The Man Who Invented Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is delicious, whether cold or hot. The beverage has been a staple of American lunches for decades, and it’s also been the center of some controversy over the years. Parents are split, with some believing chocolate milk is the hero for saving their children from drinking soda at lunch, while others think it’s the villain that's filling their children with empty calories. So, where did it come from? The credit for the chocolaty goodness goes to Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish botanist who spent some time in Jamaica in the early 1700s. There, the locals gave him a drink made of cocoa and water. He it found it nauseating, so he mixed it with milk to make it more palatable. When he returned to England, Sloane brought the milk and cocoa mixture with him, and for many years it was sold as medicine. During World War I, the U.S. Army began distributing chocolate bars to troops, which was followed by the introduction of chocolate milk. Chocolate milk became popular in the 1920s and 1930s as a health drink, and in 1928 Hershey Chocolate Company first began producing chocolate syrup to be added to milk to make a chocolate milk drink at home. Today, Americans consume more than 1.5 billion gallons of chocolate milk each year — the equivalent of about four gallons per person.