Is chocolate vegan-friendly?
Evidently, we can see that most chocolates nowadays are not vegan because they contain milk/milk-derived ingredients. Milk is a huge source to make chocolate, and since it’s derived from animals, the vegan community renders it non-vegan. Milk can be found in terms of whey, casein, lactose.
Moreover, if cholesterol is mentioned in the nutritional information, straight away reject that chocolate as cholesterol is only found in animals and never found in plants.
Specifically, there are three types of chocolates: milk, white, and dark chocolate.
Veganism is a lifestyle that tries to minimize using products that involve a violation of animals.
Vegan chocolates would be those which contain cocoa, cocoa butter, and plant-based ingredients.
Milk and white chocolate both include animal-derived ingredients that make them out of reach for the vegan community.
However, dark chocolate mostly comprises cocoa beans and fewer animal-derived products.
We have a separate section in this article detailing whether dark chocolate is vegan or not.
chocolate and veganism
Chocolates are my absolute favorite. As a matter of fact, Americans consume about 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year.
Over the years, many new brands have emerged and have created a myriad of different chocolate variants.
Types of chocolates range from bounties, bar chocolates, chocolate cakes, chocolate candies, and many more.
Growing up, my desire to eat chocolates heightened up, and almost everyone in my family is an avid chocolate lover.
Most commonly, people tend to eat chocolates as snacks.
Sometimes, they tend to eat chocolate desserts and ice-creams after dinner to sweeten their taste buds.
Similarly, it’s also a tradition in our family to eat chocolates after dinner or lunch.
Since our family has started to adapt to the vegan lifestyle, we tend to be careful about any products.
However, doubts began to come into our minds after some time regarding the consumption of chocolate.
I began to wonder whether these sweet treats are vegan-friendly and suitable for me?
But, I was not the only one who kept asking “is chocolate vegan”.
This Google Trend Snippet tells the whole story :
To find out the absolute answer, I started to research this issue and find answers.
Below, I’ll further clarify the issue, and if you belong to the vegan community and love chocolates, this is a must-read for you.
Ingredients in Chocolate
Upon investigation, there are around four ingredients in high-quality chocolate, including cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and sometimes an emulsifier.
Following, we’ll brief upon each of the ingredients of chocolate.
It’s an essential ingredient in chocolate. Without it, you can’t simply make chocolate.
You’ll find only cocoa in 100% chocolate products because it only includes cocoa beans in it.
Cocoa is a vegan-friendly product because it comes from cacao trees that make it plant-based.
Cocoa can have different varieties, and each of them will impact the taste of chocolate distinctly.
Most chocolates make use of sugar to give them a sweet taste.
However, there are several types of sugar like refined sugar, cane sugar, or brown sugar.
It’s important to know that sugar refining is done with bone char that is animal-derived.
Therefore, if the chocolate manufacturer makes use of refined sugar, there’s a possibility that it might not be vegan-friendly.
Cocoa butter is 100% plant-based butter derived from the cocoa bean.
It’s a natural fat from the cocoa bean that adds a delicious flavor to the chocolate.
Some chocolate type like the white chocolate only contains cocoa butter which is why they are lighter in color.
Milk and its derivatives
Milk is a very important ingredient in chocolates.
Most milk and white chocolates include milk because it provides a sweet and creamy content.
However, the milk comes from cattle which makes it completely non-vegan.
The addition of milk is one component that alone makes these sweet treats non-vegan.
However, you should also lookout for some milk derivatives which manufacturers use in place of cocoa alternatives.
These milk derivatives include milk fat, milk powder, whey powder, and casein.
All of these comes from milk and they are by-products of milk.
Therefore, you should keep an eye on such products because they are completely non-vegan in nature.
Egg, caramel, and biscuits
Lecithin is another common ingredient that is found in chocolate.
However, much of the lecithin today comes from eggs which render the product non-vegan.
Besides, manufacturers can obtain lecithin from few oils, but eggs are the main source of lecithin for commercial purposes.
On the other hand, some manufacturers can also add fruits, nuts, biscuits, or caramel to the chocolates.
While fruits and nuts can be beneficial, most caramel and biscuits contain butter as ingredients from cattle.
Anyhow, we found out that you should first look at the ingredient list before purchasing any chocolate so that you can be assured that it’s vegan-friendly.
