By Jessica Meaney, Vegetarian Society of Ireland
To make things easier for friends and family (or yourself!) buying Easter eggs, we put together a handy guide of which seasonal treats are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, to save you standing in the shop reading and Googling every ingredient on the side of a box!
Vegetarian Easter Treats
For the most part, chocolate is of course suitable for vegetarians, but Galaxy had some issues using rennet in chocolate a few years ago, and Cadbury more recently used non-vegetarian whey in their new Oreo products. These issues have both been resolved and their products are back to being vegetarian approved, but these companies advise checking the physical products’ details as the most up-to-date and reliable, rather than the websites.
For Galaxy, Cadbury and Nestlé, the bars and eggs are vegetarian, but it is worth double checking as the eggs themselves use different recipes to the bars which are produced. The majority of their products carry a vegetarian approved label, so if you are unsure, check the box.
Butlers’ website states that all of their chocolates are suitable for vegetarians and they have a lovely selection of Easter eggs, in their own shops, online and in some select retailers (including Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu). You can check their website for details.
Lily O’Brien’s Easter collection is all suitable for vegetarians. These are available in most supermarkets including Dunnes Stores, Supervalu, Tesco, Centra, and Spar, as well as other independent retailers.
Tesco own brand chocolate eggs are vegetarian, as are Marks and Spencers brand. Both of these supermarkets are great at labelling their products, so it should be very clear if a product isn’t vegetarian (e.g. chocolate egg with non-veggie jellies). Marks and Spencers have a great selection of smaller chocolate eggs too, as well as some vegetarian-friendly jelly bunnies.
Lindt Easter eggs are also veggie as well as their smaller chocolate eggs, bunnies and other Easter-themed selection. Unfortunately, the 70% dark chocolate egg is not vegan-friendly, despite the fact that the 70% chocolate bars are suitable for vegans.
Vegan Easter Treats
For vegans, Moo Free Chocolates have a range of dairy free Easter eggs stocked by Dunnes Stores and Nourish as well as other retailers. You can check their website for a store close to you here and they also list online retailers if you can’t find somewhere local.
Celtic Chocolates is an Irish company which has a range of dairy-free Easter eggs (Choices) and these are stocked by Holland and Barret, Tesco, and other health food stores around the country.
Plamil is a company based in the UK which offer dairy free Easter eggs in both a full egg size and a packet of “half eggs” as well, which are available to order from their website.
D and D chocolates are a company based in the UK. They have an Easter range of both chocolate and carob products, which are largely vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some products list that they may contain dairy due to manufacturing machines used. You can order from their website and it doesn’t look like they supply to stores at the moment.
If you have spotted any other chocolate or Easter themed snacks that are vegetarian or vegan friendly, do let us know by e-mail or Facebook! Happy Easter!