Sunday, October 12, 2014

Philippine Milk Madness: The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk

Philippine Milk Madness: The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk

When we shop for our weekly groceries, we have a variety of choices on what we can buy. With so many brands trying to grab our attention, as creatures of habit we normally try to simplify things and go for what we're most familiar with. It's the same thing with the milk that we buy, so I'm hoping to help you with that decision.

Now, I'm an advocate of making sure that everyone gets to drink at least 2 glasses of milk every day. This is so that we get enough calcium and avoid calcium deficiency, which is still very common even in the world we live in today. 

I think it's important to highlight that the fresh milk that we buy at the supermarkets is actually UHT Processed Milk, and not really 'fresh milk'. There's a difference, since UHT processed milk has been processed in very high temperature to extend its shelf-life by 6 to 9 months. There has been quite a bit of negative reactions to UHT milk, particularly because it allegedly doesn't taste as good as raw fresh milk. But here in the Philippines, we don't really have a choice since it's hard or expensive to get our hands on 'fresh milk'.

Let's make do with what we have. In this article, I'll try to decide on the best fresh milk brand in our supermarket shelves today.

Bottom of the Pack

1. Selecta Fresh Milk
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Selecta Fortified Milk
Price: 62 PHP (promo price)
I'm not a fan of Selecta Fresh Milk because I think it's too sweet. In every sip, I remember Jamie Oliver's TED talk on how a lot of unnecessary sugar has been added to milk to make it sweeter. I can't imagine myself drinking this type of milk everyday, though I'm sure it's marketed to kids who really prefer very sweet milk. It also doesn't add much in terms of Calcium and Protein compared to other brands, which is the mineral that I'm interested in the most when it comes to milk.

Now, while I won't drink this every day I think it's going to be a great ingredient for desserts that call for whole milk. I might try making ice cream with Selecta to see what it tastes like. 

2. Alaska Fresh Milk
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Alaska Fresh Milk
Price: 76.5 PHP
I think Alaska Fresh Milk is better than Selecta because it's not too sweet. It does, however, have much to be desired since it has an aftertaste that I really don't like. I wouldn't want to drink milk that tastes like this every day, though I have a feeling that it might make for good pastillas de leche. I'll try to include it as an ingredient in making Pastillas next time and I'll let you know! 

Good But Not Great

3. Magnolia Purefresh Milk
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Magnolia Purefresh Milk
Price: 86.5 PHP
Magnolia Purefresh Milk offers a really great tasting milk product. It has a good rich blend of flavor that would make you want to drink it each day. It also has the highest level of Calcium out of all the other brands available, which is really amazing since it's more than double the amount that Selecta Fresh Milk has.  It's also quite high in Protein, but the downside is that it's high in fat as well. 

A big issue I have with this milk is that it's the most expensive one there. While it tastes good, I think it needs a creamier texture to go along with the flavor that it provides. I recommend you buy this brand if your really just looking to get more calcium into your diet. 

4. Jolly Cow
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Jolly Cow Fresh Milk
Price: 74.5 PHP
Jolly Cow Fresh Milk is a brand that I just recently discovered. I was particularly interested in it's price since it used to sell at around 68 PHP, 16 pesos cheaper than Nestle Fresh Milk. It was also from Germany, which is not a popular milk-producing country, so I was quite curious on what it tasted like. 

I think this particular brand offers a very creamy, full bodied flavor that has the right amount of sweetness. It's a milk I would surely drink every day and it's one of the cheaper brands in the supermarket. I think it would pair well with coffee given its very creamy texture, and I think it's what Starbucks currently uses on their drinks (it used to be Harvey Fresh). 

Great-Tasting Milk!
5. Cowhead
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Cowhead Pure Milk
Price: 78.5 PHP
Cowhead Pure Milk is also a very great brand, although it's sweeter that the other brands I like how it blends with creamy texture of the milk. It isn't unbearably sweet like Selecta and it probably has the closest 'fresh milk' taste than the others. I really recommend that you buy this brand if you really aren't too concerned about the price point but still worried that Nestle might be a bit too expensive. 

One thing I need to point out is that it seems that Cowhead Pure Milk has the most carbs on their nutritional value, and it's merely in the middle of the pack in terms of the other major factors. It tastes better than Nestle, but I think it falls short on the overall nutritional value it gives. 

6. Nestle Fresh Milk
The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk - Nestle Fresh Milk
84.5 PHP
Nestle Fresh Milk, being the brand I grew up with, is still probably the most popular brand of fresh milk in the country. It's a great blend of taste on the palate with the right level of sweetness and creaminess. It's one of the top milk brands in terms of flavor, but I am very much concerned about how it's currently priced. It's a bit too expensive for me, so I don't get Nestle for my milk anymore. 

Nestle has a bit more Calcium than the other brands and it way up there on Protein while limited Carbs and Fat. Given it's formulation, it's great milk in terms of the overall nutritional value it provides which is what puts it ahead compared to Cowhead. I think it might be also a great ingredient as the milk for making a Smoothie or a Milkshake. 

Milk Nutrition Facts:
The most nutritious supermarket Fresh Milk Philippines - Calcium, Protein, and Fat Content
Per 100g serving of milk
While I like both Cowhead and Nestle the most it's gotten to be more expensive to buy these two brands compared to the others. Since it's good enough to drink regularly and it has very creamy texture, I normally buy 3 cartons of Cowhead Fresh Milk every week to get my daily milk fix. It's a lot cheaper than Nestle and I'm happy with the both the flavor and price. 

