The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate is manufactured by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, a company that was founded by Domenico Ghirardelli, an Italian chocolatier that immigrated from South America to the United States in 1849.
Besides selling chocolates, Ghirardelli sells also sells food service items such as chocolate beverages and flavored sauces.
According to their official website, I’ve found more than 30 variations (*some are repeated) of dark chocolates, with most being available as bars and miniature squares.
Therefore, I had to look at each one individually and see which ones have animal ingredients and which ones are suitable for vegans. What I found was that the majority of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates are not vegan, but you can still find an option here and there.
If you wish to know which Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates are vegan, feel free to continue reading.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates: Ingredients
What’s unusual within the Ghirardelli range of dark chocolates is that even the most intense dark chocolates may contain milk fat.
Typically, the ingredients in the Ghirardelli dark chocolate variety are the following:
- Unsweetened Chocolate
- Cocoa Butter
- and Soy Lecithin.
Then, depending on the chocolate recipe, it may or not have milk fat.
Which Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates Are Vegan?
Given the various chocolate variants, I’ve decided to enumerate the chocolates by name and classification (vegan or not vegan). Here you go:
- 60% Cacao Evening Dream (Not vegan)
- 72% Cacao Twilight Delight (Vegan)
- 86% Cacao Midnight Reverie (Not vegan)
- 92% Cacao Moonlight Mystique (Not vegan)
- Dark Chocolate Raspberry (Not vegan)
- Hazelnut Heaven (Not vegan)
- Cabernet Matinee (Not vegan)
- Cherry Tango (Not vegan)
- Raspberry Radiance (Not vegan)
- Sea Salt Caramel (Not vegan)
- Toffee Interlude (Not vegan)
- Sea Salt Soiree (Not vegan)
- Blood Orange Sunset (Not vegan)
- Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao Squares (Not vegan)
- Intense Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao Squares (Not vegan)
- Intense Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao Squares (Vegan)
- Intense Dark Chocolate 86% Cacao Squares (Not vegan)
- Intense Dark Chocolate 92% Cacao Squares (Not vegan)
- Intense Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Roasted Almond Squares (Not vegan)
- Dark Chocolate Mint Squares (Not vegan)
- Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares (Not vegan)
To be honest, I was disappointed to find out that even the most cocoa intense flavors weren’t vegan. Something I didn’t expect, taking into account that their most popular amazon product (hot chocolate powder) is vegan.
Additional Note On Refined Sugar
Despite the limited choices, I still have to mention an ingredient that hasn’t been viewed positively by the vegan community.
Put very simply, refined sugar can be derived from two sources: sugar cane and sugar beet.
While both are used in similar amounts in the United States, there is a legitimate difference in the way they’re processed after being extracted.
Beet sugar is filtered using a diffuser and is mixed with additives to crystallize, which doesn’t lead to the use of animal-based ingredients. On the other hand, cane sugar is decolorized using bone char, which is essentially the carbonized bones of cattle.
Naturally, this is enough to make any vegan angry, considering the information on labels is limited to the names of ingredients (sugar).
So, while you have companies that use beet sugar, and companies that rely on activated charcoal to achieve the same goal as bone char, you won’t know unless you contact the company.
Some companies (like Oreos), use both forms of sugar because they’re sourcing from different suppliers. In fact, that’s what happens with Ghirardelli, according to this Facebook post:
In some European countries, Australia and New Zealand this practice is banned, but in the United States, that still takes place. So, if you’re ever buying a “vegan” product from an American non-vegan company, I’d suggest you contact the company to obtain confirmation.
Most Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates are not vegan.
According to the research I’ve done using websites like Amazon & Walmart to verify the ingredients, there are only two vegan Ghirardelli dark chocolates:
- 72% Cacao Twilight Delight
- Intense Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao Squares
Other than these two, I did not find any other vegan variation.
This being said, you also need to take into account the sugar present in those two “vegan” chocolates because Ghirardelli uses both cane and beet sugar — with cane sugar they purchase actually being filtered with bone char. (Check the image of the Facebook post above)