Health

Product Test: Puhoi Valley Flavoured Milk

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puhoi flavoured milkHot on the heels of Lewis Road Creamery’s ridiculously popular fresh flavoured milks, another New Zealand artisan food producer, Puhoi Valley, has fronted up with their own take on this premium product.

Puhoi Valley are now making Fresh Milk with Belgian Chocolate (750ml and 300ml), and Fresh Milk with Caramel & White Chocolate (300ml).

The chocolate flavour in the milks comes from dark, white and milk chocolates directly imported from Belgium, which is then combined with fresh milk.

Is it healthy?

As with many foods, there is no straight answer to this. On paper, from a calorie, fat and sugar content perspective not so much. If you want to compare similar products, flavoured milks of any brand are likely to have high sugar content and milks created with real chocolate rather than cocoa will likely have high fat content.

These days we are not only paying attention to nutritional information numbers on the packaging charts, but we are also increasingly starting to look at the quality of the ingredients used in products and where those ingredients originate from, in which case these premium milks may be seen as a healthier option than some other flavoured milks.

Energy and sugar content

The chocolate milk contains 1680kj (402 calories) in an average 300ml serve which is the size of their small bottle. This is comparable in energy to a light lunch (i.e. small hamburger, chicken wrap), so from a calorie perspective is like adding another meal to your day. Additionally, it contains 24g of fat (15.6g of which is saturated fat) and 33.6g of sugar (just over 8 teaspoons of sugar).

The caramel milk is fairly similar in stats, containing 1710kj (409 calories) in an average serve, 22.2g of fat (14.7g saturated) and 38.4g of sugar (just over 9 teaspoons of sugar).

Ingredients

We like that we can understand what all the ingredients are – no long chemical names or uninterpretable E-numbers – and that real chocolate and fresh milk are used.

The chocolate milk contains fresh milk, Belgian chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier/soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavour), sugar and cocoa powder.

The caramel milk contains fresh milk, Belgian white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, emulsifier/soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavour), caramel sauce (sugar, water glucose, milk solids, salt) and natural caramel flavour.

Product comparison

There are two key players when it comes to premium flavoured milks available at supermarkets; as far as average per 100mls goes, both the 300ml small bottles from Puhoi Valley and Lewis Road Creamery’s Fresh Chocolate Milk stack up fairly similarly when it comes to energy, fat and sugar content.

For other brands such as Primo and CalciYum chocolate flavoured milk, they typically contain less fat and sugar as they aren’t made using real chocolate. This reduces the energy content.

Nutritional info p/100ml across the brands:

Puhoi Valley Lewis Road Creamery Primo CalciYum
 Energy  560kj
(134 cals)
 584kj
(140 cals)
 280kj
(67 cals)
 252kj
(60 cals)
 Fat  8.0g  7.5g  1.5g  1.4g
 Saturated fat  5.2g  5.7g  0.9g  0.8g
 Sugar  11.2g  11.6g  9.4g  8.0g

 

Just remember that when analysing by 100mls, you need to convert it for the serving size to find out what you would be drinking (e.g., for the small Puhoi Valley and Lewis Road Creamery bottles, you would be multiplying these numbers x3). Be aware that some brands may have small bottles that contain more than one serving – but we reckon that you would usually consume a whole small bottle in one go rather than drink a bit and put it back in the fridge, so this can be deceiving!

Does it taste good?

Short answer – yes. Absolutely. In fact, we think these milks from Puhoi Valley may taste better than the Lewis Road Creamery ones. Dangerous for the waistline but quite lovely for the tastebuds…

The verdict

Because of the fat and sugar content we see this as an indulgent treat food for special occasions, and we would recommend keeping it as an occasional standalone snack or dessert rather than an addition to a meal.

What we do like about it is that real quality ingredients have been used and these have been flavoured using real chocolate rather than just cocoa/flavourings which is common in many of the lower priced flavoured milks. Everything in moderation we say 🙂 Plus bonus points for being New Zealand-made.

Puhoi Valley Real Belgian Chocolate Milk (300ml RRP$3.49; 750ml RRP$6.29), and Caramel & White Chocolate Milk (300ml RRP $3.49) are available from supermarkets and selected convenience stores nationwide. For more info, visit www.puhoivalley.co.nz or find them on Facebook.

Image / NZ Real Health

Ange is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, wife, and mother (with second bubba on the way!) based in Auckland, New Zealand.

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