Lindt makes a huge variety of chocolates, most of which contain milk.
However, they have a dark chocolate line with high cocoa content, which is often a good sign, because dark chocolates with a high percentage of cocoa are often vegan.
In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about Lindt’s dark chocolate line.
Lindt Excellence: Is It Vegan?
Lindt Excellence is a line of chocolates released by Lindt — with the overwhelming majority of them being dark chocolates. The only exception is the Extra Creamy flavor, which is milk chocolate.
The remaining flavors are predominantly considered to be dark chocolate, but I believe not all of them are milk-free. Let’s look at each one individually.
100% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 100% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is suitable for vegans.
This is pure dark chocolate, therefore, it doesn’t contain ingredients besides cocoa, so it doesn’t even contain ingredients (or additives) that some vegans might feel concerned about.
However, it might contain traces of milk due to cross-contamination, so if that’s something that bothers you, then I don’t think you should be eating dark chocolate from brands like Lindt.
99% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 99% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is vegan.
This isn’t surprising considering the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate. Typically, the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate, but it’s also more likely for it to be vegan.
95% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 95% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is suitable for vegans.
Like the previous two dark chocolates, the percentage of cocoa is high, and Lindt only added a bit of sugar to give it a slightly sweeter taste. However, it’s still quite bitter.
90% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 90% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is vegan.
Slightly sweeter than the previous dark chocolate, this one is not as bitter nor overpowering, so it might be slightly more appealing for people that enjoy a mild cocoa flavor.
85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt Bar is vegan.
This dark chocolate is an even more mild previous chocolate. If you’re struggling to find sweeter dark chocolate, then you should try this one out.
78% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 78% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is not suitable for vegans.
This dark chocolate has a considerable amount of cocoa, but Lindt made this chocolate more creamy by adding milk fat. making the chocolate sweeter than the previous dark chocolates.
70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is vegan.
This dark chocolate is even milder than the previous chocolate, and unlike the previous one, Lindt did not add milk fat.
If you want something with a mild cacao flavor and a bit sweeter, this is probably the best option.
No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Lindt Bar
Verdict: The No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Lindt bar is not suitable for vegans.
This dark chocolate uses maltitol, a sugar alcohol with very few calories, and it doesn’t promote tooth decay, nor does it have as much of an effect on blood sugar when compared to table sugar.
This dark chocolate bar, unfortunately, is not vegan because it contains milk.
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Les Grandes Bar
Verdict: The Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Les Grands Lindt bar is not suitable for vegans.
Unfortunately, it contains a milk derivative that makes it non-vegan, which is common in dark chocolate bars with a low percentage of cocoa.
Roasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Roasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is not vegan.
This dark chocolate, like the previous one, contains milk fat. The only difference between them is that this one contains roasted hazelnuts, and the other doesn’t.
A Touch of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: Unfortunately, the Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is not vegan.
It contains, like many other Lindt dark chocolates, milk fat to give it some creaminess.
Blackberry with Acai Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: Unfortunately, the Blackberry with Acai Dark Chocolate Excellence bar is not vegan.
Even though it contains blackberry and acai, which are clearly plant-based, Lindt added milk fat for the creaminess, making the chocolate non-vegan.
Lime Intense Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Lime Intense Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is not vegan as it contains milk fat.
The Excellence Lime Intense has a low percentage of cocoa solids (47%). The lower the percentage, the more likely it is for dark chocolate to have dairy ingredients, at least that’s what I’ve concluded from looking at various dark chocolates.
Intense Coconut Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Intense Coconut Dark Chocolate Excellence Lindt bar is not vegan as it contains milk fat.
Similar to the Lime Intense Dark Chocolate, this one also has low cocoa content.
70% Cocoa Madagascar Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Madagascar Dark Chocolate is vegan.
The cocoa chocolate within Madagascar dark chocolate was created using beans grown in the tropical islands of Madagascar, but I personally couldn’t tell the difference from other chocolates.
75% Cocoa Ecuador Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Ecuador Dark Chocolate is 100% vegan.
The Ecuador Dark Chocolate cocoa beans are locally produced and harvested in the tropical coastal areas of the Ecuadorian lowlands.
It has slightly more cocoa than the Madagascar dark chocolate, so the cocoa taste is more intense.
Intense Arabica Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Arabica Intense is not vegan because it contains milk fat.
The Arabica Intense dark chocolate mixes Arabic coffee beans with refined dark chocolate, so unlike the other dark chocolates, you can feel a hint of roasted coffee.
Like other non-vegan Lindt dark chocolates, the Arabica Intense also has a low cocoa content.
Intense Pink Grapefruit Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Pink Grapefruit Dark Chocolate is not vegan.
Because it contains clarified butter (or ghee), it’s not suitable for vegans. It also has more additives than the other dark chocolates, so it’s not as healthy.
