Everybody knows and has probably tried Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, but what about Bosco? It’s another classic brand, going back nearly a century. How does it stack up against the world’s most famous choco giant?
Bosco is a more expensive brand of chocolate syrup; it has more vitamins but also more sugar. Hershey is cheaper and more time-tested since it’s a much more popular brand.
Difference in taste is very subjective of course. Some will say Bosco is much richer and sweeter than Hershey’s and prefer it. Others have gone so far as to describe it as having an unpleasant, medicinal taste. Of course there’s also going to be many lambasting or praising Hershey’s in the same way. It’s hard to say without testing it personally, and might be worthwhile to try out yourself.
For now let’s look into the details and address this comparison more when we reach our conclusion.
We likely don’t have to tell you too much about Hershey’s, but it’s worth talking about anyway. It’s of course one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, and also has a hand in tons of other products. The Hershey name is usually attached to other sweets like cakes, cookies and milkshakes, but the larger Hershey’s company also licenses out other famous brands like General Mills.
The Hershey Company traces its roots back to the 1800s, being founded by Milton S. Hershey. In 1873 he began running a candy shop in Philadelphia. After a series of ups and downs, the iconic Hershey’s Bar was created in 1900. Then in 1903, construction began of a chocolate production plant in the town of Derry Church, Pennsylvania – a town known today as Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Not a lot of companies out there big enough to get a town named after them, eh? But it’s really no surprise, that’s just the power of milk chocolate. Throughout the rest of the century they would grow larger and larger, their first major acquisition coming in the 60s. That’s when they merged with the Reese Candy Company, adding Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to their chocolate repertoire.
Today Hershey is a multi-billion dollar company, and as for Hershey’s syrup specifically, that product dates back to 1926. They were sold in cans for decades, until 1979 where they switched to 24-ounce plastic bottles, more familiar to us today.
Main ingredients include both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, as well as cocoa, sugar and water. Hershey’s Syrup also includes smaller amounts of salt, vanillin- artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, xanthan gum, the preservative potassium sorbate and polysorbate 60.
The serving size for Hershey’s chocolate syrup is 1 tablespoon, or 19 grams. That amounts to 45 calories, 0 grams of fat, cholesterol or protein. It contains 12g of Total Carbohydrates, 10g of Total Sugars (all of them added sugars). It also contains 5mg of sodium.
The typical singular 24-ounce bottle of syrup can be purchased from Walmart online for the price of $8. The largest official container of Hershey’s Syrup is a 120 fl oz jug. At the time of writing that can be found in stock online at the price of $11.99.
Bosco is similarly a long-lived company, one that has made its way into several major shows, from older ones like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H or Laverne and Shirley, as well as more modern shows like The Blacklist or The Sopranos. It began strictly as a brand of chocolate syrup but later branched out into candy bars, making it a bit more reminiscent of its big league competitor.
Uniquely, it’s not known exactly who invented Bosco Chocolate Syrup, with our only information being that it was apparently a physician. While records are murky, it’s said that the physician invented the syrup in Camden, New Jersey back in 1928. That’s just two years after Hershey officially launched their own chocolate syrup brand!
The William S. Scull Company, founded in Camden as well a few years later, acquired the syrup’s manufacturing license. Before that, their most successful product was Boscul Coffee, and from there the name Bosco was derived. The name is derived from a Greek word which, depending on who you ask, can roughly translate to “I nourish”.
Bosco’s main ingredients are fairly similar to Hershey’s syrup, also including both standard and high fructose corn syrup as well as natural cocoa and water. From there you have invert sugar syrup as well as cultured sugar, xanthan gum, citric acid, and salt. They also include vitamin B3, B2 and B6.
While the ingredients list would seem to note more nutritional benefits than what is on the label for Hershey’s, Bosco does have a higher calorie count. It has 110 calories listed, though its serving size is twice as high, being 2 tablespoons instead of 1. It has 15 mgs of sodium and 27 grams of carbs, made up of 24 g of sugars. Notably they contain 1 gram of protein in that serving size.
Being a much smaller brand, they can’t afford to sell too low, so the prices are generally a little higher than Hershey. A low standard price for the traditional Bosco chocolate syrup bottle is priced at $11.65. And that’s in a 15 oz bottle, as opposed to Hershey’s 24 ounces.
What Does Sugar-Free Chocolate Taste Like?
Both Hershey and Bosco provide sugar-free versions of their famed chocolate syrups. So if you’re interested in those you may want to know what sugar-free chocolate is like.
It’s generally said that sugar-free chocolate tastes about the same as regular chocolate on the first bite. However it does come with a faintly bitter, and chemically flavored aftertaste that sets in after. Odds are good this description can also apply to sugar-free chocolate syrups.
Bosco is more expensive than Hershey’s but so much that it might not be worth trying it out. Being a fair bit more obscure, it can be hard to get a consensus on the flavor profile, making it tough to compare taste. But Bosco does have a decent amount more sugar content, which should contribute to an added sweetness.
Hershey’s is the cheaper and safer option, since you definitely know what you’re getting when it comes to the leading brand. Still it should be said that their main ingredients aren’t terribly different. What may be a bigger factor for most is whether or not you care about who you buy from. Buying Bosco would be supporting a relatively small company as compared to the mega corporation that is Hershey.
We recommend you try out the taste test yourself, as it’s a fun and potentially productive way to spend an afternoon.