The Chocolate Milk Crisis


My wife Jolene loves chocolate.

She's most pious about chocolate milk. It's a ritual. She has a glass of chocolate milk (usually cold) every morning with buttered toast (butter, not some imitation). Chocolate milk is a staple of her diet.

When she was single she settled on this breakfast choice and it's been relatively unchanged since then.

For her, Hershey's is the only true chocolate milk. Nothing else will do. Nestle's doesn't taste as rich. The syrups are no good either. And while there are many gourmet hot chocolate mixes, few work cold. Bottled chocolate milk works in a pinch, but it's an emergency measure.

Two months ago the can of Hershey's was running low (running out DOES NOT HAPPEN!), but when Jolene went to get a can from the usual aisle, same shelf where it has always been, there was no Hershey's. The spot was empty. Even the shelf tag was gone.

OK, Macey's probably just ran out - but the missing tag was troubling.

Harmon's didn't have it either - uh, oh, this isn't good.

Albertson's - no dice.

Smith's - also no, panic setting in.

Jolene called her Mom and told her if she found any to buy it all. Her Mom found 3 cans at Buy Low and bought them. Jolene picked them up the next day. (I'm not going to make any comparisons here about her behavior and those with addictions.)

So Jolene e-mailed Hershey's and asked them why she couldn't find any chocolate milk mix in our area. A few days later she received this reply:

Thank you for contacting The Hershey Company. Your comments about HERSHEY'S chocolate milk mix are important.

We are sorry to disappoint you, but HERSHEY'S chocolate milk mix is currently not available. This product is not being produced for nationwide retail distribution at this time and we are unable to provide you with details as to when and where you might be able to obtain this product. We apologize for any inconvenience and assure you that your comments will be shared with our Marketing Department.

HERSHEY'S EXTRA DARK is the first chocolate bar to earn the respected Best Life seal of approval from Bob Greene. To learn more about HERSHEY'S EXTRA DARK please visit www.hersheys.com/thebestlife

We also invite you to visit www.hersheypromotions.com for current promotions, coupons, seasonal recipes and decorating ideas.

We appreciate your loyalty as a consumer.
The passage in bold above was, putting it mildly, NOT welcome news. Until the e-mail we just thought it was some temporary supply or delivery issue, but the thought that Hershey would stop production of their Chocolate Milk Mix was always discounted as wildly improbable. Sadly, the unthinkable was true.

Jolene got through the grieving process pretty well. But neither of us wanted to know what withdrawals would be like, so we turned to the internet where all things can be found. What we found was good and bad. The good news was you could still buy it, the bad news was it was going to cost more. I found a few stores selling it for over $20 a can.

Fortunately I found a store in Wisconsin that had 7 cans for sale at around $6 per can (after adding in shipping). I bought them all. Sadly, one can broke open in shipping, but she's happy to have the six surviving cans.

I found another case of 6 cans for a reasonable price, but we both know no matter how much we hoard, it will run out eventually. Hopefully we have enough so she can wean herself off Hershey's and onto something else.

Anyone have suggestions for a good cold chocolate milk mix?

51 comments:

JoshuaMcC said...

I really think you need to rethink the syrup. Hershey's in particular. My wife has a similar addiction and we go through a GALLON jug in about two weeks. Personally I find it easier to mix, and you can make it as strong as you like.
I use it to make chocolate Pepsi's(Serve Pepsi on ice and add chocolate syrup until you feel guilty, stir,drink)

Jake Spurlock said...

One word, Nesquik. My wife has almost the exact routine, and it is Nesquik route that we go... I love the stuff.

Weiland said...

From the sounds of the reply from Hersheys they aren't doing nationwide distribution maybe only regionally. If that's the case you might have to move. I'll check here in Texas, maybe we can make a trade I'll supply the Hershey mix and you send us Cinnabears (chocolate covered for special occasions), Hostess Raspberry filled donuts and some dudes fry sauce. I've tried to get the local stores to stock the donuts but Hostess only produces them for regional distribution and won't ship them to Texas.

As for alternatives Nesquick or Hersheys syrup.

KanyonKris said...

Thanks for the comments.

I believe Jolene would go with the Hershey's syrup over Nesquik.

Chocolate Pepsi?!?! Sounds repulsive, but I'm intruiged enough to want to try it.

Weiland - If you find Hershey's Chocolate Milk Mix in Texas I'm sure we would work out a food trade arrangement.

UtRider said...

Please don't tell me that Jolene uses white bread for her toast. If so I would view this as a gift and use it as a catalyst for healthier eating. Seriously. :)

29er said...

One white, one wheat. I eat the white one first cause it gets cold fastest. Any other concerns Mark?

UtRider said...

