Some of you probably read the headline and were, like, "Duh, Bianca. Everyone already knew Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are vegan." They've been around for a few years, and their vegan-ness has been common vegan knowledge forever.
However, some may have noticed that Justin's recently added "Contains: Milk" under the nutrition facts on their dark chocolate cups. But never fear — they are vegan. And I'll explain in a few.
I have to admit that I didn't notice the labeling change myself. Justin's reached out to me about reviewing their dark chocolate peanut butter cups just before Halloween, and I jumped at the chance. But before my coupons arrived, my friend Sheridan informed me that Justin's labels now said "Contains: Milk." She was very sad because she thought this meant that the cups weren't vegan. That's how it would seem, right?
So I googled and found this note under the FAQ section of their website:
Even though there are no milk ingredients added to our delicious Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and the recipe has not changed, we recently changed our label to indicate “contains milk” because they are produced on machinery that also processes our Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, which do contain milk. While there is an extensive sanitation process between each batch, the reason we made this change is two-fold, both deriving from our company’s primary fundamental – safety:
1) Justin’s is very careful about choosing and selecting only the highest quality chocolatiers to source not only its dark chocolate but all of the chocolates used in all our products. However, it is common practice for the chocolate industry to process cocoa beans on shared equipment with milk containing ingredients. So while we are extremely careful, the chance of cross-contact exists even before we purchase the chocolate.
2) In addition to sourcing the highest quality chocolate, we use the best manufacturing practices for safety and quality. Because our Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups share equipment with our Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, which do contain dairy, the opportunity for cross-contact as we manufacture the peanut butter cups at our facilities also exists. We felt this precautionary message may help prevent an incident for those extremely sensitive to dairy.
Our prior and current labels similarly disclose the possibility of cross-contamination.So basically, they're just being super-careful. Whereas many companies would use the label "may contain milk," Justin's is going above and beyond to be sensitive to those with serious allergies. And I think that's pretty cool. For most of us vegans, though, these are just fine to eat. And thank goddess. Because peanut butter cups are the best!! And Justin's are the best of the best. They're made with organic dark chocolate and organic peanuts, and even the palm oil they use is sustainably sourced.
Justin's also makes the PB cups in minis, and those are my very fave. They're individually wrapped, so they're great to toss in candy dishes or in your purse (just don't forget they're in there in the hot summer months).
Okay, now it's time for y'all to enjoy some Justin's cups! I have a few free product coupons to give away. Leave a comment (and PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS), and I'll randomly pick three winners on Friday. Each winner will receive three free product coupons! But beware: The coupons expire on December 31st, so use them soon. I'll get them in the mail this weekend. Justin's products are only sold in the U.S. and Canada (you can find them at Starbucks there), so this contest is only open to residents of those two countries. Good luck!