Chocolate comes from the pod of the cocoa tree. It’s a plant and entirely vegan. However, most chocolate you find in the grocery store isn’t pure cocoa…so it may or may not be vegan depending on the other ingredients.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Milk chocolate will never be vegan for the obvious reason that milk is an animal product. However, chocolate products will often contain dairy and not be labeled as milk chocolate. Check the label for additives such as milk, milk solids or milk fat. If they are present, the product is not vegan.
Don’t be fooled by cocoa butter. It is derived entirely from the cocoa plant and contains no animal products. You may also see ingredients such as cocoa mass, cocoa solids, chocolate liquor, cocoa beans and cocoa paste: all these are vegan derivatives of the cocoa plant.
Many chocolates will contain lecithin, an emulsifier that is commonly used in the sweets business. Here’s the rub: it can come from either animal or plant sources. If the label says “soy lecithin”, you are dealing with a vegan ingredient. However, often the label simply says “lecithin”. This could either indicate plant- or animal-derived lecithin. Vegans beware.
It’s important to note that many chocolates are vegan, but not marketed as such. A good rule of thumb for vegan chocoholics is to consider chocolate products with the highest percentages of cocoa and then check the label carefully for non-vegan ingredients.
Everyone, including vegans, should be able to enjoy chocolate. That’s why our gluten free bars contain only vegan chocolate. Try our Chocolate Banana and Chocolate Peanut bars today and you’ll note their outstanding chocolate taste and texture. And of course, you can always count on them being vegan.