Is Chocolate Vegan?

Pure chocolate is vegan
Pure vegan chocolate

Is chocolate vegan? If you have a 100% plant-based life, it might be a bit tougher to find suitable options right off the bat. Here’s how to tell if a chocolate is vegan-friendly.

Few things are as upsetting as beginning your journey toward a less cruel lifestyle, only to realize that you forgot about something crucial to happiness – chocolate! Most people think that veganism involves completely cutting out chocolate. Luckily, this is not true in the slightest!

Keep reading this article to find out how to pick cruelty-free chocolate and save our recommendations for the best vegan chocolate bars available on the market today.

If you are needing a treat, you might like this Huge List of Accidentally Vegan Foods! Or have a browse through The Definitive List of Vegan Candy

Chocolate bars with nuts
Unfortunately, not all chocolate is vegan-friendly

Vegan chocolate – when is chocolate vegan?

So, is chocolate vegan-friendly? It can be!

Chocolate, in its pure form, is actually 100% plant-based. It is produced from a plant, the pod of the fabled cocoa tree. However, from the tree to the grocers, dairy products and other additives can be added.

It can be obvious when chocolate is not vegan. Chocolate labeled as “milk chocolate” will typically contain, as the name suggests, cow’s milk. Interestingly, pure white chocolate is actually made from cocoa butter. The white color comes from the cocoa butter itself. But, commercial white chocolate is usually “milky.” It’s always best to check the ingredient list to be certain!

Is dark chocolate vegan-friendly?

Lower quality, cheaper dark chocolate brands may contain milk or other dairy byproducts, as an effort to reduce costs by diluting pure cocoa with dairy. However,

It’s essential to thoroughly check the label if you want to make sure your dark chocolate is as cruelty-free as you are! A better question might be: “When is chocolate vegan? ”  

Dark chocolate is healthy and vegan
Dark chocolate is filled with health benefits

How to spot accidentally vegan chocolate

One way to spot it is to look for high-quality dark chocolate, usually with a significantly shorter ingredients list.

These ingredients will usually be cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and occasionally soy lecithin and vanilla. High-quality dark chocolate is also known for its health benefits.

However, I encourage everyone to always check ingredient lists! They may pleasantly surprise you!

A chocoholic’s guide to picking your treat

Vegan chocoholics of the world, rejoice! Here are some of the most scrumptious chocolates that are accidentally dairy-free and vegan-friendly:

  • Chocolove — all Dark Chocolate varieties
  • Ritter Sport — Chocolate Mint and Marzipan
  • Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate — Dark Chocolate
  • Organic Equal Exchange Chocolate — all varieties, except for milk chocolate
  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate — 70%, 85%, 90%, and 99% varieties only
  • Hershey’s Chocolate syrup
  • Trader Joe’s – Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

If you aren’t a dark chocolate fan, you’ll be happy to know that there are many brands making delicious dairy-free milk chocolate. Some of our favorites are Endangered Species, Vego, Ombar, No Whey, Seed and Bean, No Cow, and many more.

Relieved you don’t have to quit your chocolate addiction just yet? We definitely are!