Which Hershey syrup is vegan?

Hershey’s syrup is a popular chocolate syrup used to flavor milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and other desserts. With the rise in plant-based diets, many people wonder whether Hershey’s syrup is vegan friendly. The short answer is that some Hershey’s syrups are vegan, while others contain dairy ingredients.

Hershey’s Syrup Ingredients

Hershey’s makes several different kinds of chocolate syrups. The original Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup contains milk and cream as ingredients. This makes it non-vegan. However, Hershey’s also produces dairy-free chocolate syrups that are vegan.

Here is a breakdown of the main Hershey’s syrup varieties:

Syrup Type Main Ingredients Vegan?
Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, cocoa, milk, cream, natural flavor No
Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Syrup Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cocoa, potassium sorbate, salt, natural flavor Yes
Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Flavored Syrup Water, erythritol, cocoa processed with alkali, contains 2% or less of natural flavor, potassium sorbate , sodium benzoate, salt, cellulose gum, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, neotame Yes
Hershey’s Syrup Simply 5 Syrup Sugar, water, natural flavors, pectin, citric acid, potassium sorbate, caramel color, gum acacia, organic blackstrap molasses concentrate Yes

As you can see, the original Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup contains dairy ingredients like milk and cream. This makes it unsuitable for vegans.

However, Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Syrup and Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Flavored Syrup do not contain any dairy ingredients. They are vegan friendly.

Hershey’s also makes a Simply 5 Syrup that comes in chocolate and caramel flavors. The chocolate version is dairy-free and vegan.

Why Some Hershey’s Syrups Contain Dairy

Hershey’s uses dairy ingredients like milk and cream in some of its syrups to make them creamy and rich. Milk ingredients provide a smooth, velvety mouthfeel and flavor. They also act as emulsifiers to keep the syrup from separating.

Syrups like the Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Syrup omit the dairy ingredients, but still try to achieve a creamy texture. They do this by using corn syrups, natural flavors, and thickeners like xanthan gum or cellulose gum as substitutes.

The sugar-free Hershey’s syrup uses sugar alcohols like erythritol rather than sugar. It still achieves a chocolate taste using cocoa powder and natural flavors. Thickeners help provide the desired consistency and texture.

Benefits of Dairy-Free Hershey’s Syrup

Choosing a vegan Hershey’s syrup has benefits for certain diets and lifestyles:

  • Suitable for vegans – Dairy-free syrups avoid animal products entirely
  • Lactose-free – Contains no milk sugars that can cause digestive issues for some
  • No cholesterol – Dairy contains dietary cholesterol, so syrups without it are healthier
  • Nut and soy free – Good for those with allergies to these ingredients
  • Kosher pareve – Pareve versions can be enjoyed with meat or dairy meals

While the dairy-free varieties lack the exact same taste and texture, they provide a suitable chocolate flavor for uses like ice cream sundaes, chocolate milk, and more. The Hershey’s brand name also brings familiarity and trust.

How to Use Vegan Hershey’s Syrup

Hershey’s vegan chocolate syrups can be used in place of dairy versions for many desserts, snacks, and beverages. Here are some ways to eat and drink with dairy-free Hershey’s syrup:

  • Chocolate milk – Blend syrup into soy, almond, oat, or other vegan milk
  • Ice cream sundaes – Top vegan vanilla ice cream with syrup
  • Milkshakes – Mix into dairy-free milkshake recipes
  • Chocolate drizzle – Drizzle over vegan cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods
  • Fruit dip – Use as a dip for fresh fruit slices like bananas and strawberries
  • Pancake topping – Sprinkle on vegan pancakes or waffles
  • Cocoa – Heat with soy milk for a comforting vegan hot chocolate

The syrups mix well into cold and hot recipes alike. Get creative and use them anywhere you want a boost of chocolate flavor!

Best Vegan Hershey’s Syrup

All of the dairy-free Hershey’s syrups provide a solid chocolate flavor and sweetness. However, we recommend the Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup as the best vegan choice.

The Special Dark Syrup has a deeper, more complex chocolate taste than the original. It provides a richer cocoa flavor without relying on dairy. This makes it perfect for uses like dessert drizzles and chocolate milk.

We also like that it’s made with simple natural ingredients. You can recognize most of them like high fructose corn syrup, cocoa, and potassium sorbate. There are no complex additives or thickeners.

The Special Dark Syrup works well in recipes that would originally call for the classic Hershey’s syrup. You get nearly the same taste, just in a dairy-free and vegan-friendly version.

Finding Hershey’s Vegan Syrups

Wondering where to buy Hershey’s vegan chocolate syrups? Here are some places to find them:

  • Grocery stores – Sold in the syrup aisle at major supermarkets like Kroger, Safeway, etc
  • Online – Can be ordered from Amazon, Walmart, or Target
  • Convenience stores – Syrups may be sold at gas stations and 7-Eleven type shops
  • Hershey’s website – Can be purchased online from Hershey’s official website
  • Specialty stores – Found at health food stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods

Call ahead to check availability at your local grocery store. Many should carry at least one vegan Hershey’s variety, even if flavors are limited. Buying online gives you access to the full range of syrup options.

Hershey’s Syrup Vegan Recipe Ideas

Once you have your hands on Hershey’s vegan syrup, it’s time for the fun part – using it! Here are some dairy-free recipe ideas that put the syrup to tasty use:

Vegan Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is a classic use for Hershey’s syrup. Blend together your favorite dairy-free milk, ice, and a generous squirt of chocolate syrup. Customize the proportions to your preferred chocolatey taste.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

For a rich chocolate fudge, combine coconut milk, cocoa powder, vegan condensed milk, vanilla, and Hershey’s syrup in a heavy pan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, then chill until firm.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Make your smoothie extra decadent by including a tablespoon or two of chocolate syrup. Blend it up with dairy-free milk, frozen banana, peanut butter, and ice for a thick and creamy treat.

Vegan Hot Fudge Sundae

What’s better than a hot fudge sundae? A vegan hot fudge sundae! Top your favorite soy or coconut ice cream with warmed Hershey’s syrup. Add whipped cream, nuts, cherry – whatever your heart desires!


While the classic Hershey’s chocolate syrup isn’t vegan due to containing dairy, Hershey’s makes several dairy-free varieties. Look for the Special Dark Chocolate, Sugar Free Chocolate, or Simply 5 Chocolate syrups to ensure you get a vegan version.

Enjoy Hershey’s vegan chocolate syrup in milkshakes, drizzled over fruit, in smoothies, on ice cream, and anywhere else you crave its distinctive chocolate taste. With versatility and convenient store availability, it makes the perfect pantry staple for any vegan kitchen.

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