Galaxy chocolate vegan. Galaxy launches vegan chocolate bars in three incredble flavours

What’s Vegan At Mars? Dairy-Free Chocolate, Skittles, and

Canned spread cheese, biscuits, compressed cereal bars, and instant coffee were just a few of the things American soldiers would find in their ration boxes amid the Second World War. All that, and MMs. Yep, we’re talking about those small addictive chocolate candies in multicolors, made by Mars, Inc. Heat-resistant and easy to transport, they were sent to the military by the US government to keep energy levels up.

MMs have hit the headlines a few times since then. From heading into space in the 1980s (yes, that happened) to their signature characters changing outfits in 2022, the small crunchy balls of chocolate are undeniably one of Mars, Inc.’s most talked about candies. But they’re far from the only popular product made by the American multinational. The corporation—which also manufactures pet food—has created many of the big names in the food industry. Think Maltesers, Milky Way, Snickers, Mars Chocolate Bars, and other non-candy brands, like Dolmio and Ben’s Original.

Most of Mars, Inc.’s chocolate brands (which are sold under Mars Wrigley—the candy and chewing gum division of the company) heavily rely on dairy recipes. But, as the vegan confectionery market grows (it was recently valued at around 1.11 billion), could this soon change? After all, the company has already dabbled with several plant-based chocolate launches. Here’s more about Mars’ venture into dairy-free products, plus some of the most vegan-friendly brands owned by the corporation.

Are there vegan Mars Bars?

One of Mars, Inc.’s most famous creations is the Mars Chocolate Bar, which, developed by Forrest Mars in 1932, consists of a blend of milk chocolate, caramel, and nougat. In fact, since they were first created by the Mars pioneer, more than 30 billion Mars Chocolate Bars have been sold around the world.

Right now, there are no vegan versions of the iconic candy bar. But Mars, Inc. has experimented with plant-based versions of other popular candy products in the past. While they have now been de-listed due to contention over where to place the products in supermarkets (retailers wanted to put them in the confectionary aisle while Mars wanted them in the free-from section), the company launched Vegan Topic and Vegan Bounty bars in 2021.

Galaxy, another of Mars, Incorporated’s popular brands, has had more success with vegan products in the UK. And in the US, the food giant announced the launch of a whole new vegan milk chocolate brand in 2022, called CO2COA. Find out more on both of these launches below, plus some of the other vegan-friendly brands from the corporation. Spoiler alert: they’re not all candy!

CO2COA

Last year, Mars announced that it had teamed up with food-tech company Perfect Day to create a new vegan milk chocolate bar using animal-free whey. Created by Perfect Day, the latter adds a creamy quality to candy, without using any actual cow’s milk.

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“At Mars, we are driven by an obsession to bring great experiences to our consumers and we believe the best way to delight our fans is to never stop exploring and innovating with new tastes, ingredients, and packaging,” Chris Rowe, Mars Wrigley’s Global Vice President of Research and Development, said.

The new lactose-free, vegan milk chocolate bar brand is yet to launch, but the website confirms it is “coming soon.”Check it out

Galaxy

Back in 2019, Mars announced one of its most popular chocolate brands in the UK, Galaxy, would be launching three new vegan flavors: Smooth Orange, Caramelized Hazelnut, and Caramel Sea Salt. Since then, the brand has expanded the range to include more options, like Crumbled Cookie and Smooth Mint.

Right now, the chocolate bars have been delisted by some major UK supermarkets (just like Topic and Bounty), but some flavors are still available in retailers like the Co-Op, for example.

