Are any Hershey products dairy-free?

Hershey is one of the largest and most well-known chocolate companies in the world. Many of their classic chocolate bars like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Kisses contain milk as a main ingredient. However, with the rise in demand for dairy-free products, Hershey has started offering some dairy-free options as well.

In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze which Hershey products are dairy-free and which ones contain milk. We’ll also look at some reasons why someone may require or prefer dairy-free chocolate and examine some alternatives for those who wish to avoid dairy.

Quick Summary

– Most classic Hershey chocolate bars like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate contain dairy as a main ingredient.

– Some Hershey products like Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Cocoa Powder are dairy-free.

– People with lactose intolerance, milk allergies, or those following plant-based diets require dairy-free options.

– Some good dairy-free alternative chocolate brands are Enjoy Life, Pascha Organic, Equal Exchange, and Taza Chocolate.

Hershey Products Containing Dairy

Many of Hershey’s most iconic and popular products like their chocolate bars and candies contain milk as a primary ingredient. Here are some examples of Hershey products that are not dairy-free:

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

Hershey’s simple and classic milk chocolate bars contain milk as the second ingredient after sugar. People who require dairy-free chocolate would need to avoid these iconic bars.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme

This bar combines Hershey’s chocolate with crunchy cookie pieces. It contains milk chocolate, so it’s not dairy-free.

Hershey’s Kisses

The iconic, bite-sized Hershey’s Kisses chocolates also contain milk chocolate and milk as an ingredient. They are also coated in a thin layer of non-toxic wax to preserve freshness.

Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar

Mr. Goodbar features creamy milk chocolate blended with crunchy peanuts. It contains dairy ingredients.

Hershey’s Symphony Bar

The Symphony bar contains Hershey’s milk chocolate, almonds, toffee, and caramel. It is not dairy-free due to containing milk chocolate.

Hershey’s Miniatures

Hershey’s Miniatures are an assortment of bite-sized candies like Kisses, Mr. Goodbar, and Hershey’s Special Dark. The milk chocolate and creme filled options contain dairy.

Hershey’s Nuggets

Hershey’s Nuggets feature bite-sized chocolates in milk chocolate, peanut butter, and other flavors. The milk chocolate nuggets contain dairy.

Hershey’s Gold Bar

This bar by Hershey features milk chocolate and peanut butter combined with salty pretzels and caramelized creme. It contains dairy ingredients.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds

The classic Hershey’s milk chocolate bar with roasted almond pieces is not dairy-free.

Hershey’s Skor Bar

This sweet-and-salty bar features milk chocolate with crunchy toffee bits inside. It contains dairy.

Hershey’s Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold is an assortment of Hershey’s milk and white chocolates with crisped rice and almonds. It contains dairy as it’s made with milk chocolate.

Hershey’s Swoops

Swoops are slices of Hershey’s milk chocolate. They contain dairy as milk is the main chocolate ingredient.

Hershey’s Milkshakes

These rich, chocolate milkshakes are made with Hershey’s syrup and milk. Obviously, they contain dairy and aren’t dairy-free.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops

These small morsels of Hershey’s classic milk chocolate contain dairy as a primary ingredient.


Take5 candy bars are produced by Hershey and feature milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and pretzels. The milk chocolate makes it a dairy product.


Whatchamacallit bars contain milk chocolate, caramel, peanut flavors, and crisped rice. They are not dairy-free.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Iconic Reese’s peanut butter cups feature milk chocolate and sweet peanut butter. So they contain dairy and are not dairy-free.

Kit Kat

Kit Kat bars feature wafers coated in Hershey’s milk chocolate. They contain dairy as milk is a primary chocolate ingredient.


Mounds candy bars feature dark chocolate and coconut. However, the dark chocolate still contains milk. So Mounds are not dairy-free.

Almond Joy

Almond Joy bars combine milk chocolate, coconut and almonds. The milk chocolate means it contains dairy.

