Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?

Mara Mennicken

Is dark chocolate vegan? Don’t lose hope! You don’t have to give up chocolate because you’re switching to a plant-based diet. Not even the darkest chocolate would do.

Numerous vegan chocolate bars can be found in grocery stores, and new companies making dairy-free chocolate are entering the market to cash in on the growing popularity of veganism.

Still, vegans need to exercise caution. Only dark chocolate, and even then only some varieties of dark chocolate, is genuinely vegan-friendly. The ultimate question for any vegan chocolate lover is explored in this article: is all dark chocolate vegan?

What Is Dark Chocolate?

When trying to determine whether or not dark chocolate may be consumed by vegans, the first thing that must be taken into consideration is the nature of dark chocolate itself. Cacao beans, which are used in the manufacture of chocolate, are indigenous to both Central and South America.

The beans are roasted and then ground into a paste. The paste is combined with sugar and other ingredients, such as milk chocolate bar or vanilla extract, cocoa powder cocoa butter, and then formed into bars or used for other purposes.

The percentage of cacao in vegan milk chocolate determines how dark it is. For example, a bar with 60% cacao content is darker than one with 50% cacao but not as dark as one with 70% cacao.

Cacao percentages can range from as low as 10% up to 100%. Most commercial dark chocolate has between 50% and 90% cacao.

The higher the cacao content, the less sweet the chocolate will be. In general, dark chocolate has a richer flavor than milk chocolate or white chocolate.

Read More: Can You Eat Chocolate When Breastfeeding? Yes, and Here’s How!

Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?

The answer to the question of whether or not all dark chocolate is vegan cannot, however, be as simple as “yes.” It’s possible that vegans can eat dark chocolate, but this is something that needs to be verified.

A percentage rating is typically assigned to dark chocolate, and this rating is determined by the percentage of cacao that is contained within the recipe. 55 percent to 70 percent is usual; 100 percent is rare.

The higher the percentage of cacao, on the other hand, the greater the likelihood that the dark chocolate is vegan; this is because the recipe requires fewer additional ingredients. Sugar and cacao butter are typically included, in addition to the cacao, as further components of dark vegan chocolate. These are also suitable for vegans.

Read More: Cacao – “Food Of The Gods”

Reason Why Dark Chocolate Becomes Non-Vegan

In its most basic form, dark chocolate is high-cacao chocolate; nevertheless, is dark chocolate devoid of dairy? Unfortuitously, the presence of a high cacao rating does not guarantee that there will not be dairy present in the product. Many types of dark chocolate are not genuinely made of milk-free chocolate, which means they are not suitable for vegans.

Even though it is non-dairy chocolate and has not been manufactured using milk, that does not mean that it automatically qualifies as vegan chocolate.

Vegan chocolate fans need to be on the lookout for non-vegan additives that can be included in the ingredients of dark chocolate, especially given the fact that the recipes and production methods used by different brands of chocolate might vary significantly.

How To Tell If Dark Chocolate Is Vegan?

is dark chocolate vegan

Even though milk and other animal ingredients may very well be included in dark chocolate, it is rather simple to determine whether or not the chocolate in question is suitable for vegans.

A vegan label will be applied solely to dark chocolate that does not contain any milk or other items derived from animals. It is going to become quite obvious in these modern times. You can check the list of ingredients to be sure, but because there is such an emphasis on foods made from plants, companies that make vegan chocolate want you to know that their chocolate is, in fact, vegan!

This is true of both well-known brands and lesser-known providers, and you’ll frequently find a large letter “V” for vegan printed anywhere on the exterior packaging (or the chocolate’s name might even include the term “vegan”).

Vegan dark chocolate is not only simple to recognize, but it is also very, very simple to find retail outlets that sell it. You can purchase vegan dark chocolate at huge stores, tiny chocolate shops, and even on the internet!

Read More: 4 Healthy Reasons To Eat Dark Chocolate — A Delicious, Nutritious Snack For You and Your Kids

Ingredients That Make Dark Chocolate Non-Vegan

The ingredients that make dark chocolate non-vegan can be broadly classified into two categories: milk products and other animal-derived items.

Milk Products

As the name itself suggests, milk products are manufactured using milk. This means that anything derived from milk, such as cream, butter, or even whey, is not going to be vegan.

Animal-Derived Items

There are a few other animal-derived items that might be used in the manufacture of non-vegan dark chocolate. One example is carmine, which is a red food coloring agent that is created using insects. Gelatin is another ingredient to watch out for; it is often used as a thickener or emulsifier and is made from boiled animal bones, skin, and connective tissue.

As you can see, there are a few things that need to be considered when trying to determine whether or not dark chocolate is vegan. However, if you take the time to check the ingredients list and look for a vegan label, it should be relatively easy to find vegan dark chocolate that meets your needs!


In addition, many manufacturers may sweeten dark chocolate to mask its harsh taste. However, due to the high expense of producing dark chocolate, some firms will substitute a low-cost sugar called bone char, which is, you guessed it, manufactured from charred bone.

Although it is not a dairy product, it is most assuredly an animal by-product. Any indication of this product’s use should be included on the label. Fortunately, many manufacturers flavor their chocolate without compromising its vegan status by using sea salt or other healthy sugar substitutes.

Palm Oil

If you’re a vegan with hopes of making chocolate, palm oil may be another obstacle. Because of its harmful effects on the environment, it has been removed from numerous vegan lists, even though it is technically vegan (in that it contains no animal by-products).

Its dubious cultivation tactics can lead to the displacement of animals from their habitats, and its harvesting practices frequently result in the exploitation and mistreatment of the workers who gather it.

And thus, as you read the labels of the products you buy, you may want to keep an eye out for this one as well, depending on how you define vegan. When replacing problematic oils or high-sugar sweeteners, cocoa solids make great milk or milk fat substitutes in chocolate and other dishes.

Read More: What Is Ethical Chocolate?

Vegan Dark Chocolate Brands

There are a few distinct brands of vegan dark chocolate that you should keep an eye out for when you are out and about shopping. The following manufacturers create vegan dark chocolate that is likely to be offered in most retail establishments: (or they can be easily ordered from online shops). And each one has a flavor that is exquisite in its own right.

  • Nomo
  • Vgan
  • Lindt
  • Alter Eco
  • Green and Black
  • No Whey!
  • Theo Chocolate 

Keep in mind, however, that some of these brands produce vegan as well as non-vegan goods; therefore, you should always play it safe and check the labels for the convenient vegan indication!

Read More: Is Cocoa Farming Bad For The Environment?


The good news is that vegans can have a secret bar of chocolate, as dark chocolate contains no milk or eggs. But as we’ve emphasized throughout this post, you must double-check the bar’s label to ensure it’s vegan-friendly before you buy it.

Dark chocolate may be vegan in some cases, although this is not always the case. 

Read More: What Is Sustainable Chocolate?

About the Author Mara Mennicken

I am a chocolate lover and health enthusiast. I believe in nurturing my body with the best I can find because I want to turn 100 healthy years old.

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