What are the Best Vegan Chocolate Bar Brands in 2020?
Many people automatically consider chocolate as an animal-derived product, since milk chocolate includes dairy, and vegans might think of chocolate as off-limits. However, chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa beans, are seeds from tropical trees, and as long as the chocolate bar you invest in doesn’t have any dairy, you can enjoy your chocolate just as much as everyone else if you’re vegan.
Luckily, most high quality and dark chocolate bars are naturally vegan. These will contain lots of cocoa, and no dairy or milk products. However, there are also many chocolate brands that understand many vegans miss that light, creamy taste of milk chocolate, and so they have developed bars that taste just like milk chocolate, without the milk. You can find many of these bars in your local supermarket.
Dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste, but it can still be rich and pleasant. There are many different flavors that work well with dark chocolate, such as notes that are fruity or earthy, and you’ll have lots of different options to experiment with in order to find out your favorites. Some bars contain up to 99% cacao, so pay attention to this percentage if you don’t like your chocolate to be too bitter. From snacking to baking, there are all kinds of vegan chocolate bars out there that you can indulge in and feel good about.
Top 5 Vegan Chocolate Bars
|① Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Bars **TOP PICK**|
|② No Whey! Foods Milkless Chocolate Bars|
|③ Hu Chocolate Bars|
|④ Chocolate Hollow Schmilk Chocolate Bars|
|⑤ iChoc Vegan Chocolate Bar|
Why You Should Consider Fair Trade Ingredients
As you shop for the best vegan dark chocolate, you’ll often come across fair trade ingredients. Some brands utilize these, some do not, but it’s important for you to know exactly what being certified to be fair trade means.
A fair trade product indicates that the workers and farmers who created, sourced, and grew the ingredients within the product did so in working conditions that are healthy and safe, and they receive fair wages for their efforts. They receive respect and dignity and have a say in how things are run. Being fair trade can also be much more beneficial for the environment in general, as the practices used are more sustainable. This results in more high quality and better foods that respect workers and growers. If you care about the environment and about people being treated fairly, keep an eye out for brands that use fair trade ingredients.
What Are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
The good news for vegans is, cutting out dairy from chocolate leads to many health benefits; research has shown that chocolate that has a high percentage of cacao (and isn’t milk chocolate) can have many positive effects on your health. On top of being nutritious, with high amounts of essential minerals like copper, magnesium, and iron, dark chocolate also includes lots of antioxidants. These antioxidants fight free radicals and fight cancer, and they include catechins, flavanols, and polyphenols.
If you’re looking to improve your blood pressure and circulation, you can feel good about snacking on a square or two of dark chocolate every single day. Just keep in mind that you should refrain from eating much more than that–too much will ruin the beneficial effects. You should also know that health benefits tend to come from dark chocolate that’s high in cocoa content (70-99%). The more cocoa, the better.
As you shop for vegan chocolate bars, try to find ones that are free of any dairy products (including casein, which is widely used) and have a high percentage of cacao included. The higher percentage of cacao you can buy, the less likely you’re going to end up with a product that has any type of milk ingredients.
You should also keep a careful eye out for additions that are not vegan-friendly. A lot of companies combine their chocolate with add-ins like nuts or fruit, to boost the flavor and offer more of a variety to customers. While many add-ins are plant-based, you should be wary of additions such as toffee, butterscotch, or caramel, because these ingredients, while tasty and fun, are made with cream, milk, and butter. To absolutely make sure you’re getting a chocolate bar that’s completely dairy-free, go for mix-ins like seeds, fruits, and nuts.
You’ll often see cocoa butter in the ingredient list of vegan chocolates. Don’t worry–this ingredient is still vegan-friendly and plant-based, as it’s not actually butter, simply the fatty part of the cocoa bean. This ingredient is what gives your chocolate a melty, smooth taste, so you can enjoy your chocolate still without any animal-derived ingredients.
To rest assured as you make a purchase and to keep things foolproof and simple, look for companies that are certified to be vegan. Typically, these companies will put a logo on their packaging to prove that they are indeed vegan, and that the chocolate bar is free of any dairy or eggs.
