Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (2023)

Last December, Berkeley-based chocolate brand TCHO announced plans to go vegan by the end of 2023. However, TCHO has hit that goal months ahead of schedule, slashing its overall greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75 percent, and continuing to win international chocolate awards without skipping a beat.

“We’re really happy to announce that we had our final dairy production at our factory in Berkeley, CA in August 2022 and are now officially a dairy-free facility and chocolate company,” Josh Mohr, Senior Vice President of Marketing at TCHO Ventures, tells VegNews.

Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (1)TCHO

Instead of dairy, TCHO now uses oat milk to craft unique chocolate offerings such as its six-bar retail line that includes Toffee Time (a creamy bar with crunchy toffee and sea salt flecks), Holy Fudge (made with Ghanaian dark chocolate with a flavor that is meant to evoke crispy brownie edges), and Choco Latté (a coffee truffle bar filled with oat milk chocolate and organic coffee beans.)

Removing dairy from its product lines—which includes its professional line—also came with some hefty sustainability perks. “TCHO is certified B Corp, certified organic, and certified Fair Trade, so we already have some aggressive sustainability goals,” Mohr says. “Replacing dairy milk and going 100-percent plant-based is another huge step in the right direction.”

“The greenhouse gas emissions associated with TCHO’s dairy-free chocolate is over three-quarters lower compared to our original dairy milk bars,” Mohr says.”

In conjunction with its decision to go vegan, TCHO transitioned its packaging to paper cartons that are fully recyclable, and the vegan chocolate bars housed within are now wrapped in layers of 100-percent post-consumer waste paper and certified compostable film.

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - Oct. 26

TCHO’s new oat milk chocolates

TCHO first launched in 2007 with principles of bringing higher ethical and sustainability standards to the chocolate industry. The company’s Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer was tasked with transitioning the formulations to meet TCHO’s award-winning standards, and he was both excited and nervous to take on the challenge.

A botanist and cocoa plant enthusiast, Kintzer tells VegNews the company ethos centers around curiosity, an important element that inspires team members to discover new and exciting ways to use cocoa in combination with the vast world of plant-based ingredients.

Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (2)TCHO

“The challenge was always about if we could get close to making a plant-based milk that we could be proud of, and it took years of development and curiosity,” he says. “It was deconstructing what we really love about milk chocolate.”

After three years of rigorous development, Kintzer and the TCHO team landed on a base that consists of cashew butter, Balinese coconut sugar, and creamy oat milk, a combination that perfectly replicated the creaminess, gentle nuttiness, caramel notes, and soft mouthfeel that dairy brings to chocolate.

“Once we knew we could make an incredibly delicious oat-milk-based chocolate, it was clear that TCHO should discontinue all of our dairy production and move to 100-percent plant-based,” Mohr says.

In addition to its retail line, TCHO transitioned its professional line of chocolate products to be fully vegan and is launching new and exciting options for food industry professionals. This month, TCHO is adding oat milk-based baking chocolate Oat My Gawd (46 percent) and oat milk-based white chocolate Choco Blanco (35 percent) to its professional offerings which open up a world of possibilities for vegan confections.

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - Oct. 25

TCHO’s new vegan white chocolate is one of a handful currently on the market and Kintzer made sure to craft it with utmost care—using top-notch Madagascar vanilla, creamy oat milk, cocoa and cashew butters, a bit of sugar, and a touch of coconut oil. “It’s a different kind of a white chocolate,” Kintzer says with pride.

Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (3)TCHO

The Choco Blanco and Oat My Gawd formulations also received extensive input from industry professionals such as chefs David Rodriquez and Erin Kanagy-Loux, and Salt & Straw and Humphrey Slocombe (ice cream chains that use TCHO in their offerings).

And the new professional line is already hitting menus, including at acclaimed vegan restaurant Millennium in Oakland, CA. “This chocolate is a game changer for any chefs or bakers wanting to expand their vegan offerings,” Saloni Mehra, Head Pastry Chef at Millennium, said in a statement.

Oat milk chocolate for the win

Since its launch 15 years ago, TCHO has won more than 30 awards at the International Chocolate Awards (ICA), a globally recognized event that tasks taste-makers with choosing the world’s best chocolates.

Going vegan meant that TCHO would discontinue its award-winning milk chocolate and instead submit its oat milk bars to be scrutinized alongside dairy-based competitors.The ICA’s Americas competition took place earlier this month and featured 800 entrants. So how did TCHO do?