Is it 100% whole wheat or the fake stuff that claims to be whole wheat but really isn't? :)

Anonymous said...

Kris, as a Utah resident I am surprised she hasn't become horribly addicted to Cream O' Weber chocolate milk. The 2% version goes down about as smooth as anything you'll ever try. I don't think they have a "dark chocolate" version, but you could look - my eyes always lock on that 2% light brown bottle and everything else fades away.

Anonymous said...

What's all this talk of mixes? Ugh...

I'm a dedicated chocolate milk consumer, but my chocolate milk must have seaweed (carrageenan). Mixes? Too gritty. Syrups? Too sugary.

I totally understand remaining committed to an old favorite, but since you have to wean yourself off anyway, why not buy your chocolate milk the same way you buy your other milk?

(It's been a while since I've been in utahr, but I remember Smith's brand chocolate milk--whole milk, I think--as being an especially extravagant delight. But I only drink 1% cm now.)

--goat

Anonymous said...

Your story sounds exactly like my routine. I'm a die hard Hershey's mix nut. Nothing else will do. Like you I'm having a hard time finding the cans. I also bought six cans and starting to run low. Might have to find a way to mix the Hershey's baking cocoa and see what I can figure out. Good luck in your search.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear your wife and I have something in common! I LOVE that that Hershey Chocolate MILK MIX... I only have one 14.4 oz box left. It is too sad to open it and I know her pain! I have tried all the others, you are wrong if you think it is the same, nothing is as good to me as the Original Chocolate MILK MIX by Hershey. If they were smart, I am sure they are losing market share, the shelves are all now covered with that other brand, IF they would only re-package it and resell the exact same MIX with new advertisement, commercials, the whole shebang!

Maryah said...

This happened to me in Canada more than a decade ago =( Since then I have held onto one container of it that I am saving for my wedding day =) My husband found some online recently and so I got six containers for Christmas. this news that they are going to stop producing it entirely is breaking my heart. I have never found anything even remotely close to the quality of this chocolate milk. I will write Hershey's again..maybe together we can change their minds!

Maryah - Nanaimo, B.C

Maryah said...

Oh I saw it on Amazon.com =)

Jennifer said...

i love hershey's chocolate milk mix! if anyone figures out how to make it please post it her! Thank you!

Jennifer said...

I hunted on amazon and several other sites and there is none left. No, There is not anyway to replace it with items for sale in the stores. My grandma always had this when i went to her house when i grew up. I can't believe it is unavailable. I use it on my ice cream. It is amazing!! I emailed hershey's too. Please evertyone email them. Tell everyone on your email list to send messages to Hersheys!
A little addicted:(

Budderfish said...

Crisis indeed! Stores in my area, Kent, OH, stopped carrying HCMM several years ago. I could still find it in a small IGA store in a small northeastern TN town near my brother's place. I always bought the stock they had or had my brother do the same. In Jan.'09 I discovered a friend of mine ran the warehouse that supplied IGAs. I bought a case of 12 immediatley for around $25. Content that I had a wholesale connection for one of my daily rituals, I was ready for hot summer days capped off with an ice cold glass of Hershey's or two. My brother informed me this week that the IGA no longer had HCCM on the shelf. I went to HometownFavorites to see if they were still carrying it and it's no longer listed. I called my friend right away and told him my dilemma and asked for two cases. Here it is Saturday and the news is not good. He tells me he has his Buyer looking all over for me. In the meantime, your blog on this matter started me thinking about an alternative recipe. You can't just mix Hershey's Cocoa and powdered sugar because it doesn't mix with milk well at all.
Try this recipe and work with it for personal preference.
Single serving:
In a sturdy glass mug, place 1 heaping tbsp. cocoa powder and 4 tbsp. powdered sugar. Add twenty mini marshmallows and 4 tbsp. milk. Heat in microwave for 60 seconds stirring after 30. Chill glass in freezer for 15 minutes or longer. Add a little milk and stir. Then fill glass while stirring to mix.
So that's 4 parts marshmallows plus 4 parts sugar plus 4 parts milk plus 1 part cocoa powder if you want to make a syrup for cold storage.

Sean Fenzl said...

lol.. in the search for the elusive Hershey's for my lady, I find her in all the comments on blogs mourning the loss of Hershey's!! (Maryah, above)

Hi Hunny! We'll get through this crisis together! We'll be ok! =)

TERESA R said...

