25 Chocolate Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

If you have a sweet tooth, chances are chocolate brands are high on your snack radar. And if you agree that chocolate might as well be the eighth wonder of the world, keep reading. Per Insider, the chocolate industry is a more than $100 billion business, and keeping that business alive requires a lot of cocoa beans. According to the National Confectioners Association, it takes 400 cocoa beans to make just one pound of chocolate — and a cacao tree will, on average, produce some 2,500 beans a year, which yields about six pounds of chocolate. To put this into context, for Valentine's Day alone, an estimated 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold every year.

As with any food product, some chocolate makers are killing it in this space, while others aren't quite living up to the hype. Our Tasting Table taste testers hit the ground running to round up 25 chocolate brands with the end goal of ranking them from worst to best. As self-proclaimed chocolate fanatics, we found so many good ones it was truly a challenge to organize them for this list. But we did, so grab a glass of milk, a cup of tea, or whatever beverage fits your fancy (and pairs well with chocolate, of course), and get ready for some serious deliciousness.

25. Esthechoc

According to Esthechoc, a healthy outside starts from the inside. We definitely agree with this statement, so we dove into the chocolate to see if its aesthetically pleasing wrapper had the deliciousness inside to match. Think of Esthechoc as a food supplement made from 72.6% dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate and fewer additives, the healthier the chocolate is and, therefore, better for your overall health. This chocolate will definitely make you feel good instead of leaving you with the sugar rush hangover that comes with chocolate that's too sweet.

While Esthechoc's website states all the positive benefits of consuming chocolate, including support of skin metabolism and antioxidants, we're obviously most concerned about how the products taste. So, is beautiful chocolate also delicious chocolate? In our opinion, no. Compared to the other chocolate brands on this list, Esthechoc missed the mark for us. This chocolate tasted healthier but was not the first chocolate we would reach for when heading back for seconds.

24. Whittaker's

Next on our list is family-crafted and New Zealand-based Whittaker's Chocolate. Whittaker's sources its beans from Ghana, which, once harvested, take some 80 days to journey from West Africa to Porirua; there, the chocolate maker batch roasts the beans itself. Whittaker's main focus is making palm oil-free chocolate, and we appreciate knowing the chocolate we are consuming has quality ingredients and was crafted responsibly. Making chocolate is neither a simple task nor one that should be rushed. Whittaker's takes every precaution to ensure a high-quality and delicious chocolate result every time.

Like most things, though, high-quality chocolate does not come cheap. Whittaker's is known for being a high-end candy brand, one that's often imported — another reason why it costs more to purchase. With this being said, the taste is worth the price if you can swing it. The only reason Whittaker's landed lower on our list is due to the shipping price for consumers outside of Australia or New Zealand.

23. Russell Stover

Russell Stover has been an American favorite since 1923. It's known for its assorted chocolate boxes that grow in popularity around the holidays, like Valentine's Day, as they make easy gifts that anyone will enjoy. The fun of receiving one of these boxes is guessing what filling each chocolate contains. The most common fillings are sweet creams, like vanilla or raspberry, chewy caramels, nougats, and crunchy nut clusters covered in rich milk or dark chocolate.

Overall, we feel like Russell Stover is just OK. The fillings are a little too sweet, in our opinion, and are covered by a thin layer of chocolate. Additionally, the flavors taste a bit artificial; however, we can not seem to stop eating them once we get started. This brand does not scream luxury chocolates, but they are still a welcomed gift. One thing we can appreciate about Russell Stover is its extensive product offerings, including a wide range of sugar-free chocolate options. We have not tried these yet, but we are intrigued.

22. Nestlé

Nestlé's motto is "Good food, Good life," which is something we can get behind. Not only is Nestlé a popular chocolate company, but it is also one of the largest food distributors in the world. Nestlé's extensive brand portfolio includes everything from baby food and water bottles to coffee, cereal, and pet care products. The company even dabbles in health care, nutrition, and food service. For the purpose of this article, though, we are obviously most interested in Nestlé's chocolate products.

The popularity of Nestlé's chocolates can be attributed to their good quality and moderate prices. The Swiss multi-industry company was founded in 1867 by Henri Nestlé and has since become one of the most popular chocolate purveyors in the world. In the United States, Nestlé's most popular chocolate bars include Butterfinger, Kit Kat, and Nestlé Crunch. While Butterfinger's flaky crunch sets it apart from other chocolate bars, its incredible sweetness and artificial flavorings contributed to our lower score. These bars and other Nestlé products are delicious but not made with the world's finest chocolates.