That said, you can find Galaxy Vegan Instant Hot Chocolate in many major supermarkets, including Tesco.try it here

Skittles

In 2008, Mars, Inc. acquired the Wrigley Company (hence why its candy and gum division is called Mars Wrigley), which brought popular brands like Skittles to the food giant’s portfolio. Most varieties of the original sugary colorful candies don’t include any animal ingredients, so they are suitable for vegans. That said, special edition varieties, like Skittles Jellybeans, may contain animal products like beeswax, so make sure you double-check the packet before you buy.try it here

Starburst

Another product of the Wrigley Company, Starburst makes popular soft, fruity, square-shaped taffy-style candy. But whether or not they’re vegan depends on where you are in the world. In the UK, the recipe is gelatin-free, so they are safe for vegans to consume. But in the US, unfortunately, gelatin is included in the recipe.try it here

Kind Snacks

In 2017, Mars took a minority stake in snack brand Kind Snacks, and in 2020, it followed this up by acquiring the whole brand in a 5 billion deal. The New York City brand creates many different “wholesome” snacks, including its signature Kind Bars. According to the brand, all of its Whole Fruit bar options are vegan, and many of its Clusters are too.try it here

Hubba Bubba

When you think of childhood candy, there’s a good chance Hubba Bubba comes to mind. And good news, if you want a taste of nostalgia, then many flavors of this popular bubblegum are vegan. Because of its acquisition of Wrigley, Mars also owns many other chewing gum brands, including Wrigley’s Doublemint, which is also vegan.try it here

Dolmio

Mars isn’t just about candy. Pasta sauce brand Dolmio, which is popular around the world, is also owned by the corporation. In 2020, it launched a Plant-Based Mince Bolognese Sauce in the UK, but this doesn’t seem to be available any longer. That said, it does still offer other plant-based options, like its 7 Vegetables Meditteranean Roasted Veg Pasta Sauce, for example.Check it out

Ben’s Original

In the 1940s, Mars launched Uncle Ben’s for the first time. Since then, the name has been changed to Ben’s Original due to criticism regarding the perpetuation of racial stereotypes. The instant rice brand is still popular today, and it has a few vegan-friendly options, including a Plant Powered range that offers vegan meals like Tikka Masala and Chilli Non-Carne.try it here

For more on vegan-friendly corporations, read:

Charlotte is a writer and editor based in sunny Southsea on England’s southern coast.

Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

Galaxy launches vegan chocolate bars. in three incredble flavours!

It’s the first time a major high street chocolate brand has offered a delicious vegan alternative.

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Galaxy is the first major milk chocolate brand to offer a vegan and eco-friendly alternative to its standard range. and we can’t wait to try them!

The new chocolate bars, which will be available to purchase for £3 next week, come in three varieties: caramelised hazelnut, smooth orange and caramel and sea salt.

The classy-looking bars come in a recyclable paper sleeve with a compostable inner film made of wood fibres.

And. in a new look for the iconic brand. the classic Galaxy logo is emblazoned onto a hand-painted effect label, for an extra touch of luxury!

Kerry Cavanaugh, marketing director at Galaxy manufacturer Mars Wrigley UK, said everyone at the company was excited to introduce the vegan range using a recipe that: ‘doesn’t compromise on the brand’s signature smooth and creamy characteristics’.

Building on the brand’s mission to encourage everyone to ‘choose pleasure’, Galaxy’s vegan recipe uses hazelnut paste to create the same smooth and creamy signature characteristics of the existing chocolate bars that we all know and love.

The new range offers something for all taste buds, and are the perfect foods for vegans, veggie or flexitarian.

Galaxy has been working closely with The Vegan Society on the launch and their logo appears on the packs.

READ MORE: The tastiest vegan alternatives available in your local supermarket

Abigail Stevens, Trademark Marketing Manager at The Vegan Society says she is delighted the chocolate brand is offering more choice for vegans, adding that she is: ‘even more excited that there are three delicious flavours to choose from!’

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She added, ‘The brand has demonstrated that dairy is not necessary to make great tasting chocolate, and that people can still enjoy their favourites without the use of animals.’

The 100g bars will go on sale in Tesco stores from Monday 18th November and online soon after via Ocado and Amazon.

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Elisa is a chef, food stylist and journalist. She has also been the editorial director of food and drinks content for more than 40 magazines and websites. As well as being host of the brand new Careers Conversations series podcast at Food Matters Live.