The Best Vegan Chocolate Bars List
① Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Bars
Enjoy Life Foods’ chocolate bars are completely vegan, as they’re made with rice milk instead of traditional dairy. A purchase will give you 24 bars of these delicious, verified non-GMO, certified gluten free, nut free, and soy free bars. They’re also Halal and Kosher. The chocolate bars are available in three different varieties you’ll be able to choose from: Ricemilk Crunch, Ricemilk, and Dark, so whether you like milky, lighter chocolate bars or a darker and richer taste, you’ll be satisfied. Made with all natural ingredients, these creamy and smooth premium chocolate bars are free from 15 allergens; not only are they a great product for vegans, but they’re great for anyone who has sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. Enjoy Life prides itself on having all of its products allergen-free, and for these bars, it utilizes a facility that’s dedicated to be completely nut free and gluten free, so you can feel rest assured with your purchase. Whether you’re worried about food allergies or just want a vegan chocolate bar that tastes great, Enjoy Life pushes itself to provide for you. A simple ingredient list includes salt, rice milk powder, natural chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter, and evaporated cane juice.
- Free of 15 allergens
- Simple ingredient list
- Verified to be non-GMO and certified gluten free
- The rice milk used includes carrageenan as an ingredient
- Bars crumble and melt during shipping
② No Whey! Foods Milkless Chocolate Bars
These milkless chocolate bars from No Whey! Foods are gluten free, soy free, nut free, peanut free, dairy free, and completely vegan. Made with the company’s famous milkless chocolate, these bars are also allergy friendly and made in a facility that’s dedicated to be free from gluten and free from the top eight most common food allergens, so it’s an excellent choice for vegans and for people with food sensitivities alike. Anyone who has allergies to nuts, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, dairy, or fish can feel safe and confident eating these bars. The Milkless chocolate that No Whey! Has developed provides a creamy, impressive milk-like taste that can fool you into thinking you’re eating milk chocolate bars (if you miss the real thing), yet it is 100% dairy free. The mouth-watering bars are also kosher and free from any artificial flavors or colors. Don’t miss out on a delicious chocolate bar–open one of these treats today to treat yourself. On top of all of this, No Whey!’s chocolate bars have just five ingredients: sunflower lecithin, rice syrup powder, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, and vegan cane sugar.
- Uses famous milkless chocolate that’s creamy and delicious
- Free of allergens
- Made from just five ingredients
- Users disliked the texture; doesn’t feel like a chocolate bar
- Expensive investment
③ Hu Chocolate Bars
You’ll get a four pack of Hu’s Simple Chocolate bars, which contain fair trade dark chocolate and are completely non-GMO, paleo, gluten free, organic, vegan, and natural. Rather than sourcing chocolate from elsewhere, Hu made their own to ensure that their bars don’t contain any soy or dairy. Unlike many other brands, Hu also doesn’t use any sugar alcohols, cane sugar, refined sugar, emulsifiers, or soy lecithin–ingredients you’re sure to find in other vegan chocolate bars. The company aims to help people get back to being human by living and eating well, and it’s inspired by high quality all natural food that heals. Its signature chocolate is very popular, as it’s not too bitter or too sweet and has tasty, unique caramel notes so you get a touch of salt. With 70% cacao, these dark chocolate bars are perfect for vegans hoping to get a dark chocolate fix, and there is no refined sugar. Its simple ingredient list includes just organic fair trade cocoa butter, unrefined organic coconut sugar, and organic fair trade cacao. If you’re asking questions about your foods and searching for high quality ingredients just like Hu, this is the chocolate bar for you.