Is dark chocolate vegan-friendly?
Dark chocolate can be both vegan and non-vegan. It totally depends upon the ingredients used to manufacture it.
While it’s true that dark chocolate mostly has a high concentration of cocoa beans, it’s also true that it might contain other animal-derived products.
Most dark chocolates contain milk fat, milk, and cocoa beans. While milk is totally animal-derived, it makes dark chocolate a non-vegan product.
But, essentially not all the dark chocolates are “non-vegan”.
Here is a list of some of the vegan dark chocolate summarized by PETA :
(Wait before you go back, I do have made a list of vegan chocolates that I found to be tried at least once. Just scroll down)
- CASSE-COU Maca Goji Dark Chocolate Bar
- CASSE-COU Espresso Dark Chocolate and Almond Bar
- VGAN Chocolate Vegan Dark Chocolate with Grapefruit & Chia
- Purdys Chocolatier Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar
- Divine Treasures Chocolate Bar (a PETA Business Friend)
- Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate
- Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bar and Ricemilk Chocolate Bar
- Whole Foods Organic Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate With Almonds
- Chocolove Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate
- Equal Exchange (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
- Chocolate Inspirations’ Artisan Raspberry Bar
- Endangered Species’ Natural Dark Chocolate Squares
- No Whey! Foods’ Milkless Chocolate Bars
- Alter Eco (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
- Theo Chocolate (This company offers many vegan varieties, so check label for info.)
Why should you eat chocolates?
Apart from its tastefulness chocolate is fully packed with nutrients but eat in limits because of additional calories and sugar content.
I will recommend you (even cancer.org recommends) to eat high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.
What are vegan options for Chocolate?
Since the vegan community is growing fast, many chocolate manufacturers are trying to make chocolates that conform to vegan beliefs. Now, many brands are making vegan chocolates and we’ll list some of them below.
This chocolate brand is transforming most of its chocolate products into vegan-friendly bars.
Try their rose cardamom bar and Waffle cone bar which contain more than 50% of cocoa concentration.
Vego is a German-based chocolate manufacturer, and they claim to have created the best vegan-friendly chocolate.
Mostly, it contains hazelnut ingredient that makes it delicious and vegan-friendly.
It’s one of the most famous chocolate manufacturers in British.
They have a couple of vegan-friendly options, and they use cocoa from Ghana and Saint Lucia.
Most of their vegan options contain a cocoa content of up to 50%.
Hu Kitchen has created an exceptional vegan-friendly chocolate bar that contains cashew butter.
Moreover, it’s 72% dark chocolate and contains 100% orange oil, giving it a distinct taste.
They strongly support vegan beliefs, and they claim to make this chocolate up to vegan standards.
It’s another exclusive brand that claims to make absolute black dark chocolate that conforms to vegan belief.
Get it now and treat your taste buds.
Make Your Own Vegan Chocolate at Home
Here is a minute video that will help you out :
8 Easy Vegan Chocolate Recipes
This video would make it easy for you. (continue to read to know what are my final thought on “is chocolate vegan”?)
Final Thoughts : Should Vegans eat Chocolate?
Here are my final views (and I totally appreciate what you believe) :
Any person can eat chocolate even vegans provided that the chocolate does not have dairy or milk-derived products as ingredients. (Prefer Dark chocolate over regular one as they are also healthy compared to others)
You can even go for the chocolates I personally like (as mentioned above).
If you want to cross check, you can watch for this logo:
This logo is given by vegan.org only to certify those products which are truly vegan.
Furthermore, you can visit their website to find out the list of certified vegan chocolates and other products.
Definitely not. It contains milk which is dairy product so milk chocolate is not vegan.
It is almost vegan. PETA accepts it as vegan chocolate but I said almost because it uses palm oil and gives a disclaimer “may not be suitable for persons with milk allergy”, in short, probable cross-contamination. Strict vegans stay away and others can turn a blind eye towards it.
They produce vegan chocolates. Here is the official statement “Some of our products are made without any animal products, such as our Lindt EXCELLENCE range with 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% Cocoa dark chocolate bars. Please always refer to the packaging for a definitive ingredient listing”
Apart from Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (PETA approves it as accidental vegan chocolate), every other of its products are non-vegan.
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