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Thoughts and sensory analysis on the new Vegan Galaxy chocolate bars

It has been nearly impossible to miss the buzz around the newly launched Vegan Galaxy bars from MARS, which have come out ready for the Christmas period and Veganuary; perfect timing or what?! This is the first move into plant-based that we’ve seen by a mainstream confectionary brand that offers consumers a dairy free chocolate alternative, so of course, we had to give them a try. Launched in three different flavours. Smooth Orange, Caramelised Hazelnut, and Caramel Sea Salt. there is bound to be a bar for everyone.

Being plant-based myself, I was beyond excited when I heard the news and it circulated around the office in an instant. One of the biggest challenges we see in the plant-based category of NPD is identifying the target audience and segmenting them successfully. There is not just one type of vegan. You’ve got junk food vegans, high-end vegans, zero-waste vegans, health-conscious vegans, raw vegans… and that’s all before we get into the diverse world of flexitarians. It’s a minefield of exploration but it’s great to see MARS tackling it head on – and successfully, too.

Ready and waiting at 8am on a Monday morning I went into Tesco to find the new releases. Situated in the free-from aisle and found on the top shelf was the new Vegan Galaxy range in all its glory.

Armed with too many chocolate bars to count, I sent some of the product to our wonderful sensory panellists in Reading. MMR is proud to offer dedicated Sensory Science hubs across the globe, with purpose built sensory booths in the UK, USA, China and Singapore. Each centre runs on the expertise of highly trained consumers who are screened for extraordinary levels of sensory acuity and articulacy. Their sensory evaluation of each flavour will be coming soon so keep your eyes peeled for that! Find out more about our sensory panels here.

The packs visually stood out on shelf to me but since I was purposefully trying to find them, I ran the new packs through our Visual Attention Prediction software to get an unbiased viewpoint. this allows us to predict the levels of attention that different elements of an image will receive, without the need for consumers. The machine learning algorithm is based on real eye tracking results to predict consumers pre-attentive vision, in the first 3-5 seconds before we become aware of what we are looking at. See the outputs for yourself below!

The maps produced above allow us to understand the performance of different elements on the pack – something I personally find fascinating. We can see from the outputs that the brand logo is highly likely to be fixated upon visually, marking the start of the user journey. Subconsciously, the visuals set expectations of the product, with the Galaxy brand resonating with smoothness and creaminess – the product now has to deliver on these key equities. Other products that we’ve run through this system before have showed no specific visual attention – i.e. it’s been very broad across the pack. so the fact that Galaxy have achieved these specific areas of visual attention is impressive.

Now onto the best bit… time to try them!

Despite wanting to devour all three packs by myself, I organised a meeting with our branding expert Andrew Wardlaw, a few of our Sensory Qual team members and a handful of self-identified long-term vegans to try the product and share their thoughts. I’d be lying if I said it took a lot of convincing to get them to accept the offer!

FIRST THOUGHTS

The highly pigmented colour on each pack is vibrant, and nicely ties into the bold and luxurious taste expectations of Galaxy. Despite being distinctive in store, the paint-like swipe on the front of pack lacks depth in comparison to the visually thick and creamy waves on the original glossy pack of the original Galaxy. As a result, “you wouldn’t expect the products to taste the same or have the same texture as the core Galaxy SKU.”

PACK OPENING EXPERIENCE

Picking up the pack, its matte and lightly textured surface versus the shiny, glossy packaging of the original Galaxy signals natural and sustainable which perfectly aligns with its vegan contents. The initial contact with the pack is premium but in a modern way and aligns with the weight and density of the pack. There is also something to be said for it being positioned on the top shelf; traditionally this is used as a more premium sector, and it may help to ease the concern around the price point of £3 per bar.

The outer card sleeve is easy to open and resealable. The chocolate bar inside is wrapped in clear, compostable film. In fact, all of the packaging is 100% biodegradable – great job MARS! Although there is currently no indication on the front of the pack about the incredible job that the team have done in making the product fully degradable. This is something that I would certainly pay a premium for.

