Looking at the sugar in Christmas drinks 2018

Nov 19, 2018

Christmas coffee

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!


A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

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?

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.


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