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Growing up one of my favorite chocolate bars was Kit Kat. Even as a student I always had a couple of kit kats in the fridge for a netflix and chill night.When I went on a vegan diet I just stopped eating them, but after a while I started to wonder, are Kit Kats vegan?
Kit Kat V is a new vegan flavor and it’s certified from the vegan society. All other flavors of Kit Kat are not vegan as they contain skim milk, milk fat and lactose.
I still did a deep dive into the ingredients and this article is the result of my research.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What Are Kit Kats?
This tasty and crunchy chocolate bar is produced by Nestlé however in the US they are produced by The Hersheys Company. The name Kit Kat has been around since world war II and is well known around the world.
Since then they have released several more recipes of Kit Kat:
- Kit Kat Original
- Kit Kat Duos Chocolate Mint & Dark
- Kit Kat Dark Chocolate
- Kit Kat White
- Kit Kat Birthday Cake
- Kit Kat Apple Pie Flavor (Halloween version)
- Kit Kat Autumn Chestnut
- Kit Kat Maccha Green Tea
- Kit Kat Sweet Potato
- Kit Kat Chocolate Strawberry
- Kit Kat Duos Mocha & Chocolate
- Kit Kat Lemon Crisp Easter Candy
- Kit Kat Nuts & Cranberries
- Kit Kat Raspberry
- Kit Kat Pumpkin Pie
- Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter
- Kit Kat Chunky Milk Chocolate
- Kit Kat Chunky Cookie Dough
- Kit Kat Chunky Duo
- Kit Kat Chunky Mint
- Kit Kat V
All these flavors contain milk making Kit Kats not vegan-friendly.
Kit Kat Ingredients
Now let’s take a look at the ingredients in original Kit Kat:
- Wheat Flour
- Skim Milk
- Cocoa Butter
- Palm Oil
- Milk Fat
- Lactose (Milk)
- Soy Lecithin
- Artificial Flavor
- Baking Soda
As you can see there are a lot of non-vegan ingredients but also some questionable ingredients which we will talk more about.
Worth mentioning is that several of the ingredients listed above are included in all the different Kit Kats.
Kit Kat Duos Chocolate Mint and Kit Kat Birthday Cake also contain artificial colors which I will list as well under non-vegan ingredients.
Even tho some of the non-vegan ingredients are obvious I still wanted to be thurow.
I will explain why I listed palm oil and articifial colors here instead of under questionable ingredients.
What remains after the milk fat is removed from the whole milk is the skim milk.
This low fat milk contains 0,1% fat and it is not diluted with water which is a normal misperception.
The milk we are talking about is cow milk and as you might have guessed this ingredient is not vegan.
Now we already talked about milk fat in the previous section and the fat in the milk contains the most nutrients because it’s designed to make a baby calve grow.
That beeing said it not designed for humans and it has proven negative impacts in our bodies. This includes different kinds of cancer, you can read more here.
Kit Kat uses milk fat for flavor and texture.
Not a vegan ingredient.
This is a sugar extracted from the milk through a chemical process.
The crystals that remains is the Lactose (sugar).
Lactose is also considered a non-vegan ingredient.
Now you might wonder why is palm oil listed under non-vegan ingredients? Well for me it’s impossible to say that palm oil is vegan. So what is the problem?
Well the problem is that this industry has poor regulation causing deforestation and destruction of ecosystems leaving animals like orangutans without a home.
Consuming palm oil does causes animal suffering and sever enviromental impacts, this does not align with veganism. So calling palm oil a vegan product is not possible even tho it does not contain any animal products.
How about palm oil that is RSPO certified?
RSPO stands for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
RSPO together with WWF are regulating companies to produce sustainable palm oil. In return the companies can use RPSO logo on their product or claim that their palm oil is sustainable.
What does sustainable palm oil mean? Well it means that no deforestation will take place leaving the ecosystems intact.
So if you want to consume palm oil then use RSPO certified palm oil.
Nestlé has a goal for sustainable palm oil so far their website claims 70% deforestation free palm oil. Nestlé is a RSPO member.
Is palm oil healthy? Well for health reasons you should not consume palm oil because it contains a high amount of saturated fat which is linked to heart disease.
As mentioned before Kit Kat Duos Chocolate Mint and Kit Kat Birthday Cake contains artificial colors like yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 1, blue 2, Red 40.
The answer to why artificial colors are not vegan is that animal testing is still beeing conducted on the colors.
The rats in these experiments get cancer from beeing exposed to these articifial colors.
Artificial colors are not vegan can’t be good for our health.
Now there are also some questionable ingredients in Kit Kats for sure among these are sugar, soy Lecifithin and Artificial colors.
Beet sugar and cane sugar are the most commonly produced sugar today.
Cane sugar is dominating the industry when it comes to candy and sweets.
Why is this a problem? Well a common process in producing this sugar is bleaching. This bleaching process involves mixing the cane sugar with bone char and then running this mix through a filter.
This is the short version, you can read more here.
We don’t know if the sugar in Kit Kats is bleached with bone char, therefore we don’t know if this ingredients is vegan or not.
Soybeans are a common GMO crop in the US and this makes this ingredients questionable. Why is this a problem? The problem is the high usage of herbicides in growing this GMO crop.
The herbicide can harms biodiversity and cause both water and air pollution.
This makes soybeans not vegan friendly.
However organic soybeans does not cause any enviromental issues.
I can’t read anywhere that the soybeans used Kit Kats are organic.
Artificial flavor can be made from both animals and plants.
We don’t know if this ingredient is vegan for Kit Kats.
Now let’s take a look at some important questions
Are Kit Kats Vegetarian?
Kit Kats would fit lacto-vegetarians but palm oil is still not 100% sustainable and the risk of sugar beeing processed with bone char makes this a questionable choice.
Kit Kat Duos Chocolate Mint and Kit Kat Birthday Cake also contains artificial colors these are not suited for vegetarians.
Are Kit Kats Gluten-Free?
Kit Kats are not gluten-free since they contain wheat. This is also confirmed on their website.
Are Kit Kats GMO-Free?
Non GMO label can’t be found on Kit Kats. So we must assume that it contains GMOs.
Are Kit Kats Peanut-Free?
According to smartlabels Kit Kats are produced in a facility that also produces products with peanuts.
Are Kit Kats Healthy?
Well saying that milk chocolate with sugar as an ingredient is healthy would be a lie.
There are several side effect of eating to much sugar such as gaining weight, risk of diabetes 2, risk of heart disease and more.
Vegan Alternative To Kit Kat
Luckily there is a vegan alternative called Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars.
They are certified vegan by vegan.org.
Great you made it all the way to the end of this article. What did we learn?
Kit Kats contains milk and palm oil making most of them non vegan.
New Flavor Kit Kat V is vegan.
This is great news for the vegan community!
Some tastes contain artificial colors which is not considered vegan or vegetarian.
No animals should have to suffer when producing products.