21. Dove

Our next chocolate brand, Dove, is an American company that first got its start in 1939 Chicago. Its signature ice cream bar, the Dove Bar, debuted in 1956. Today, the brand offers a large range of chocolates, candies, and ice creams (bars and pints). Dove's packaging and branding give off a sexy, desirable feel, making you want to indulge in its silky-smooth chocolate products.

The individually wrapped Dove Promises Collection comes in milk or dark chocolate, and each bite comes with a quote inside the foil wrapping. This is a nice personal touch that feels more elevated and inspiring than, say, a fortune cookie note.

Dove's marketing certainly gives off a luxurious feel, so we set high expectations in our chocolate taste test. Our opinion? The brand lives up to the hype; it's not overly sweet and tastes smooth, just as the wrapper states. These individual chocolates and bars have a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. One bite, and you are transported to a milk or dark chocolate paradise.

20. Cadbury

Cadbury has been around for a while — it started making chocolate over 200 years ago and continues to invent and inspire today's industry. Chocolate lovers appreciate Cadbury's Cocoa Life, which is the company's use of 100% sustainably sourced cocoa in its Cadbury Dairy Milk products, a practice the company has proposed to do for all its products by 2025.

You may recognize the name Cadbury from its popular Easter commercials, which highlight the famous Cadbury Creme Eggs. This egg-shaped product contains a milk chocolate shell with a soft fondant center that melts in your mouth. Previously, these eggs were only available around Easter time but have since been available for purchase year-round. While this Cadbury chocolate product is top-rated, especially during the spring, Cadbury's other products did not particularly wow our taste buds. We feel like other chocolate brands are better tasting and affordable, hence our lower ranking of Cadbury.

19. Ritter Sport

Discover the most colorful chocolates with Ritter Sport. Each chocolate comes in a vibrant wrapper, so you can taste the rainbow in a way that doesn't involve Skittles. The brand prides itself on using the best ingredients in its chocolates like whole biscuits, crunchy hazelnuts, sweet strawberries, Alpine milk, fine marzipan, or the best Jamaican rum. We appreciate how the brand pays attention to ingredients and only uses three to four ingredients in each chocolate.

The cocoa in each bar comes from Ghana, Nicaragua, or Peru and is 100% certified sustainable. We love Ritter Sport for its diversity in chocolate packing, quality ingredients, and vegan options. We find ourselves continuing to go back for more and try each color. Overall, Ritter Sport makes very delicious, creamy chocolates. Our favorite would have to be the Dark Whole Hazelnuts. Even though we venture toward the classics, this bar is packed full of filberts, and it feels like eating a handful of fancy chocolate-covered nuts.

18. Duc d'O

Duc d'O was founded in 1983 by Hendrik Verhelst, a former timber merchant. If you are looking for Belgian chocolate made with the finest ingredients, look no further than Duc d'O. Today, the brand offers an assortment of unique chocolates like flaked truffles, assorted pralines, mousse tablets, and seashells. The company focused on chocolate truffles during its founding, though, so we headed straight for those.

As part of our taste test, we tried the Flaked Truffles and learned no two Duc d'O truffles are alike. This is due to the company's chocolate creation process. The light chocolate mousse journeys through a large bed of chocolate flakes, and the truffles are coated in Belgian chocolate shavings, creating a unique and delicious treat. There are over a dozen truffle flavors to try, and each one is creamy, milky, and mouth-watering. Purchase one of the assortment boxes; you will not be disappointed.

17. Scharffen Berger

Scharffen Berger revolutionized the chocolate industry in 1996 as America's first artisan chocolate manufacturer. The company was founded by chocolate connoisseur Robert Steinberg and winemaker John Scharffenberger. After Steinberg's diagnosis with Leukemia, he decided to dedicate himself to his passion for fine food, turning his attention to chocolate making. Hershey acquired the brand in 2005 but Scharffen Berger later returned to take back ownership of the company in 2020. Scharffen Berger continues to travel the world to source the finest cacao for its products, and its chocolate is made in America to this day.

Scharffen Berger sells baking chocolate and chocolate bars, which differs from many of the other brands on our list. For baking purposes, the brand sells unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder, various baking chunks, and bars. Its high-quality baking chocolate was a game-changer for the bakers of America. Additionally, we tested the regular chocolate bars and indulged in their rich, creamy flavors. We learned and appreciated that Scharffen Berger bars have a higher cacao content than most other brands.

16. Kinder

The Kinder brand got its start in 1968 in a small Italian town but has since become a global phenomenon. After only being available in European cities, more recently, Kinder started producing chocolates to be sold in the United States.

