Is Ovaltine Vegan? Here Is All You Need To Know

Familiar to a whole generation of kids as a chocolate treat, Ovaltine was originally advertised as a nutritional supplement and is one of the many chocolate powders available. 

I confess that I’ve never consumed Ovaltine, even when I wasn’t a vegetarian, but that was partly due to it being an expensive product and cheaper alternatives being available.

In this article, I’ll show you which ingredients are contained within Ovaltine, who owns Ovaltine, their animal testing policy, and a few alternatives you might want to try out. 

Ovaltine Ingredients

Ovomaltine is a drink that was created in Switzerland, which originally consisted of malt, cocoa, milk, and egg, ingredients deemed important and nutritious, stacked together to prevent malnutrition in children.

At this point in time, the ingredients in Ovaltine are the following:

  • Barley Malt Extract
  • Milk Serum Concentrate
  • Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder
  • Minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc)
  • Sugar
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Vitamins (C, E, Niacin, A, Pantothenic Acid, B12, B6, B2, B1, Folic Acid, Biotin).

Whilst it doesn’t contain egg any longer, it does still contain milk, which means Ovaltine is not suitable for vegans, but it’s suitable for people with a “vegetarian” diet. 

Who Owns Ovaltine?

Ovomaltine is manufactured by Wander which has been owned by Associated British Foods since 2002, which in turn is majority owned by Wittington Investments, which is majority owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Associated British Foods is a British multinational to which several food brands, such as Twinings and Ovaltine, and companies producing sugar, yeast and bakery ingredients, as well as retailer Primark, belong.

In the United States, Ovomaltine is owned by Nestlé.

Animal Testing

The multinational does not practice animal testing unless required by law, and their policy regarding animal testing states the following:

“We do not conduct, support or condone the use of animal testing that is not required by law for food or feed safety or quality.

We avoid the use of animal testing wherever possible; we do not maintain any testing facilities; and animal testing is not permitted on all Primark cosmetic products, as certified by the Leaping Bunny program. We use a wide range of non-animal approaches to assess the safety of our products for consumers.

Some governments test our products on animals as part of their regulatory requirements. Where government agencies require animal testing to demonstrate safety or quality, studies are completed by accredited third-party facilities that follow appropriate animal welfare standards.”

Therefore, Associated British Foods’ food products may be tested on animals when required by law. However, Primark’s cosmetics are never tested.

Primark does not sell in China and is certified by Cruelty-Free International.

I point out that although Primark does not test its cosmetics on animals, it is still a fast-fashion company, which buys products from factories located mostly in China, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

Besides these being countries of high risk of labor abuse and poor working conditions, the brand does not track the entire supply chain.

Sponsorship of Animal Events

I am not aware of any events that are sponsored by Ovomaltine, and according to the brand, it does not monetarily sponsor events in general.

Other British Association Foods brands also do not seem to sponsor animal events.

Vegan Alternatives to Ovaltine

If you’re looking for an alternative that has Ovaltine’s texture and taste, but that’s vegan, it is possible to find alternatives that do not contain milk.

For instance, Horlicks, another brand of chocolate powders, has created a vegan version, which contains the following ingredients:

  • Malted Barley
  • Wheat Flour
  • Malted Millet
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Sugar
  • Palm Oil
  • Maltodextrin
  • Salt
  • Potassium Carbonate
  • Vitamin Mix (Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12)
  • Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide)
  • Stabilizer (Guar Gum)
  • Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin)
  • Ferric Pyrophosphate
  • and Zinc Oxide.

And it seems that you can find it in the UK in supermarket chains such as ASDA. 

For people living in the United States, there is a brand called Equal Exchange that sells a dark hot chocolate powder on Amazon

Their product only contains organic cane sugar, organic cocoa powder, and organic dark chocolate (made from organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, and organic cocoa powder).

Does Ovaltine Contain Egg?

This is a pertinent question considering the brand name. I was wondering this as well. Originally, when the drink was created in 1904, it contained malt, milk, egg, and cocoa.

Nowadays Ovomaltine does no longer contain eggs, which is good news!

Conclusion

Unfortunately, in both the US and UK, Ovomaltine contains milk, which makes it unsuitable for vegans. However, do keep in mind that the recipe may change from country to country. 

In other words, Ovomaltine is not a vegan brand because:

  • Most of its products contain animal ingredients;
  • It belongs to Associated British Foods, which allows animal testing on its food products when required by law, through third-party companies.

A better option might be to go for chocolate powders from smaller, national companies, or for pure cocoa powder, which is also a healthier option.


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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