Is Dove Dark Chocolate Suitable For Vegans? Or Does It Contain Milk?

Dove (which is sold as Galaxy in the UK), is an American brand of chocolates owned by Mars Incorporated, a company that also owns Twix, M&M’s, Mars, Snickers and more.

Dove produces a wide range of chocolate products, including the dove dark chocolates.

Vegans love dark chocolate. Not because it’s especially tasty, but because it’s typically a good vegan option to fall back to.

This being said, is Dove dark chocolate vegan? Unfortunately, it is not 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 Isn’t Dove Dark Chocolate Vegan?

dove dark chocolate

The reason is simple. Dove dark chocolates (including the one above) contain animal-based ingredients. The ingredients include:

    • sugar
    • chocolate
    • chocolate processed with alkali,
    • cocoa butter
    • milkfat
    • soy lecithin
    • natural and artificial flavors.

Sugar is a questionable ingredient, especially if it’s sourced from the United States. But before I explain that— what is actually ruling this product out is milkfat (or buttermilk). 


Traditionally, buttermilk was the liquid leftover after churning butter out of cultured cream. But today, it’s looked at as simply cultured milk.

Buttermilk is in several different products such as biscuits, cookies, and chocolates. Unfortunately, Dove uses it in most chocolates, including the dark chocolate line.

Why is sugar a questionable ingredient?

The reason why sugar has become infamous within the vegan community is NOT that it contains animal-based ingredients. No.

The problem is that through the refining process of sugar (specifically sugar derived from sugarcane), sugar companies use bone char to filter and bleach the sugar to remove any impurities. That’s how they make refined sugar appear so glittery and shiny.

On the other hand, sugar from sugar beets is filtered without any bone char, What’s also worth mentioning is that not all cane sugar is filtered with bone char. Some sugar suppliers (especially in countries where bone char is banned), use granular activated charcoal to achieve the same result.

However, Dove is considered an “American brand”, and the United States is not included in the list of countries where bone char is banned. Some European countries, Australia and New Zealand are part of that list.

Of course, this does not guarantee that Dove chocolate contains sugar bleached with bone char, but there’s a chance it does. Lamentably, that sort of information is not available on any product label (other than “bone-char free” sugars), but you can always contact the company to get more information. (For instance, Oreos admits to having suppliers that use bone char)

Mars Isn’t Guilty Free

mars company

That’s right, what keeps “some” vegans from purchasing vegan chocolates sometimes, is knowing that those chocolates are sold by companies with a background filled with animal cruelty.

In other words, companies like Mars and Unilevers, that “use” and will continue to use animal ingredients, and are responsible for running tests on animals.

I understand, seriously. If you don’t want to consume products for that reason, it’s plausible.

However, keep in mind that there are different ways to approach. For instance, some vegans believe that buying vegan products from a non-vegan company will inevitably make that company launch more vegan products.

I mean, Mars Incorporated is launching a line of vegan chocolates, according to sites such as The Guardian, or OneGreenPlanet.

A video that I like to share is this one:

It answers the question: Should you buy from non-vegan companies?

You might not agree, but it’s a rather plausible explanation.

Vegan Alternatives To Dove Dark Chocolate

There’s a similar dark chocolate bar manufactured by NestlĂ© (here in Portugal). And fortunately for me, it is vegan.

nestle chocolate preto

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to exist in the United States or the UK.

However, there are pretty awesome alternatives you can order online, and/or find in a Walmart or other popular franchise.

Hu Chocolates

Hu chocolates

Although it’s not the most affordable brand, there’s an enormous variety of Hu Chocolates that go beyond the dark chocolate flavor.

There are flavors such as crunchy mint, almond butter puffed quinoa, hazelnut butter, orange vanilla cashew butter, raspberry jelly cashew butter, and more.

If you wish to try flavors besides the usual dark chocolate, Hu chocolates as an interesting variety. In addition to that, it’s purely organic.

Verdict: Dove Dark Chocolate Is Not Vegan.

Dove Dark chocolate is not vegan because it contains milk fat (or buttermilk).

However, you shouldn’t feel down given the awesome alternatives that have been released due to the increasing demand for vegan products.

If you know of better alternatives (and or have) any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading this blog post!

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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