Is there dairy free M&Ms?

M&Ms are one of the most popular chocolate candies in the world, with their colorful candy shells and chocolate centers. However, like many chocolate products, traditional M&Ms contain milk ingredients, which means they are not suitable for people with dairy allergies or sensitivities.

In the past, those avoiding dairy had limited options when it came to enjoying these iconic candies. But in recent years, Mars Wrigley, the company that makes M&Ms, has reformulated some of their products to be dairy free.

So are there dairy free M&M’s available? The quick answer is yes, there are now some dairy free varieties of M&Ms on the market. However, not all M&Ms are dairy free, so it depends on the specific product. We’ll cover the details in this article.

Background on Milk Allergies and M&Ms

To understand if M&Ms can be dairy free, it helps to first understand what ingredients they traditionally contain that are problematic for those with milk allergies.

M&Ms get their creamy, chocolatey flavor from ingredients like milk, milk chocolate, and contains milk powder. Obviously, these ingredients are off-limits for people with milk allergies or vegans who avoid dairy.

Milk allergies are one of the most common food allergies, especially in young children, though some do not outgrow the condition. An allergy to the protein in milk can cause reactions ranging from hives, vomiting, and diarrhea to severe life-threatening anaphylaxis. Those with lactose intolerance are unable to digest the sugar (lactose) in milk, resulting in gastrointestinal symptoms, but do not experience a classic allergic reaction.

For people with milk protein allergies or who avoid dairy for other reasons, eating traditional M&Ms that contain milk ingredients can be problematic. But food allergies and diet preferences are being taken more seriously by food brands today, leading to more dairy free options of popular candies and snacks.

Varieties of M&Ms Currently Available Dairy Free

The good news is that Mars Wrigley has reformulated some varieties of M&Ms to be “dairy free” in recent years. Here are some dairy free M&M products currently on the market:

M&Ms Minis

– M&Ms Minis recently reformulated their recipe and removed milk ingredients, making these bite-sized button candies dairy free. This includes the classic chocolate Minis as well as peanut, peanut butter, and other flavored Minis.

M&Ms Crispy

– M&Ms Crispy are a crunchy, puffed rice variety of M&Ms. Mars removed milk ingredients from the recipe in 2015, making M&Ms Crispy suitable for people with milk allergies.

M&Ms Caramel

– Released in 2019, the new M&Ms Caramel flavor is dairy free. They have a chewy caramel center inside the candy shell.

ColorWorks Candy Buttons

– ColorWorks Candy Buttons look and taste similar to M&Ms buttons but are made by a different company. They are allergy-friendly and dairy free.

Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

– Enjoy Life is a brand dedicated to allergy-friendly foods. Their mini chocolate chips are dairy free and mimic M&Ms in look and taste.

So in summary, the following dairy free M&M style candies are available:

Dairy Free M&M Options
– M&Ms Minis (classic, peanut, peanut butter, flavored)
– M&Ms Crispy
– M&Ms Caramel
– ColorWorks Candy Buttons
– Enjoy Life Mini Chips

This gives those avoiding milk several tasty options to enjoy the fun colors and flavors of M&M style buttons and chips. The technology to remove milk ingredients from candy recipes has improved, making more dairy free candies possible.

Where to Find Dairy Free M&Ms

The dairy free M&Ms listed above can be found at most major grocery stores, mass retailers like Target and Walmart, convenience stores, and online:

Grocery Stores

Check the candy aisle at grocery stores like Safeway, Kroger, Publix, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and ethnic markets. Larger chains will likely have a decent allergy-friendly section as well. The dairy free M&Ms are typically stocked alongside the regular M&Ms.

Mass Retailers

Stores like Walmart, Target, Kmart, and Meijer have large candy selections with dairy free M&Ms. Check the candy and gluten free sections.

Convenience Stores

Convenience store chains like 7-Eleven carry the most popular everyday M&M products including the dairy free M&Ms Minis. Check near the registers.


Dairy free M&Ms can be ordered online from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Instacart, and the Enjoy Life Foods website. Delivery availability depends on location. This is a good option if stores near you have limited selection.

In general, the dairy free varieties may be slightly harder to find than original M&Ms. But call ahead to stores in your area to check availability. The items are usually in stock at larger stores and chains, but selection can vary in smaller independent stores. Online is a safe bet if your local stores don’t carry them.

M&Ms Products NOT Dairy Free

While progress has been made, it’s important to note that NOT all M&Ms products are dairy free. Some varieties still contain milk ingredients. Read labels carefully and avoid these non dairy free M&Ms:

Regular M&Ms

– The classic chocolate M&Ms as well as flavors like peanut, peanut butter, almond, pretzel and others still contain milk powder and are not dairy free friendly.

Mega / Large Size

– The mega and large sized M&Ms like the M&Ms Mega Chocolate Candy still have milk as an ingredient.

Holiday Themed

– Many holiday themed M&Ms including the red, green and other colored Christmas M&Ms contain milk.

Nutrition and Ingredient Label

– Always check the nutrition facts and ingredient list for milk, milk ingredients, milk chocolate, etc. If unsure, it’s safest to avoid.

So some diligence is still required when selecting M&Ms if avoiding dairy. But the dairy free label or allergy-friendly claim on packaging helps identify the safe options. Contacting the manufacturer directly is another option if unsure about an item.