PRODUCT VISUAL

The famous Galaxy wave, despite being noticeably altered in shape and depth here, is present in the bar. “The family resemblance is there but it won’t fit the palette as the original Galaxy does.” The larger and thinner rectangles themselves break softly with a less audible snap in comparison to the original Galaxy; this means the product melts at the touch of your fingertips, thus tying into the brand’s resemblance with smooth.

Now for the one thing we’re waiting for answers to… will it taste as good as the classic? Or for our long-term vegan employees, will it become a go-to milk chocolate for them?

TASTE

Caramelised Hazelnut

The chocolate has a strong hazelnut aroma, and this comes through when tasting the product. It is smooth and has a very pleasing taste. The product leaves a great melting sensation to start with, but it disappears more quickly than the original Galaxy, leaving small hazelnut pieces to circulate in your mouth as “structurally there is a compromise you make when you replace milk with hazelnut paste. the chocolate melts quicker”. Despite being to a lesser degree, the stickiness to your palette that is Galaxy’s well known USP is present in this plant-based product and comes through instantly. Overall, we all loved it and consequently helped ourselves to a second piece of the bar. We might have finished it within five minutes.

Caramel and Sea Salt

The chocolate smells of roasted cocoa and dark caramel – the aroma is strong and resonates with the premium pack. The sea salt disrupts the smoothness of the chocolate which adds to the experience, and as it melts away you are left with salt crystals on your tongue. The packaging sets up this expectation well with a “rough and ready colour swipe on the front of the pack.” It has a good melting point. it melts quite quickly and it feels unctuous. It really does taste indulgent! In a blind taste test, you wouldn’t know it was free from dairy.

Smooth Orange

The chocolate smells strongly of orange oil and melts smoothly in your mouth. “It is wonderfully creamy for a vegan chocolate, what’s not to like!”. It stays relatively compact until you swallow versus Galaxy which coats and sticks to the whole mouth. Personally, I think it’s a perfect product for vegans who miss being able to buy orange flavoured milk chocolate.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It seems that MARS have enhanced their portfolio but made the deliberate decision to not to replicate the core Galaxy. Instead, they’ve created a premium vegan tier which is distinctly different. In summary, it is a brilliant product that’s sent waves (no pun intended) through the vegan food industry – congratulations MARS, this is something to be very proud of.

If you’re innovating in the plant-based arena and want to get some feedback from our teams get in touch at r.doherty@mmr-research.com. And why not join us for one of our MMR Academy sessions in 2020?

When vegan isn’t free from but a supermarket doesn’t care

News of the release of Galaxy‘s vegan chocolate range came in November and it was quickly announced Tesco would be the first to stock it.

Three chocolate bars were launched — Smooth Orange, Caramelised Hazelnut, Caramel Sea Salt. The products list allergens hazelnuts in the ingredients, plus ‘may contain’ for milk, cereals containing gluten, and nuts, with an explicit ‘not suitable for people with milk allergy’ warning.

All carry the Vegan Society trademark, as this is not withheld from products potentially cross-contaminated with animal-sourced ingredients, provided other conditions are met. This is an ongoing controversy and confusion in itself among vegans and those with food allergies, which has been a problem for years, and remains unresolved.

But when it became apparent Tesco were stocking the products in their ‘free from’ section, eyebrows were raised on social media, including those of a well known face from the telly.

What are they actually free from, people wondered? As far as those with many food allergies and coeliac disease were concerned, they weren’t free from milk, nor nuts, nor gluten, and therefore unsuitable.

This was clearly a foolish decision. Several questioned it via. as did I. Feeble responses followed — Galaxy highlighted the products’ vegan-approved status and ‘informed choice’ allergen labelling, while Tesco pointed out the products were free from egg, as if the confectionary landscape is rich in examples of ovum-flavoured chocolate.

Fruitless enquiries …

After Christmas I contacted both Galaxy and Tesco press departments directly to try get an insight into this.

Neither approach proved productive.

I asked Galaxy whether they had asked to be stocked in the aisle. There was fluff in response — ‘we take allergen labelling seriously’ and the like — but despite promising to get answers their final correspondence told me they “do not have anything further to add at this time”.

