Revealed: The calories and sugar in your favourite festive hot drinks 2018

New research has taken a closer look at the nutritional value of the favourite festive hot drinks released by five major coffee chains in the UK.

Published 12th Dec 2018
Updated 13 th Dec 2018

With Christmas fast approaching and the official countdown in place, the festive spirit is slowly but surely taking over the UK - fuelled by a growing trend of excitement around the festive hot drinks released by some of the most popular high street retailers.

Retail website decided to take a closer look at the country's favourite hot drinks released by five major coffee chains - Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero, Pret a Manger and Greggs - to discover their nutritional value, and the results are pretty startling.

By comparing each festive hot treat, OnBuy analysed the number of calories and grams of sugar in each festive hot drink (provided for on their website) in order to see who slips in the most sugar and which contain the most calories before additional sugar is added by the customer.

For the research, the drinks selected contained semi-skimmed milk and the cup
size opted for was regular, which represents roughly 12 oz.

It must be noted that while 'regular' was chosen, the measurement is approximate, and Starbucks measure their hot drinks in fl oz.

Unsurprisingly, out of the top 10 calorific and sugary festive hot drinks, seven are hot chocolate.

The final report reveals that the festive drink containing the most grams of sugar is the Belgian Truffle Hot Chocolate released by Caffè Nero, with a regular cup containing a whopping 56.9g of sugar; a whopping 14 teaspoons of sugar. This is followed by another Caffè Nero special; the Winter Spiced Hot Chocolate which contains 51.6g of sugar.

Pret a Manger, one of the nation’s favourite featured next, with their Orange Hot Chocolate coming in third place (50.5g), followed closely by their Mint Hot Chocolate (50.2g) – just under 13 teaspoons of sugar.

At the other end of the scale, found that Starbucks’s Toffee Nut Latte is the fifth ‘jolliest’ festive hot drink, containing 28.3g of sugar – a 28.6g difference from the sugar heavy Belgian Truffle Hot Chocolate offered by Caffè Nero.

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Pret a Manger’s Crème Brûlée Latte takes fourth place with 26.6g of sugar, followed by their Gingerbread Latte (24.8g).

And finally, the retailers frothing up the festive hot drinks with the least sugar are Caffè Nero’s Salted Caramel Latte with 24.6g of sugar – equivalent to around 6 teaspoons of sugar.

And the award for the Christmas hot drink with as little sugar as possible during an
overly indulgent period goes to Costa, with their Caramelised Orange Latte – just over 5 teaspoons of sugar (20.5g).

When considering the number of calories found in 2018’s Christmas drinks, Pret a Manger’s Orange Hot chocolate is the most calorific, with 454 calories, followed by their Mint Hot Chocolate with 452 calories.

On the other hand, it seems opting for a Salted Caramel Latte is the best way to keep the pounds off, as Greggs offer one with 240 calories, whilst Caffè Nero takes the crown for the hot drink with the lowest number of calories (153).

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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