Are Reese’s Vegan?

Are Reese’s Vegan?
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Oh, Reese’s. It brings back memories.

I used to work in an ice cream parlor where we served Reese’s milkshakes. We used to stock up on Reese’s and Oreo cookies because people enjoyed those two flavors in a milkshake. (It was a nightmare…)

Given the peanut butter flavor, I understand why people would ask this question. But unfortunately, I can’t say I have good news for you after some research.

So to answer your question…

Are Reese’s Suitable For Vegans?

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is an American candy that was created by H. B. Reese in 1928.

Reese worked for Hershey’s dairy farms, where he used Hershey chocolate in his confections and eventually created his most famous one to date — the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Back in 1928, milk was the secret sauce to all chocolates and Reese’s wasn’t any different.

Just like Hershey or Milka chocolates, Reese’s is not suitable for vegans.

Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier), peanuts, sugar, dextrose; salt; TBHQ (preservative).

While it contains an ingredient that is dear to your heart (peanuts), it still contains milk.

Trust me, I know your pain. It’s difficult to find a chocolate that is as tasty as the ones made from cow’s milk, but we have to be patient. Besides, you can always create your homemade version of your favorite chocolate. 🙂

Reese’s Still Belongs To Hershey’s

The H.B. Reese Candy Company is affiliated to Hershey, and it’s still responsible for manufacturing Hershey chocolates. In fact, they’re responsible for manufacturing Kit Kat in the United States.

Even if Reese’s was vegan, we would still need to consider its association with other players.

Would you buy Reese’s, if its profit went into creating milk-based chocolates? There are polarizing opinions about this issue, and some suggest that buying vegan products from non-vegan companies is walking backward.

At the same time, the opposite view also holds some merit.

In the grand scheme of things, creating demand for vegan products within huge companies may have a bigger impact than supporting small-scale companies.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

Even if you can’t eat Reese’s, you can always create your own.

In fact, according to the “It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken” food blog, it should take you 20 minutes.

vegan reese's

See how delicious they look? And how identical they are to Reese’s?

If you’ve turned vegan but you miss Reese’s, you can easily re-create a comparable version. As long as you have peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and vegan chocolate chips, it’s doable.

In fact, there are only six steps to making Reese’s at home! How awesome is that?

If you’re interested in reading the whole recipe, you can get it here on Sam’s blog post. Otherwise, you can also watch Sam prepping up the vegan Reese’s in an awesome youtube video right below.

As you can see, there’s no reason to feel demotivated anymore! Now you can cook Reese’s at home in just 20 minutes. 🙂

Vegan Chocolate Alternatives

There are alternatives to Reese’s. In fact, you can find vegan chocolates that look the same. However, they’re freaking expensive I must say.

Anyway, I’ll now proceed with showing you a list of vegan Reese’s, by starting with the cheapest option.

Justin’s Nut Butter Mini Peanut Butter Cups

justin's peanut butter cups

Justin’s are at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

While it’s certified organic, and people vouch for its “unparalleled” taste — it appears to be too pricey for the quantity it brings. However, that is expected, considering the list of ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic dark chocolate, organic peanuts, organic powdered evaporated cane sugar, organic peanut flour, organic palm fruit oil, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla flavor, sea salt, organic soy lecithin.

As you see, the list of ingredients is fully organic (apart from the salt), which is reflected upon the price. This being said, if you can afford it, I still feel like it’s a wonderful addition to your cupboard.

Legendary Foods – Peanut Butter Cups

legendary foods peanut butter cups

With just over 3000 thousand reviews on Amazon, these are probably the most popular vegan Reese’s. Besides, It’s free from GMO’s, it contains no added sugars and is high in protein. Certainly a healthier option than actual Reese’s.

These sweet peanut butter cups are considered the perfect Keto Bombs since they’re low on carbs but high in protein and fats.

However, they didn’t leave vegans out of the picture. The ingredients are 100% vegan.

Ingredients: peanuts, unsweetened chocolate, erythritol, cocoa butter, sea salt, stevia, and natural flavors.

Aside from the peanut butter cups, other flavors like apple pie, chocolate banana, and blueberry cinnamon bun are also available. These are by far the crowd’s favorite, and you can find them here on Amazon.

Unreal – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Unreal - peanut butter cups

The Unreal Peanut Butter Cups are the most expensive option, but at the same, they rank #1 as the best seller for vegan peanut butter cups. This tells me two things:

  1. They must be DELICIOUS;
  2. The integrity of the brand plays a big role. Among the brands I’ve seen, this is the only brand that has fairtrade certified ingredients, which certainly shoots up the price.

However, since vegans are usually willing to compromise, they go for the most trustworthy options. And although I do support, and love Fairtrade certified products, they are too expensive for my taste.

Ingredients: dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, organic blue agave inulin, sunflower lecithin, organic vanilla), peanut butter (peanuts, cane sugar, palm oil, salt), organic powdered sugar, organic palm oil, peanut flour, organic blue agave inulin, salt and sunflower lecithin.

On a similar (environmental) note, I’m not sure if their wrappings are made from plastic, but I think they are.

Extra important note: Reviewers suggest that you buy this product in-store (at Whole Foods) because the content within the wrapping seems to have melted at some point, which messes up the taste of the product.

Bottom Line

While Reese’s is FAR from being vegan, there are too many great vegan options out there!

The cheapest way, of course, is to make it yourself.

But with brands like Legendary Foods, Unreal, and Justin’s, you can have delicious peanut butter cups at your doorstep in a matter of days. Or, you can always get them yourself at Whole Foods, and other supermarkets.

The most important thing is to always be informed so that you’re aware of these options. I’ve noticed that they do not advertise heavily (like Milka, Ferrero Rocher or other brands), so you need to do some research.

Anyway, I hope this blog post helped you find some peace of mind! So… don’t give up, since veganism is getting easy every day!

Thanks for reading, stay vegan!

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three 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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