Is Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Vegan

Jo Brand once rightly said, “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.” Very few people in this world would deny that and selectively rare people who would say otherwise. The Hershey Company, also known as Hershey’s, is a globally popular American multinational chocolate brand, which offers a wider array of choices for all the chocolate lovers to choose from the plate.

Being labeled as one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, Hershey’s also offers a vast number of baked products and beverages, for example, cookies, cakes, milkshakes, syrups (check maple syrup vegan status), spreads, toppings, along with a ton of various chocolate options to choose from. Therefore, to further know more about ‘Hershey’s and its chocolate factory,’ let’s discuss – Are Hershey’s Dark Chocolates Vegan? Is Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Vegan?

Is Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Vegan?

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Hershey’s Dark Chocolate contain milk and milk derivatives, such as milk fats, solids, cocoa butter, whey, etc., in certain quantities in all of their recipes, making it an absolute no-no for people adopting vegan lifestyles. To sum it up, Hershey’s Dark Chocolates are not vegan-friendly.

As much as it may make your mouth water upon hearing the long list of available chocolate delicacies from Hershey’s, here’s what you need to know before you jump in to explore in its chocolate sea. Hershey’s Dark Chocolates are the most popular category of chocolates (check vegan status), sold worldwide with a whopping demand.

However, they do contain milk and milk derivatives, such as milk fats, solids, cocoa butter, whey, etc., in certain quantities in all of their recipes, making it an absolute no-no for people adopting vegan lifestyles. To sum it up, Hershey’s Dark Chocolates are not vegan-friendly.

Is Hershey‘s Special Dark Chocolate Vegan?

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Although they offer a variety of exotic flavors in their dark chocolate recipes, such as coffee, cranberry, orange, mint, etc., Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolates are not vegan. They contain animal-based ingredients such as milk and milk fats, just like all other chocolate recipes by Hershey’s. Additionally, a lesser-known fact about these chocolates is that they contain sugar which may not always be a vegan option.

Now you may ask, how is that possible? It is so because the sugar derived from sugarcane has to undergo through a process involving bone char, an animal-based product, to bleach and filter the sugar. However, not every company uses bone char to process sugar. Also, there are many other ways to extract sugar, for example, from sugar beets, which do not require any animal products and hence, are perfectly safe for vegans to consume.

Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Ingredients

Is Hershey's Dark Chocolate Vegan

Sugar: Here, the term sugar can be used directly to either refer to sugarcane extracted sugar or sugar beets or to refer to simple natural sugar such as glucose, lactose, fructose, etc.

Cocoa Processed With Alkali: Cocoa powder has become a common household ingredient nowadays, widely available at almost every home. However, many people still don’t know that cocoa powder is usually processed with Alkali to reduce its bitterness compared to cocoa’s actual bitter taste.

Milk Fat: Milk fat is often referred to as butter fat and occurs naturally in milk.

Chocolate: It is a liquid or pastes that are acquired by a fine grounding of cocoa nibs.

Cocoa Butter: Obtained from cocoa beans either before or after roasting, this naturally occurring fat provides the pleasant burst of chocolate flavors. (check difference between shea butter and cocoa butter)

Soy Lecithin: This substance is used to prevent all the ingredients from separating. 

PGPR: PGPR is an emulsifier that reduces viscosity and enhances flow properties in chocolate production.

Vanilla Essence: It is used to enhance the sweet and mild fragrance of chocolates, nothing too strong or unpleasant.

Artificial Flavour: Artificial flavors are used to provide the products with a boost of exquisite taste to make them more memorable for the individual enjoying them.

Milk: All of Hershey’s chocolate products contain milk as one of their primary ingredients.

Recommended: Vegan Milk Alternatives

Nutritional Facts – Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate

Let’s take a quick glance at the nutritional facts of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate:

Nutrition FactsServing size = 1 bar (41g)
Total Fat12g
Saturated Fat8g
Trans Fat4g
Calories108
Sodium 15mg
Potassium205.8mg
Carbohydrates25g
Net Carbs22g
Dietary Fibre3g
Glucose21g
Cholesterol2mg
Protein2g
Vitamin D0mg
Calcium10.2mg
Iron3mg
Fatty Acids
Amino Acids

Vegan Alternatives to Hershey’s Dark Chocolate

1. Hu Chocolate Bars

Hu chocolate bars are easily the best vegan alternatives to Hershey’s dark chocolates in today’s world, as they do not contain milk, emulsifiers, soy lecithin, soy, sugar alcohols, and dairy. Hu chocolates are also vegan and organic chocolates, with no gluten and no refined sugar.

