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11 Best Chocolate Brands

Searching For the 11 Best Chocolate Brands

Best Chocolate Brands

Chocolate is one of life’s many simple pleasures. A decadent blend of cocoa butter, rich cocoa powder, and a touch of creamy milk…if there’s one thing we’ve come to know and love about it, it’s that there are many different types of delicious chocolate treats.

Plus, there’s some that are healthier than you might think, according to Trista Best, a registered dietitian. “Chocolate, specifically cocoa (the active ingredient), is a significant source of the nutrient, magnesium. It is vital to life as it is contained in every cell of the body and important for carrying out many bodily functions.”

Meet the Expert: Trista Best, RD

Trista Best is a Registered Dietitian, Environmental Health Specialist, Adjunct Nutrition Professor, and Consultant with Balance One Supplements. She has worked in Public Health for 10 years.

She completed her Bachelors of Science in Health Science from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2009, Masters of Public Health Nutrition from Liberty University in 2014, Bachelors of Science in Food and Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama in 2018, Dietetic Internship through Iowa State University, and Dietitian Registration in 2018. Her dietetic background is in Public Health and weight maintenance private practice.

Here, you’ll come to know the cream of the crop—the 11 best chocolate brands. Some names you’re guaranteed to know and love, while others you may have always wanted to try.

Chances are, you’re not afraid of adventuring to the dark, milky, or perhaps, nutty side of life. Let’s unwrap our picks and dig in.

11 Best Chocolate Brands

#1: Ferrero Rocher

Best Chocolate Brands

The delight of the Ferraro Rocher comes by way of the round form, nutty texture, and thrilling crunch between its decadent chocolate textures. A blend of hazelnut, rice wafer, and milk chocolate, this incredible indulgence is one the gods might partake in.

Founded in 1982, Ferrero Rocher is an Italian legacy, crafted to be a sensory experience with years of research and development. The brand originated in Alba, Italy, but is now sold and enjoyed in over 150 countries around the world.

Its specialty is its hazelnut chocolates, but the company also makes assorted chocolate boxes, Raffaelo white chocolate bonbons, and Rondnoir chocolates. You can indulge in a box of 12 for around $8.

Highlights

  • Sensory experience
  • Four different layers
  • Fine, Italian chocolate
  • Offers other varieties of chocolate
  • Sold in 150 countries
  • Gorgeous packaging

#2: Godiva

Best Chocolate Brands

Godiva to the world of chocolate is like Dolce & Gabbana to the world of fashion. Where would we be without it? With boutiques in upscale shopping districts around the world, some say that heading into a Godiva shop brings more enjoyment than buying a designer handbag ever could. 

Founded in 1926 by Pierre Draps, the brand’s simple start originated in the chocolatier’s home kitchen in Belgium. Named after the woman who protested wrongful taxation by riding naked on her horse, Lady Godiva, the company created the Lady Godiva Commission to help give back to women in need.

Godiva’s chocolate selection is jaw-dropping. From assorted boxes and truffles to biscuits and strawberries, it’s hard not to be blown away by the vast number of options. An 8-piece assorted box starts at $18 while a bag of 19 truffles goes for $12.

Highlights

  • Gives back to organizations that empower women
  • Partnered with the Earthworm Foundation for more sustainable cocoa harvesting
  • Tons of variety
  • Available in over 100 countries
  • Bulk sales available
  • Fine, Belgian chocolate

#3: Lindt & Sprüngli

Best Chocolate Brands

You can’t think of Lindt chocolate without picturing its master chocolatiers artfully whipping up a batch of the milky, smooth treat. The company itself houses several chocolate brands, including Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russel Stover, Caffarel, and Hofbauer/Kufferle.

Lindt & Sprüngli got its start in 1879 when Rodolphe Lindt opened his own chocolate factory in Switzerland. He owes the decadence of his chocolate to his invention called the conching machine that created finer consistencies and got rid of bitterness.

