Cadbury’s Vegan Bar: Worth The Hype?

hand holding 2 chocolate bars
Daria Paterek

In the lead up to the release of its vegan bar, Cadbury made quite a few questionable decisions which received mixed reactions from the vegan community. The ‘Plant Bar’, made with almond paste, retails at £2.50 and is only available at Sainsbury’s. Daria gives her verdict on the new chocolate bar and whether it lives up to the hype and the brand’s questionable marketing.

In July 2021, Cadburys changed the Bournville Buttons recipe. Bournville Buttons started to contain milk, despite being vegan by default. The vegan community shunned this decision, as they would often buy dark chocolate to satisfy their sweet tooth, and Cadbury’s buttons were a cheap option. 

Additionally, some of the batches of their Bourneville chocolate fingers started to contain milk (the fingers were vegan but not suitable for allergy sufferers). This decision made me hesitant to try the £2.50 vegan bar. It was obvious that Cadbury was changing the recipe in a ploy to sell the more expensive vegan bar. It seemed like a deliberate choice to make vegan treats less accessible and more ‘high end’. 

The announcement occurred on Instagram, as Cadbury said: ‘We’re sorry… We just wanted to make it perfect.’ My first reaction was, ‘that’s why Bournville has milk in it now.’ And that’s what another user also commented: ‘Makes sense about Bournville now, just wanted to make more money!’

This apology was satirised by other vegan brands, as it highlighted the insincerity of the marketing ploy.

I’m a vegan chocolate connoisseur, and my favourite chocolate brands are Moo Free, NOMO, and ASDA’s own brand (surprising, but their vegan chocolate orange bar is heavenly).

I came in with low expectations since confectionery brands often did a disappointing job in developing vegan chocolate

I came in with low expectations since confectionery brands often did a disappointing job in developing vegan chocolate. The Galaxy vegan chocolate tasted nothing like what I remembered Galaxy to taste, not being anywhere near as smooth or sweet. The chocolate bar was pricey (at £3) and very underwhelming. The Milky Star Bar was the biggest disappointment – it cost £1 for a tiny bar, and it tasted cheap (worse than that, ASDA’s own brand is only 45p and tastes much better).

The bar comes in two flavours – smooth chocolate and salted caramel. My first impression when I bought the chocolate was that it felt very thin, compared to a milk chocolate Cadbury bar.

the chocolate tasted very sweet, but not chocolatey

When I bit into it, the chocolate tasted very sweet, but not chocolatey. The taste of almonds was non-existent, and I was quite disappointed that Cadbury opted to use almond paste (no milk was used in the recipe). I believe that choice alienated many vegans who are allergic to nuts, and using soy or oat milk would have been the better choice. The chocolate also takes a while to melt in your mouth, which was quite disappointing.

Considering the price, texture, and taste, I would give the smooth chocolate Vegan bar a 5/10.

I also bought the Salted Caramel version. I expected the salted caramel to be runny and sticky, but instead, the chocolate had chunks of caramel in it. This gave the bar a crunchy texture, which I did not enjoy. The caramel was barely present.

My verdict for the salted caramel bar is a 3.5/10. 

stick to vegan bars made by vegan brands

My recommendation would be to stick to vegan bars made by vegan brands. These chocolates tend to be more affordable and better in taste and texture, compared to brands like Cadbury who just want to make a quick buck.

Daria Paterek

Featured image courtesy of Daria Paterek. Permission for use granted to Impact directly by the artist. No changes were made to this image.

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