Of course, different people prefer something different in the milk that they drink. So while I do recommend you get the brands I ranked high above, go for the brand you personally like best. 

UPDATE: I'm currently enjoying cartons of Anchor Fresh Milk. Bought loads because of their Php70 price tag sale and I'm very much satisfied. 

How about you, what's your favorite milk brand?

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Chef Jay


  1. I was a Nestle fan until I tasted Bear Brand. :)
    Now though, I drink tea more often than fresh milk. This post reminded me that I used to have milk every time I visit the supermarket. Must be high time to bring back that good habit.

    Thanks for this detailed comparison and honest opinion.

    1. I do buy bear brand powder as my powdered milk brand. It tastes great as well and it's cheaper. :) Though, fresh milk will always taste better.

      Yeah, it's good to get back into the habit. I haven't had milk for years and now I drink it to start off my day. Try Harvey Fresh Full Cream Milk, it also tastes delicious! :)

  2. Hey,

    Thanks Chef Jay for your great review on Milk Brands available in Philippines.

    Well I am also a fan of Jollycow because of its quality as well as price.

    Even I am very much fan of Amul Milk which we get in Mustaffa Mini Mart, Above Welcome Supermarket, Alabang hills Road, Cupang.

    You can try it.

    1. I haven't tried Amul Milk. Unfortunately, Alabang hills Road is too far. I will keep an eye on it. :) Thank you for dropping by!

  3. I love Cowhead. Used to buy the blue one but i've switched to non-fat cowhead which is more scarce than the other cowhead variants.

    1. A lot of people do love Cowhead. It's a great, quality brand of milk! It's not as popular as Nestle but it's certainly tasty.

  4. i love harvey's fresh though for its milk are free-range which means the cows are nit treated with hormones and they havent lived in a factory farm which makes the milk taste delicious!

    1. I also drink Harvey's Fresh once in a while. I usually rotate between Anchor, Harvey's Fresh, Cowhead, and Anchor at home. Right now, I'm having an Anchor milk fix. :D It's tastes amazing and it's also a great ingredient for desserts.

  5. I have to be particular with Selecta Fortified being placed at the bottom of this ranking. I disagree with the way you ranked Selecta Fortified. I, for once, had a difficulty choosing between Selecta Fortified and Nestle Hi-Calcium, and comparing each's nutrition facts, it shows that Selecta Fortified is way, way better than Nestle Hi-Calcium.

    Plus, Selecta Fortified's taste is really good that you might just feel like you've eaten ice cream on that day, you'll feel like it was cheat day of some sort. That's also beyond taking a look at the huge price discrepancy between the two. Just my opinion. :)

    1. I respect your opinion and I'm not saying that Selecta Fortified does not taste good or doesn't have a lot of nutrition by ranking it at the bottom. It is, however, too sweet for me and I don't think it's all that healthy because of all the added sugar. It's easier to add sugar in milk than to remove sugar that's already in milk. My two cents is that milk shouldn't taste overly sweet and should rather be creamy (like Anchor or Cowhead)

      In terms of the nutrition comparison, I did rank it in terms of nutrients per 100ml and it was at the bottom. I will revisit it the next time I drop by the supermarket upon your request. :)

      Thank you for dropping by and please keep on sharing your opinion online. It's always refreshing to hear a different perspective. :D

  6. I was busy at work so I searched for a vitamin and milk for me to avoid getting sleepy at work. So I had this idea to drink a glass of milk at night and take vitamins in the morning. I find this online shopping quiet, reliable for me. This is the only online shopping that sells a strawberry flavor (

    1. I did see cowhead strawberry on grocery shelves, let me check that for you! I drink vitamins and milk as part of my morning routine, and it does help me get a bit more alert. Glad to hear you're living a healthy life!

    2. We are distributor of Cowhead
      So far, the best selling one is Pure Cowhead, second is Lite, Third is Chocolate, Fourth is Strawberry and the last one is Slim, I agree that Strawberry flavour tastes good, but Its on fourth place lol.

  7. Emborg is really tasty and harvey fresh free range. Full cream of course

    1. I totally agee with you. At one point, I got hooked to both.

  8. Hi! Perhaps you'd like to try Hacienda Macalauan products. Tried their products and it tasted good. Would want to hear your opinion about their products also. :)

  9. Dead on on Selecta Fortified. It tastes really bad.

  10. Dear chef Jay
    hi!I am Taiwanese.
    Working in Manila already 2 week.
    I try a lot of fresh milk and them taste really strange.
    Thank you for this article!
    Really help me!

  11. Please read label before buying milk. Most brands prepare milk from powder and add some ingredients like sugar, vegetable oils. both are very harmful. Nothing like fresh cow milk.

  12. Hi! You might want to check Hacienda Macalauan's Pure and Best. Tried their milk and it was really good.

  13. I hate milk but when I tasted anchor fresh milk I find it refreshing not so milky tasting and a great energy booster

  14. you didn't mention the nutritional value of anchor;is it also for 49-50 yr. old adults?

  15. So cowhead vs nestle what is much better i dont mind the price as long the one gives me all i needed nutrients