- Made from just three ingredients
- Great for keto and paleo diets
- Uses fair trade cocoa
- Not allergen-free like many other vegan chocolate brands
- Many users disliked the coconut sugar and felt the chocolate was still too bitter
④ Chocolate Hollow Schmilk Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Hollow is well known for these organic and vegan Schmilk chocolate bars, which feature milk-style chocolate yet are completely dairy free. You’ll get a variety pack of one of each of Chocolate Hollow’s four tasty flavors, which are Rasberry, Toffee, Salted Almond, and Original, so you can try them out and see which one is your favorite. Entirely dairy-free, these milk-like, creamy chocolate bars all have delicious flavors and are creamy due to the toasted cashews that are included. Due to this, people who have allergies should take note that the bars do contain tree nuts, as well as traces of peanuts. Ingredients include salt, sunflower lecithin, vanilla, almonds, raspberries, fair trade cane syrup, fair trade cocoa liquor, cashews, fair trade cane sugar, and fair trade cocoa butter. All ingredients are completely organic, and Chocolate Hollow supports the fair trade market. If you’re looking for real, milk-style chocolate without the dairy, Chocolate Hollow’s Schmilk bars are perfect for you.
- Fair trade ingredients
- Variety pack of four different flavors to try
- Milk style, yet dairy free
- Expensive investment
- Very small bars; many users wished they were larger
⑤ iChoc Vegan Chocolate Bar
iChoc is a brand that’s already well established on the vegan chocolate bar market. Its bars, which are delicious, creamy, and light, features 37% organic cocoa and come from Vivani, a German company that’s been operating for a hundred years and has pioneered organic and fair trade chocolate. The company believes that the days where vegans have to miss out, especially on tasty snacks that satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth, are long gone; now there are tasty alternatives for anyone who misses that sweet, nostalgic taste of milk chocolate yet can’t resign to consuming dairy. Dark chocolate, of course, is an excellent option for vegans, but sometimes vegans miss that lighter, sweeter, milky taste. That’s why they developed these vegan chocolate bars, which use rice milk instead of traditional animal-derived powdered milk. Its innovative recipe offers a sweet and milky taste, and it utilizes all natural and organic ingredients; you won’t find any emulsifiers like soy lecithin or artificial flavors in these bars. Ingredients include sea salt, bourbon vanilla extract, hazelnut paste, ground tiger nuts, rice milk, cocoa butter, and raw cane sugar.
- Provides a light, sweet, creamy taste
- Organic ingredients
- Innovative recipe
- Although milk is not an ingredient, traces of both gluten and milk may still be present in the chocolate
- Can develop an odd white residue
⑥ Vicuna Chocolate
These bars from Vicuna feature cacao nibs and 70% dark chocolate. Each bar is gluten free, completely vegan, and crafted by hand. It uses authentic chocolate made with a South American tradition; unlike many other companies that fill their bars with artificial flavors and fillers, Vicuna chocolate is pure and contains just two, hand-selected ingredients: organic cane sugar and cacao beans that are ethically sourced. The company aims to provide you with chocolate that creates a unique experience, as you can feel good about your chocolate and the impact it makes on the world. There are many other chocolate bars out there that have a simple ingredient list, but it’s likely they contain artificial ingredients or chemicals. Instead, Vicuna chocolate is personally and carefully handmade. Each small batch arrives as raw cacao, which receives high attention to detail as each bar is ground by stones to creamy, complex, pure perfection, then hand wrapped to be delivered around the world. The bars aim to be simple, and simply delicious. They’re vegan, dairy free, and soy free. Ingredients include cacao nibs, cacao beans, and cane sugar–that’s it.
- Roasted cacao nibs provide a unique and satisfying crunch
- Hand-made and crafted with attention to detail
- Simple ingredient list
- Users felt that the taste was too bitter
- Expensive investment
⑦ Mandala Chocolate Variety Pack
Mandala is famous for its chocolate, which is completely free of sugar and features an organic, simple bean-to-bar ingredient list. The chocolate is bestselling, and with this purchase, you’ll get an excellent variety pack so you can sample two of these famous paleo, organic, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free, keto, vegan, healthy, and artisan chocolate bars. Each one contains more than 15 adaptogens, which are super herbs such as Chaga, Reishi, Siberian Ginseng, Baobob, and Lucuma. Mandala aims to provide you with the most nutritious chocolate you’ll ever taste and experience, as it contains superfood that nourishes both your brain and your body. You can feel good about supporting this artisan, small-scale company, which features bean to bar ingredients from small batches that are located in North Carolina. The superfood chocolate is responsible sourced, and crafted by hand. Its adaptogen ingredients boost your energy and provoke your consciousness, and they work together to provide you with a delicious bar that not only tastes good, but is good for you. There’s no sugar added, and Mandala is an international leader in sustainable business, as it handcrafts chocolate from its American forest farm.