Kinder specializes in grabbing the attention of chocolate-loving children. It sells a hollow good-quality chocolate egg with a surprise inside; one half of the egg contains milky sweet creams and wafer bites filled with cocoa cream, while the other contains a surprise toy. While these eggs are not the only chocolate products Kinder sells, they have gained the brand extreme popularity with younger consumers.

For chocolate lovers of all ages, there's Kinder Bueno, which shares its own bit of surprise. Beneath the milk chocolate surface, your taste buds will be surprised with a crispy wafer filled with a creamy hazelnut filling. Then the entire bar is coated and drizzled with dark chocolate for a bar that's incredibly satisfying, but not too heavy.

15. Mars

Mars has been around for over 100 years, and like other powerhouses like Nestlé, Mars produces a large variety of products, from pet care and sweets to food and nutrition. Mars makes candy brands like M&M's, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, and Milky Way. For the purpose of this article, we opened a bag of the those colorful little orbs for the sake of "research."

M&Ms are undoubtedly a crowd favorite, and it's easy to see why. The classic bag speaks for itself and is the perfect treat or snack if you want a few small candies. The greatest reason we didn't rank Mars and its corresponding candies higher on our list, though, is due to the quality. While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of the products, especially M&M's, you just don't get that luxury chocolate taste. For this reason, we placed Mars more or less in the middle of the pack.

14. Guylian

The Guylian chocolate founders created Guylian Sea Shells in celebration of love and chocolate. Founder Guy Foubert was a passionate Belgian chocolatier, then met his forever girl Liliane, who helped design the shining exterior and the delicately sculpted shapes. They combined their names to create Guylian, and over 60 years later, the brand is one of the top-selling boxed chocolate brands in the world, available in more than 100 different countries. All Guylian chocolates are still produced in Belgium today.

Aside from the famous seashells, Guylian also produces truffles and chocolates with no sugar added in flavors like coffee cardamom or caramel pineapple. We appreciate the diversity of these chocolates, the unique shells, and the flavors that Guylian crafts. Known as Belgium's favorite chocolates, we can agree that these chocolates are delicious, delightful, and of high quality. The creamy nature and the sprinkle topping of the truffles made them truly irresistible.

13. Milka

Next on our chocolate brands list is Milka, one of the most popular chocolate brands in Europe. For the last 120 years (and counting), every Milka chocolate product has been made with 100% real Alpine milk — the reason for its incredibly creamy texture.

Milka offers a variety of chocolate bar flavors, including Alpine Milk and bars made with hazelnut, white chocolate, or Oreo. For our hazelnut lovers, Milka Noisette is to die for and the definition of a chocolate bar that melts in your mouth. This bar marries soft chocolate with 100% Alpine milk and a strong aroma of hazelnuts.

While we can't get enough of the milk chocolate offerings from Milka, the dark chocolate varieties fell a little short in our taste test. The most important thing to note is this brand's chocolate is best enjoyed in a European country. While you can order online, we have heard if you get it shipped to the United States, the quality and taste do not last the trip overseas.

12. Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin, who operates out of his workshop in Paris, is known as one of the best chocolate melters in the world. While Genin crafts some of Paris' most delicious chocolates, he is also widely known for crafting delicious caramels and pâtes de fruits. If you are looking for the ultimate French sweets, Jacques Genin sets a high bar. Genin stocks the top French hotels and restaurants with his sinfully creamy delicacies.

Upon entering the shop, it feels more like an expensive jewelry store than a chocolate shop. This vibe really exemplifies the luxury chocolate aesthetic. When it comes down to the chocolates, not only did we feel fabulous while consuming them, but the taste matched the vibe you feel in-store. The chocolates melt in your mouth and offer the perfect amount of sweetness. Although they're on the more expensive side, the chocolates are worth every penny. You can purchase some in-store if you venture to France or pick up one of the small batches made available for online orders.

11. Toblerone

The Swiss know how to make high-quality chocolate, and Toblerone is no exception. Toblerone got its name from the founder's family name of Tobler and the Italian word for nougat, "torrone." A flavor combination of honey and almond nougat mixed with chocolate set Toblerone apart from other chocolate brands, helping it to grow in popularity across Europe.

The Toblerone bar has been the company's bestseller since it was introduced over 100 years ago. While the candy's famous peaks are said to mimic Switzerland's Matterhorn, another story persists. Tobler's sons say that the triangular shape was actually inspired by a musical that the future chocolatier Jean Tobler saw when he was young; the dancers and the angular shape they formed made an impression.

