What ingredients are in Hershey chocolate syrup?

Hershey’s chocolate syrup is a popular chocolate flavored syrup used to top ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, and other desserts. It has a distinctive chocolate taste that is sweet and rich. But what exactly goes into making Hershey’s chocolate syrup? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in Hershey’s chocolate syrup are:

  • High fructose corn syrup – This is a liquid sweetener that is used in many processed foods. It provides the sweetness in Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
  • Corn syrup – This is another type of liquid sweetener. Corn syrup helps provide thickness and consistency.
  • Water – Water helps blend all the ingredients together.
  • Cocoa – Cocoa powder provides the authentic chocolate flavor.
  • Milk – Milk helps enhance the chocolate taste and gives the syrup a creamy texture.
  • Sugar – Sugar adds additional sweetness.
  • Natural and artificial flavors – These flavors enhance the chocolate taste.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt balances out the sweetness.
  • Potassium sorbate – This preservative helps extend the shelf life.

These core ingredients are essential for making Hershey’s chocolate syrup taste like rich, indulgent chocolate. The combination of cocoa powder, milk, and sugars like high fructose corn syrup give Hershey’s syrup itsdistinctive chocolate profile.

Nutritional Profile

Hershey’s chocolate syrup is considered a high calorie, high sugar food. Here is the nutritional profile for a typical serving of 2 tablespoons (28g):

  • Calories: 100
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 25mg
  • Potassium: 35mg
  • Total carbs: 24g
  • Sugars: 21g
  • Protein: 1g

As you can see, a 2 tablespoon serving of chocolate syrup contains 21g of sugar, which is equivalent to over 5 teaspoons worth. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. So Hershey’s syrup packs a hefty sugar punch.

Ingredients by Type

We can also categorize the ingredients in Hershey’s chocolate syrup by their function:


  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar

The combination of high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar gives Hershey’s syrup its intensely sweet taste.


  • Cocoa powder – provides chocolate flavor
  • Milk – enhances chocolate taste
  • Natural and artificial flavors – enhance chocolate taste

Cocoa powder, milk, and both natural and artificial flavors work together to give Hershey’s syrup a pronounced chocolate profile.

Texture Agents

  • Corn syrup – helps provide thickness
  • Milk – gives a creamy texture

Ingredients like corn syrup and milk help contribute to the thick, velvety texture of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.


  • Potassium sorbate

Potassium sorbate acts as a preservative ingredient to help prevent mold and bacterial growth. This allows the chocolate syrup to have a longer shelf life.


  • Water – helps blend ingredients
  • Salt – balances sweetness

Water acts as a solvent to bring all the ingredients together in an emulsion, while salt balances out the sweetness and enhances the other flavors.

Special Varieties

In addition to the classic chocolate syrup, Hershey’s makes a few special varieties:

Hershey’s Lite Chocolate Syrup

This is a lower calorie version of the original syrup. It’s made with sugar and sucralose instead of high fructose corn syrup as the main sweetener.

Hershey’s Strawberry Syrup

This syrup has a sweet, strawberry flavor made from strawberry juice, natural flavors, and red 40 coloring. It can be used to make chocolate covered strawberries.

Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Syrup

Made with darker cocoa powder, this syrup has a deeper, more bittersweet chocolate taste compared to the original.

Hershey’s Vanilla Syrup

Their vanilla flavored syrup contains sugar, corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, and annatto for coloring.

Common Brands and Private Label

Hershey’s is the most popular brand of chocolate syrup sold in the United States. However, every major supermarket chain also offers their own private label or store brand version. For example:

  • Walmart – Great Value Chocolate Flavored Syrup
  • Target – Market Pantry Chocolate Flavored Syrup
  • Kroger – Kroger Chocolate Flavored Syrup

Store brands are typically cheaper than the Hershey’s national brand. But Hershey’s continues to dominate the chocolate syrup market due to their brand recognition and quality.

Nutrition Comparison of Brands

Here is a nutrition comparison between Hershey’s chocolate syrup and a typical private label brand:

Syrup (2 Tbsp) Hershey’s Private label
Calories 100 90
Total fat 0g 0g
Sodium 25mg 15mg
Total carbs 24g 22g
Sugars 21g 20g

As you can see, the nutrition information is very similar between brands. Both contain 0g fat, around 20-25g carbs and sugars. The main difference is that the private label has slightly fewer calories and sodium. But overall, most chocolate syrups have a comparable high sugar content regardless of brand.