Inventing chocolate fondant (the silky smooth melting chocolate in the middle of his truffles), Lindt created an entirely new indulgent experience than ever before. In 1899 he sold his business to Johann Rudolf Sprüngli-Schifferli.

Today, the company is working towards more sustainable production, farming, and the betterment of the lives of those who harvest its cocoa.

Lindt chocolate is mostly known for its delightful truffles that combine a crisp truffle shell that gives way to silky chocolate fondant.

Making milk, dark, and white chocolate truffles, as well as a selection of flavored bars, seasonal treats, and even a vegan collection, you can pick up a 50 g bar for around $4 or a 240 g bag of truffles for $12.

Highlights

  • Offers a variety of chocolates (truffles, squares, bars, seasonal shapes)
  • Easily found in stores around the world
  • High-quality, Swiss chocolate
  • Working towards greater sustainability in production & harvesting
  • Helping to improve the lives of its workers
  • Vegan options

#4 Vosges Haut-Chocola

Best Chocolate Brands

If you’re looking to indulge in a one-of-a-kind treat or surprise a loved one with something sweet, check out Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Founded in 1998 by Katrina Markoff, Vosges chocolates provide an “end-all” experience for chocolate lovers. 

After traveling the world and working under two of Spain’s most famous chefs, Ferran and Albert Adria of El Bulli, Markoff launched the brand once she realizedd that the standard kitchen was no place for her. Instead, she chose chocolate.

Filled with truffles, bars, and wellness elixirs, there’s something for everyone in this designer collection of edibles. You can also find gluten-free and vegan delights within the line that are made with locally-sourced ingredients

Today, Vosges Haut-Chocolat regularly releases new flavors and inspiring collections that contain tantalizing flavors, including the Matcha Green Tea & Spirulina Super Dark Chocolate Bar, the Manchego and Cherry Chocolate Bar, and the Mo’s Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar.

Vosges chocolate bars will cost you between $6-$9 whereas boxes of the brand’s dainty truffles will cost you between $13-$135, depending on the size and type of assortment. 

Highlights

  • Wide selection of unique and imaginative chocolates
  • Finest ingredients in the world
  • Fair-trade certified ingredients 
  • Transparency certified company
  • Woman-owned
  • Vegan and GF options
  • Rewards program
  • Subscription available
  • Free shipping options

#5: Cadbury

Best Chocolate Brands

Originating in Birmingham, England, Cadbury was founded by chocolatier John Cadbury in 1824. Opening up a grocery shop on the busy city street, his specialty was drinking chocolate.

Branching out into other chocolate forms throughout the years, it wasn’t long after that the brand became the official chocolate of the Royal family. Cadbury is now part of Hershey’s family of chocolates, but its rich decadence still lives on in its creative treats.

Many of the chocolates you know and love are made by Cadbury. The brand has quite the assortment of flavors for its bars and creates some of the most iconic chocolate types like Mini Eggs, Creme Eggs, and Caramello bars.

Easter just wouldn’t be the same without one of its cream or caramel-filled chocolate eggs. You can get an egg for around $1 or a 3.5 oz bar for $3.

Highlights

  • Maker of holiday favorites
  • Lower-priced
  • Tons of variety in chocolate bars
  • Found in basically every store around the globe
  • Very milk-forward chocolate

#6: Hershey’s

Best Chocolate Brands

There’s a simplicity in Hershey’s that people gravitate to time and time again. It’s well-made, creamy, and simple chocolate that’s an easy pick when you want something sweet and easy.

Officially launched in 1894 from Derry Township, Pennsylvania, The Hershey Company was founded by Milton Hershey, releasing its first candy bar in 1900. In 1907, the iconic Hershey’s Kiss was created.

One of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, Hershey’s now owns a few of the other best chocolate brands on this list as well as candy companies like Twizzler. Love Reese’s? How about Kit Kat? Both are made by Hershey’s which explains why they’re equally as delicious.

