked before now!).
The container is a nice shape and distinctive, so stands out in your cupboard, making it easier to find.
The product itself I found a letdown, but when you balance it against the fact that its low calorie, I forgive it a little for its shortcomings.
You may also be interested to know that a similar product is available in the Skinny Cow range in both chocolate and mint flavours at only 37 calories (but at a marginally higher price), so if Options isn't for you then I recommend trying that. I believe this one is vegetarian too!
I wouldn't particularly recommend Options Belgian Chocolate.
Summary: I wouldn't particularly recommend it.