The UK’s most sugary Christmas drinks revealed

Revealed – the UK's most sugary Christmas drinksThe list of the UK’s most sugary Christmas drinks has been revealed, with some containing the equivalent of 15 sugar cubes. 

As coffee shops and cafes unveil their festive drinks menus, dental supplier Kent Express has analysed which beverages contain the highest sugar levels.

From McDonalds to Costa, it was found that Caffè Nero’s Mint Choc Chip Hot Chocolate is the worst offender.

The drink contains 63.5g of sugar, which is double the NHS recommended daily intake of 30g.

However the Christmas drink with the lowest amount of sugar is Costa’s Gingerbread Latte and Cream at 14g.

Worst offenders

The top 10 most sugary drinks out of those analysed were:

  1. Caffè Nero – Mint Choc Chip Hot Chocolate – 63.5g
  2. Caffè Nero – Hazelnut Hot Chocolate – 59.9g
  3. Starbucks – Fudge Brownie Hot Chocolate – 51.4g
  4. Pret – Popcorn Bar Hot Chocolate – 49.7g
  5. Costa – Terry’s Chocolate Orange Hot Chocolate – 44.5g
  6. Starbucks – Caramel Waffle Frappucino – 43.9g
  7. Starbucks – Gingerbread Frappucino – 42.2g
  8. Starbucks – Eggnog Latte –41.4g
  9. Starbucks – Toffee Nut Frappucino – 41g
  10. Costa – Quality Street Toffee Penny Latte – 37g.

According to NHS guidance, products containing more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g are considered high. A total of 18 out of the 20 products looked at exceeded this level.


Dr Kawther Hashem is a registered nutritionist and also campaign lead at Action on Sugar.

She said: ‘Sugar not only lacks nutritional benefits, but eating (or drinking) too much of it leads to weight gain and raises the risk of type 2 diabetes. Sugar is also, without doubt, a huge factor in tooth decay.

‘It is therefore shocking that so many high-street coffee chains are still wilfully putting their customers’ health at risk. Despite the government’s sugar reduction targets for sugary milk drinks in 2018.

‘In our Festive Drinks Survey in December 2019, we found Caffè Nero’s Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (Grande), made with skimmed milk, contained nearly 15 teaspoons of sugar (59.6g) and also 503 calories. An average person would have to do 90 minutes on the cross trainer, for example, to work this energy off!’

Chris Moffatt is a dental expert at Kent Express. He added: ‘Everyone looks forward to letting their hair down at Christmas, but it’s good to make informed choices about what we eat and drink.

‘Around one in three adults in the UK have signs of tooth decay, which can lead to more serious health problems. Many dental practices close over the Christmas period, so it is hard to get a dental appointment.’

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