Intense Mint Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Mint Intense is not vegan because it contains butterfat.
The Mint Intense Dark Chocolate is comprised of 47% cocoa and it has a hint of peppermint oil which adds a refreshing piquancy when you taste it.
Caramel and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Caramel and Sea Salt is not vegan.
Unfortunately, the caramel bits in this dark chocolate are made from milk fat and skimmed milk powder.
In addition to that, the cocoa butter contains a mixture of milk and soya, which is unusual, because cocoa butter is mostly suitable for vegans.
Intense Orange Dark Chocolate Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Orange Intense Dark Chocolate is not vegan.
Unfortunately, this dark chocolate contains a small amount of milk fat, even though Lindt could easily make this chocolate vegan-friendly.
Chili Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
Verdict: The Excellence Chili Dark Chocolate is not vegan.
The Chili Dark Chocolate has 48% cocoa content, so like most Lindt dark chocolates with cocoa around that range, this one also contains milk fat.
Other Lindt Dark Chocolate Questions
It is sad to learn that the majority of their ‘flavored’ chocolates aren’t vegan. It’s even more disheartening since most of the recipes consist of plant-based ingredients such as cocoa, sugar, and vanilla beans.
When adding the milk fat, they usually add it in very small amounts, which they could very well replace for a plant-based alternative.
Let’s answer some questions some vegans might be wondering about these dark chocolates and the brand itself.
Is The Sugar In Lindt Dark Chocolate Vegan?
There are two types of sugar: cane sugar and beet sugar.
While they’re pretty much identical in terms of taste and texture, they have distinct refinement processes.
Beet sugar is typically processed using a diffuser and mixed with additives to crystalize, but cane sugar usually requires a decolorizing agent, so many refineries use bone char, which is, put simply, a black powder derived from carbonized cattle bones.
Unfortunately, this is not information that is openly disclosed in product labels, so the only way of knowing whether a particular type of sugar has been bleached with bone char is by contacting the brand/company.
Some Lindt dark chocolates contain demerara sugar, which is unrefined or partly unrefined and it has a darker hue, so it’s certainly not decolorized. Both the 99% Dark Noir and 85% Dark contain demerara sugar.
However, be particularly cautious if you’re purchasing Lindt dark chocolates in North America since that’s where bone char is mostly used. Many countries in Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand, have banned the use of bone char, so you’re not going to have it in candies or chocolates produced in European countries.
Are Lindt Dark Chocolates Ethical?
A major worry behind cocoa-made products is whether or not they’re sourced ethically, without involving child labor and slavery.
According to this article, Lindt has invested $14M in its sustainable cocoa program since 2008, aiming to have a fully traceable and verifiable supply chain by 2020.
They don’t rely on external programs such as the World Cocoa Foundation, UTZ, and Fairtrade, but they have instead created their program to avoid what’s called mass balance.
Mass balance lets chocolate companies buy a given amount of certified cocoa, but that cocoa may be mixed with other non-certified cocoa along the supply chain. This allows chocolate brands to certify their products with Fairtrade (or whatever), even though only half the content of the product is certified.
Lindt didn’t want to give up control of their supply chain because they want to be able to fully trace or know where their beans are coming from.
Therefore, their sourcing model is not solely limited to a handful of products, but their entire supply chain.
They’re also audited by a third-party company called Earthworm, however, I’m not sure whether that’s a decision solely made to guarantee the quality of their products or one that is based on greed and profit.
Lindt has several vegan dark chocolates, including:
- 100% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 99% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 95% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 90% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 70% Cocoa Madagascar Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
- 75% Cocoa Ecuador Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar
None of these chocolates contain milk derivatives, and a few even contain demerara sugar, which is an unrefined or partly unrefined sugar that doesn’t undergo decolorization.
Also, sugar is only an issue if you’re living in North America, where they usually use bone char to refine sugar, so if you live in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, the products produced there won’t have it.
Is Lindt dark chocolate gluten-free?
Most Lindt dark chocolates from the Excellence line are gluten-free, however, some may contain barley malt powder, therefore, be sure to check the ingredients before you purchase.
Are Lindt dark chocolate bunnies vegan and gluten-free?
Lindt dark chocolate bunnies have no milk derivatives; they merely contain cocoa, sugar, soy lecithin, and vanillin extracted from vanilla beans, so they’re suitable for vegans and people with a gluten allergy.
Are Lindt dark chocolate truffles vegan and gluten-free?
Lindt has two dark chocolate truffles, one with a mild dark chocolate flavor, and one with a more intense dark chocolate flavor, and unfortunately, none of the truffles are suitable for vegans because they contain dairy.
Lindt truffles are also not suitable for people with a gluten allergy because they contain barley malt powder.
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