Aside from its dynamic and unique flavor, we appreciate Toblerone's affordable price point. This brand proves that high-quality chocolate doesn't always have to be expensive. Additionally, unlike other foreign chocolate brands, the reviews rave about the quality of the product here in the states. Pro tip: We stick our Toblerone bars in the freezer for chilled chocolate deliciousness.

10. Hershey's

If you know anything about chocolate, you know the name Hershey. ​​Hershey's has been around for nearly 125 years, crafting your favorite chocolates like Hershey bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Today, Hershey is the umbrella for over 90 brands and products, including sweets, mints, and snacks, but here we'll stick with discussing the company's best chocolate offerings.

We love a Hershey's bar because it's consistently good and delightfully sweet. Hershey offers so many varieties of chocolate, in every shape and size — including familiar faces like Reese's, Krackle, and Almond Joy. Additionally, Hershey has seasonal chocolates and boxes that are hard to resist when any holiday strikes. Any day of the week or time of day, it's easy to find a Hershey's chocolate product that can curb our sweet tooth. Sure, the wrapping on Hershey products is neither fancy nor gold, but nothing satisfies quite like a Hershey's bar.

9. Tony's Chocolonely

Tony's Chocolonely chocolate bars are made for people who love giving gifts that are nice, but not too fussy. There are many whimsical flavors to choose from, including dark milk pretzel toffee, dark milk chocolate with brownies, the everything bar (with toffee, nougat, and pretzels, among other things), and more classic varieties like dark and milk chocolate. These chocolates are made with quality ingredients and brimming with flavor. Plus, you can design custom chocolate bar wrappers on the brand's website.

Not only are Tony Chocolonely's bars more inventive than some of the other brands on the list, but the brand also has a strong commitment to sourcing its chocolate. Tony's commits to paying farmers more than FairTrade rates for its beans and engages in outreach programs to support the quality of life and financial viability of farmers in those regions. It's chocolate you can feel good about eating, and there's really nothing better than that. 

8. Godiva

Godiva offers premium chocolates for a fairly reasonable price. Although affordable, these gold-wrapped, ribbon-tied packages radiate luxury, and each box contains great-quality chocolate. The Belgian brand started in 1926, and today, its global team of Chefs and Chocolatiers show no sign of slowing down; you can now get Godiva in over 80 countries.

Unlike other chocolate brands that may over- or underwhelm, we think Godiva's chocolate is the perfect amount of sweet and creamy. The brand uses premium ingredients, so you will never worry about its chocolates tasting fake, only rich and satisfying — and without the added preservatives.

While Godiva's chocolates can cost more than other brands we have outlined so far, the quality is worth the price. If you are looking to taste Godiva without the steep price tag, though, there are smaller boxes and individually wrapped chocolates for all to enjoy. However, this brand is definitely worth splurging on for the right occasion.

7. Lindt

Lindt Chocolate has been perfecting chocolate for over 170 years. Behind every Lindt chocolate creation is a passionate and skilled master chocolatier. These chocolatiers come from around the world and help to keep Lindt's products innovative and exciting.

Lindt's Lindor truffles are the company's most well-known product. These truffles are the definition of smooth and offer the perfect amount of chocolate filling in every bite. The flavor possibilities feel endless, but some of our favorites are the original milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and sea salt milk chocolate.

The chocolates from Lindt taste incredibly high-quality, creamy, and delicious, so it's no secret the brand snagged such a high spot on this list. We love the taste, no doubt, and feel like you can never go wrong with grabbing a bag of Lindt Lindor truffles or a Lindt Excellence Chocolate bar.

6. Theo Chocolate

Theo chocolate bars are some of our favorites because they come in so many fun flavors. During the holidays, you'll find innovative bars like its milk chocolate gingerbread spice or dark chocolate nutcracker brittle, perfect for stuffing into stockings. Those who want something just a bit more traditional will likely love Theo's salted toffee, mint, and raspberry bars. Besides these snacking bars, you'll also find baking bars in both bittersweet and extra bittersweet, stuffed cups, and vegan chocolate. We love Theo because it has an option for everyone, and its bars are perfectly giftable for loved ones. 

Theo's chocolate is FairTrade and organic-certified, which undoubtedly means you'll pay a premium for these bars. You can purchase gift collections or individual bars online or use its chocolate finder to find a store near you that sells them. Since the brand is relatively niche, you won't be able to find it as readily as a product by Nestle or Mars, but the extra legwork to source one out is worth it. 