Are All Colors of M&Ms Dairy Free?

For the varieties of M&Ms that are dairy free, this includes all the fun color varieties like blue, brown, yellow, orange, green and other colors.

Since the recipes for products like M&Ms Minis have been reformulated to remove milk ingredients, this applies across all the standard color combinations you’d expect from M&Ms.

So if you see a pack of dairy free M&Ms, that means all the colorful button candies contained inside will be milk-free regardless of the shell color. The colors and dyes used on the outer candy shell are safe for those avoiding dairy. It’s specifically the ingredients in the chocolate center filling that needed to be altered to make them dairy free.

Are Peanut and Peanut Butter M&Ms Dairy Free?

For people with peanut allergies, it’s especially important to find candies that are both peanut-free and dairy-free.

The good news is that peanut and peanut butter flavored M&Ms are dairy free, but only certain ones. Here are the details:

M&Ms Minis Peanut

The classic peanut M&Ms Minis are dairy free. Mars removed milk from the recipe so these are safe for those with milk allergies.

M&Ms Minis Peanut Butter

The M&Ms Minis Peanut Butter flavor is also dairy free and does not contain milk ingredients.

However, it’s important to confirm this by checking the ingredients, as peanut flavored candies are sometimes processed on equipment shared with milk-containing items.

So in summary, M&Ms Minis Peanut and Peanut Butter are two great options for those needing both peanut-free and dairy-free candy. But ensure milk is not on the label.

Can Vegans Eat M&Ms?

In addition to those with milk allergies, vegans also need to know about dairy free M&Ms options. Since traditional M&Ms contain milk ingredients, they are not considered vegan friendly.

But the dairy free M&Ms listed above are also suitable for people who follow a vegan diet and avoid any animal derived ingredients like milk or eggs.

Specifically, these dairy free M&M products are also vegan:

Vegan M&Ms
– M&Ms Minis (classic, peanut, peanut butter)
– M&Ms Crispy
– M&Ms Caramel

So when checking for “milk” or “dairy” on a label, vegans can also rest assured these M&Ms don’t contain any hidden animal ingredients or use animal products in processing according to Mars.

It’s always smart to read full ingredient statements. But thankfully vegans have some good M&Ms options to enjoy too.

Dairy Allergies vs Lactose Intolerance and M&Ms

Those with lactose intolerance can typically tolerate small amounts of dairy like the milk ingredients in M&Ms without issue. But someone with a milk protein allergy cannot consume any amount safely.

Lactose intolerance occurs when someone lacks adequate levels of the enzyme lactase to properly digest lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. This results in digestive discomfort like gas, cramping and diarrhea after consuming lactose.

Milk allergies are caused by an immune reaction to the proteins casein and whey in milk. Even small exposures can trigger symptoms ranging from hives, coughing, vomiting to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

So while those with lactose intolerance may be able to handle trace amounts of dairy in treats like M&Ms, people with milk protein allergies must strictly avoid any milk ingredients.

Thankfully the dairy free M&Ms provide a safer option for people with either condition. But it highlights the importance of reading labels carefully, asking about manufacturing processes, and knowing how severe one’s dairy intolerance may be when selecting M&Ms.

Homemade Dairy Free M&Ms

In addition to buying pre-made dairy free M&M type candies, another option is to make them at home. This allows you to control all the ingredients. Here is a recipe and instructions for homemade dairy free M&Ms:


– 1 cup Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips
– 1 tbsp coconut oil or dairy free butter
– Food coloring as desired
– Candy coatings like peanut, crisped rice cereal, coconut, etc. (optional)


1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl, stirring frequently until smooth.

2. Add a drop of food coloring to tint the melted chocolate. Stir to distribute the color evenly.

3. Use a small spoon to drizzle spoonfuls of colored chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

4. Optionally, you can roll the drops in coatings like crushed peanut, rice cereal, or coconut.

5. Let chocolate drops harden completely before removing from parchment.

6. Store homemade dairy free M&Ms in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!

The great thing about making them yourself is you can customize the colors, flavors, and coatings to your liking. Feel free to get creative with the recipe.

M&Ms Allergy Information and Contacts

If you have any concerns about milk allergens in M&Ms products, be sure to reach out to the manufacturer directly for the most accurate information:

Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC

Phone: 1-800-627-7852



You can call their customer service line or contact them through their website. They should be able to verify if a specific product is dairy free and provide any documentation you need.

It’s always advisable for those with severe food allergies to directly consult the manufacturer and read all ingredient labels thoroughly. Do not solely rely on front of package claims about being “dairy free” or “allergy-friendly”. But thankfully more candy brands are taking steps to provide safer options for people with milk allergies.


While traditional M&Ms still contain milk-derived ingredients, Mars Wrigley has introduced some promising dairy free varieties in recent years as consumer demand and awareness has grown. Options like dairy free M&Ms Minis, Crispy, Caramel, and other allergen-friendly alternatives provide delicious, veggie and milk-free options for those with food restrictions. Just be diligent about double checking ingredients and contacting manufacturers with any questions when enjoying candy with allergies or avoiding animal products. Thankfully with improved manufacturing processes and formula changes, more people can partake in the fun, colorful world of M&Ms.

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