Hershey Has Good News For Vegan Chocolate Fans

Sweet, sweet (and, well, bittersweet) chocolate: how we love thee. From hot cocoa to blackout cake, from soufflé to babka, from pudding to brownies — many people adore chocolate and pretty much every dessert where it's found.

And then, of course, there's going straight to the source, in the form of pounding straight chocolate bars. Do you like milk chocolate with almonds? How about dark chocolate with sea salt? Chocolate of any type will find its fans, who will consume it with delight.

But going to town on chocolate isn't always so easy for those with dietary restrictions, namely vegans or those who don't eat dairy for other reasons. Pure chocolate doesn't typically contain milk, and the cocoa butter many have heard of isn't in fact made from dairy (via Allergic Living). But milk chocolate — the ultra-sweet, ultra-creamy type of chocolate — does, true to its name, contain significant amounts of milk, making it off-limits for those who don't consume dairy (via WebMD).

The brand best known around the world for manufacturing milk chocolate is Hershey — and they've had their dairy-avoidant customers in mind for some time now. Recently, the brand announced a brand-new line of milk-free chocolates that it will test in some markets through next summer.

Oat milk instead of cow's milk

If you're a vegan — or don't consume dairy for other reasons — you're in luck: recently, chocolate megaproducer Hershey has announced a new line of oat milk-based bars. In a recent blog post, the company noted the expansion of its "better-for-you" (BFY) offerings, which already include organic versions of Hershey and Reese's chocolates. The new additions? "Oat Made" oat milk-based chocolate bars, available in almond and sea salt as well as dark chocolate versions (via The Hershey Company).

After examining the current plant-based chocolates available in stores, Hershey's determined that it could do better, according to strategic growth platforms team lead Dan Mohnshine. "After finding that the ingredient formulas of existing products could be improved upon, our masterful R&D team at Hershey developed formulas using oats that we believe deliver better on consumers' expectations than what is in the marketplace today," he wrote in the blog post.

The bars will be available in certain test markets around the country through next summer, according to Food Dive. Depending on how they perform, the chocolates could become a permanent addition to Hershey's BFY lineup, joining other hot-ticket plant-based chocolates such as KitKat's vegan V bar and Mars' vegan Galaxy confection (via Food Dive).

Vegans, beware: your life might get a whole lot more chocolatey in the coming months.