I work in a coffee shop, and we stock Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa flavored sauce.

Ghiradelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa flavored sauce

However, this sauce is constantly overflowing. We are losing approximately a quarter cup per day (if not more) due to chocolate dripping from the pump. Is there any explanation or remedy for this? Note that it occurs even if the chocolate is kept cold.

  • Does it keep dripping out that fast even when it's not very full?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 4:36
  • It does indeed. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 4:40
  • We have this probable at our coffee shop continuously. It isn't the siphon. I can pour chocolate syrup into a squeeze bottle with the opening pointing up. When I come in the next morning it will have expanded out of the bottle, down the side and all over the countertop. I cannot find out why this happens.
    – Edward
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 0:13

4 Answers 4


This is likely due to capillary action drawing the syrup up the tube from the bottle - viscous syrup + a narrow tube = strong capillary action. Since it's one of those pesky laws of nature, there's not a lot you can do about it.

You might try transferring the syrup to a container with a wider pump tube (since capillary action is stronger in a narrow tube). Or you could transfer it to a container with a tap attached (like a keg) rather than a pump, but that prevents you from using measured doses. Finally, by the looks of it, the nozzle on the bottle might rotate, so you might also try turning that to point upwards and hope gravity keeps the syrup in place.

Failing that, the only other alternative would be to keep a drip tray underneath the pump to catch the syrup, then replace it in the bottle, but I imagine that has food safety implications, not to mention being a PITA.

  • +1; this was my thought too. Since it's being drawn out by what's left in the downturned tip, I was also wondering if you might be able to prevent it by pulling the spout all the way back up (and maybe drawing it back in a bit). Perhaps having it cold actually hurts too, since it would make it thicker, and keep it from all just coming out of the spout when you pump it.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 21:54
  • 3
    +1 for a good answer. Basicaly though it's poor designing from Ghirardelli. Send off a few well worded letters to your supplier and Ghirardelli directly asking for credit vouchers for all the waste. Point out the actual real world cost of their syrup after loss is factored in. Ask about alternative packaging that allows for portion control. Don't be nasty about it, just give them facts and ask for some sort of credit to make up for the losses. They might not even know about this issue and will welcome your feedback so they can improve the end user experience. They'll be keen to help. Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 18:19

We had the same problem and it turned our to be due to the temperature changes in the fridge. The expansion/contraction cycle of the syrup made it drip. Does your sauce require refrigeration? If not, try leaving it at room temperature (which doesn't change as much as most fridges). We used a "min/max" memory thermometer for a few days and found that the temp in the fridge varied from 30 to 52 degrees (F). While the internal temp of most food is OK at that range (it apparently didn't spend much time at those extremes), the change was making the sauce leak out of the pump. This stopped happening with our new refrigeration unit.

  • Very good catch!
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 11:43

Try loosening the lid to let out any trapped air in the bottle. It may be pressurizing for some reason.


If it is being exposed to excessive ambient heat, or is on top of something rather warm, it may be too thin due to the raise in temperature. Grab a thermometer and measure the temperature to see if it's above the recommended storage temp.

Is it near steam or other heat? If so, move it.


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