- 15 adaptogen ingredients that are superfoods and power your brain and body
- No sugar added
- Handcrafted in small batches in the USA
- Some users disliked the taste and felt it doesn’t match traditional chocolate flavor
- Some people felt these are overly sweet
⑧ Nutri-Fungi Lion’s Mane Chocolate Bar
These unique chocolate bars from Nutri-Fungi are 100% organic, vegan, and hand-made by a company that prides itself on being artisan. Uniquely, these Lion’s Mane bars feature nootropic ingredients and aim to not only taste great, but also provide superfoods that boost your brain. The vegan chocolate functions as a type of brain tonic, as it’s the world’s first real, true, functional medicinal Mushroom Chocolate Bar. It got its name from its unique, functional ingredient of Lion’s Mane Mushroom; within each bar, you’ll get 4 grams of this excellent, brain-boosting mushroom that comes in a dual extract. The extract that Nutri-Fungi uses is manufactured from 100% certified organic Lion’s Mane mushroom bodies, which is harvested by hand on mushroom farms located in the UK. These bars were launched in the United Kingdom two years ago, and soon afterward, dozens of companies throughout the world were doing the same, trying to copy this chocolate’s unique brain-boosting capabilities. If you’d like to invest in the original bar that’s a nootropic, this is the product for you. Although it has mushroom extract, it tastes great and is a pleasant, intelligent treat for anyone who would like a brain boost. The functional chocolate is gluten free and dairy free, making it perfect for vegans as well. It’s also certified to be 100% organic, and satisfies all your chocolate cravings with a velvety and smooth taste and texture.
- Four grams of brain-boosting Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract in each bar
- Functional nootropic chocolate
- Organic and vegan
- Made in a facility that also handles nuts; not safe for those who have allergens
- Many users disliked the flavor
⑨ Trader Joe’s Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars
Trader Joe’s is famous for its wide variety of organic and vegan food options, and these Belgian dark chocolate bars are no different. In a purchase, you’ll get three bars of this delicious chocolate that’s completely vegan, as there are no animal products or dairy added. They’re also free of artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, and they feature 56% cacao dark chocolate that’s developed in and imported from Belgium. A simple ingredient list, which is one of the cleanest and shortest on the market, includes soy lecithin, cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa mass.
- Cacao dark chocolate from Belgium
- Short, clean ingredient list
- Zero artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
- The equipment used to process these bars also process milk
- Taste is much different than what people would expect from Belgian chocolate
Conclusion & What is the Best Vegan Chocolate Bar
While many people wouldn’t think of it, it is indeed possible to continue to consume chocolate while you’re on a vegan diet. Giving up animal products doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the health benefits of a couple of chocolate squares; most chocolate bars that have a high amount of cocoa and are made from high-quality ingredients are in fact already naturally vegan. If your bar is high in cocoa content, it’s already likely that it doesn’t contain any ingredients like butter or milk.
As a matter of fact, the more the cocoa, the healthier your chocolate will be. Dark chocolate has been proven to have many health benefits, such as helping to lower blood pressure, improve the circulation of your blood, and contain antioxidants that fight cancer. As long as you hold yourself to a couple squares a day, you can benefit from eating chocolate.
It’s possible to get your chocolate fix as a vegan. Look for ingredients that are fair trade to support the environment and workers around the world, and make sure any add-ins are nuts and fruits. You can eat your chocolate, while still respecting other people and animals around the world. Our favorite is the Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Bar (CHECK BEST PRICE HERE).