Friday, July 24, 2015

Where's The Marshmallow?! Land O'Lakes S'Mores Cocoa Is Too Tough To Execute Properly!

The Good: Good flavor, Easy to prepare
The Bad: Fairly expensive in this form, Environmental impact of packaging, Doesn't actually have the marshmallow flavor of s'mores!
The Basics: Good, but not truly great, the Land O' Lakes S'mores Hot Cocoa is still worth trying!

I admire ambition, in all things I experience (and review). Ambitious movies, ambitious musical recordings, even ambitious foods impress me for the attempt, if not their execution. I was instantly impressed by the Land O'Lakes S'Mores Hot Cocoa. I love flavored hot cocoas and S'mores is a neat flavor. Following on the heels of their Chocolate Graham cocoa (reviewed here!), Land O'Lakes S'mores Cocoa seems like a flavor the company could conceivably pull off. Unfortunately, the flavor balance between the three key elements of S'mores - chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows - prove to be an impossible combination for the company to pull off in cocoa form.

The only real problem with the S'mores Cocoa is that it fails to live up to the flavor of marshmallows in its flavor palate.


The S'mores hot cocoa mix is part of the Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a 1 1/4 oz. sealed foil package and is a pretty delicious mix. Each 1 1/4 oz. packet is a single serving and these bear a relatively high price tag virtually everywhere I have found them of approximately three for two dollars. For a single mug of cocoa, this is expensive when compared to other make-at-home products, but about on par with getting a cocoa at a place like Starbucks.

Ease Of Preparation

The Cocoa Classics S'mores hot cocoa mix is ridiculously simple to make. Because it is sealed and has some artificial preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved!

As a result, preparation is ridiculously simple. The top of the envelope has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot water - near boiling, but not actually boiling as boiling water cooks the ingredients as opposed to simply dissolving them - over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of chocolate powder visible in the water or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a light brown color to it and will be uniformly smooth and creamy.


The S'mores cocoa has a wonderful aroma to it. The scent is strong with the aroma of graham crackers and there is enough in the aroma to hint at the chocolate flavor, too. There is nothing in the scent that screams "marshmallow," so the scent is very much the embodiment of graham crackers and chocolate.

On the flavor front, S'mores cocoa is a good balance of chocolate and graham cracker flavor. The milk chocolate flavor Land O' Lakes was striving for is balanced well by the cinnamon and graham flavor one would expect from a S'mores cocoa. This is a very sweet cocoa flavor, which is dominated by the graham cracker flavor over the chocolate. Even in the sweet aftertaste, there is not really any marshmallow in the S'mores cocoa's flavor.


Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics are hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things in the known world, though the S'mores flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. The S'mores hot cocoa has a few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, nonfat dry milk and whey. It is not vegan compliant as a result. There are no flavorings in the ingredient list that would define the beverage as graham cracker flavored!

What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of S'mores Cocoa Classics, there are 140 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. There are 2.5 grams of saturated fat, so while one might be tempted to curl up and enjoy this while resting, they are likely to pay for it later on! While there is no cholesterol, a consumer gets 11% of their recommended daily allowance of salt out of a single packet of this beverage! There is a little protein, but not enough to live off this. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product.

This product contains soy and milk and because there are no notations on it, one must assume it is not Kosher or gluten-free.


So long as one leaves the S'mores Cocoa Classic powder in its packet, it ought to stay usable. Given that it had an expiration date almost two years away - our package had an expiration date of February 27, 2017 - one assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been.

Cleanup is very easy as well. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cocoa, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up.


Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics are good, but the S'mores flavor does not add anything to the line that the Chocolate Graham did not already do. The result is a good flavor, but not quite all that the name promises!

For other Land O' Lakes hot chocolate drinks, please visit my reviews of:
Warm Oatmeal Cookie Cocoa
French Vanilla & Chocolate cocoa
Arctic White


For other food or drink reviews, please visit my Food & Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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