A vegan version of Cadbury’s iconic Dairy Milk chocolate bar is finally here.
The British confectioner announced that its first vegan chocolate bar, called Cadbury Plant Bars, will be available from Sainsbury’s starting in November. Cadbury is hoping to target the increasing number of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians in the UK.
“With 500,000 participants in this year’s Veganuary—double the number of participants from the year before—the increasing public appetite for varied snacking options and plant-based alternatives has never been more apparent,” said Louise Stigant, the Managing Director of Mondelez UK, Cadbury’s parent company since 2010.
The long-awaited new line (Cadbury cited recipe development as the reason for its delay) includes two flavors, Smooth Chocolate and Salted Caramel, and both replace the “glass and a half” of dairy milk in the original with almond paste for “delicious smooth chocolate” with a “hint of nuttiness.”
Cadbury is also launching 100 percent plant-based packaging for the bars, made using International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified and renewable plastics. The company is currently developing recycled soft plastic packaging for traditional Dairy Milk.
‘The texture and taste our consumers love’
Rumors started swirling about the new bar in 2020. A member of the Facebook group What Kiwi Vegans Eat posted a screenshot from a survey she took online, which included a slide showing a chocolate bar with “vegan” printed on the front.
“We’re always listening to our consumers,” said a Mondelēz spokesperson at the time. “So we can develop and provide people with greater choice.”
They continued, “this includes looking at a plant-based Cadbury Dairy Milk bar,” but added that the brand intended to hold off on debuting a new vegan milk chocolate bar until it could retain “the texture and taste that our consumers love.”
It was reported at the time that Mondelēz planned an initial launch for January 2021, in order to tie in with this year’s Veganuary campaign. However, it was forced to delay as the company “grappled with finding a dairy substitute which is also suitable for consumers with nut allergies.”
With the new Plant Bars, Cadbury appears to have compromised on finding a nut-free version in order to create an authentic, dairy-style flavor using almonds. The launch follows two years of research and recipe development.
Customer demand for vegan-friendly chocolate
The launch of Plant Bars follows the discovery that Bourneville’s Giant Buttons will no longer be suitable for vegans due to dairy milk as an active ingredient. The company currently has only a handful of vegan options, including some of its cocoa and dark chocolate bars.
Brands including Galaxy, Aero, Lindt, Hershey’s, and even Kit Kat, have all launched vegan-friendly options in recent years, also citing the rapid growth in customer demand for plant-based foods.
“Evolving consumer demands have long informed our ambition to provide a wide range of products that work for everyone and the new Cadbury Plant Bar range is the latest stop on this journey,” added Stigant.
Cadbury’s vegan chocolate bars will launch at Sainsbury’s in November, followed by other retailers at the beginning of 2022. Each 80g bar will cost £2.50, approximately twice the price of the standard Dairy Milk.