I hoped for better with Tesco but no. Three times I asked to speak with someone, and twice explicitly requested Tesco’s working definition of ‘free from’, and the criteria applicable to products in that section.

My every email was responded to, but none of my questions were acknowledged, let alone answered. I was given information “as background and not for quoting”, most of which obvious, concerning Galaxy’s approach to labelling, but little else. I wish I could share it all with you, but can’t. The whole exchange was boggling.

Tesco won Retailer of the Year for five successive years in the Free From Food Awards, and deservedly so too, from my seat as a regular judge. This is a depressing and frustrating response from a supermarket which has done so much for those on restricted diets.

What is Free From?

Given Tesco is unwilling and possibly unable to define what ‘free from’ is, here’s my working definition of what I see it as and believe it should be.

A ‘free from’ food is a food which is free from at least one of the fourteen declarable food allergens which would ordinarily be present in a mainstream equivalent of that food.

Free from foods, by this definition, include gluten/wheat-free bread, almond milk, and sunflower seed butter, to give three examples.

There is an argument for including foods subject to strict allergen controls and testing, and which are free of any ‘may contain’ warnings, and I think that’s an idea to explore — although Galaxy’s vegan trio fails on that front too.

Why does all this matter?

Because if we can’t confidently define what ‘free from’ should be, and the meaning of ‘vegan’ is unclear (there is no legal definition, and The Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society use different ones), we will see more confusion and increased risk to people with food allergies to egg and milk, and those serving them, who may assume vegan means milk/egg-allergy safe, when it does not. I tweeted a thread on these issues recently, so won’t repeat what I said there.

The blurring of vegan and ‘free from’ in the ‘free from’ aisle as exemplified in this case is dangerous. It’s different, but am reminded of the tragic case involving Morrison’s milk-containing chocolate in the ‘free from’ aisle last year.

It matters too because retailers and manufacturers should not be ducking questions whose answers may not necessarily portray them in the positive light of their choosing.

Tesco’s refusal to so much as acknowledge the questions I was asking, let alone agree to speak with me as a journalist, mirrors the tactics of right-wing governments — deflect, ignore questions, and deny access, to those who may not be prepared to sing praise. I can only wonder whether a writer approaching Tesco with a view to showcasing their latest gluten-free bakery might have been given all the information on a platter with a hamper in the post to boot.

And it matters because it insults brands who are playing this game far, far better than Galaxy. Look at the photo above. Galaxy has been cast alongside NOMO chocolate — who launched last year as both a vegan and ’14 free’ brand, safe for those with food allergies to any of the main declarable allergens.

I wonder what the team at NOMO might be thinking about being given the same prominence and respect as a far, far lesser ‘free from’ range, but one whose manufacturers are blessed with a greater profile and budget. What motivation does it give them, or any other multiple ‘free from’ brand out there for that matter, to continue to develop products suitable for people with all manner of food sensitivities?

What is the point, when your ‘free from’ standards can fall as low as Galaxy’s, and yet you can still make the grade?

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

It’s very confusing isn’t it… when being proud to be vegan and ‘egg free’ which makes sense, but then not being milk free, which as a vegan product does not. For myself, i shall continue to be very wary of anything marked as ‘vegan’ as these could be potentially very dangerous for me with a dairy milk allergy. On the other hand, I have to admit to an addiction to NOMO chocolate. It lasts five minutes in my house. So thank you NOMO and I’m not sure what to say to Tesco or Galaxy. I love Tesco’s freefrom range but don’t feel this product belongs there. It’s hard enough finding the right products, checking labels etc. without having things that are not great for hardly anyone shopping in that aisle! Great post Alex.

Thanks Ruth. Yes, although I like some but not all of the NOMO chocolate personally, I do think from a free from perspective they deserve high praise.

