Are After Eights Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

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.

People love ’em, but can vegans 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 After Eights were originally made from dairy-free dark chocolate, but in 2002, Nestlé started adding butterfat to the recipe.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 not suitable for vegans as butterfat is derived from dairy. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the ingredients in After Eight, and we’re also going to look at alternatives you may want to try instead. 

After Eight Ingredients

after eight
This image belongs to Vegan Foundry
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, glucose syrup (from Wheat and/or Corn), milk ingredients, cocoa butter, palm, and vegetable oil, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, citric acid, invertase. May contain peanuts and tree nuts.

*List of ingredients was taken from Amazon.com.

Unfortunately, After Eight contains ingredients derived from milk. But even if that wasn’t the case, there are other ingredients that make After Eight a questionable purchase. 

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.

palm fruit
Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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 out 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?

While they are difficult to find, it is possible to find alternatives to After Eight.

Here are some of the alternatives we have found:

Elizabeth Shaw Dark Mint Crisp Chocolates

elizabeth shaw mint chocolates

We managed to find Elizabeth Shaw by checking out Reddit where some people suggested this brand as a ‘similar’ alternative to After Eight.

These are not the same product, but the flavor is similar, and they’re equally delicious.

Although the box suggests the use of honeycomb crisps, we’ve checked the ingredient label and haven’t come across honey or any other animal ingredient.

In fact, on the label, you will find ingredients such as — sugar, cocoa mass, glucose syrup, cocoa butter, invert sugar syrup, soya lecithin, peppermint oil, and sodium bicarbonate. According to the brand’s official website, the product is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 

You can find this product on either Elizabeth Shaw’s website or via Amazon. 

HU Mint Gems

Hu mint gems

HU is a brand that makes vegan organic chocolates without weird synthetic ingredients.

In fact, their Mint Gems contain organic cacao, organic unrefined coconut sugar, organic cocoa butter, and organic peppermint oil, which makes this product unquestionably vegan.

Although it’s not the same thing as an After Eight, it’s still an option if you wish to have a bit of mint chocolate. 

You can find Hu chocolates (including the Mint Gems) on Amazon or via Hu Chocolate’s official website. 

Summary: After Eight Is Not Vegan

Unfortunately, After Eight contains ingredients derived from dairy, which naturally makes it unsuitable for vegans.

As such, we have decided to share two options that are vegan-friendly (and officially considered so by the brands themselves), so they’re alternatives you can have if you miss After Eight mint thins badly. 

Thank you for reading this blog post, and let me know at [email protected] if you have any other suitable alternatives to the 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 Expire?

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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Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for over five years! I've set up this blog because I'm passionate about veganism and living a more spiritually fulfilling life where I'm more in tune with nature. Hopefully, I can use Vegan Foundry as a channel to help you out on your own journey!