Are Maltesers Vegan? Can Vegans Eat It?

Maltesers is a brand of chocolates manufactured by the Mars company along with other well-known chocolates like Mars, M&Ms, Snickers, Dove, and Twix.

Frankly, I don’t know how popular this chocolate is in America, but I love Maltesers. The crunching sound after each bite is addicting, as well as the flavor. Alongside Mars (and other chocolates from the same company), this is also one of my favorites.

Needless to say, Mars probably creates the tastiest chocolates in the world. Albeit, most aren’t vegan. But what about Maltesers? Are they vegan? Unfortunately, Maltesers aren’t vegan. 

Side note: Feel free to read this post where I’ve compiled a list with some of the best vegan chocolates out there.

Why Are Maltesers Not Vegan?

Well, just like many other chocolates from Mars, Incorporated, Maltesers contain dairy.

angela n, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr
Ingredients: milk ingredients (21%) (skimmed milk powder, milk fat), cocoa butter, glucose syrup, sugar, barley malt extract (7%), cocoa mass, lactose, whey powder, vegetable fat, wheat flour, emulsifier (soya lecithin), raising agents (E341, E500, E501), glazing agent (pectin), salt, and natural vanilla extract.

It’s not surprising, the ingredients you find in most non-vegan chocolates, you can also find them in Maltesers.

Although I didn’t specify, I found palm oil in some of the Maltesers sold here in Portugal. Since Mars chocolate also contains palm oil, I’m assuming Maltesers also has it because these are both produced by the same company.

Palm oil is technically vegan, but it’s an ingredient some vegans avoid.

Why Do Some Vegans Avoid Palm Oil?

palm fruit

That’s because palm oil farming is responsible for the destruction of rainforests and natural habitats. As a result, several animal species are close to facing extinction because they can’t adapt to an environment outside their own.

One such example is Orangutangs. If we don’t anything within the next few years to stop the insatiable demand for palm oil, these primates will be gone forever.

However, while I believe it’s difficult to avoid products containing palm oil because they’re so many, I feel like we can minimize consumption. Or as an alternative, invest in products that contain organic (more sustainable) palm oil.

See, the danger is in the conventional farming methods, because they’re a “necessity” for companies that want to curb the demand for palm oil.

Nevertheless, you can either be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

Sugar Is Also A Questionable Ingredient.

Most companies either source sugar derived from sugarcane or sugar beets. The difference between them lies in the refining process.

Apparently, cane sugar goes through a process where the sugar needs to be filtered and bleached with a decolorizing agent. That decolorizing agent can be one of two options:

  • Bone char: These are essentially the carbonized bones of cattle.
  • Granular activated carbon (GAB): This is a non-animal source that serves the same purpose. It is usually derived from charcoal (although it can come from corn as well).

One of these two options is used, but it varies from company to company. (For example, I know that Oreos admits to the use of bone char for their cookies)

The problem is this information is not available on product labels, so you don’t know where the sugar comes from, or how it is made. Two pieces of information that would help figure out whether the sugar in a product was bleached with bone char.

In some European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand that practice is prohibited. As a result, we would have a better idea of the type of sugar contained in a product.

Other than that, the only way of knowing is by contacting the company. And let’s be honest, most people don’t want to go through that hassle.

Maltesers Is Wrapped In Plastic.

This is obviously another con to these chocolate orbs.

We are all too educated in the ways of plastic, and unfortunately, with each visit to the supermarket, plastic is still a given.

Even if the folks behind Maltesers don’t change the recipe, they could at least find ways to have a more recyclable package.

Are There Alternatives To Maltesers?

Sadly, I didn’t find worthy (or non-worthy) alternatives to Maltesers. I guess because this chocolate is also not as popular as M&Ms, no company has risked it.

Maybe you can eliminate your cravings by following a recipe?

Well, If you just nodded to that, let me share with you this recipe:

maltesers slice
Maltesers Slices

I know you’re not seeing chocolate spheres on your screen, but the recipe was created to have the same texture and consistency. Typically, you want to hear the cracking sound followed by a thin layer of smooth chocolate. (Isn’t that the most important??)

Anyway, likeavegan does share this recipe on his/her blog.

Unfortunately, the recipe doesn’t contain the “time”, but usually desserts like this can be done in a jiffy. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually love to try stuff on my own!

Summary: Maltesers Are Not Vegan

That settles it, then.

Since Maltesers contain dairy and other questionable ingredients, they can’t be considered vegan. Hopefully, we can see a vegan alternative in the future, but for now, you’ll have to stick to homemade recipes.

Don’t let that discourage you, there are some amazing chocolates in the market. Hu is an amazing brand that is releasing NON-BORING vegan chocolates. Check them out!

Maltesers FAQs

Are Maltesers Vegetarian?

Yes, Maltesers can be considered vegetarian, as most vegetarians are fine with consuming dairy products, and Maltesers contain milk-derivatives.

Are Maltesers Australian?

No, Maltesers are not Australian, even though they are sold in Australia. Maltesers were created by the American businessman Forrest Mars in England, so they have originated in England. 

Are Maltesers Nut-Free?

Yes, Maltesers do not contain any nuts, so they’re suitable for people with a nut allergy.

Do Maltesers Contain Caffeine?

Yes, Maltesers does contain caffeine, as cacao (where chocolate derives from) contains a small amount of natural caffeine. 

Do Maltesers Contain Malt?

Yes, Maltesers contain barley malt extract, which is one of the ingredients the manufacturers use to create the crunchy spheroid center. Thus, Maltesers are also not suitable for people with a gluten allergy. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through these links. See my full disclosure here.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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