There’s real food in this rare-as-hen’s-teeth milk drink, Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk, and so much sugar it needs a flashing light warning.

This chocolate milk was sent to me, as it was to many members of the media, when it launched a few months ago. Unfortunately it arrived at my shop and was immediately consumed by my staff, receiving great reviews.

"No problem," I said, ever the generous boss. "I'll just pick some up at the supermarket."

Little did I know that it would be so popular that there would be an immediate shortage making it as rare as hen's teeth for many weeks and a one bottle per person rule instigated at some supermarkets.

Finally I found this little bottle at the weekend, along with two children who both clasped the bigger, 750ml bottle to their chests, pausing briefly to take selfies with their milk while their mother began a no doubt repetitive attempt at advising moderation in its consumption.

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I must declare that I was consulted about this product when it was in its development stages and my advice to Lewis Road Creamery was to reduce the sugar load by using stevia or something similar.

My advice doesn't seem to have had much impact.

Milk (86%)

I'm a big fan of Lewis Road Creamery milk because it is permeate-free.

Permeate is a waste product in dairy production which resembles whey. Many milk companies add it back into their milk which essentially waters it down. I like my milk to be as close to the product which comes out of the cow as it can be. Their organic milk is not only permeate free but also PKE-free. PKE is a palm kernel extract which is a byproduct of the palm oil industry and is often fed to cows when pasture is low. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer my milk to come from grass-fed animals. The milk in this product is not organic but it is whole milk.

Whittaker's Creamy Milk Chocolate (13%)

(sugar, milk powder, cocoa solids, vanilla flavour)

So this is chocolate and these are the standard ingredients for chocolate. Apparently it is added to the milk which is then heated until the chocolate dissolves into the milk. Sounds very simple. The sugar here is a problem for me. One 300ml serving of this milk will deliver a massive 34.9g of sugar - which is just over 8 teaspoons of sugar. That's more than the equivalent amount of Coke which has 32g of sugar per 300ml serve.

Cocoa powder

This will be added as extra flavour.

My recommendations
I love the fact that this milk has so few ingredients and they are all real food - no emulsifiers, preservatives, colours or artificial flavours here.

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The milk is also of a good quality and very nutritious. But, and it's a big but, eight teaspoons of sugar is extreme. My children, big fans of this product, defend it as "it's like drinking a bar of chocolate so of course it's going to have sugar in it."

So let's agree this is a treat food. It's like eating a bar of chocolate so it shouldn't be a daily food and if your child, like the ones I saw at the weekend, are clutching the 750ml bottle to their chests, be aware that is a big sugar load waiting to be consumed.

It is also very high calorie, delivering 1750kj (417 calories) per 300ml serve.

Highlights
• More sugar than the equivalent serve of Coke.
• All real food ingredients, no additives.
• Definitely a treat food.


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