As a major player in the chocolate industry, Hershey’s takes care to do its part in regard to sustainability and fair labor. Its creation of the Shared Goodness Promise ensures the company takes the wellbeing of the environment and its workers seriously.

From chocolate to cocoa powder to modern creations like Crunchies, Hershey’s delivers on dependable, affordable chocolate you can grab at any corner store. You can buy a reliable 43 g Hershey’s bar for around $1 these days or a 200 g bag of Kisses for about $4.

Highlights

  • Affordable
  • Accessible, found around the world
  • One of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world
  • Maker of simple chocolate (bars, Kisses, York Peppermint Patty)
  • Simple, consistently delicious chocolate

#7: Ghirardelli

Best Chocolate Brands

Ghirardelli offers a different kind of indulgent experience with its thin, filled square chocolates. Made with white, milk, or dark chocolate, each square is individually wrapped and ideal for those who just want to have one or two.

The brand makes more than its signature squares. You’ll also find chocolate bars, chips, and drinking powders in its collection that deliver an incredibly rich chocolate taste.

Now a subsidiary of Lindt & Sprüngli, Ghirardelli was originally founded in 1849 by Domenico Ghirardelli in Stockton, California as a supply and confectionery shop.

Discovering the Broma process that delivers concentrated, powdered chocolate, the brand became known around the world for its delectable drinking chocolate.

With Italian origin, Ghirardelli offers a range of cacao percentages up to 92%. Loved for its pleasing snap and smooth taste, you can get a 151 g bag of squares for about $7.

Highlights

  • Individually-wrapped square chocolates
  • Range of cacao strengths
  • Available in bars, chips, powders, and squares
  • High-quality
  • Working towards more sustainable farming practices
  • Supports farmers and their families

#8: Nestlé

Best Chocolate Brands

Nestlé is another one of the best chocolate brands that capture attention through its simplicity. Proving that great chocolate doesn’t need to be overly complicated, it was an easy pick for our top 10 list.

In case you didn’t know how far Nestlé’s reach is, the brand makes everything from baby food to plant-based foods, owning hundreds of different brands that have absolutely nothing to do with chocolate. Why is the brand such a power player in the chocolate realm then?

The story starts in Switzerland in 1875 when Henri Nestlé shared his recipe for condensed milk with Daniel Peter. Peter went on to launch his first chocolate product in 1880.

After acquiring Peter’s company, Nestlé continued to create the popular milk chocolate it’s known and loved for today.

The maker of chocolate favorites such as Quality Street, Kit Kat (Hershey’s makes a version too), Smarties, Aero, and Toll House, Nestle is a household staple across the globe. You’ll find single-serving chocolate bars like Kit Kat, Crunch, and Aero for under $2.

Highlights

  • Great variety of chocolate bars
  • Affordable chocolate
  • Swiss-made
  • Sweet, milk chocolate
  • Plant-based chocolate options
  • Supports workers & the environment

#9: Ritter Sport

Best Chocolate Brands

Perhaps it’s the word “sport” in this brand’s name, but there’s something incredibly luxurious about its chocolate. But this may have to do with its unique squarish format, chunky blocks of decadent chocolate, and gorgeous colored wrappers as well.

Using 100% sustainable cocoa, Ritter Sport is a German chocolate brand founded in 1912 by Alfred Eugen and Clara Ritter. A brand with incredible appeal, if you’re looking for a chocolate with a clean conscience, this is it.

Ritter Sport offers chocolate bars only, but over 30 different types that use alternating strengths of cacao and a mixture of whole nuts, decadent fruits, high-quality herbs, and buttery biscuits. A 100 g bar goes for between $3-$4.

Highlights

  • Uses 100% sustainable cocoa
  • Climate-neutral company
  • Uses only green energy to produce its chocolate
  • Vegan option
  • Tons of flavor variety

#10: Russell Stover

Best Chocolate Brands

The joy of Russel Stover is in its assorted chocolate boxes. A tantalizing mix of creams, caramels, nuts, and fruit centers, we all have our favorites, and nothing quite compares to the thrill of opening up a fresh box and taking the first pick.

