Vegan M&M's Exist and They're "Addictive Little Morsels" — Here Are 4 Brands To Try

Vegan M&M's pack all the sweet, crunchy punch of the original without any of the animal products, animal testing, or unethical labor conditions.


Jun. 18 2024, Published 2:33 p.m. ET

Pile of vegan m&m's up close
Source: iStock Photo

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M&M's are among the most popular candies of all time. A staggering 400 million of them are produced each day, which sounds pretty impressive until you consider the harmful impact that kind of mass production has on the environment, not to mention the unethical practices for which the chocolate and dairy industries are notorious.

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If you're a sucker for these candy-coated chocolates, you can still enjoy them and support smaller, more ethical companies. You can even indulge in these candies without any animal products at all, as a handful of vegan candies are deliciously convincing dupes of M&M's.

Are M&M's Vegan?

The short answer is no, M&M's are not vegan (the "milk chocolate" part is a pretty big indicator). Traditional M&M's contain skim milk, lactose, and milkfat as three of their main ingredients, not to mention artificial flavors and colorings, which the parent company, Mars, admits are tested on animals.

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The vegan doppelgängers below contain all the same creaminess, crunch, and bite-size convenience while being plant-based and produced in smaller batches. A few of them are safe for people with tree nut and soy allergies, too. Buy them in bulk and have them on hand for when the mood strikes for something sweet and you're tempted to make an impulse buy you might regret later.

Choco NoNo's, Pack of 4

Choco NoNo's are No Whey Foods' vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free answer to M&M's. These candies are similar to the real thing, but made in a cruelty-free process that neither harms animals nor uses any of their byproducts. They're so good, they're even kid-approved.

"I got these for my grandson that has an allergy to dairy. I tried them before giving them to him for Easter. I loved them and couldn't tell the difference between those and M&M's variety," said a shopper.

$15 at Amazon
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UNREAL Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems, 11 oz, Pack of 2

Crispy Quinoa Gems by UNREAL Snacks uses quinoa to give these candies a crispy twist without modifying the flavor. They're a vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO treat that uses fair trade dark chocolate and natural plant-based dyes. The colorful gems have no artificial flavors or preservatives, and even have reduced sugar content, if that's important to you. UNREAL emphasizes ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility. "I love these addictive little morsels!" one gem fan wrote.


YumEarth Choco Yums, 7 oz

YumEarth uses organic, non-GMO ingredients in its Choco Yums. No harmful dyes here: these candies are made with natural fruit and vegetable juices. The company uses sustainable agricultural practices, too, and works with a LEED-certified wind-powered manufacturing facility for their packaging. The result? These melt-in-your mouth vegan chocolates that are "better than M&M's," according to one five-star reviewer.

$10 (was $12) at Amazon

Max Sweets Dark Chocolate YumYums, 5 oz, Pack of 3

If dark chocolate is your jam, give Max Sweets Dark Chocolate YumYums a taste. This is our favorite sugar-free, diabetic-friendly option; it uses a blend of birch xylitol, monk fruit, and erythritol​. (If you do have diabetes or any other health condition, just make sure to check with your doctor before introducing sugar alternatives.) Max Sweets uses non-GMO ingredients and packaging that includes biodegradable and recyclable materials.

"Nailed it," one shopper wrote. "These alternatives are perfectly sweet and taste like gourmet dark chocolate candy. Perfect to eat by the handful or sprinkled on top of your favorite snack."

$30 at Amazon
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