Home & Garden Home Is Chocolate Vegan? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Vegan Chocolate Most chocolate contains dairy, but there are plenty of vegan varieties available. By Elyse Glickman Elyse Glickman Writer Elyse has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of food and drink writing and journalism. In addition to contributing to a variety of food, nutrition, and travel publications, she has developed and managed her own publication, Liquid Living, focused on home entertaining. Learn about our editorial process Published December 31, 2021 Joshua Seong / HUIZENG HU / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home Sustainable Eating Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism In This Article Expand Why Is Chocolate Not Vegan? Chocolate Categories When Is Chocolate Vegan? Vegan Chocolate Products Frequently Asked Questions Chocolate is a vast category. From bars and bonbons to cakes, frozen desserts, drinks, and sauces, you can get your chocolate fix in any number of ways. Traditional chocolates are usually non-vegan because they contain some amount of milk. Fortunately for vegans, the advent of dairy-free milks—such as soy, coconut, cashew, and almond milks—has sparked new ideas in the minds of artisanal chocolate producers. While we've got a ways to go before vegan chocolate takes the world by storm, it is much more prevalent than ever before. Here, we explore the sweet, sweet world of plant-based chocolate products. Why Is Chocolate Not Vegan? Many of the most popular candy bars use milk chocolate, which (as expected) contains dairy and therefore is not vegan. There are three common types of chocolate—milk, white, and dark. White chocolate has more milk than cocoa in its recipe. In fact, white chocolate is technically not chocolate at all; its recipe typically consists of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products or solids, vanilla, and lecithin for texture. Many dark chocolates also contain milk, milk solids, or milk fat, but in a smaller amount than white chocolate. If a dark chocolate bar is labeled 70% cocoa (or an even higher percentage, meaning it's extra dark and bitter-tasting), it is probably still not dairy-free. You can double-check on the ingredients list. Chocolate Categories Beyond white and dark chocolate, candy bars and boxed truffles, there are types used for cooking and baking, as well as beverage mixes and condiments. While most of these have dairy components, new products made with milk alternatives are available. Baking Chocolate: This unsweetened, bitter chocolate is made from pure chocolate liquor, or ground cocoa beans, and is intended to be used as a raw ingredient for baking and blended with other ingredients.Semisweet Chocolate: Most often used to make chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate is another baking variety.Ruby Chocolate: This variety is made from ruby cocoa beans grown in Ecuador and Brazil that have a naturally rosy color. While it is said to have a flavor profile blending white chocolate and berries, there is no fruit in the recipe.Couverture: Available in milk, white, and dark varieties, this is a pricy "ingredient" chocolate often used in pastry and candy making. It contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than other types.Raw Chocolate: Raw chocolate usually has not been processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients, which means it is often vegan.Modeling Chocolate: A paste made from melted chocolate combined with a sugar or corn syrup used for decorating cakes and pastries.Cocoa Powder: It is the foundation for "hot chocolate" drinks as well as many recipes for baked pastries and sweets. However, varieties with added milk powders and solids make it not vegan. When Is Chocolate Vegan? There are plenty of "accidentally vegan" chocolate candies and bars that do not contain any milk products. Similarly, more people have cultivated a taste for bittersweet dark chocolate and are willing to pay a little extra for products made more sustainably and without harm to animals. Look for a "dairy-free" label the next time you're shopping for chocolates. If there isn't a dairy-free label, check the ingredients list and avoid any products that contain milk in any form. Treehugger Tip How the sugar in chocolate is processed also factors into its vegan status. You may want to dig a little deeper if your chocolate of choice seems vegan but isn't labeled or certified as such. Vegan Chocolate Products Several popular and artisanal chocolate brands have products on the market made with almond, oat, cashew, or coconut milk. While some of these products are accidentally vegan, others were made with plant-based chocolate lovers in mind. Taza Almond Milk Quinoa Crunch Chocolate BarNo Whey! Milkless Chocolate BarAlter Eco Raspberry BlackoutEndangered Species Oat Milk Rice Crisp and Dark Chocolate BarTrader Joe's Almond Beverage Chocolate BarTrader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso BeansTrader Joe's Dark Chocolate Lover’s BarLake Champlain Chocolate Truffle BoxesTheo Dark Chocolate Sea SaltTheo Dark Chocolate MintTheo Vanilla Cocoa NibLily's Intensely Dark ChocolateJohn Kelly Dark Chocolate Habanero & Jalapeño BarEndangered Species Premium Oat Milk and Dark Chocolate Baking ChipsEnjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini ChipsNutiva Organic Vegan Hazelnut SpreadJustin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Amoretti’s Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Vego Fine Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Frequently Asked Questions What bars of chocolate are vegan? From Trader Joe's to Justin's, there are plenty of brands that carry vegan chocolate bars. Look out for chocolates that are labeled "dairy-free" or "vegan." Is Hershey's chocolate vegan? The majority of Hershey's chocolate is not vegan. However, Hershey did come out with Oat Made bars in 2021 that are completely plant-based. Is Nutella vegan? Nutella is not vegan because it contains skimmed milk powder. Other hazelnut chocolate spreads might be dairy-free, however.