In-N-Out has added its first new menu item in 15 years -- here's our review

Melia Robinson/Business Insider
  • In-N-Out has added hot cocoa to the menu in at least some locations.
  • This is the first new menu item that the chain has added in 15 years.
  • We gave it a try.

In-N-Out has added its first new menu item in more than a decade: hot cocoa.

Made with hot water and Ghirardelli chocolate and topped with (optional) marshmallows, the drink began cropping up on menus in late December. An eight-ounce cup costs $US1.60.

The West Coast burger chain has a noticeably slimmer menu than McDonald’s and Burger King, with few options beyond burgers, fries, and shakes. The chocolatey addition could be a hint that In-N-Out is more seriously considering expanding into chillier regions. In November, news broke that the chain will open a distribution center for operations in Colorado.

In-N-Out’s hot cocoa isn’t exactly new, but returning. It debuted on the menu in the 1950s, shortly after the first In-N-Out location opened outside West Covina, California, in 1948.

“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,” In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder told FOX11 LA.

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

I arrived at In-N-Out in Daly City, California, brimming with optimism. I ordered a burger, fries prepared “animal style” with cheese, special sauce, and onions, and a hot cocoa.

In n out hot burgerMelia Robinson/Business Insider

Behold, the only new item to make the In-N-Out menu in 15 years: hot cocoa.

In n out hot cocoa review 2863Melia Robinson/Business Insider

My high hopes quickly subsided. I was not given the side of marshmallows that Snyder had promised. When I popped open the lid, I saw that the hot cocoa more closely resembled Swiss Miss, which comes in a packet, than thick, decadent hot chocolate.

In n out hot cocoa review 2864Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The hot cocoa was served at just the right temperature – neither lukewarm nor scalding. And it was definitely chocolatey, but as I slurped back the nostalgic drink, it tasted thin and watery.

In n out hot cocoa review 2861Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The hot cocoa came as a disappointment from the home of the double-double – named the best burger in America by review site Ranker. And I’m not the only fan who thought so.

People took to Twitter to share their (albeit mixed) reviews:

Some Twitter users were left pining for breakfast items to come to In-N-Out.

The hot cocoa at In-N-Out will be available year-round and is free for kids on rainy days.

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