10 Gluten-Free Chocolate Bar Brands

Chocolate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Most people love chocolate, as the huge selection of upscale and gourmet chocolate bars lining part of an aisle at any large grocery store will attest. But are any of these luxurious confections, with ingredients such as lavender, sea salt and even bacon, actually gluten-free?

Gluten-free chocolate bars are available from:

  • Alter Eco
  • Dagoba Chocolate
  • Dove Chocolate
  • Endangered Species
  • Enjoy Life
  • Hershey's
  • Nestlé
  • Scharffen Berger
  • Vosges Haut Chocolat
  • Wild Ophelia

Keep in mind, though, that not all options from these manufacturers are safe for people who have celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Read on for which specific flavors you can choose when looking for a gourmet gluten-free chocolate bar.

Is All Chocolate Gluten-Free?

Yes, pure unsweetened chocolate is gluten-free. However, chocolate bars contain multiple ingredients, and their ultimate gluten-free status will depend on those ingredients, plus how the manufacturing process was handled.

For example, some chocolate bars are gluten-free down to 20 parts per million or even less, while others have no gluten ingredients but might be processed on equipment that also processes foods that contain gluten. Foods that are officially certified gluten-free are typically 10 parts per million. And of course, some chocolate bars will contain gluten ingredients themselves, such as cookies, crackers, or malted rice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Bars

To help you wade through the thicket of chocolate bar selections, here's a list of manufacturers and products with information on whether or not they're safe to consume on a gluten-free diet.

The manufacturers are grouped into two lists: the first includes chocolate bar manufacturers with products that are considered gluten-free to at least 20 parts per million, while the second list includes manufacturers with "no gluten ingredients"— chocolate bars that nonetheless have a risk of cross-contamination that the manufacturers say makes them unsafe.

  • Alter Eco. Based in San Francisco, this fair trade company from two French citizens offers organic cacao from Peru and Ecuador refined by master Swiss chocolatiers in varieties including Dark Salted Brown Butter, Dark Super Blackout, Deep Dark Quinoa Crunch, and Dark Salted Coconut Toffee. Almost all flavors are gluten-free (Dark Salt & Malt contains wheat flour and barley malt flour is an exception), and many flavors also are gluten-free certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which tests products to make sure they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten. Check the label to make certain you're purchasing a gluten-free variety, as products and ingredients may change. Alter Eco also makes gluten-free truffles that echo the taste of the non-gluten-free Lindt Lindor truffles.
  • Dagoba Chocolate. This brand is a division of Hershey's, which has a policy of labeling any ingredients containing wheat, barley, rye, oats or malt. Hershey's states on its website that all Dagoba chocolate products are gluten-free at less than 20 parts per million. However, the company indicates that since ingredients can change, you should always check the ingredients on the label first.
  • Dove Chocolate. The ingredients in Dove Chocolate, a division of Mars Wrigley Confectionary, are considered gluten-free with the exception of the Cookies & Creme flavor and the Dove Cinnamon Graham Cookies. However, you should always check labels since production timing might require the company to use an alternative processing facility that has a cross-contamination risk. Any potential gluten cross-contamination should be disclosed on the product's label.
  • Endangered Species Chocolate. Endangered Species, which makes all-natural and organic chocolate bars with illustrations of endangered animal species on them, is certified gluten-free by the GFCO, meaning its products contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. According to Endangered Species' allergen statement, "all of our products are produced on shared equipment that processes products containing milk, peanuts and tree nuts" (but not gluten). You can choose from a variety of dark, milk, and oat milk chocolate flavors, including dark chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate with espresso, and dark chocolate with cherries.
  • Enjoy Life chocolate bars. Enjoy Life—a well-known producer of allergen-free foods—makes three different chocolate bars: dark chocolate, rice milk (not regular milk, since it's allergen-free), and rice milk crunch. Enjoy Life products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and are free of 14 common allergens including dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish, in addition to wheat and gluten. Its products are certified by the GFCO, meaning they should contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten.
  • Hershey's Chocolate. Hershey's makes many different chocolate bars, but only considers two of them to be gluten-free to 20 parts per million or less: its plain milk chocolate bar (only in the 1.55 oz. size) and its milk chocolate with almonds bar (only in the 1.45 oz. size) (some Hershey's Nuggets and Hershey's Kisses are also considered gluten-free). Other Hershey's chocolate bars, including Hershey's premium Extra Dark chocolate bars (in all flavors), have a risk of gluten cross-contamination due to shared facilities or equipment, according to the company's website. Hershey's will include any gluten ingredients on the label (including wheat, barley, rye, oats or malt) so that it's easy to determine which specific products include those ingredients.
  • Nestlé. Nestlé makes a variety of products it considers gluten-free (check out my overall gluten-free candy article for the list). Nestlé will label any gluten ingredients and any risk of gluten cross-contamination.
  • Scharffen Berger. All Scharffen Berger (which was acquired by Hershey's in 2005) chocolate bars are gluten-free, meaning they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The brand specializes in dark chocolate (some of which contains cacao nibs), but also offers milk chocolate bars.
  • Vosges Haut-Chocolate. Chicago-based Vosges, which makes some really interesting gourmet chocolate bars (try Dark Chocolate and Bacon, or maybe even a Red Fire dark chocolate bar with Mexican ancho and chipotle chilis, with Ceylon cinnamon and dark chocolate), will label its products gluten-free if they're below 20 parts per million of gluten. You can search for gluten-free products specifically on the brand's website.
  • Wild Ophelia. This brand of exclusively gluten-free chocolate bars is the "spirited younger sister" to Vosges Haut-Chocolate and was created to encourage, educate and propel young female entrepreneurs. A portion of sales funds Wild Ophelia's grant program to support women entrepreneurs. The brand's chocolate bars include interesting rotating flavors such as Confetti Cake & Sprinkles and Chocolate Dipped Raspberry. Wild Ophelia also makes Cold Brew chocolate coffee bites and special varieties of peanut butter cups.

