Are Kit Kats Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 25, 2023

Identifying whether or not the beloved Kit Kat bar is vegan can be quite tricky. 

This is largely due to the tendency of manufacturers to cloak the true nature and sources of their ingredients in ambiguous terms. 

Yet fear not, dear readers, because this article will uncover the truth and support you on your commendable journey towards a compassionate and planet-friendly vegan lifestyle.

Are Kit Kats Vegan?

No, standard Kit Kat bars are not vegan. This is primarily because of ingredients like milk fat and whey powder, which are derived from dairy milk. Other ingredients like cocoa butter and cocoa mass can sometimes be of concern in the vegan community due to ethical sourcing issues, but they are, in fact, plant based. 

Nonetheless, the inclusion of dairy products and by-products in these chocolate bars definitively disqualifies them from being labeled as vegan.

Are Kit Kats Cruelty-Free?

Given the inclusion of dairy products, Kit Kats cannot be considered cruelty-free. The dairy industry often involves practices that do not align with the principles of a cruelty-free lifestyle. The presence of ingredients like milk fat and whey powder, which directly involve animal exploitation, prevent Kit Kats from being deemed cruelty-free.

What Are Kit Kats Made Of?

Kit Kats, a popular chocolate-covered wafer bar confection created by the multinational company Nestlé, are beloved by many across the globe. The main ingredients that make up a Kit Kat include:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat flour
  • Nonfat milk
  • Cocoa butter
  • Chocolate
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Lactose
  • Milk fat
  • Contains 2% or less of: soy lecithin, PGPR, yeast, artificial flavor, salt, sodium bicarbonate


Sugar is a sweetening agent derived from various sources such as sugarcane and sugar beet. Its primary role in Kit Kats is to enhance the sweet taste. The sugar used in these confections is typically not considered vegan because it may be processed using bone char, an animal-derived product used for decolorization.

Wheat flour

Wheat flour is made from grinding wheat. It’s used in Kit Kats as a key ingredient in the wafer layers to provide structure and texture. It’s generally vegan friendly, since it’s solely plant derived.

Nonfat milk

Nonfat milk, or skim milk, is cow’s milk with the fat removed. It contributes to the creamy texture of the chocolate coating and filling. It is not vegan friendly because it’s derived from animals.

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is the edible fat extracted from cocoa beans. It provides a smooth texture and rich flavor to the chocolate. This ingredient is vegan because it is derived solely from plants.


The chocolate used in Kit Kats is a mixture of several ingredients including cocoa, sugar, and milk solids. While chocolate itself can be vegan, the chocolate in Kit Kats contains milk solids, and therefore, is not vegan.

Palm kernel oil

Palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel (seed) of the oil palm fruit. It’s used in Kit Kats to enhance the texture and extend shelf life. Although it’s plant derived and technically vegan, some vegans avoid it due to environmental concerns over palm oil production.


Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. In Kit Kats, it is used to add sweetness and improve texture. Since it’s derived from milk, lactose is not vegan.

Milk fat

Milk fat, also obtained from cow’s milk, gives a creamy texture and rich flavor to the Kit Kat bars. Being an animal-derived ingredient, milk fat is not vegan.

Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a fatty substance derived from soybeans. It is used as an emulsifier to prevent the chocolate and cocoa butter from separating. Soy lecithin is vegan friendly.


PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate) is a yellowish, viscous liquid used as an emulsifier. It reduces the viscosity of chocolate, making it easier to process. It’s typically derived from castor beans and is considered vegan.


Yeast is a type of fungus used in food production for its ability to ferment carbohydrates. It’s used in the wafer part of Kit Kats to help it rise. Yeast is considered vegan.

Artificial flavor

The artificial flavors used in Kit Kats are synthetically made and add to the overall flavor profile. While generally vegan, the specifics can vary, making it difficult to categorically confirm their vegan status without information from the manufacturer.


Salt is a mineral used in Kit Kats to enhance flavor. Being a mineral, it is vegan friendly.

Sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is used in the wafer of the Kit Kat for leavening purposes. It’s a chemical compound and is considered vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Kit Kats

For those seeking the crispy wafer and smooth chocolate combo without the guilt, there are plenty of vegan chocolate bars on the market. 

Major confectionery brands like Nestlé have responded to the growing vegan chocolate market with their vegan versions like KitKat V. Swiss chocolatier Lindt also offers dark chocolate versions that are vegan friendly. Some other delightful alternatives include:

All these options offer the creamy texture and indulgence of dairy chocolate, incorporating many non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk for a milk alternative.


While traditional Kit Kats are neither vegan nor cruelty-free due to the inclusion of dairy-derived ingredients, the growing market of vegan chocolates offers hope. 

With so many plant-based food alternatives available, living a compassionate vegan lifestyle without sacrificing your favorite indulgences is becoming increasingly achievable. 

So keep being curious, keep questioning, and most importantly, keep standing up for a better planet and a better future.