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - Oct. 17

Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (4)TCHO

Kintzer’s hard work paid off because TCHO’s chocolates won in two categories: TCHO Choco Latté got gold in the Milk Chocolate with a Filling category and TCHO Toffee Time won a bronze in the Milk Chocolate with Inclusions or Pieces category. Beating out dairy milk entrants, TCHO’s vegan chocolates are now advancing to next month’s World Finals in Germany where judges will determine winners from the 3,000 products entered this year.

“We took a big risk in discontinuing our existing line of chocolate bars and launching six new 100 percent plant-based bars,” Mohr says. “Our previous chocolate bars had won more than 30 International Chocolate Awards and were loved by many. But we are chocolate makers first and foremost, so we knew our new bars would be equally amazing, if not better. And we were confident about the positive impact we would be making in the world by going 100-percent plant-based.”

TCHO’s award-winning chocolate bars and professional products are available through its website. Its bars are also available at select retailers, including Whole Foods and Safeway in the Northern California region.

TCHO: a modern chocolate company

While TCHO is a relatively small company, its journey in removing animal products from its formulations sets a precedent for how a modern chocolate brand can operate in a way that respects its farmer partners, promotes ethical practices along the supply chain for both people and animals, and hits sustainability goals, while delivering an award-winning product to consumers and professionals without compromise.

Chocolate Brand TCHO Shows Dairy Is Unnecessary: Goes Vegan, Wins Awards, Slashes Emissions (5)TCHO

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - April 7

And TCHO’s drive to transform the chocolate industry has been part of its business from the start. After realizing that most cocoa farmers have never tasted chocolate made from their beans, TCHO established 10 flavor labs in cocoa-producing regions around the world to co-develop the best chocolate right at the source.

This allows the people who make the raw materials a chance to be part of the chocolate-making process and, in turn, develops a shared language around chocolate that helps TCHO create better products more efficiently and sustainability.

TCHO also recently secured B Corporation status, is fully organic, and moving toward becoming soy-free. And with dairy out of the picture, TCHO can continue to work toward its never-ending pursuit of bringing ethical, fair, and delicious chocolate to the world.

“There’s just a way to design things so that you can make less of an impact,” Kintzer says. “Moving away from our dairy milk chocolate line was kind of unthinkable but there was always a curiosity about how we can do things better, in a more unique way, and with a better impact on the world in different ways.”

For the latest vegan news, read:
  • Your Oat Milk Latte Can Help You Live Longer, Says Coffee Study
  • COP27 Will Discuss Food Production for the First Time
  • Hollywood’s Favorite Vegan Ice Cream Shop Embarks on Expansion

Anna Starostinetskaya is the Senior News Editor at VegNews and is always keeping an eye on all things vegan in her home city of San Francisco, CA and everywhere else.

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Is TCHO chocolate vegan? ›

TCHO chocolate is vegan because we don't mix our cacao with cow's milk or butter. Our ingredients list is clean and straightforward, as we swap out dairy milk for ingredients like nut milk and oat milk. We also feature delicious vegan additions like vegan toffee and vanilla.

What chocolate is vegan friendly? ›

High-quality dark chocolate is a great option for vegans. Look for chocolate with a cacao content of 50% or more. The higher cacao percentage indicates a higher chocolate content.

Is Dairy Milk vegan? ›

Vegan-Friendly Milk

There is absolutely no debate over whether dairy milk is vegan: it isn't.

Can you get dairy free chocolate? ›

So typical milk chocolate is made with dairy and typical white chocolate is made with dairy. But, there are now many vegan brands of chocolate that use alternate ingredients, like soymilk powder, dairy-free coconut milk powder, cashews, hemp seeds, or oat flour, to make dairy-free milk chocolate and white chocolate.

Are Kit Kat bars vegan? ›

The company took two years to develop a vegan version of its classic milk-chocolate bars, and they are now available in two flavors: Smooth Chocolate and Salted Caramel.

Is TCHO chocolate good? ›

Out of the ten people I taste tested the TCHO chocolates with, 10/10 ranked this as their favorite. All of us would recommend this chocolate with a 64% cacao content, with real pieces of berries in it that provide a sweet and tart flavor to the rich and creamy taste of the dark chocolate.

Can vegans eat normal chocolate? ›

Ah, chocolate. With its multitude of good qualities, it's no wonder that one of the first questions asked by those thinking about an animal-friendly lifestyle is “wait a minute, can vegans eat chocolate?” The answer is a resounding YES!

Can vegans eat Lindt chocolate? ›

Discover our Lindt Vegan Chocolate selection; expertly crafted by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers so that you, or your plant-based friends, can enjoy a taste of luxury Swiss chocolate. Try our NEW vegan Chocolate Bars and vegan Hot Chocolate...

Is Nutella vegan? ›

Nutella contains skim milk powder, an animal-derived ingredient. Therefore, it's not vegan. Still, many brands offer similar spreads that are free of animal-based ingredients. Be sure to choose a product that's labeled “vegan.”

Is breast milk vegan? ›

Breast milk is indeed vegan and is the perfect food to nourish your newborn and future animal rights activist.

Is ice cream vegan? ›

Can vegans eat ice cream? Absolutely! There are tons of delicious dairy-free ice creams on the market, and you can also make your own excellent versions at home.

Why can't vegans have milk? ›

However, dairy isn't meat, so why don't vegans drink animal's milk? Vegans believe that you should never consume animal products in any of their forms for the same ethical reasons. While no cows are killed to produce cow milk, the modern industrial complex ensures that cows are kept against their will to produce milk.

Are any Lindt dairy-free? ›

Lindt uses skim milk powder, whole milk powder, and other dairy ingredients in many of our chocolate products. While our white and milk chocolate products contain the most, the Excellence 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% bars do not have milk products in them.

Is Lindt dairy-free? ›

Intolerances: Lindt 75%, 80% and 90% dark chocolate are all gluten and dairy free along with being suitable for vegans. They are also free from soy and nuts. Caution should be made with any flavoured variations, as these will contain dairy often in the form of butter fat.

What chocolate has no dairy in it? ›

It's pretty easy to find dairy-free dark chocolate, but its milky counterpart? Not so much. Made with Ecuadorian cacao and coconut, the Ombar coco mylk is the solution we were looking for. Both dairy-free yet deliciously milky, it's a great starting point for those easing themselves into vegan chocolate.

Is Kit Kat halal? ›

Yes, our KitKats are suitable for a Halal diet. Should you wish a list of all Nestlé products that are suitable, please let us know your email address in a DM and we'll send it to you… Can you please send me the halal list of your nestle products in India'? Can I have the UK list please?

Are Kit Kats 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.

Are Snickers vegan? ›

Are Snickers Vegan? Store-bought Snickers candy bars are not vegan because they contain dairy. This homemade version is made with a fast 3-ingredient chocolate sauce, that's totally dairy-free instead!

Is TCHO chocolate Organic? ›

Now the entire TCHO retail line is Certified Fair Trade, Certified Organic, vegan, gluten free, kosher and made from 100% plants.

Where is TCHO chocolate made? ›

Made in Berkeley, California!

We craft all of our chocolate at our state-of-the-art chocolate factory in Berkeley, California.

Which chocolate is best? ›

Dark chocolate is best for you because it's the least processed chocolate, which means it contains the highest percentage of flavonoid-filled cocoa bean (cocoa).

Why is most chocolate not vegan? ›

Traditional milk chocolate, as you might guess from the name, contains milk and is definitely not vegan friendly. However some chocolate companies use coconut or another plant-based milk to replace dairy for a creamy and smooth flavour, so even vegans can enjoy a 'milk' chocolate.

Why can't vegans eat chocolate? ›

Milk is the most obvious addition to chocolate that would make the end product non-vegan. There are widely accepted to be three “types” of chocolate: dark (or plain), white and milk. Both white and milk chocolate contain milk and this milk is taken from cows in all mass-produced chocolate.

Can Muslims eat vegan chocolate? ›

Lucky for us chocolate-obsessed Muslims, our beloved treat is halal! Or rather, it can be halal. Chocolate is made from seeds sourced from the cacao tree, or as the Latin put it, Theobroma cacao — meaning 'food of the gods. ' This clearly shows that chocolate is a plant-based food and thus is halal.

Are 70% Lindt balls vegan? ›

Alternatively, there is a selection of Lindt chocolate that doesn't contain any animal products such as our cocoa percentage Lindt EXCELLENCE range, 70% Smooth Blend, 70% , 85%, 90%, 95% and 99% Cocoa chocolate blocks.

Are any Lindt bars vegan? ›

Treat yourself with Lindt's irresistibly delicious oat-based chocolate with the Vegan Original Chocolate Bar. Crafted with premium vegan chocolate, this gourmet dairy-free chocolate bar delivers a perfectly smooth and creamy texture for a delicious, full sensory chocolate experience.

Is honey vegan? ›

Honey is by definition not vegan, since it a bee product, and bees are animals. Here's a nuanced article about how the ethical issues surrounding this sweetener fit into the broader concept of vegan living.

Is sugar a vegan? ›

Most vegans consider sugar a generally acceptable food, but strict vegans abstain from refined cane sugars that are likely to have been processed with animal products. They can, however, consume vegan-friendly raw cane sugar, certified-organic cane sugar, and sugar made exclusively from beets.

Does Nutella contain plastic? ›

If your jar doesn't display these icons, don't worry, not all packaging has enough space to display them! The Nutella® jar is made with PET a lightweight type of plastic. It is widely used to preserve the safety and quality of food and beverage products. You can also reuse it!

Can vegan people eat bread? ›

At its core, a bread recipe contains four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast — a type of microscopic fungus used to help bread rise. Therefore, the simplest form of bread is vegan. However, some types include additional ingredients like sweeteners or fats — both of which can be of animal origin.

Can a baby be born vegan? ›

Birth to six months

For the first six months of life, all babies need is either breastmilk or first infant formula. Breastfeeding is vegan-friendly, and also has a host of other benefits for you and your baby. If you're formula feeding, it's not possible to give your baby a fully vegan diet at first.

Can a baby be vegan from birth? ›

For most of the first year, you can ensure a healthful vegan diet for your newborn either by breastfeeding or by offering a soy-based infant formula approved by your pediatrician. Sometimes vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron supplements are given during the first year, but be sure to ask your pediatrician.

Can dogs be vegan? ›

Dogs prefer meat, but a vegan or vegetarian diet is possible with the right supplements. For health and ethical reasons, many vegetarian and vegan humans choose to share their dietary preferences with their dogs. In general, dogs are omnivorous.

Is their egg in ice cream? ›

Eggs, specifically egg yolks, play several roles in homemade ice cream. You can make tasty ice cream without them, but there's a reason that almost every recipe published in the last 50 years calls for them. Here's why: After water, egg yolks are mostly fat and protein.

What ice cream has no milk in it? ›

Tofutti and So Delicious' Soymilk ice cream are two options leading the way. Other suitable choices include oat- and rice-based ice creams. Oatly is slowly rolling out a line of oat-milk-based frozen desserts, with classic flavors like strawberry and chocolate in the works.

Are they eggs in ice cream? ›

While commercially manufactured ice cream is typically made with pasteurized eggs or egg products, recipes for homemade ice cream often use raw eggs in the base mixture.

Can vegans drink Coke? ›

The vast majority of our drinks, including Coca‑Cola, are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as they do not contain any animal derivatives.

Why can't you eat honey as a vegan? ›

Vegans try to avoid or minimize all forms of animal exploitation, including that of bees. As a result, most vegans exclude honey from their diets. Some vegans also avoid honey to take a stand against conventional beekeeping practices that can harm bee health.

Do vegan eat eggs? ›

Can you eat eggs if you're vegan? The bottom line is that vegans don't eat eggs due to the fact that they are animal products. This can be for a range of reasons, from health to environmental variables, but primary motivators include a concern for animal welfare.

Are Lindt eggs vegan? ›

Vegetarian. We are happy to report that all of our chocolates – including our LINDOR and EXCELLENCE ranges – are suitable for vegetarians! Some of our chocolates do use animal products but these are limited to milk, milk products, milk fat, cream, shellac and, on occasion, eggs.

Is Lindt Lindor chocolate vegetarian? ›

This is a Vegetarian product.

Does Lindt contain egg? ›

Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Bar has a super good quality of 70% cocoa to satiate your feeling of "too much chocolate". With the abundant goodness of dark chocolate, the quality is gourmet and delicious, and super creamy. Premium quality chocolate. Does not contain eggs.

Is Lindt oat milk vegan? ›

Lindt OatMilk Bars

Classic Recipe OatMilk Salted Caramel also features crunchy salted caramel pieces. In addition to being non-dairy and plant-based, the OatMilk bars are made with gluten-free oats — so they're suitable for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, flexitarian and/or avoid gluten.

Is all dark chocolate vegan? ›

In answer to the question “is dark chocolate vegan?” The resounding answer should be: Yes! Typically dark chocolate is made with no milk, unlike its milk and white chocolate counterparts.

