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Looking at the sugar in Christmas drinks 2018
Last year I wrote ‘the truth behind this year’s festive drinks’, a piece that saw me break down the terrifying amount of sugar that is in some of the nation’s favourite Christmas-themed drinks. As something that comes just as naturally to the Christmas run up as the Coca-Cola advert, these syrupy hot drinks are generally welcomed by the public upon their arrival. However, just as we turn a blind eye with many things around the holiday period, we also turn a blind eye to the sugar content of these drinks. Tantalizing as the advertisements are, and as warming as the flavours may be, these drinks are still often loaded with sugars and syrups that most people would generally try to avoid. The NHS recommends that added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of your energy consumption a day, which amounts to roughly 30g of sugar for those aged 11 and over. However, as I found during my research last year, many of these drinks contain more than that in one cup!
I’ve seen the market change first hand whilst working on Kolibri, and now that sugar free drinks are becoming more in-demand than ever I’m interested to see whether retailers have taken note in the shift of opinion on sugar. In this article, I take a look at the amount of calories, saturated fats and sugar in Christmas drinks in 2018.
How much sugar is in Christmas drinks 2018?
|COMPANY||SIZE||DRINK||CALORIES 2017||SUGAR 2017||CALORIES 2018||SUGAR 2018|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Black Forest Hot Chocolate||477 Kcal||41.7 g||443 Kcal||47.7g|
|Costa||Medio||Hot Spiced Apple||122 Kcal||20.9 g||144 Kcal||20.8g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Hazelnut Praline Latte||398 Kcal||36.8g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Hazelnut Praline Hot Chocolate||525 Kcal||52.9g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Caramelised Orange Latte||340 Kcal||14.4g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Caramelised Orange Hot Chocolate||467 Kcal||45.1g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Gingerbread and Cream Latte||293 Kcal||14.4g|
|Costa||Medio- Semi Skim Milk- Takeaway||Gingerbread and Cream Hot Chocolate||413 Kcal||33.3g|
|Costa||Medio- Takeaway||Luxury Hot Caramel||159 Kcal||24.8g|
|Costa||Medio- Takeaway||Luxury Hot Chocolate||150 Kcal||22.4g|
|Caffe Nero||Grande||Salted Caramel Latte||238 Kcal||37.7 g||238 Kcal||37.7g|
|Caffe Nero||Grande||Caramelised Almond Brittle Latte||384 Kcal||29.5g|
|Caffe Nero||Grande||Belgian Truffle Hot Chocolate||435 Kcal||56.9g|
|Caffe Nero||Grande||Winter Spiced Hot Chocolate||445 kcal||74.3g|
|Pret||Standard||Gingerbread Latte||310 Kcal||24.8g|
|Pret||Standard||Crème Brulee Latte||350 Kcal||26.6g|
|Pret||Standard||Orange Hot Chocolate||454 Kcal||50.5g|
|Pret||Standard||Mint Hot Chocolate||452 Kcal||50.2g|
|Starbucks||Grande size||Eggnog Latte||344 Kcal||43.1 g||344 Kcal||43.1g|
|Starbucks||Grande size - Semi Skim Milk||Gingerbread Latte||392 Kcal||38.9 g||343 Kcal||40 g|
|Starbucks||Grande size - Whole Milk||Toffee Nut Latte||397 Kcal||38.4 g||393 Kcal||38.2 g|
|Starbucks||Grande size||Christmas Brulee Latte||301 Kcal||46.7g|
|Starbucks||Grande Size- Semi Skim Milk||Salted Caramel Brownie Hot Chocolate||399 Kcal||49.3g|
The results are in, and I have to say they are not good. Although many of the menus have changed from last year, we can see that a lot of the calorie information and sugar content has not. In fact, out of the 23 drinks I looked at, only eight had less than your daily recommended intake of sugar. The eight that had less sugar still contained what many people would see as an excessive amount of the white stuff.
Which 2018 Christmas drink has the most sugar?
In this chart I’ve highlighted any drinks that contain over your daily recommended allowance, which was a shocking 15 out of the 23 being over.
We can see Costa come out as the healthiest option with five of the eight drinks containing less than someone’s daily recommended sugar intake. At the other end of the scale is Caffé Nero, whose Winter Spiced Hot Chocolate doesn’t only have more than your recommended daily intake, it has over double your recommended daily intake. However, not one of the drinks at Starbucks contain less than your daily recommended intake, with the lowest amount of sugar in a Starbucks Christmas drink being a shocking 38.2 grams.
Which 2018 Christmas drink has the most saturated fats?
As well as sugar and calories, saturated fats are something that are often higher than most people may assume in Christmas drinks. This year I always wanted to take a look at how those numbers look in the 2018 Christmas drink menu. The numbers for Pret Christmas drinks were shocking, and although they have only released four festive beverages, each one contains over 27 grams of the stuff. See all of the details below:
Saturated fat in Costa Christmas drinks 2018:
- Hazelnut Praline Hot Chocolate- 14.4g
- Hazelnut Praline Latte- 13.1g
- Black Forest Hot Chocolate- 13.9g
- Caramelised Orange Hot Chocolate- 9.7g
- Caramelised Orange Latte- 12.5g
- Gingerbread and Cream Latte- 13.1g
- Gingerbread and Cream Hot Chocolate- 12.3g
- Hot Spiced Apple- 0.8g
- Luxury Hot Chocolate- 1.4g
- Luxury Hot Caramel- 1.9g
Saturated fat in Caffe Nero Christmas drinks 2018:
- Caramelised Almond Brittle Latte- 14.7g
- Salted Caramel Latte- 2.7g
- Winter Spiced Hot Chocolate- 16.3g
- Belgian Truffle Hot Chocolate- 16.8g
Saturated fat in Pret Christmas drinks 2018:
- Crème Brulee Latte- 26.9g
- Gingerbread Latte- 27g
- Mint Hot Chocolate- 28.3g
- Orange Hot Chocolate- 28.2g
Saturated fat in Starbucks Christmas drinks 2018:
- Gingerbread Latte- 4.7g
- Toffee Nut Latte- 5.8g
- Christmas Brulee Latte- 6.8g
- Eggnog Latte- 7.8g
- Salted Caramel Brownie Hot Chocolate- 7.7g
It really does shock me how much sugar is in these drinks, and how few people realise just how much there is. Along with all the other holiday indulgences we succumb to, it’s no surprise the end of the year can take its toll on someone’s health. This is why I think it’s so important that there are low-sugar options on the market for people who want to avoid these drinks, and I am happy that Kolibri is part of the solution.