Back in 1972, the world was first introduced to Canfield’s Chocolate Fudge Soda. A diet version was implemented 1984, and thanks to media coverage, the flavor took off. Arizona rolled out their own version many years ago, and this unique taste is back once again as Arizona Chocolate Fudge Float Soda.
The first thing you’ll notice about this drink is the curious artwork on the 23.5 oz can. Per Arizona’s official press release, “its retro packaging embodies an all Americana spirit with a freshly modern twist. Featuring throwback images from the 1800s, the design is mixed with elegant floral arrangements and inspired by ‘The Strong America’.” It’s quite a different approach for a drink. It’s classy and very retro. The packaging notes that it’s a “Product of Canada,” which might indicate why it features a wrapped label instead of the traditional printed-on-can approach that Arizona typically uses. The drink also notes that it “contains milk” and is “made with Bosco Chocolate Syrup.” And even though this drink is carbonated and not recommended to be shaken, it notes that “real chocolate syrup natural settles. Lightly swirl after opening.”
Upon opening, the scent strongly resembles fudge rather than chocolate. It’s dark brown in color, much like you’d expect a mocha or coffee beverage to appear. With the first sip, it’s obvious that this is a very sweet drink! The fudge flavor hits you right away, but it’s odd, because the whole thing is carbonated. You don’t really associate bubbles and chocolate together. It reminded me quite a bit of the odd mouthfeel of carbonated coffee we experienced with Arizona’s Joe DiMaggio Joltin’ Joe Sparkling Espresso. That said, the use of chocolate syrup is obvious — and welcomed — as the flavor seems just about right for something called a “Chocolate Fudge Float.” It’s quite good, in its own odd way. This is an obvious novelty drink, not something you’d be enjoying with your lunch on a daily basis.
We haven’t seem much growth in the “chocolate soft drink” market in recent years, especially by mainstream brands. Sure, we’ve always had Canfield’s and Yoo-hoo, but probably the last attempt by the “big guys” was 2007′s Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper. Curiously, most of these chocolate products have affiliation with Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
Overall, I like Arizona Chocolate Fudge Float Soda. It’s something I’d gladly revisit, especially with the lower calorie count (50 calories per serving). The drink is features high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and Ace-K… and the chocolate flavors do a nice job of masking the artificial sweeteners. The biggest problem I have is with the packaging. 23 oz is a LOT of chocolate fudge soda to partake in one sitting (it’s about 3 servings). So unless you have someone to share it with, you’ll have to save some for later. This would be fine, except for that fact that the drink is carbonated, and no doubt will loose the bubbly attractiveness over time if placed back in the fridge.
Arizona Chocolate Fudge Float Soda
Carbonated filtered water, high fructose corn syrup (glucose-fructose syrup), Bosco chocolate syrup (high fructose corn syrup, water, corn syrup, defatted cocoa powder, lactic acid), skim milk, cream, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, lactic acid, pectin, sucralose (Splenda brand), acesulfame potassium.
A 23.5 oz can contains 146.9 calories, 29.4 mg sodium, and 41.1 g carbs (38.2 g sugars)