Switching to a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite treats, you just have to seek out new alternatives. For all the chocolate fans out there, vegan chocolate does exist! We’ve put together a list of chocolate brands for vegans so you can satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chocolate is one of the most eaten treats around the world, and every country has their own flavor combinations and brands that they love. But have you ever stopped to think about what ingredients are used to make it? The main ingredient in chocolate is cacao beans, which are grown in pods on trees. Seeing as its plant based, surely it must be vegan…
But is Chocolate Vegan?
Conventional chocolate is definitely not vegan (hello, dairy products!), but there is nothing to say that chocolate can’t be vegan. In fact, originally, chocolate was quite bitter and needed to be sweetened to suit the tastes of the European explorers, and that’s where the history of supplemental ingredients began. In most bars today, you’ll have ingredients like sugar, cocoa butter (vegan), and flavorings like vanilla, but you have to watch out for dairy products like milk, milk powder or butter.
If you don’t want to be reading through a long list of ingredients to make sure your chocolate is vegan, go for higher quality chocolate. The list of ingredients in high quality chocolate is typically much shorter, and tends to stick to the basics; higher chocolate content, no additives, and pure ingredients.
The Importance of Fair-Trade
Chocolate is loved around the world, however the cultivation and harvest takes place in developing countries. This, unfortunately, leaves room for large corporations to take advantage of cheap labor and pay unfair prices.
No Child Labor: cacao is one of the many products that isn’t very well regulated in terms of harvest, which means that children are often the ones doing the work. Approximately 1.56 million children, some as young as 5 years old, are involved in cacao harvest in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. By buying Fair-trade chocolate, you avoid inactively supporting child labor!
Financial Safety Net: the price of commodities like wheat, corn, coffee, and cacao can fluctuate throughout the year, which makes it difficult for those who rely on getting every last penny out of their crops. Fair-trade guarantees that farmers get a fair price, even when global cacao prices go down. They also allow farmers to negotiate on price when global cacao prices are higher. Supporting Fair-trade practices mean that those who are growing the beans are paid appropriately for them.
Best Chocolate Brands for Vegans
Keep in mind, most of these brands have vegan bars as part of their product line, but are not exclusively vegan. To be completely certain, always read the ingredients on the back of the packaging unless it states it’s vegan on the front. However, for each brand we will list their vegan options!
1. Alter Eco: Vegan Chocolate with Compostable Wrappers
San Fransisco-based Alter Eco is a not only a Certified B Corp, they’re also carbon neutral! Their fair-trade cacao comes from small-scale, organic farmers, and their products are even wrapped in compostable wrappers! Their vegan line up includes: Super Blackout, Sea Salt, Classic Blackout, Mint Blackout, Salted Almonds, Total Blackout, Raspberry Blackout, and Quinoa Crunch. Find them on Amazon** or use Alter Eco’s store locater.
Utopia’s Pick: Quinoa Crunch
2. Endangered Species Chocolate
If you’re looking for a wide variety of American made vegan chocolate, Endangered Species Chocolate is for you. Their focus is on fair trade, sustainable practices, as well as wildlife conservation. They have your standard fruit and nut combinations, along with mint, espresso beans, and cacao nibs. However Endangered Species also has creative and unique flavors of vegan chocolate including an Oat Milk + Dark Chocolate range, as well as a Cinnamon, Cayenne & Cherries + Dark Chocolate combo. Buy them direct from the Endangered Species website, use their store locator, or shop on Amazon**.
Utopia’s Pick: Oat Milk, Sea Salt & Almonds + Dark Chocolate
3. Equal Exchange: Fairly Traded Vegan Chocolate
Equal Exchange is all about fair trade, which is why their products offerings include coffee, tea, and chocolate. Their vegan lineup includes: Coconut Milk, Total Eclipse Dark Chocolate, Organic Dark Chocolate, Almond and Sea Salt, Chocolate Almond, Mint Crunch, Chocolate Orange, or Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper. You can also purchase fair trade organic cocoa powder in bulk from them so you can experiment in the kitchen on things like homemade vegan Nutella or vegan chocolate mousse! Shop directly on the Equal Exchange website, or their storefront on Amazon**.