Is it really a problem though to put may contain products in Free From sections? I know they have to say it for legal reasons but is there actually much chance of getting a reaction? Do many people with allergens actually avoid the may contain stuff? I am curious as personally i am fine with it myself? I am allergic to Dairy and Gluten and Soya (and i do get very sick from eating them so they are all quite serious allergies) but yet i will happily eat anything that says it may contain Dairy/Gluten/Soya in it or that says it is unsuitable for Dairy/Gluten/Soya allergies due to the manufacturing methods or anything like that. As long as there is no actual Dairy/Gluten/Soya in the ingredients list then i am more than happy to eat it. I have been doing this for years and never had a problem or any reactions from these products. I have eaten these very same Galaxy Chocolates that this article is about and have been fine. I have also had hundreds of other products (like Walkers Crisps for an example) that say may contain Dairy/Gluten/Soya and also been fine. I think in reality these warnings are only there for legal reasons to stop people taking them to court in the very rare chance that there is major contamination. I think the real risks are tiny. Companies these days take extra care to clean machines properly and do everything to avoid cross contamination so i think actually getting a reaction from such a product is extremely unlikely. It is all just about legalities. Another problem (regardless of whether or not may contain items should be put in the Free From section) is that there is no definition of what the Free From section should contain. You could say that these Free From sections are for anything that is Free From at least one of the 14 allergens that must be declared but then that would mean that almost everything in the supermarket could go in this section. Obviously it is not reasonable to do the opposite either and only allow items that are Free From all 14 allergens that must be declared as that would mean very few products (most of the Free From products even contain some of these allergens) and i have never known anyone to be allergic to all 14 of these allergens. So there is really no clarity with this. Even if you believe that may contain items shouldn’t be in the Free From section it could be argued that these chocolates belong in it because they are Soya Free (and have no may contain warnings for Soya either) as many chocolate companies use Soya Lecithin instead of Sunflower Lecithin in their products. So it could be said that these chocolates do indeed belong here. Like many things to do with allergens it is all a mess and there is not much clarity. Interesting blog post though. I have only just found your blog and enjoyed reading your articles. I am quite interested in these sorts of things.

Hi Samuel. I don’t necessarily have a problem with ‘may contain’ in the free from aisle, and I do provide a working definition of what ‘free from’ is or at least should be, and why Galaxy chocolate doesn’t meet the definition, in my view. That said, I think you make a good point regarding soya, but soya is quite an unusual allergen in some regards, and most people can tolerate soya lecithin. Most people with immediate (IgE) response food allergies (hives, wheezing etc) would avoid ‘may contain’. You’re lucky if you’ve never reacted. Perhaps you have a gastrointestinal form? Or is it food intolerance? Some people with those forms worry less about ‘may contain’. Best wishes, Alex.

I work for Enjoy Life Foods here in the States. ALL our products are certified free of the top 14 allergens. See us at http://www.enjoylifefoods.com and we would love to dialogue about gaining more distribution, particularly in the UK. Everyone should have the right to eat freely.

Are the 14 you’re referring to the EU 14? I think they may not quite overlap — i seem to recall having this discussion elsewhere on social media before. Oats (even GF) are a top 14 in Europe. I can’t really help with distribution, but if you drop me a line, I’ll see what I can do and perhaps forward your query on to someone. Choose contact above.

Hi Alex, Yes, we are free of wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, dairy, egg, sesame, sulfites, lupine, soy, casein, mustard and crustaceans. Certified Gluten Free (first company to become so by the Gluten Free Certification Oroganization in US), Kosher, Halal, 90% of products are Vegan certified and we have 6 products Paleo certified. We also have 26 products FODMAP certified for Irritable Bowel sufferers. Would love to have you spread word or if you know of some solid distributors.

Sorry, forgot to address oats: we are oat free with exception of our new breakfast ovals which have Purity Protocol gluten free rolled oats. Purity Protocol test down to much smaller than standard

free from should mean free from all not one or two but all allergens. if it’s only 1 then it should be “allergen here” free i.e. gluten free, milk free, soy free but not free from if only 1 or 2. it would help all with allergies.

I think that would over-restrict the free from section to just a few products. It’s already frustrating for people with multiple food allergies — with wheat not among them — that the main characteristic in ‘free from’ is wheat/gluten free.

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