A part of Lindt & Sprüngli now, Russel Stover was originally created by Clara Stover who whipped up delicious batches of assorted chocolates in her kitchen in 1923.

Made in small batches today like it was almost 100 years ago, its chocolates are an American treasure and an easy go-to for holidays and special occasions.

Russel Stover is based in Kansas City and is completely American-made. Offering sugar-free varieties of chocolate so that everyone can indulge, you’ll also find chocolate-covered confections, bars, and individually-wrapped truffles in its collection.

Grab a 16 oz Assorted Box for $17 or a 16 oz bag of individually-wrapped delights for $12.

Highlights

  • American made
  • Consistently delicious, versatile chocolate
  • Assortment of fillings and chocolate types
  • Sugar-free versions available
  • Made in small batches

#11: Guylian

Best Chocolate Brands

You can’t help but think of Guylain’s chocolate seahorses and seashells when you hear the brand’s name, nor resist calling to mind the creamy, hazelnutty flavor found within each tasty treat.

Though the brand makes assorted chocolates and bars as well, its creamy shells are what it’s known for best.

Founded in 1967 by Guy and Lilaine Foubert, the Belgian chocolatiers created their signature seashells together as an ode to their everlasting love. There’s certainly something romantically indulgent about biting into one of Guylain’s chocolates, so much so that it’s hard to stop at just one.

Sold in over 120 countries around the world, Guylain has won numerous awards for excellence, whether it’s been for its chocolates or social responsibility. Truly luxurious chocolate, you can get your hands on an 8.82 oz box of seashells and seahorses for $22.

Highlights

  • Uses palm-free oil
  • Dedicated to helping save the environment
  • Available in over 120 countries
  • One-of-a-kind taste
  • Premium, Belgian chocolate

How to Shop For the Best Chocolate Brands

Best Chocolate Brands

Shopping for the best chocolate brands can be a tricky feat, especially if you’ve never tried them before. If you’re in the market for a new go-to favorite, in order to discover your perfect bite, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.

Brand  

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of most of the best chocolate brands mentioned here. If not, then it may be tempting to choose the one you have heard of before.

Credibility and reputation can be a huge part of the decision-making process, so if these things are important to you, you may want to opt for one that feels familiar.

While you’re considering the reputation of each brand, if it’s of any importance to you, you may also want to look out for their sustainability missions and what they’re doing to help the earth and their workers.

Like coffee, chocolate can be a dirty trade, and if you want a clean brand, be sure to read up on their manufacturing practices.

Types

For some, chocolate from one particular country is the only type worth eating. For others, any kind will do. If you’re particular about the kind of chocolate you eat, pay attention to the origin of each brand. Belgian chocolate tends to taste different than Italian chocolate does, as do Swiss and American.

Texture

The texture is one of the best parts of enjoying chocolate. Many of the names on this best chocolate brands list play around with contrasting textures, mixing crispy, melty, chewy, and crunchy elements into their chocolatey delights.

If you want a chocolate that’s more than just plain chocolate, go for a brand that experiments with textures like Lindt or Ferrero Rocher. If it’s just plain chocolate you’re after, then assessing texture may be a little harder.

Hershey’s and Cadbury are known for their soft, melty, milky chocolate, while Ghirardelli and Lindt bars have a more delightful snap.

Cocoa content

Some like it dark, some like it light. Knowing what you prefer is key to finding your favorite chocolate bar. Some of the best chocolate brands on this list are known for their milk chocolate only, while others adventure into stronger cacao percentages for a more authentic chocolate flavor.

Want to choose your strength? Opt for a brand like Lindt or Ghirardelli that offers multiple types of cacao percentages. More of a milk chocolate lover? Nestle, Hershey’s, and Russel Stover are sure to deliver.

