I will admit when I saw ZICO Chocolate (chocolate flavored coconut water) on my grocery store shelf last week I became instantly bothered. My first thought: there goes another pure, all-natural product ruined with loads of sugar, additives, and preservatives. While the new chocolate flavor is by no means perfect, the ingredient list reads better than expected. Containing a blend of coconut water, cane sugar, coconut cream, cocoa, vanilla, and Carrageenan, I decided to put my attitude on the shelf and give it a try (for research purposes of course).
The verdict: it actually tasted pretty good. While I enjoyed the lack of sticky sweetness found in most flavored drinks, I was not expecting the lack of coconut flavor. It was more reminiscent of a watered down yoo-hoo or thinned out skim chocolate milk. On a taste scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 5.5, with 100% pure coconut water a 10 and yoo-hoo a 1. On a scale of nutrients, it blows yoo-hoo out of the water. This version is a considerably better choice to satisfy the worst of chocolate cravings with less cholesterol, calories, and sugar than the typical chocolate flavored drink. With a reasonable 110 calories per 14 oz. bottle, 32% less sugar than many competing fruit flavored coconut waters; it’s also loaded with electrolytes. Not to mention it contains 20% more potassium than ZICO’s current flavors on the market and is a good source of iron and magnesium.
* ZICO Chocolate premiered here in NY last month and will be available nationwide in June. And no, ZICO does not pay me to mention them….