OH MY GOSH!! NO MORE HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE MILK MIX..I'VE BEEN DRINKING IT FOR 47 YEARS. I'VE NEVER BEEN WITHOUT IT AND IT TRAVELS EVERYWHERE I GO! I TOO DRINK IT EVERYDAY FOR BREAKFAST AND BEFORE BED. I CAN'T IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT IT. HERSHEY SYRUP.YUK. I HAVE NOTIFIED MY FAMILY NATIONWIDE TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT..NO LUCK. THIS IS ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS OF MY LIFE. MY DAUGHTER LAUGHES BECAUSE I'VE BEEN DRINKING IT TWICE HER AGE. I HAVE A SMALL STASH LEFT AND USING IT SPARINGLY. I'M WITH YOU JOLENE

Anonymous said...

I would make your own mix... it has to be possible... maybe get in touch with that guy who does all the TOP SECRET RECIPES

Klaumbaz said...

We should try and bring this to national attention.

Hershey drink mix is as much americana as apple pie, and Coke.

I call for a ban on all Hershey products until they bring it back. Contact your local news organizations and help bring this back.

Teri said...

The funny thing is that I am the same way............ Aah, no more Hershey's Chocolate Milk Mix. We have run out of stash........ What to do now. My kids said I am going to be grouchy. LOL

Sharon said...

And here I am in the Philippines with my container of Hershey's Chocolate Milk Mix bought on sale, wondering what to do with it since I find it too sweet to drink! I'm sorry it's no longer being produced. I hope (with the help of ya'll) that Hershey's changes its mind. But as for me, I'll go back to homemade cocoa mix so I can get the level of sweetness I like without the additives.

Anonymous said...

I just finished my stash that I purchased 3 years ago when I noticed the disappearing Hershey's Chocolate milk mix. I prefer Hershey's because a tiny amount added to my hot skim milk gives as much flavor as adding heaping teaspoons of other powder brands or any syrups -- including Hershey's Dark syrup. My new mix is equal parts Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa and sugar. It's not the same, but the true cocoa flavor is there. I'm actually satisfied with this replacement now that I've gotten used to it.

Aubrey said...

I just found out the horrible news! I've written Hershey's twice before on the subject, but received no reply. It is the only thing that can curb my morning sickness! I've been "importing" it from Utah since I moved. What a tragedy!

Amber said...

What a shame - Nesquik is poor quality in comparison. I am so sad!

Anonymous said...

Oh...I have been buying this HERSHEYS CHOCOLATE MILK MIX for years...it is delicious...

Nesquik will not due...so I hope they bring it back soon...

I also purchased the last 4 containers from Sobeys...only know that it is expired already...still good though...

I am going to try to search a copycat recipe for the mix...

I guess all of you out there that still have some left...know that it is expired and you should use it up soon...

kcfan said...

We've been buying it at the Lake of the Ozarks, and now realize that must have been the final shipments near the KC area. Syrup is better than Nestle's but I always liked putting the Chocolate Milk mix on my ice cream and stirring it u

Anonymous said...

Like so many of you, I too have been a HCMM fan my whole life. My brother even more so than I. I went to Hershey yesterday expecting to find it there, but no more! Any help or info is appreciated:)

Julie said...

I'm in a franic over the Hershey's mix. Nesquik is disgusting. I found a number just now on WikiAnswers. I'm going to call it as soon as I get off of here. Here is what WikiAnswers said:


Hersheys quit making the powder mix in feb 2009. We called them. If enough people call maybe they will put it back on the market.
1-800-468-1714

So please everyone call!

Anonymous said...

My son and I love the Hershey's powder. We have tied the others and yuck!! We use the Hershey syrup in ice cream, but it doesn't compare to the powder in milk. We have a group on facebbok called 'bring back hershey's powdered chocolate milk mix'. we only have 40 members so far and are looking to get the word out. Join up and tell all of your friends. We plan to use it as a sort of e-petition to the company.

bruceldale said...

My son started a group on facebook to use as sort of a e-petition we plan to send to Hershey. It is titled 'bring back hershey's powdered chocolate milk mix'. Join up and tell all your friends. We only have 40 members so far. We like the syrup for ice cream and can't stand any other powders. There is no comparison to the hershey powder for milk.

Donald said...

Our neighborhood grocer stopped carrying HCMM about 6 months ago and I finally got up the guts to ask where it had gone, after all I am a grown man. To my dismay they said they couldn't get it anymore.

So see the wife and I only discovered HCMM only within the last 5 years, and I feel shorted. We were ALWAYS Nesquik people. But that ended right quick, after finding the mix on a trip to PA.

Searching the web to find more, I found this blog. Now, I am bummed. However, I wrote a letter to Hershey and joined the F.B. group.

By the looks of it though, we are going to need a lot more help. Wonder what Obama would think of this tragedy, can't we get some sort of celebrities to do a charity drive or something too??? :)

J.L. said...