5. Ghirardelli

In 1849, Domingo Ghirardelli sailed to America and opened a store in Stockton, California, and then San Francisco; three years later, he opened a second shop in the city, a confectionary shop named Ghirardely & Girard, the precursor to the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

When it comes to variety, Ghirardelli offers it all. Depending on your sweet preference, the brand starts with bars of your standard milk chocolate and slowly increases the chocolate percentage all the way up to 92% cocoa. During our Ghirardelli taste test, we knew from the first bite the brand would be high up in our ranking.

The chocolate isn't too soft or sugary and offers the right amount of sweetness. Ghirardelli bars have a solid crunch when you break the bar, which we can appreciate. Aside from chocolate bars, Ghirardelli also wins in the baking mixes and hot chocolate department. We could spend all day taste-testing every product Ghirardelli offers, but trust us when we say Ghirardelli knows its chocolate.

4. La Maison du Chocolat

Visionary chocolatier Robert Linx created La Maison du Chocolat in 1977. La Maison du Chocolat crafts chocolate with a unique taste and elevated flair today. The brand sources and makes chocolate using rare and pure cocoa through an incredible chocolate-making process: All chocolates are hand-crafted outside Paris with extreme precision and care. We appreciate the time and effort the brand puts into every square piece.

La Maison du Chocolat is one of the fancier brands we ranked. If you are ever looking for a more sophisticated gift, look no further than a box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. No matter the flavor combination, whether it be fruit-infused or nutty, the complexity and flavor of the chocolate itself still shines. While it is more luxurious and comes with a higher price tag, the company does offer small boxes, so you can still feel like royalty while enjoying your La Maison du Chocolat.

3. Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen is a chocolate brand made for folks who want to go back to simple ingredients yet still get their hands on an indulgent piece of chocolate. The bars are made without palm oil, refined sugar, and gluten, so they can readily accommodate a wide range of eaters. Several (but not all) of its bars are also vegan.

You'll find several different types of Hu bars, including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and baking chocolate. While you will find some classic plain bars, Hu really shines when it comes to its elevated flavors. Its dark chocolate vegan hazelnut coffee bar is one of our favorites — the coffee and chocolate flavors, combined with the smoothness of the hazelnut butter, makes for a delightful bite. 

Hu placed higher in our ranking because it's more readily available than some of the other chocolate brands listed. If you don't have a grocery store that carries it and have to order from the website, you'll have to order in packs of six or 12. Good thing it's good chocolate. 

2. Raaka Chocolate

We bet you've never seen a more Instagrammable chocolate bar than Raaka. This deluxe chocolate brand is centered around organic, kosher, vegan, and non-GMO dark chocolate flavored with whimsical additions like bananas foster, green tea, and miso. In addition to these beautifully packaged bars, chocolate lovers can also purchase the brand's baking chocolate, waffle cone treats, hot chocolate, and cocoa mix spread. 

Raaka scored very high on our rankings because of its beautiful products, which are far more than just chocolate in a cool package. The flavors of these bars are innovative — like its mango mochi white chocolate, because who wouldn't want to try that? You wouldn't be having such a multifaceted eating experience with a boring Hershey's bar, that's for sure. Raaka would have surged to our top spot, but ultimately, chocolate from this Brooklyn-based company just doesn't have the same sublime texture as our top-performing brand.  

1. Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates covers all the bases of a good chocolate brand, which is ultimately the reason why out of dozens of options, it takes our top spot as the best chocolate brand. Not only does the Vermont-based company (a family-run business that has been around since 1983) sell bars like seemingly every other brand on our ranking, but it also makes delicious chocolate-covered caramels, English toffee, baking chocolate, hot chocolate, and more. They're what we think of when we imagine a true "chocolatier." Plus, these sweet treats are organic, non-GMO, and for the most part, certified as fair trade.

Our favorite Lake Champlain products include its vegan chocolate truffles and Chocolates of Vermont gift set, which include maple crunch, honey caramel, and other Green Mountain-inspired treats. Not only are these treats modern and a joy to eat, but the price is also a fair value for the product that you get. 

Our Methodology

Don't get us wrong, we would never complain about getting chocolate from any of these brands as a gift or a gesture from a friend or loved one. However, there are some key factors that set some chocolate brands apart from others. The most important pieces of information we considered in building our rankings included how innovative and expansive the brand was based on the selections listed on its website. In other words, was the company offering anything different than what was already on the market, and did it provide more than just one chocolate product? We also looked for widely available brands (or as widely available as artisan chocolatiers could be) in stores or online shops. The last factor — and arguably the most important one — was based on taste. This is chocolate, after all.