Kit Kats arguably has some of the catchiest ads in the candy business. Each commercial features a symphony of breaking, snapping Kit Kats to the rhythm of happy people enjoying their days.
Unfortunately, most chocolate candy isn’t vegan-friendly, and if you’re reading this, you’re likely wondering, “Are Kit Kats vegan?”
At this time, there aren’t any vegan-friendly Kit Kats on the market. All Kit Kat varieties contain dairy-derived ingredients. Additionally, Kit Kat bars are made with refined sugar and palm oil, which are also generally not accepted by vegans.
In today’s post, I’ll give you a rundown of everything in Kit Kats and explain why the vegan Kit Kats were taken off of the market!
Do Kit Kats Have Dairy?
Unfortunately, when it comes to mainstream chocolate candy, dairy is almost always present. This is because most popular candy bars are made with milk chocolate, which of course is made with dairy.
Kit Kats contain three dairy ingredients, including nonfat milk, milk fat, and milk-derived lactose (milk sugar).
This means that Kit Kats should not only be avoided by vegans but also by lactose-intolerant individuals as well.
Does Kit Kat Contain Pig Fat?
Although you might not expect it, pig fat is in a lot of different foods. The reason most people never expect this ingredient is that it’s listed as gelatin. Most consumers wouldn’t take too kindly to many of their favorite foods if they knew what it actually was.
Kit Kats do not contain any gelatin from pig fat (or beef fat).
This means that Kit Kats are meat-free and safe for vegetarians to consume. However, they’re still non-vegan due to the presence of dairy by-products.
Where Can You Find Kit Kat V?
In mid-June, 2021, Kit Kat released their first-ever vegan Kit Kat bar called “Kit Kat V.”
Kit Kat V was made with sustainably sourced organic cocoa and dairy alternatives, making it a true plant-based candy bar. It was released in select countries, including the UK and New Zealand.
Unfortunately, Kit Kat V was discontinued by Nestle because there wasn’t enough demand for the product.
It was sold throughout 2021, but the product simply didn’t sell enough and Nestle ended up losing money on the product. So, they discontinued it for 2022.
Hopefully, the next time a major candy brand releases a vegan version, it will get more support and stay around for a long!
What Are Kit Kats Made Of? Full Ingredients List
Have you ever wondered just what Kit Kats are made of? If so, then you’re in the right place! Below, I’ll show you all of the ingredients in the original Kit Kat bar and explain which ones are problematic for vegans.
Here’s a quick look at the ingredients for reference:
Now, let’s go through the list and clear up any confusion you might have.
Sugar is the main ingredient in all varieties of Kit Kat and most other types of candy. Although some vegans eat sugar, many do not. This is because the refined white sugar used for most candy goes through a non-vegan filtration process that the majority of vegans don’t agree with.
To turn natural organic cane sugar into white sugar, the raw cane sugar must pass through bone char filters, which purify and concentrate the crystals. This, of course, supports the meat industry (however indirectly it may be), which is problematic for ethical vegans.
2) Wheat Flour
Wheat flour is used to make the thin crispy wafers at the heart of all Kit Kats. Wheat flour is a vegan-friendly product that’s made from dried and ground wheat fruit.
3) Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is a natural butter that’s found within cacao pods. When the cacao tree ripens, the large seed pods are harvested and cracked open. The beans (which are actually seeds) are removed, dried, and cleaned to be processed into cocoa powder.
The beans are encased in thick, fatty butter. This cocoa butter is used to make chocolate and is also used in a variety of all-natural vegan lotions, cosmetics, and hair products! It’s 100% natural, vegan, and very healthy for you.
4) Nonfat Milk
Nonfat milk is one of the main ingredients used to make milk chocolate. Unfortunately, it’s a direct dairy product that comes from exploited, cruelly-treated cows in today’s awful dairy industry.
Chocolate (cocoa powder) is a natural, vegan product that’s made from dried and ground cocoa beans. This is the main ingredient in chocolate candy! By itself, it’s quite bitter. When combined with a bit of sweetener and cocoa butter, though, chocolate is a delicious treat.
6) Palm Oil
Palm oil is a plant-based oil used to thicken and soften the chocolate Kit Kats. While palm oil is “plant-based,” most vegans try to avoid it for ethical reasons.
Palm oil farming is responsible for driving orangutans to extinction and the wholesale destruction of large swaths of South American and Indonesian rainforests.
7) Milk Fat
Milk fat consists of the thick, fatty curdles that are extracted from raw milk. These are often used to create a thicker, creamier chocolate product. Of course, this is a dairy product, which makes it non-vegan.
8) Lactose From Milk
Lactose is the natural sugar that’s found in milk. Lactose sugar is often used in chocolate candy, as the flavor blends well with milk chocolate.
9) Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is a semi-natural additive that’s derived from processed soybeans. It’s used as both an emulsifier and a natural preservative agent to keep various ingredients from separating.
PGPR is a chemical emulsifier derived from organic fatty acids. It’s combined with soy lecithin to create an emulsifier blend that’s often used in processed chocolate candy. When the two emulsifiers are combined, they create a smoother, less viscous chocolate.
Vanillin is an artificial vanilla flavoring that’s added to Kit Kat’s milk chocolate to give it a richer, more complex flavor. This flavoring is added to a number of other milk chocolate candies as well.
Salt is used to make the wafer dough at the heart of all Kit Kats. Salt strengthens the dough mixture, making it firmer and more consistent.
Yeast is also used in the wafer dough. When added to the dough, it helps the dough rise, creating air bubbles, and giving the wafers an extra-crispy, extra-airy texture. Yeast can also be deactivated to make a popular vegan seasoning called nutritional yeast!
14) Baking Soda
Baking soda is another small ingredient used to make the Kit Kat wafers. It helps the dough rise and gives it a crispy texture. Baking soda is an organic chemical compound that consists of sodium and carbon (sodium bicarbonate, to be specific).
Are White Kit Kats Vegan?
Unfortunately, the White Kit Kats are also non-vegan.
Like the original Kit Kats, they’re made with nonfat milk and milk fat, which are dairy-derived ingredients. Here’s a look at the ingredients, so you can see for yourself:
Conclusion – Are Kit Kats Vegan-Friendly?
While Nestle tried to launch a vegan-friendly Kit Kat bar in 2021, it wasn’t as popular with consumers as the brand hoped, and was discontinued. The Kit Kats on the market today are all made with dairy, which is used in the milk chocolate mixture, which means that they’re not vegan.
That doesn’t mean that vegans can’t enjoy chocolate, though! Keep on reading to find out my favorite brands of vegan chocolate.