Is chocolate vegan? What makes chocolate vegan-friendly

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  28th July 2022

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Many people question 'Do vegans eat chocolate?'. The good news is yes, we love chocolate! But be warned, not all chocolate is vegan-friendly. Lets find out why and what delicious vegan chocolate is available...


If you’re wondering can you eat chocolate while being vegan? Then you’ll be glad to hear that yes, you can!

Although chocolate is a natural product derived from cocoa beans, not all chocolate is vegan-friendly. Many chocolate products in supermarkets contain milk powder.

In this guide, we will take you through a world of delicious cruelty-free chocolate products and recipes that will convince anyone to ditch dairy.

Ready to step into a dairy-free chocolate dream? Let’s go!

What is chocolate made from?

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which have been removed from inside cocoa pods.

These beans are then fermented, dried, roasted, shelled, chopped and pressed. The shell of the cocoa bean is removed to produce cacao nibs. Next, the nibs are then ground to produce cocoa mass.

When placed under extremely high pressure, cocoa mass separates into cocoa powder (which gives a chocolate flavour and colour) and cocoa butter (the melting property of chocolate).

Pure chocolate is then created by combining cocoa solids and cocoa butter via processes called conching, tempering, and finally moulding.

The rise of veganism has increased the demand for a greater choice of plant-based chocolate products.

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Why is chocolate not vegan?

Unfortunately, many chocolate products contain milk powder to give them a creamier taste.

Milk powder can be found in the three most popular varieties – milk, white, and dark.

While there are some accidentally vegan chocolate bars available, we recommend reading the ingredients before tucking in.

What type of chocolate can a vegan eat?

Us vegans aren’t short of a selection of delicious vegan chocolate products. From chocolate bars and biscuits to cakes and ice cream, there are plenty of sweet treats to tuck into.

Fortunately, dairy-free chocolate products are growing in supermarkets and online, plus so many tasty vegan chocolate recipes that everyone will love.

Is dark chocolate vegan?

Dark chocolate is often vegan. Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, with just cocoa butter, and sugar.

Additionally, dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals. Some studies suggest dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease and improve brain function.

There are dark chocolate bars in the supermarket that are suitable for vegans, but always make sure to check the ingredients as milk powder is commonly added.

Is milk chocolate vegan?

Dairy-free milk chocolate is created using a lower level of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, and plant-based milk.

Oat or soy milk continues to be the main ingredients most producers are using to create a creamy chocolate taste, but there are some brands opting for nut-based milk to enhance the flavour.

Last year, Cadbury Plant Bar hit the supermarket shelves releasing its dairy-free milk chocolate bar made from almonds as an alternative to its classic Dairy Milk bar.

Is white chocolate vegan?

Although white chocolate has a different production method from dark chocolate, it can be made vegan.

Instead of using cocoa solids, dairy-free white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, and a plant-based milk product.

Manufacturers sometimes struggle to recreate the taste of traditional white chocolate due to the removal of cocoa solids. Cocoa butter is an incredibly rich and waxy ingredient so balancing the flavours is crucial.

Thankfully, there is a range of dairy-free white chocolate available in the supermarket and online. Most recently, Galaxy Smooth White vegan chocolate launched at Asda, which was praised for its creamy and smooth flavour.


Chocolate that is vegan

With so many dairy-free treats available it can be hard to find the best vegan chocolate bar. We’ve selected a few of our favourite bars to help you choose…

Tony’s Almond & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate

Tonys Sea Salt & Almond Dark Chocolate

As we know, there is nothing accidentally vegan about dark chocolate, but Tony’s Chocolonely really does feel like a gift from the vegan gods.

Tony’s Almond and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar is the ultimate treat and perfect for sharing – if you’re feeling generous!

The sea salt flakes balance out the richness of the dark chocolate creating a taste sensation.

You can find Tony’s Chocoloney in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, or order directly from their website.


Nomo launches three new chocolate creations

NOMO chocolate is renowned for its luxurious free-from chocolate selection that is cruelty and allergen-free.

The UK-based confectionery company has strived to create irresistible chocolate that everyone can enjoy.

NOMO has taken the top spot for many Brits for its range of delicious flavours, such as gooey caramel, nut-free ‘Hazelnot’, and most recently its Orange Crunch.

You can find NOMO chocolate bars in most UK supermarkets, or order direct from its website.

Lindt vegan chocolate

Lindt vegan chocolate

Veganuary 2022 welcomed the first oat-based milk chocolate from Lindt.

Available in two flavours, the bar is a dairy-free alternative to the brand’s classic chocolate. Choose from either smooth chocolate or hazelnut for an added crunch.

Lindt vegan chocolate is available at Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Amazon, and Lindt’s website

Hershey’s Oat Made

Hershey's vegan chocolate bars launch in US

In 2021, Hershey’s debuted its first plant-based chocolate made from oat milk in the US after rising demand.

Hershey’s oat-milk bars are available in two flavours – Classic Dark and Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt.

The vegan Hershey’s bars can be found in various US retail stores, including Target.

Moo Free

Moo Free vegan chocolate bars UK

Moo Free has a variety of vegan chocolate bars and treats. From artisan chocolate to mini bars that are perfect for kids, the dairy-free chocolatiers have something for everyone.

Moo Free’s aim is to ensure everyone is able to enjoy a chocolaty treat without sacrificing great taste.

You can find Moo Free in most UK supermarkets and online.

Vegans often ask ‘is Nutella vegan?‘, read more to find out…

Feature image credit: Huizeng Hu

Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly is the Digital Executive and former podcast host at Anthem's Vegan Food & Living, she also works across other titles including Women's Running and Classic Pop to create affiliate content for the website. Starting out as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Vegan Food & Living in 2021, within 14 months Molly was shortlisted for ‘Best Editorial Assistant’ at the BSME Talent Awards 2022 and won the BCS Special Recognition award for Digital Marketing Apprentice of the Year in 2022

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