Can vegans eat chocolate? Yes! Chocolate can absolutely be vegan. Most dark chocolate is vegan, but you’ll want to inspect the label to be sure. However, chocolate containing dairy products is not vegan-friendly, and the processing of some chocolate products can also make it not vegan.
Are you on a quest to find the best quality vegan chocolate bar? Read on to learn what to look for to inform your choice!
What Makes Chocolate Vegan?
For chocolate to be considered vegan, it has to be made without ingredients that are derived from animals. Chocolate comes from cacao beans sourced from tropical climates around the world
. The beans are carefully fermented, dried, roasted, ground and then placed under high pressure. The process is rounded out by mixing, rolling and conching.
Chocolate bars usually contain sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla which are all vegan-friendly. Dark chocolate is usually vegan as it shouldn’t contain dairy or other animal products. The best quality dark chocolate contains more than 50% cacao content and uses only a few ingredients. However, some brands will sneak in non-vegan ingredients that you’ll need to be on the lookout for (more on that below).
What Types of Chocolate Aren’t Vegan?
Most chocolate falls into one of three categories: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. While dark chocolate is usually vegan-friendly, milk and white chocolate typically are not.
- Milk Chocolate, as the name implies, contains dairy, making it not vegan, unless it is made with a nondairy milk like oat milk or almond milk.
- White Chocolate also frequently contains dairy products. There’s also quite a bit of debate  as to whether white chocolate technically qualifies as chocolate because it doesn’t usually contain cocoa solids.
As a rule of thumb, your safest bet is to choose a dark chocolate to your liking that contains vegan-approved ingredients.
Ingredients to Avoid on Chocolate Labels
While the most obvious ingredient to keep an eye out for is milk, some brands will sneak the following ingredients into the fine print of their dark chocolate that you’ll want to avoid:
- Contains milk
- Whey (milk derivative)
- Casein (milk derivative)
- Lactose (milk derivative)
- A cholesterol level greater than 0%, since this is only found in animal products 
In addition, these chocolate flavors tend to contain dairy and animal products, so you’ll want to avoid these if you’re going the vegan route:
- White refined sugar
Some chocolates contain added enzymes and/or “natural flavors” that may have been tested on animals. Because of this, some vegans will avoid products that contain:
- Refined sugar
- Honey, which is avoided by some vegans since its production can include exploitation of bees
Things to Look for On a Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar Label
The following are things you do want to see on a vegan chocolate bar:
- Cocoa butter that is extracted from cocoa beans
- Vegan certification 
- Fair Trade certification 
Is Vegan Chocolate / Dark Chocolate Healthy?
Vegan dark chocolate, especially those produced with minimal ingredients, contains powerful antioxidants. When consumed in a balanced diet, research shows 
that dark chocolate can:
- Improve heart health
- Improve brain function
- Reduce stress
- Balance the immune system
Where Can I Buy Vegan Chocolate?
Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate
Nowadays, most health food stores offer a variety of vegan options. And if you’re buying online, the options are nearly limitless! These online retailers are approved by the Fair World Project, an organization that advocates for fair trade practices globally:
Our Vegan Chocolate Flavors
As you can see, there are tons of options for plant-based, vegan-friendly chocolate ready for you to try out. If you want to learn more about how we source and produce our chocolate, check out these additional resources: