Chocolate

It can be a bit challenging to find vegan chocolate in Japan. When looking for chocolate we suggest you:

– Look in foreign food stores like Kaldi Coffee Farm
– Order online, for example from iHerb
– Check 100 yen stores
– Read the label carefully (you can see the common ingredients below)

While you will see a range of dark chocolate in supermarkets and convenience stores, almost all contain milk (see the examples below). Many also contain ‘flavouring’ (without further description), and emulsifier that is not specified as being made from soy.

In relation to ‘flavouring’, it seems that this could just be vanilla, For example, this hot cocoa powder includes ‘natural vanilla’ in the English list of ingredients, but the Japanese list only says ‘flavouring’.

Cocoa PowderCocoa Powder Japanese

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The chocolate below is another good example of this. The extra information in italics was on the manufacturer’s website.

Carla Bitter Chocolate – 70% Cacao . Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, fat-reduced cocoa powder, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate(E476)), flavouring (vanilla extract). Note: manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing milk.

Carla Bitter Chocolate 70%Carla Bitter Chocolate 70% Ingredients

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There was no information on the manufacturer’s website about the 50% Cacao version, but the flavouring is likely to be vanilla also. Both of these chocolates were in 100 yen stores.

Carla Bitter Chocolate – 50% Cacao. Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Note: manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing milk.

Carla Bitter Chocolate 50%Carla Bitter Chocolate 50% Ingredients

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Below is another potentially vegan chocolate found in a 100 yen store. It appears that the emulsifier is from soy and the flavouring could be vanilla.

Millato Dark Chocolate. Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, fat-reduced cocoa powder, emulsifier, flavouring. Note: Contains soy and manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing wheat, walnuts, egg, peanuts and milk.

Millato Dark ChocolateMillato Dark Chocolate Ingredients

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This Meiji 95% Cacao chocolate may also just be flavoured with vanilla.

Meiji 95% Cacao. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cocoa powder, sugar, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Note: manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing milk.

Meiji 95% CacaoMeiji 95% Cacao

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The same applies to this chocolate sold in the baking section of Max Valu supermarkets.

Tablet Chocolate – Bitter. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Note: manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanuts and soy.

Tablet chocolate - BitterTablet chocolate - bitter (back)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Now, onto the brands of dark/bitter chocolate are NOT vegan. These are some of the most common in Japan.

Morinaga DARS Bitter Chocolate. Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable oil, butter oil, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Back CameraBack Camera

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meiji BLACK Chocolate. Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, vegetable oil, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, lecithin (soy), flavouring. IMG_2407IMG_2408

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

• Note Morinaga Bitter Chocolate and Lotte Black Ghana also contain whole milk powder.

Morinaga Cacao 70. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Contains an ingredient derived from milk.

Back CameraBack Camera

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Morinaga Venezuela Bitter. Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass (30% of cocoa beans from Venezuela), cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy), flavouring. Contains an ingredient derived from milk.

Back CameraBack Camera

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meiji Cacao 72%. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, emulsifier, flavouring. Contains an ingredient derived from milk.

Back CameraBack Camera

 

6 thoughts on “Chocolate

    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Thank you, but it looks like the Meiji Raisin and Almond Chocolate is not vegan 😦 It has the statement about the product containing something derived from milk after the list of ingredients. The emulsifier is also not specified as being from soy (compare to the Meiji Cacao 95% which says the emulsifier is from soy). Sorry!

      Reply
  1. buzzinjapan

    The only vegan chocolate I found in Japan was Lindt dark chocolate which can be found in the import section of any department store food hall or specialty import supermarkets like the one in Kyoto Station.

    Reply
  2. Vegan chick

    Thank you so much you guys help me a lot, I was buying this really expensive choco in kaldi until now. By the way kaldi has some vegan things from time to time, rarely but more often than regular grossery shops. There are kaldis in every department store.
    Blessings to all vegans.

    Reply
  3. Jim

    I suggest going to iHerb.com and checking out their chocolate. They sell vitamins and supplements, and a wide variety of health products. All of their chocolates list the ingredients, so you know what you’re getting. Try the “Chocolove” brand. There are several kinds. I like the almond and sea salt (55% cocoa). It is 100% vegan (and organic). they are in California, but their shipping is effieient and reliable. I’ve never had a lost package from them in 15 years of shopping, and I live in Taiwan. The flat rate shipping fee for up to 8 lbs of stuff is US$8.00 (with a tracking number) and gets to you in just a few days (really). Or, go cheap and it’s US$4.00 flat rate for up to 3 lbs (without a tracking number) and it takes 2 to 3 weeks. You can read comments for all the products from users, and their prices are hard to beat. Use my iHerb coupon number and you will receive a US$5.00 discount on your first order. Use code: HEN449 Visit their website and browse around. You will see they are a leader in the field of health products.

    Reply

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