Who doesn’t love a box of After Eight? Half-sweet chocolate combined with a thin layer of mint freshness creates an addicting taste. So much that a box rarely lasts.
After Eight was created in 1962 with a unique selling point: the perfect after-dinner snack.
Vegans love ’em, but can they actually indulge in these delicious thin mints?
After Eights were originally made from dairy-free dark chocolate, but in 2002, Nestlé started adding butterfat to the recipe. So no, After Eights are no longer vegan.
But even if it was technically vegan, there are other reasons why some vegans still stay away from this all-time great chocolate.
Thankfully, there is a legitimate vegan alternative to After Eight, which is available at the bottom of this blog post. Otherwise, feel free to check out this post where I mention some of the best vegan chocolates.
After Eight Ingredients
*Ingredients taken from Amazon.com.
Unfortunately, After Eight contains milk ingredients. But even if that wasn’t the case, there’s plenty of other questionable ingredients.
After Eight Contains Palm Oil
Palm oil is technically vegan in its raw form because it’s derived from the palm fruit that grows in palm trees. However, extracting palm oil has consequences that affect animals’ lives and the environment. We clear massive areas of land to plant and harvest palm fruit, so several animal species end up losing their homes in that process.
An example is Orangutangs. This primate species will face extinction if, within the next 10 years, we don’t do anything to curb the insatiable demand for palm oil.
Vegans want to stop all forms of animal cruelty.
Palm oil, unfortunately, is tied to an awful amount of destruction, and death. Anything that is done on a massive scale will eventually have its repercussions, and palm oil extraction is no different.
That’s why we need to look towards organic farming, because it respects nature’s timing, without messing up biodiversity. As far as chocolates go, not many rely on palm oil, so it’s quite easy to find a more sustainable alternative.
Can palm oil be considered vegan? Yes, it can be considered vegan, but we can’t just simply ignore the impact conventional palm oil farming has on the environment. You’re free to consume it, but it would help if we consumed more sustainable palm oil.
After Eight Contains Refined Sugar
Sugar can be obtained from sugarcane or sugar beets.
Sugar derived from sugarcane may go through a process in which bone char is used as a decolorizing and deashing agent. A process that helps sugar achieve its white, pristine color.
Both cane and beet sugar are used in equal amounts within the United States, but only cane sugar is refined with bone char because it’s far more impure.
Unfortunately, that practice is still prevalent in some countries excluding some European countries, Australia and New Zealand. (These counties have banned the use of bone char)
However, that doesn’t prevent companies from sourcing sugar from places where that practice is still ongoing. To find whether or not a company uses sugar bleached with bone char you have to contact the company. One brand that partly relies on suppliers providing sugar bleached with bone char is Oreos. A brand that is very popular among vegans.
Fortunately, some companies use well-known alternatives like activated charcoal. Apparently, you can achieve the same result without using the carbonized bones of animals.
Here’s a video from Vegan Zombie diving a bit more into it:
After Eight Also Belongs To Nestlé
Nestlé acquired After Eight’s parent company, Rowntree.
As you know, Nestlé owns food and cosmetic brands with a history of animal testing. In addition, a lot of the products they sell (Aero, Crunch, and Kit Kat) contain animal-based ingredients. Nestlé also owns Purina and Friskies, brands that sell pet food containing meat.
Many vegans are against supporting companies tied to animal exploitation for obvious reasons, but other vegans share a different opinion.
One of those vegans is Gary Yourofsky:
Whether you support companies like Nestlé or not comes down to your own personal motivation.
Are There Vegan Alternatives To After Eight?
Fortunately, there are vegan alternatives to the After Eight mint thins.
Divine Chocolate Mint Thins
Want to know a fun fact about Divine Chocolate?
The brand is partially owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers’ co-operative in Ghana, Twin Trading, and The Body Shop.
In other words, real farmers own Divine Chocolate, and they are actually the first farmer-owned Fairtrade chocolate manufacturer aiming for the mass market in the UK.
However, they also sell non-vegan chocolates.
If you’re interested in these mint thins, they are on Amazon UK.
Summary: After Eight Is Not Vegan
Unfortunately, After Eight contains milk and questionable ingredients like palm oil.
But thankfully, alternatives like the Mint Thins from Divine Chocolate exist.
That alternative also contains sugar, but we can’t really consider sugar to be non-vegan unless we know for certain that a company imports sugar bleached with bone char. And even then, it might not be the case for every box of mint thins.
Oreos, for instance, admits to importing sugar bleached with bone char, but they also import vegan-friendly sugar.
This is not an issue vegans are worried about, but It’s worth mentioning because most people (especially vegans) deserve to be aware of such practice.
Thank you for reading this blog post, and let me know at [email protected] if you have any other alternatives to the delicious After Eight mint thins. 🙂
After Eight FAQs
Are After Eights Gluten-Free?
Fortunately, After Eights are gluten-free. They do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, nor do they have “may contain” warnings on the label. This means they’re suitable for people with a gluten allergy.
Are After Eights Vegetarian?
After Eights might not be vegan, but they are definitely suitable for vegetarians, as most (if not all) vegetarians consume dairy products. Some vegetarians only consume eggs, but those are not most vegetarians.
Are After Eights Dark Chocolate?
Yes, ab After Eight is essentially rich dark chocolate filled with natural peppermint filling.
Do After Eights Contain Alcohol?
No, the mint-flavored After Eights do not contain alcohol.
Do After Eights Go Out For Date?
Yes, After Eights also have a best before date on the label, therefore if you don’t consume them before that period, they’ll likely be less safe to consume.
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