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I Tried 7 Milk Chocolate Bars & the Best Is Creamy and Not Too Sweet

Find out which modestly priced milk chocolate bar will satisfy your chocolate craving.
The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Americans love chocolate. The average U.S. resident eats around 20 pounds of the sugary confection every year, according to Statista. And, of all the various cocoa products in stores, milk chocolate is the most popular nationwide, YouGov reports.

Swiss entrepreneur and chocolatier Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate in 1875 by combining dried milk powder with cocoa butter, cocoa mass, and sugar to create a creamy, sweet treat that is now used in countless candies and candy bars and enjoyed on its own. Peter later teamed up with his friend Henri Nestlé to bring chocolate to the masses.

American chocolate is often made with more sugar and less cocoa solid content than European chocolate. To make milk chocolate, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, and any flavorings are combined with milk products such as milk powder, boiled milk, condensed milk, and malted milk. How "caramel" the chocolate tastes depends on the type of milk product used. Lighter and sweeter than dark chocolate, milk chocolate has a softer, more malleable texture.

With so many major brands out there to sort through—not to mention the rapidly expanding artisanal chocolate market—milk chocolate aficionados may feel a toothache coming on just thinking about trying them all. Not to fear. I selflessly sampled seven popular milk chocolate brands to save you the sugar rush. Here are seven popular chocolate brands, ranked in descending order from my least favorite to the absolute tastiest of them all.

Hershey's Milk Chocolate

a hershey bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 4 Pieces):
Calories: 150
Fat: 9 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 25 mg
Carbs: 19 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 2 g

Many Americans associate Hershey's iconic stamped logo with milk chocolate. Unfortunately, Hershey's classic milk chocolate bar fell short of the expectations and didn't compare to the rest.

The look: The classic design is wrapped in flimsy plastic, making the Hershey's bar feel less like a treat and more like a generic piece of chocolate. The chocolate is divided into small rectangles that are the perfect size and shape to break into s'mores.

The taste: Hershey's classic bar tastes bland when you put it into your mouth before dissolving into a stronger chocolatey aftertaste. If you're using the bar for s'mores, that's a plus, as the thin rectangular bar melts quickly on marshmallows. This bar was the most generic-tasting of all the bars, without any distinct notes of caramel or dairy.

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Lindt Classic Recipe Oat Milk (Non-Dairy)

lindt oat milk bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 9 Pieces):
Calories: 170
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 18 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 13 g)
Protein: 1 g

The Lindt Classic Recipe Oat Milk chocolate bar won't hold up to options that contain real dairy but is a solid option for people who can't eat lactose.

The look: Lindt packages its chocolate bars in a cardboard outer layer with a tab you tear away to reveal a silver foil wrapping. The foil wrapping lends an air of sophistication and makes the bar feel more like a treat. The smaller squares suggest that you should enjoy the treat slowly, piece by piece. Since it's made out of oat milk, this bar is cloudier in color than the rest of the chocolate bars.

The taste: Much like how most vegan burgers that can't compare to a simple 100% beef burger. You can't expect a dairy-alternative milk chocolate bar to be as satisfying as one with the caramelization of real dairy. The oat milk bar is not as sweet or chocolaty as any of the other dairy bars, and the consistency is chalky. With that in mind, there is a pleasant nutty flavor on the back end from the oat milk, and overall it makes for an enjoyable treat.

Dove Milk Chocolate

dove bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 1/3 Bar):
Calories: 170
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 25 mg
Carbs: 19 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 18 g)
Protein: 2 g

The Dove Milk Chocolate bar offers a creamier, less artificial-tasting bar than Hershey's.

The look: Dove's greatest flaw is the unaesthetic plastic packaging, which looks like it was created by a child playing with Photoshop. Otherwise, the chocolate pieces are small and perfectly portioned for sharing.

The taste: The chocolate had a harder consistency than Hershey's and was much sweeter. I could taste the sugar and chocolate come through compared to Hershey's flatly artificial aftertaste. It offers a good balance of creaminess and sweetness.

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Lindt Dark Milk Chocolate

lindt dark milk bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 8 Pieces):
Calories: 170
Fat: 11 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 20 mg
Carbs: 16 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 14 g)
Protein: 2 g

The Lindt dark milk chocolate bar has a cocoa percentage of 45% and uses malted barley to create a beautiful blend of intense chocolate and rich caramelization.

The look: As noted with the oat milk bar, Lindt's foil-wrapped design is fun to open and aesthetically pleasing. The chocolate is darker due to the higher cocoa content.

The taste: This bar is a good middle ground between milk and dark chocolate, making it perfect for dark chocolate lovers looking for more creaminess. The strong, slightly bitter cocoa pairs well with coffee, and the barley malt powder creates a distinct creaminess that contrasts well with the intense chocolate.

Hershey's Symphony

hersheys symphony bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 4 Pieces):
Calories: 150
Fat: 8 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 35 mg
Carbs: 18 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 3 g

Hershey's Symphony is a step up from the classic on every level, from taste to packaging design.

The look: The flowing, dramatic font on the packaging emphasizes the difference between the iconic block letters of Hershey's logo and the "softer" chocolate, which is slightly lighter in color than the classic Hershey's bar.

The taste: This bar is dairy-forward, with a stronger, sweeter flavor profile that hits your tongue immediately. The consistency is also thicker and creamier than the classic bar, with heavier notes of caramel due to the higher milk fat content.

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Tony's Chocolonely

tony's chocoloney bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 1/6 Bar):
Calories: 160
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 25 mg
Carbs: 16 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 15 g)
Protein: 2 g

Tony's Chocolonely is a brand from the Netherlands that claims to produce 100% exploitation-free chocolate.

The look: The packaging of this chocolate bar is the most unique, with a nostalgically designed paper outer wrapper and foil inner wrapper. Rather than dividing the chocolate into neat squares, the hefty, thick bar is stamped into uneven "shards" like what you would get if you shattered a chocolate bar on the table to share with friends.

The taste: Tony's Chocolonely has the most prominent dairy flavor out of all the bars I tried, with a distinct milky taste and creamy consistency. It's heavier on the caramel notes and lighter on the chocolate than any other of the bars, which suits the thicker bar. This is the perfect chocolate bar for fans of caramel and has a satisfying mouthfeel. It melts slowly on the tongue, allowing you to savor the chocolate.

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Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Bar

trader joe's chocolate bar on a table.
Photo: Clara Wang, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per 1 Bar):
Calories: 270
Fat: 16 g (Saturated Fat: 10 g)
Sodium: 30 mg
Carbs: 29 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 14 g)
Protein: 3 g

A vintage look and creamy taste catapult this Trader Joe's brand of imported Belgian chocolate to the top of the list.

The look: The smaller, palm-sized bar features a paper outer wrapper and foil inner wrapper, and the thick chocolate bar is divided into large, even rectangles built for solo consumption.

The taste: This bar has a similar mouthfeel and high level of caramelization like the Tony's bar, and the texture is perfect—soft, quick melt with no hints of chalkiness and without being too sweet. You can taste the creamy dairy without it being overpowering, and the chocolate sings through in an ideal balance.

Clara Wang
Clara Wang is a freelance writer based in Austin, TX who mostly muses about food, culture, sex, and the unbearable lightness of being a 5’0” Yellow girl quicker on her feet than Borat’s lawyers. Read more about Clara