Almond Joy milk chocolate bars was introduced in 1946 and are now produced by Hershey’s. It’s a popular candy bar to this day and I have strong memories eating this growing up. Once I became vegan I naturally stopped eating products that had “milk chocolate” in them. I still see questions now and then in vegan forums about Almond Joy and today I will be answering the question, is Almond Joy vegan?
Almond Joy milk chocolate bars are not vegan because they contain a lot of ingredients derived from milk. They also contain palm oil, which is a highly questionable ingredient when it comes to the environment and wildlife preservation.
Below I made a small table showing two different products of Almond Joy and their vegan status.
|Almond Joy Coconut and Almond Chocolate Candy Bars||No, it contains Milk.|
|Almond Joy Easter Coconut and Almond Chocolate Eggs||No, it contains Milk.|
Almond Joy Ingredients
Below are the ingredients for Almond Joy candy bar and I highlighted the ingredients that are either non-vegan or questionable.
- Corn Syrup
- Vegetable Oil (Palm Oil, Shea Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Palm Kernel Oil)
- Milk Fat
- Skim Milk
- Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
- Sodium Metabisulfite
It’s probably no shocking news that cow’s milk is not vegan. It produced from another animal therefore not vegan-friendly. It’s not only milk, but also ingredients derived from milk such as lactose, which is the sugar in the milk. Whey, milk fat and skim milk can also be found in Almond Joys.
Sugar is not derived from animals, but yet it can be non-vegan sometimes. In the sugar industry the most common sugar used is refined cane sugar. The problem with this is that the most popular way to bleach the cane sugar is to use bone char from dead cows.
So the production process of sugar can make the sugar not vegan-friendly. If the cane sugar is raw then it is vegan, because that’s before the bleaching process.
One major issue with corn in USA is the fact that a lot of the crops are GMO. GMO is not proved to be bad for the health in any way, but the amount of herbicide used to gain high yields is an issue. It can contaminate the water surrounding the farms and damage the ecosystem.
Palm oil is a highly debated ingredient and for good reason. There no animal-derived ingredients in palm oil but, the industry causes deforestation, that destroys habitats for animals such as orangutans. The production of palm oil is the highest of all vegetable oils per square meter, which makes it very lucrative.
There is a way make palm oil sustainable and therefore also more vegan-friendly. It’s called RSPO, which is a non-for-profit organization that helps companies produce sustainable palm oil. Hershey’s is a RSPO member and make the palm oil in Almond Joys vegan.
Almonds are another hot topic in the vegan community. The reason for this is the amount of water used and the fact most of the almond product takes place in California. Why would this be a problem? Well the almond trees must be pollinated and bees are transported from all over the country just for this purpose.
Many bees die because of this and it’s does align with veganism.
Vegan Alternative To Almond Joy
I actually found a great vegan alternative to Almond Joy, and a chocolate called Hu Hunks Vegan Chocolate Covered Almonds With Sea Salt.
All ingredients are organic and fair trade which makes this an excellent choice for vegans.
Are Almond Joys Vegetarian?
Almond Joy Coconut and Almond Chocolate Candy Bars and Almond Joy Easter Coconut and Almond Chocolate Eggs are suited for lacto and lacto-ovo vegetarians. If you are a vegetarian for environmental reason then this might not be the chocolate for you since it contains both palm oil and almonds.
|Almond Joy Coconut and Almond Chocolate Candy Bars||Lacto, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian|
|Almond Joy Easter Coconut and Almond Chocolate Eggs||Lacto, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian|
Are Product Gluten-Free?
Yes, Almond Joys are gluten-free according to their website.
Does Almond Joy Have Gelatin?
Almond Joy does not contain any gelatin.
Is Almond Joy Dairy-Free?
Unfortunately Almond Joy is not dairy-free. It contains milk, milk fat, skim milk, whey, lactose and hydrolyzed milk protein. If you are allergic to milk or have other reasons for not consuming milk then you should not eat Almond Joys.
More and more vegan candy products are released and it’s only a matter of time before all companies offer costumers a vegan alternative. The vegan industry is growing massively and is here to stay.
Almond Joys are not vegan, because of the different milk ingredients used. Palm oil and almonds can also be very questionable for some vegans.
I hope you found this article useful!