Utopia’s Pick: Organic Dark Chocolate Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper
4. Evolved: Keto Friendly Chocolate
If you’ve ever had vegan cookie dough, you’re probably thinking it would be a great mix in for a chocolate bar. Well, Evolved had the same thought, which is why their vegan chocolate line includes flavours like Cashew Cookie Dough and Oatmeal Cookie Dough. Other vegan flavours include almond, cashew, or hazelnut butter, butter, keto brownie batter, keto snickerdoodle, keto nut butter, signature dark, almond sea salt, midnight coconut, cashew milk, quinoa crunch and keto white. Their cocoa is Rainforest Alliance Certified and their bars are organic. Shop the Evolved website, use their store locator, or add some bars to your cart on Amazon**
Utopia’s Choice: Cashew Cookie Dough
5. Hu Kitchen: Unique Flavors
After not being able to find a chocolate that met their standards, the co-founders of Hu Kitchen created their own. They’re on a mission to make snack foods healthier and help people get back to Human. Try their variety pack which includes 8 different vegan chocolate bars like: crunchy mint, vanilla crunch, salty dark chocolate, simple dark chocolate, cashew butter/raspberry dark chocolate, hazelnut, cashew, or almond butter. They also have chocolate gems which are great for snacking or using in cookies. Choose to shop the Hu Kitchen website or find their products on Amazon**
Utopia’s Pick: Cashew Butter + Raspberry Dark Chocolate
6. No Whey: A Vegan Take on the Classics
No Whey, a New Jersey-based company makes chocolate like you’ve never seen it before: all their products are top 9 common allergen free, vegan and kosher. Talk about a company that does it all! If you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but have switched to a vegan diet, add their Pea Not Cups to your cart on Amazon**, or find other No Whey Chocolate products in stores across the country.
Utopia’s Pick: No Whey! Bars (caramel/nougat in a chocolatey coating)
7. Purdys: Canadian Chocolate
One of Canada’s favorite chocolatiers, Purdys, has launched a vegan chocolate bar, and word on the street is that it’s fairly tasty. Unfortunately, they only have a plain Jane dark chocolate bar, but it’s sweetened with beet sugar and made using sustainable cocoa. If you’re not into eating plain chocolate, consider grating this bar up to use in your baking, or to sprinkle on top of some vegan banana ice cream. You’ll have to head north of the border to get your hands on this vegan chocolate bar in person, or you can order it directly from the Purdys website — and they ship to the US!
Utopia’s Pick: our only option…the Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar
8. Raaka: Organic, Non-GMO & Vegan Chocolate
All of their chocolate is organic, non-GMO, and vegan — any of their milk style chocolate bars are made using oat or coconut milk. Raaka has some fairly inventive flavors including waffle cone, maple & nibs, pure cacao/strawberry/coconut, bananas foster, bourbon cask aged, green tea crunch, pink sea salt, coconut milk, rose cardamom, snicker doodle and cacao/coconut swirl. Carried in hundreds of locations across the US, you can find your nearest retailer by using their store locator, or order directly from the Raaka website. If you’ve got a cart started, they also sell on Amazon**.
Utopia’s Pick: Snicker Doodle
9. Theo Chocolate: Vegan Variety
If you’re looking for choice, you’ll love Theo Chocolate. They have 20 different types of vegan chocolate bars including orange, salted almond, sea salt, raspberry, mint, cranberry orange, ginger, cherry almond, turmeric spice, salted black licorice, black rice quinoa crunch, grapefruit ginger, root beer barrel, salted cashew, coconut, and vanilla cocoa nib. Plus, when you buy in bulk, you can save money! Their concept is simple: chocolate should be made in a process that benefits everyone. You can visit their factory/flagship store in Seattle, buy from the Theo Chocolate website, or find their products on Amazon**.
Utopia’s Pick: Turmeric Spice** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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