I just saw something on the hershey's site about a new "Hershey's bliss Hot Cocoa Mix." I'm not sure where you can buy it but it sounds good and I would check it out. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

It is obvious by the number of comments on the web that there is large number of the public that would purchase this product if it was available. To show the Hershey company that we are serious, there should be an all out boycott of all Hershey products until they begin production of the best chocolate milk mix in the world. Hersheys. Let's show them the power that chocolate lover possess!!!!

Geminion said...

Dagoba also makes an organic, absolutely delicious chocolate mix...

Shuaa said...

I just called Hershey's at 1-800-468-1714 and was told that the Chocolate Milk Mix is not produced anymore. I was told that the Marketing division is keeping up with the calls about the mix and if they have enough calls from the public they may consider production. Problem is not enough people know this, so maybe one of you computer guru's out there can get this number and information out to the public

Anonymous said...

I have consistently used HCMM in a particular brownie recipe. It's an original family recipe and now I'm down to nearly the last dustings in the last tin of HCMM. I've tried other chocolate powder mixes and they just don't work the same!! So glad to have found this posting. I will absolutely call the posted 800 number and sign on to the "Bring back Hershey's chocolate milk mix".
YES!! BRING BACK HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE MILK MIX!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I got my last two containers of the stuff in a small grocery store in Las Vegas, New Mexico a few years ago. I wish I could find more!

green kitchen said...

I love Hershy's Chocolate milk mix , I raised my kids on it . We lived on the west coast and when I ran away and moved to the east coast my kids still asked me to look for it . N ow I have grand children and my grandson loves cho milk I just feel bad because he will never get to try the BEST !! gd.morning.beautiful01

Domain web hosting said...

I love chocolate milk especially hershey's chocolate milk mix and it's really delicious.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your site, searching for Hershey's Chocolate Milk powdered drink mix. I'm all out and can't find it anywhere either. I was on the Hershey's website, using their 'hard to find' products locator... which did not find it, of course....
I hate Nesquik. I'm really sad now.

sweet2burs said...

well i never did try the hersheys chocloate milk mix , but i have been searching for hersheys hot chocolate mixes and cant find them anywhere . and they are the best mixes none of the other brands compare :( so i feel your pain.
and well i also feel ya on having a everyday thing for hersheys . while i was pregnant with my fourth son and i was quiting smoking i actualy became hooked on having a hershey with almonds candy bar,a lil small bag of funions,and a fountain mountain dew and well that helped me stop smoking :) how ever about 3 years later i started back smoking and would ya guess i couldnt stop the hershey with almonds candy bars lol
hmmm well a thought is as anyone tried making hersheys chocolate milk from melting the hersheys candy bars down maybe adding cream or evaporated milk just a little then mixing whith a good whole milk . maybe this will make a rich creamy cup . well with that said i think ima go try that same idea for a cup of hot chocolate ;) hope they start making ur milk mis aswell as my hot cocoa mixes sooon

Unknown said...

Wow I didn't know there were people out there as upset as me that we can't get Hershey's Choc. milk mix any more. I agree that choc. milk and homemade toast with real butter is a staple for sure. If I could find any I would pay top dollar for it! The only thing that I have found that is tolerable is the "TruMoo" made by Meadow Gold the Whole Milk. It is pretty tasty. You should send a copy of your blog to Hershey's!!

Anonymous said...

I was super sad when I couldn't find HCMM a few years ago, but I still had Rich Chocolate Ovaltine & Chocolate Malt Ovaltine, which I also grew up drinking.... now Nestle has changed those formulas & I have nothing.... So I found this blog when looking for a DIY recipe for HCMM using Hershey's Cocoa Powder. Nesquik is horrible & will not do & Hershey's Syrup is Okay, but just not at all the same as the old powdered mix. My kids are sooooo sad. They love chocolate milk. I would pay ridiculous amounts of money for HCMM!! Do you hear that Hersheys?? Seriously, I would.

Anonymous said...

Try Best Choice chocolate milk mix - very nearly the same as Hershey's - even has the same brown comtainer!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have some for sale on ebay right now. I purchased it from a Hospital that had it left in storage. I've tested it and it is perfectly delicious. Guaranteed.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271017024360?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1586.l2649

Limited supply available.

eagle3089 said...

So, if Hershey's refuses to produce it anymore, would they be open to selling the formula?

Anonymous said...

I got the same email in Austin TX. There was none in the stores here. If any one what about a letter writing campaign?

Anonymous said...

I''m sure it is an economic thing. Since most sugar is now being turned into ethanol as fuel for our cars, certainly it is cheaper to produce a chocolate syrup using corn syrup. However, I still look for it on the shelves every time I walk down that aisle.

Anonymous said...

I want some too.

Anonymous said...

At least I can control my weight now. No 2 glasses a day with about 1/4c. of sludge in the bottom to spoon out & indulge :(