Is Lindt bunny vegan? ›

The Lindt bunny with the brown ribbon is the ones that's suitable for vegans, or – if you want a more affordable option, grab the cheap but tasty Lindt 'inspired' version from Aldi for just 99p!

Is dairy-free chocolate better for you? ›

Boosts Healthy Blood Sugar

It's also the best choice for people on a diet and those who prefer dairy free products. However, one of the biggest benefits of vegan chocolates is that they not only help maintain a healthy sugar level but also boost the functioning of your cells.

What products have no dairy? ›

Dairy-free foods to eat
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Meat & poultry.
  • Fish & seafood.
  • Eggs.
  • Nuts & seeds.
  • Soy products, such as tofu and tempeh.
  • Beans & legumes.
  • Whole grains, such as quinoa and couscous.

Is dairy-free chocolate healthier? ›

Many chocolate enthusiasts are going to be fuming at this claim, but there is simply no denying that vegan chocolate is much better for your health than the standard one, full of dairy and other harmful ingredients.

Is all Taza chocolate vegan? ›

Taza Chocolate is 100% Certified USDA Organic, Direct Trade, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and Non-GMO Project Verified. All of our products are also dairy free, soy free, and vegan.

Is Terry's chocolate vegan? ›

The Vegan Society is pleased to announce the new Terry's Chocolate Orange Plant Based Bar has been verified vegan by the charity's trademark certification, meaning vegans can rest assured that the product is free from animal ingredients and exploitation.

Which Callebaut is vegan? ›

NXT dairy-free chocolates bring you the characteristic, balanced Callebaut taste & creaminess – yet without dairy or animal ingredients. Allergen-free: nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Is Terry's dark chocolate vegan? ›

Suitable for Vegetarians. May Contain: Nuts, Wheat. Contains: Milk, Soya.

Is Nutella chocolate vegan? ›

Nutella contains skim milk powder, an animal-derived ingredient. Therefore, it's not vegan. Still, many brands offer similar spreads that are free of animal-based ingredients. Be sure to choose a product that's labeled “vegan.”

Is chocolate is vegan? ›

Ah, chocolate. With its multitude of good qualities, it's no wonder that one of the first questions asked by those thinking about an animal-friendly lifestyle is “wait a minute, can vegans eat chocolate?” The answer is a resounding YES!

Is Lindt chocolate vegan? ›

Browse our Lindt EXCELLENCE 70%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 99% and 100% Cacao bars for vegan-friendly options. See the nutritional label on our packaging for a complete list of ingredients.

Which Nutella is vegan? ›

The Best Vegan Nutella Brands

Nocciolata Dairy-Free Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa (palm oil free, gluten-free, and dairy-free) Justin's Chocolat Hazelnut Butter. Artisana Organics Hazelnut Cocoa Spread.

Can vegans eat white chocolate? ›

Can Vegans Eat White Chocolate? Regular white chocolate is not vegan. This is because it is typically made using milk products. Luckily, there are so many dairy substitutes nowadays, that replacing the milk products is easier than ever!

Is Germany vegan friendly? ›

Germany has been ranked as one of the best destinations in the world for vegans and vegetarians. Here is a dedicated veg friendly article on how to travel Germany as a vegan.

Are there vegans in Germany? ›

There are approximately 2.6 million vegans in Germany. 3.2% of the German population is vegan. The number of vegans doubled between 2016 and 2020. Young adults make up the biggest number of vegans in Germany.

Is Green and Black's chocolate dairy free? ›

Organic dark chocolate bars, Green & Black's, RRP £2 for 100g. Not all Green & Black's bars are suitable for vegans, but all their dark ones – except burnt toffee – are accidentally vegan.

Is Lindt Lindor dark vegan? ›

We are happy to report that all of our chocolates – including our LINDOR and EXCELLENCE ranges – are suitable for vegetarians! Some of our chocolates do use animal products but these are limited to milk, milk products, milk fat, cream, shellac and, on occasion, eggs.

Is black chocolate vegan? ›

In answer to the question “is dark chocolate vegan?” The resounding answer should be: Yes! Typically dark chocolate is made with no milk, unlike its milk and white chocolate counterparts.

Is Lindt dark chocolate vegetarian? ›

We are delighted to inform you that our chocolates (including our Lindor and Excellence ranges) are suitable for vegetarians. The only ingredients of animal origin we use to manufacture some of our chocolates are milk, milk products, milk fat and cream and sometimes eggs.


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