Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli has launched vegan chocolate bars made with oat milk. The Lindt Classic Recipe OatMilk bars just hit stores in the United States in Original and Salted Caramel flavors. To create the new vegan chocolate bars, Lindt replaced dairy milk with gluten-free oat milk powder and almond paste.
“We are constantly looking for ways to create chocolate that everyone can enjoy. We are thrilled to bring this new product to US consumers,” Lindt Master Chocolatier, Ann Czaja, said in a statement. “Lindt Classic Recipe OatMilk bars will deliver the same smooth, creamy experience as our Lindt Classic Recipe milk chocolate, all without the dairy.”
The US launch follows a similar release in Canada in February in Original, Hazelnut, and Salted Caramel flavors and a United Kingdom launch in Smooth and Hazelnut flavors.
This is not the first time the chocolatier has launched vegan items. Lindt first got into the vegan milk chocolate game last year with a three-flavor line under its HELLO collection available in Germany and the UK. The bars, also made with oat milk, include Cookie, Salted Caramel, and Hazelnut flavors. The new Lindt vegan bars are available in Lindt chocolate shops across Canada and in United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and other popular grocery retailers.
Lindt is among a growing number of major chocolate companies that are developing vegan milk chocolate. Though many confectionary brands have offered vegan dark chocolate bars that exclude dairy milk as an ingredient, major brands are now making use of a variety of plants such as oats, hazelnuts, and rice to create vegan milk chocolate.
All the vegan milk chocolate
In recent years, nearly every chocolate giant in the UK has launched vegan milk chocolate options. In 2019, after six months of research and development, confectionary company Mars debuted its first vegan milk chocolate Galaxy line. The bars are made with hazelnut paste and rice syrup instead of dairy milk and come in Smooth Orange, Caramel & Sea Salt, and Caramelized Hazelnut flavors.
This year, Nestlé debuted a vegan version of its iconic KitKat bar made with rice milk in the UK, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Australia, and Brazil. “Our challenge when we set out to create a vegan-friendly KitKat was to recreate this iconic product using plant-based alternatives,” Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Center in York, said in a statement. “To achieve this, we worked very hard to get the right balance between the milk alternative and the cocoa. The result is a vegan chocolate that we’re very proud of, and I hope all KitKat fans will love it as much as we do.”
British multinational confectionery company Cadbury also launched its first line of vegan chocolate bars in the UK this year. Made with almond paste in place of dairy, the Cadbury Plant Bars come in two flavors: Smooth Chocolate and Salted Caramel.
Stateside, Hershey’s has been quietly testing a vegan milk chocolate bar made with oat milk instead of dairy. The Oat Made bars come in Classic Dark and Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt flavors and are available at a select number of retailers, including Target, as part of a real-time marketing test Hershey’s is conducting until June 2022.
At popular grocery chain Trader Joe’s, taste-makers developed a vegan chocolate bar made with the store’s existing Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage. After several months in development, The Organic Almond Beverage Chocolate Bar launched last fall to advance Trader Joe’s commitment to add new vegan products to every department in the store.
For more about vegan milk chocolate, read:
The VegNews Guide to Vegan Chocolate
Chocolatier Purdys Launches First Vegan Milk Chocolate Line
Valrhona’s First Vegan Milk Chocolate Is Here