Dairy-Free Hershey Products

While Hershey’s most popular items contain dairy, they do offer some dairy-free options as well:

Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate

Hershey’s Special Dark line of mildly sweet, bittersweet, and extra dark chocolate bars and chips are dairy-free. They contain no milk. However, they are processed on equipment that also processes milk chocolate, so severe allergies should take note.

Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Pure unsweetened cocoa powder contains no dairy. It can be used for baking dairy-free chocolate recipes and beverages. Again, check for allergy warnings on processing equipment.

Hershey’s Syrup

While not completely chocolate, Hershey’s Syrup in the classic chocolate and strawberry flavors contain no dairy. They can be used to flavor dairy-free milk or treats.

York Peppermint Patties

These peppermint candies with a dark chocolate coating contain no milk ingredients. However, they contain trace amounts from manufacturing equipment.

Hershey Product Contains Dairy
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Yes
Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Yes
Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate No
Hershey’s Kisses Yes
Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder No
Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar Yes
Hershey’s Symphony Bar Yes
Hershey’s Miniatures Some varieties contain dairy
Hershey’s Nuggets Milk chocolate varieties contain dairy
Hershey’s Gold Bar Yes
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Yes
Hershey’s Skor Bar Yes
Hershey’s Pot of Gold Yes
Hershey’s Swoops Yes
Hershey’s Milkshakes Yes
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops Yes
Take5 Yes
Whatchamacallit Yes
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Yes
Kit Kat Yes
Mounds Yes
Almond Joy Yes
York Peppermint Patties No

Reasons for Requiring Dairy-Free Chocolate

There are several reasons why a person may seek dairy-free chocolate options, including:

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a condition where people lack the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest lactose, the sugar in milk. Consuming milk chocolate can cause gastrointestinal issues for them.

Milk Allergies

Those with an allergy to milk proteins must avoid milk chocolate and other products containing milk ingredients.

Vegan or Plant-Based Diet

Vegans and those following plant-based diets exclude all animal products, including dairy. They would need to consume dairy-free chocolate.

Kosher or Halal Diet

Those following kosher or halal diets also often avoid mixing dairy with meat products. So they would need pareve or “dairy-free” chocolate.


Some people simply prefer the taste of darker, dairy-free chocolates over milkier options. The reduced sugar and different flavor profiles appeal to them.

Best Dairy-Free Chocolate Brands

For those avoiding dairy who still want to enjoy the delicious flavor of chocolate, here are some recommended dairy-free chocolate brands to try:

Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life focuses on allergy-friendly foods, including dairy-free dark chocolate bars. They are processed in dedicated nut and milk-free facilities.

Pascha Organic Chocolate

Pascha makes USDA organic and dairy-free chocolate in dark chocolate, chips, and specialty flavors like raspberry and coconut.

Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate bars and chips feature organic, dairy-free dark chocolate.

Taza Chocolate

Taza stone grounds organic cacao to make authentic stone ground chocolate without dairy or refined sugar.

Lily’s Sweets

Lily’s makes dairy-free chocolate chips and bars sweetened with stevia instead of sugar.

Is Dark Chocolate Always Dairy-Free?

Be aware that not all dark chocolate is necessarily dairy-free. Some dark chocolate bars and products will still contain milk ingredients. Always check the specific product ingredients for milk, dairy, lactose, or whey to confirm it is dairy-free if required.

What About Coconut Milk Chocolate?

Some dairy-free chocolates are made using coconut milk instead of regular milk. These offer a creamy, milk chocolate-like flavor without the dairy. Brands like Goodio and Chocolate Inspirations offer coconut milk chocolate bars.


While classic Hershey products like their milk chocolate bars contain dairy, they do offer some dairy-free options like Special Dark bars and cocoa powder. People with dairy restrictions due to allergies, diets, or preference can look for dairy-free chocolate from Enjoy Life, Pascha, Equal Exchange, Lily’s Sweets, and others. Carefully reading ingredient labels remains important to ensure the chocolate bars are completely dairy-free. With some research, those avoiding dairy can still enjoy the wonderful world of chocolate.

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