Benefits

Dark chocolate is said to be “food of the gods,” containing antioxidants and polyphenols that have been scientifically linked to regulation in blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The higher the cocoa percentage in your chocolate, the more beneficial compounds it contains.

In other words, if you’re looking for a brand that will increase your vitality, choose one that’s known for its dark chocolate.

Price

Like the idea of indulging in an entire chocolate bar per day? Then a low-cost option may be your best bet. Those who prefer just 1-2 squares of a bar or one truffle may prefer shelling out a few extra bucks for higher-quality chocolate.

What Is the Most Expensive Chocolate?

Best Chocolate Brands

Usually, the more sustainable the sourcing, the higher quality of the ingredients used, and the higher percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the more expensive it will be.

Godiva is known as a luxury chocolate maker, its individual truffles selling for $1-$3 in its boutiques or in assorted boxes.

Though Godiva is the most expensive choice on this best chocolate brands list, La Madeline au Truffe is known as the most expensive chocolate in the world. Incorporating truffle oil into its delights, a single truffle is said to cost $250.

What Is the Rarest Chocolate?

Best Chocolate Brands

Just like coffee, there are multiple kinds of chocolate. Where and how it’s grown affect its taste, and one company called Lost & Found is said to make the world’s rarest chocolate.

Made with Pure Nacional, Fortunato No. 4 cocoa beans, these beans were said to go extinct in 1916, but in 2007, a small crop appeared in Peru, growing cocoa pods that contained both white and purple beans—some with all white.

What Is the Healthiest Chocolate to Eat?

Best Chocolate Brands

Chocolate is so delicious because it’s the perfect ratio of fat to sugar. It’s not overly sweet, nor overly buttery. With that said, too much sugar and fat may not be part of a balanced, healthy diet, yet, there is no more painful life than one devoid of chocolate.

So what’s a chocolate lover to do? Turn over the back of your chocolate wrapper and look at the fat and sugar content. You’ll notice that some chocolates contain just a handful of simple ingredients, while others make things complicated.

Once you start messing around with fillings and such, prepare for higher sugar and fat contents.

The healthiest chocolate to eat will be one that’s made simple. A plain chocolate bar will have fewer ingredients, and choosing a dark chocolate bar with a higher percentage of cocoa (over 55%) will ensure you consume less sugar and more of the beneficial compounds it contains.

Take for example, magnesium, as Best mentioned before: “This mineral is important for brain health as well. It not only works within the brain for mood and cognitive support, but also outside of the brain in the blood vessels.”

“Magnesium rich foods and supplements are both ideal in taking in more of this nutrient,” said Best.

Is Chocolate a Mood Booster?

Best Chocolate Brands

There’s a scientific explanation for the reason you turn to chocolate when you’re feeling upset. It turns out that cocoa contains antioxidants and flavonoids that positively affect serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.

The darker the chocolate, the more mood-boosting elements it contains, so if you’re looking for a healthy pick-me-up, turn to a single portion of chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (above 70%).

What is Vegan Chocolate Made of?

Best Chocolate Brands

Vegans miss out on a lot of the tastiest foods on this planet. They do it for good reason, and while for them it’s certainly worth missing out on, for a long time, there certainly was a chocolate-shaped hole left in plant eaters’ lives before vegan chocolate alternatives were created.

The thing about chocolate is that traditionally, it’s not overly complicated. Many of the most decadent dark chocolate bars on this planet are made without milk. The ingredients list is simple, with just cacao butter, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Today, “milk” chocolate vegan alternatives have been created. These use a plant-based milk alternative in place of regular cow’s milk.

Final Thoughts

Best Chocolate Brands

We all have our preferences when it comes to chocolate, but with so much variety out there, it can be tough to know which one to choose.

When selecting the best chocolate brands for you, considering the brand’s practices, origin, and variety are important in finding one that aligns with your values and satisfies your cravings.


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