In-N-Out Burger brings back hot cocoa Ron Ruggless

In-N-Out Burger brings back hot cocoa

The chain may have tapped into a burgeoning trend

In-N-Out Burger has put hot cocoa back on the menu.

The 8-ounce drink, priced at $1.60, is made with Ghirardelli chocolate and hot water, and is topped with miniature marshmallows. Hot cocoa was made available systemwide at the beginning of the year, the Irvine, Calif.-based quick-service operator said.

The last menu addition at the 320-unit chain, introduced some 15 years ago, was lemonade. Other than that, In-N-Out only sells burgers, fries, soda and shakes.

It isn’t the first time the chain has offered hot cocoa.

“This is actually the return of hot cocoa,” president Lynsi Snyder said in a statement. “My grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, served it for many years beginning in the ’50s. I’m not sure how it fell off the menu, but it’s part of our culture and something special for kids, and I’m happy that we’re bringing it back. 

“For a certain generation, hot cocoa is an In-N-Out classic, and we hope it will be a favorite of a new generation,” she added. “It’s quality cocoa from Ghirardelli, and yes, we serve it with marshmallows!”

In-N-Out Burger/Ron Ruggless

A vintage In-N-Out menu board and a current one.

According to photos of In-N-Out Burger from the 1960s, hot cocoa cost 15 cents at the time.

Hot cocoa hasn’t gained much attention on menus lately, with most hot beverage innovation happening in the coffee and tea categories.

But In-N-Out may have spotted a burgeoning trend: According to consumer research firm The NPD Group, hot chocolate servings rose 5 percent in the year ending in November 2017, when 323.3 million servings of the drink were sold.

Last January, family-dining chain Bob Evans introduced Triple Chocolate Hot Chocolate at its 523 restaurants. The drink is topped with chocolate whipped topping, chocolate sauce and miniature chocolate chips, and priced around $2.19.

And Peet’s Coffee said at the end of 2017 that it had added housemade chocolate sauce to its 241 locations for making mochas and cocoas.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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