a stack of small vegan chocolate hearts on a white counter with a white background

The Vegan Milk Chocolate You Must Try Right Now

Before going vegan, I wasn’t a big milk chocolate fan. I always thought it was a little waxy or left an unpleasant aftertaste; unlike others, it was never something that I felt like I was missing in my life. Then, brands started to pop up with vegan milk chocolate options.

At first, I remained disinterested — if I didn’t like it as a non-vegan, why in the world would I like it as a vegan? But given the fact that my job revolves heavily around food (vegan food, that is), I relented.

There were a few non-dairy milk chocolate options that left me unimpressed and reminded me why I didn’t like the stuff to begin with, but then there was one bar that changed it all! I’ll cut to the chase (otherwise, I know you’ll just start scrolling); the folks at Schmilk have perfected the art of ultra-creamy chocolate that’s big on chocolate flavor without any nasty waxiness!

If you’re curious, I have also included a little info about what’s usually used to make vegan milk chocolate and the increasing demand for the products at the end.

rows of dark and milk chocolate truffles on a white background

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You Need Schmilk Vegan Milk Chocolate

Over the last couple of months, I have been on a vegan milk chocolate binge! I have tried dairy-free options from massive brands like Hershey to small brands hailing from Switzerland and everywhere in between, but none of them could hold a candle to the products that Schmilk is making.

I liked it so much that when I first got it, I took a couple of squares and then put it away. An hour later, I had to go back and get the rest of it (I generally have pretty good self-control)!

Schmilk started in 2012 in Vermont with the mission to create “velvety smooth and intensely flavorful” vegan milk chocolate that is cruelty-free and fair-trade. I’d say they were successful!

a variety pack of four different vegan milk chocolate bars leaning against a brown box from schmilk
Credit: Schmilk Chocolate

Schmilk Vegan Milk Chocolate Lineup

The brand has a few different options — it will be tough to decide, but don’t worry, they offer a sample pack, too!

Start Shopping at Schmilk’s

Vegan Milk Chocolate Bars

They offer six different vegan milk chocolate bar (that are also gluten-free) options, along with vegan white chocolate and dark chocolate. I’ve been able to get my hands on all of them except the white chocolate (this one might be new because it wasn’t available when I placed my last order). The chocolate bar flavors include:

Classic Schmilk
Milk Chocolate Toffee
Milk Chocolate Salted Almond
Milk Chocolate Raspberry (Razz Bar)
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut
Milk Chocolate Cruncher Bar

Hands down, my two favorites were the toffee and raspberry. The creamy milk chocolate and the buttery, caramelized toffee notes are unreal. Each bite is a delightful contrast of smooth and crunchy textures! On the other hand, the milk chocolate’s sweetness complements the raspberries’ natural tartness perfectly!

Chocolate Covered Treats from Schmilk

In addition to bars, they have a few other can’t-miss sweet treats to check out.

Roasted Marshmallow Hugs

As the name suggests, they take roasted vegan marshmallows and cover them in creamy dairy-free chocolate! It’s like a bite of heaven!

Peanut Bliss Bites

Peanut butter fans must try these! The combination of sweet and salty peanut butter with bits of vegan honeycomb covered in vegan milk chocolate is irresistible! 

Vermont Maple Sugar Candies

These sweet candies are a Vermont specialty! Traditional Vermont maple sugar leaf candies covered with chocolate — they suggest cutting them in half because they’re so sweet!

Hazelnut Crunch Truffles

Decadent hazelnut and chocolate covered with a creamy non-dairy milk chocolate shell!

Check Out These Treats
small squares of vegan milk chocolate peanut butter candies wrapped in orange foil
Peanut Butter Bliss Bites, Credit: Schmilk Chocolate

Where Else Can I Find Vegan Milk Chocolate?

One of my favorite places to look is Etsy — it’s how I originally found Schmilk! You will find various handmade options in a wide variety of flavor options. Just search for “vegan milk chocolate” and see what comes up!

Start Shopping on Etsy

Vegan chocolate is also growing in popularity, so it’s no surprise that you can find options from popular brands like Hershey’s or Lindt on supermarket shelves. Personally, I didn’t love Hershey’s plant-based options, but I really enjoyed Lindt (I actually gave it as a gift to the non-veggie people on one of my vegan tours, and they loved it too)!

a bar of vegan oatmilk chocolate from lindt leaning again a green book next to a plate of vegan chocolate squares
Credit: Lindt

What’s the Milk in Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate?

Dairy-free chocolate has become a fantastic alternative to traditional dairy-based confections. Instead of dairy, various plant-based options like almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk are incorporated to impart creaminess. Emulsifiers, often derived from soy or sunflower, contribute to the smooth and consistent texture by preventing the separation of cocoa solids and fats.

The use of different plant-based milks can also enhance the flavor, like adding a slightly nutty taste with hazelnut milk, or for a more neutral and creamier flavor, look for chocolate with oat milk. If you don’t like one, it doesn’t mean you won’t like them all — keep taste-testing!

Increasing Demand for Vegan Chocolate Options

Over the last five years, there has been a notable surge in the demand for vegan chocolate options, reflecting a broader shift towards plant-based living. Consumers are increasingly conscious of their dietary choices, seeking ethical and sustainable alternatives without compromising on flavor. According to Global Market Insights, the “Vegan Chocolate Market was valued at around USD 662.54 million in 2023 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 13.6% between 2024 and 2032.”

This growing awareness has prompted major brands that probably never thought they’d create dairy-free confections to rethink their lineup. Around the world, consumers are now finding vegan chocolate options from major companies like Hershey’s, Lindt, Mars, Ritter Sport, Nestle, and more. At one time, you would only find these products at specialty retailers or online, but today, they are taking up shelf space at most major retailers.

This evolution caters to the rising vegan population and resonates with a broader audience embracing a more mindful and compassionate approach to their food choices.

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