Possible Health Concerns

While chocolate syrup tastes delicious, there are some potential health concerns to consider with frequent consumption:

  • High sugar intake – The 21g of sugar in 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup is a significant source of added sugar and empty calories.
  • Blood sugar spikes – Large amounts of syrup can cause rapid blood sugar and insulin spikes.
  • Weight gain – The high calorie count can contribute to excess calorie intake and obesity.
  • Tooth decay – The syrup’s stickiness and sugar content is a risk factor for cavities.

Moderation is key when consuming chocolate syrup. Enjoy small amounts occasionally as a treat, but be mindful of portion size.

Uses in Baking and Cooking

In addition to topping ice cream and other desserts, Hershey’s chocolate syrup can be incorporated into a variety of recipes:

  • Chocolate frosting or ganache – Mix syrup into buttercream or whipped cream for chocolate frosting. Or pour over heavy cream and heat to make ganache.
  • Milkshakes and smoothies – Add to milk, ice cream, yogurt, or fruit for chocolate flavored shakes.
  • Chocolate fondue – Heat and serve with fruit and cake pieces for dipping.
  • Pancakes or waffles – Drizzle over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  • Cookies – Use in place of part of the sugar in chocolate cookie recipes.
  • Fudge – Make homemade fudge with syrup, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and marshmallow creme.

The options are endless when using Hershey’s chocolate syrup for baking, desserts, and drinks. Just keep portion sizes in mind.

Shelf Stable vs Refrigerated Varieties

Hershey’s chocolate syrup is available in shelf stable and refrigerated versions:

Shelf Stable

This type is commonly sold in plastic squeeze bottles. It does not require refrigeration due to the use of preservatives like potassium sorbate. Unopened bottles stored at room temperature have a shelf life of 2-3 years. Once opened, the syrup should be consumed within 6 months.


The refrigerated type is typically sold in glass bottles and packaged like milk. It uses fewer preservatives and has a shorter shelf life of about 3 months. For best quality, refrigerate after opening.

The main advantage of the refrigerated variety is a fresher taste. However, for convenience, the shelf stable bottles are more practical and commonly used, especially at restaurants. Both types of Hershey’s chocolate syrup have the same ingredients and nutrition information.

Price Comparison

Here is a price comparison of different sizes and brands of chocolate syrup:

Syrup Size Price
Hershey’s 24 oz $2.98
Hershey’s 1 gal $8.48
Private label 24 oz $1.98
Private label 1 gal $6.48

A 24 oz bottle of Hershey’s syrup costs about $1 more than a private label brand. When purchasing larger 1 gallon jugs, the price difference increases to around $2. So you can save a bit by opting for generic syrup, but Hershey’s remains the premium brand.

Packaging and Storage

Here are some key tips for storing chocolate syrup:

  • Leave syrup in original packaging until ready to use.
  • After opening, refrigerate syrup for up to 3 months.
  • To extend shelf life, pour leftover syrup into an airtight container before refrigerating.
  • Wipe clean any syrup that drips on the bottle before closing lid tightly.
  • Store bottles upright to prevent leaking.
  • Keep bottles away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Refrigeration is especially important for syrup in glass bottles.
  • Throw away if syrup develops mold or smells rancid.

Proper storage helps maintain the quality and freshness of chocolate syrup. Keeping it refrigerated and in a sealed container prevents premature spoilage.

Common FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Hershey’s chocolate syrup:

Is Hershey’s syrup gluten free?

Yes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup is gluten free. It is made without any ingredients containing gluten.

Is Hershey’s syrup vegan?

No, Hershey’s classic chocolate syrup is not vegan because it contains milk ingredients. However, they do offer a lactose-free and dairy-free Simple Syrup version.

How long is chocolate syrup good for after opening?

An opened bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup will stay good for about 6 months in the pantry or 3 months in the refrigerator. Write the date you opened it on the bottle.

Can you freeze chocolate syrup?

Yes, you can freeze an opened or unopened bottle of chocolate syrup for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Is chocolate syrup a nut-free product?

Yes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup does not contain nuts or nut-derived ingredients, so it is safe for people with nut allergies. Always check the label to confirm.


Hershey’s chocolate syrup is the quintessential ice cream and dessert topping. With its indulgent chocolate taste, it has remained popular for over 50 years. The main ingredients include corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cocoa powder, milk, and sugar which give it a sweet, thick texture and pronounced chocolate flavor. There are also special varieties like strawberry and dark chocolate. While tasty, the high sugar content means chocolate syrup should be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. With proper refrigerated storage and an airtight container, opened bottles can last 3-6 months. So next time you make a chocolate milkshake or sundae, you can feel confident knowing exactly what’s inside that iconic Hershey’s chocolate syrup bottle.

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