Manufacturers That Aren't Recommended

These brands include chocolate products that aren't considered safe on the gluten-free diet, either because the candies contain gluten ingredients or because they're at risk for gluten cross-contamination in the manufacturing process.

  • Ghirardelli Chocolate. According to the company, Ghirardelli only produces one product that contains gluten (its Luxe Milk Crisp singles and bars, which contain barley malt). However, all its other chocolate bar products, including the Intense Dark, Luxe Milk, and Squares chocolates (the ones filled with flavors like caramel and raspberry) are made on the same production lines. The company does clean the lines between products, but doesn't call its non-gluten-containing products "gluten-free."
  • Godiva Chocolates. According to the company, its chocolate bars and solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Though it sells three certified gluten-free products, its website states that "Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products."
  • Green & Black's Organic Chocolate. Green & Blacks produces does not specifically label its products as gluten-free, and has this statement on its website regarding food allergies: "When labeling products, we consider all possible sources of the eight major allergens recognized by the FDA. These are eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat."
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates. Although Lake Champlain Chocolates has chocolate bars without gluten ingredients, it also manufactures gluten-containing products on the same equipment. "We cannot guarantee that any of our products are entirely free of trace amounts" of gluten and other allergens, according to Lake Champlain's website.
  • Lindt Chocolate. Although Lindt Excellence premium chocolate bars contain no gluten ingredients, the company states on its website that "gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component." The company also states, "For consumers who are sensitive to gluten, we do offer certain premium chocolate products that are manufactured without cereal or barley malt, which may be suitable for consumers with such dietary restrictions." But since they are manufactured on the same lines as products that include barley malt (Lindt's popular Lindor truffles all contain barley malt), cross contamination is still possible.
  • NewTree Chocolate. The chocolate bars available for purchase on NewTree's website indicate they are gluten-free, but say they may contain traces of milk, nuts, and gluten.
  • Theo Chocolate. Theo Chocolate makes plain chocolate bars plus really interesting flavors such as Coconut Curry and Fig, Fennel and Almond. However, the company also makes gluten-containing flavors such as Bread and Chocolate on the same equipment. As per a statement on its website regarding its facility, "The Chocolate is not a nut free, dairy free or gluten free facility. Theo does take precautions by cleaning the equipment between batches and works to isolate nuts and other ingredients in accordance with good manufacturing practices."
  • Toblerone Chocolates. Toblerone doesn't manufacture any products that contain gluten. However, the company does not label its chocolate bar products "gluten-free," so you should use caution in eating any of its products. All Toblerone flavors contain milk.
  • Vivani premium organic chocolate. Vivani maintains a list of chocolates on its website that it claims are "gluten-free," including dark and milk chocolate bar products. However, the company notes that "possible traces due to production processes cannot be ruled out," so you'll need to use your own best judgment.

A Word From Verywell

While you might be disappointed to miss out on some premium chocolates like Lindt and Godiva, you still have plenty of selections that are safe for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Options range from the readily-available Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar to the more exotic flavors available from Endangered Species and Wild Ophelia. And if you want candy that's not a gourmet chocolate bar, there's plenty of gluten-free candy and even some gluten-free candy gift boxes you can choose from.

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  1. The Hershey Company. Gluten Free.

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