Although a little bit on the pricier side, Hu chocolates do offer a variety of different flavors, starting from almond and cashew to mint and orange. Therefore, according to them, going vegan does not necessarily mean that you have to miss out on the delicious chocolate treats.

Some of their common ingredients include organic fair-trade cocoa butter, below 2% of hazelnut and cashew, unrefined coconut sugar, almond, organic-fair trade cocoa, etc.

2. Endangered Species Espresso Beans + Dark Chocolate

This vegan dark chocolate is a perfectly blended mixture of bold espresso and real dark chocolate, with a tinge of mild sweetness in its taste. Endangered Species chocolates are certified vegan chocolates with gluten-free products and are also widely popular across the USA.

Some of their ingredients include fair trade coffee beans, chocolate liquor, cane sugar, vanilla, roasted ground coffee, soy lecithin, etc. They also provide a vast range of various dark chocolate bars, depending on different textures such as dark velvet chocolate, bold + silky dark chocolate, cocoa nibs + dark chocolates, etc.

3. K’UL Dark Chocolate Bars

Another household vegan option for all the chocolate lovers out there is K’Ul Dark Chocolate Bars. Not only have they excluded soy and gluten from their ingredients list and recipes, but they also use and encourage others to include as little as 5 ingredients to prepare their magical chocolate delicacies.

How cool is that? This company also refuses to use unnecessary emulsifiers and other stabilizers, making it one of the most popular chocolate brands among the vegan communities. Interestingly, K’Ul Chocolate takes pride in purchasing their cocoa beans directly from the farm, paying above fair trade price minimums.

Hence, do not forget to try out their chocolate bars if and when you decide to go on a venture to search for the best vegan options in chocolates.

4. Raaka Coconut Milk Unroasted Dark Chocolate

This is a vegan dark milk chocolate which is a perfect example of the fact, with the world-changing rapidly and people adapting to new lifestyles, their taste and food choices are visibly evolving, pushing companies to come up with various new alternatives in terms of food choices. Raaka Coconut Milk Unroasted dark Chocolate is an excellent reminder of the fact that one can sometimes really have it all.

This particular silky and smooth chocolate bar propels you to revisit summertime, with its deliciously rich chocolate taste and a mild coconut flavor. It is made with cocoa beans originated from Semuliki Forest and freshly shredded coconuts, which indeed offer a very pleasant chocolate experience.

5. Taza Dark Chocolate Organic Amaze Bars

Taza Chocolate offers the best grind dark chocolates, rich in texture, flavor, and intensity, along with a perfect balance of cocoa’s bitterness and mild sweetened flavor. According to them, Taza Chocolate uses hand-carved granite millstones to stone grind cocoa beans for an interesting, rich chocolate flavor. The company is certified organic and non-GMO, as well as vegan-friendly. Taza Chocolate produces chocolate bars with no dairy, no gluten, and no soy.

The Taza Dark Chocolate Organic Amaze Bars offer a mind-blowing blend of rich ground cocoa and other delicious flavors prepared with less sugar to let people devour the luxurious taste of dark chocolate. The Amaze Bars come in different flavors such as almond, coconut, maple, etc., providing an open door to all those who love to explore different choices.

Conclusion

Although it may be a little bit disheartening to learn about Hershey’s Dark Chocolates not being vegan-friendly, the world has changed now, and with so many other vegan-friendly options available in the market, there is nothing much to miss out on, really.

Hershey’s is one of the most popular chocolate brands worldwide, selling its products in almost 66 countries, most commonly its milk chocolates, dark chocolates, chocolate dips, sauces, etc. However, with proper research and a little bit of exploring, one can easily find similar but vegan big chocolate brands that offer exotic chocolate experiences.

To begin with, vegan-friendly chocolates are not only limited to expensive brands or generic tastes. With the emergence of different vegan food brands across the world now, everything is available without compromising on the luscious chocolate experience (which means more options to choose from, whether vegan or not). Therefore, Hershey’s or not, one can easily munch on their favorite chocolate bars on a happy afternoon while they keep deciding on which brand to explore next.

My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

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