Written By: Christina Colondres
This is one of the hardest posts to write because we all probably know how utterly delicious some of these products are! Who wants to avoid eating snacks like Oreos or Tim Tams?! But at Orangutan Alliance we want to be able to give our followers clear advice about palm oil free products, especially around Halloween it is important to know the difference between products that are “palm oil free” versus companies that are palm oil free! Companies like Nestle and Mars may have a lot of great candies to indulge in, but sadly the majority of their products do have palm oil. Most of these RSPO members have made lofty claims in the past regarding their commitment to sustainable palm oil, but how has WWF ranked them this year regarding adherence to those commitments? In this post we will give you the latest insights regarding the status of many RSPO member companies work to “sustainably” source palm oil and of course suggest some great candy companies that NEVER use palm oil in their products!
- Although Mondelez is RSPO certified there is evidence that they are still sourcing from unsustainable palm oil producers, which would come as no surprise since their RSPO commitment does not cover their entire corporate group. In addition, they only “partly” have committed to WWF’s “deforestation and conversion-free supplier policy” and they have not committed to WWF’s “100% covered by RSPO CSPO for all palm oil used”. They are ranked as one of the lowest scoring international food brands by WWF regarding their efforts towards true RSPO CSPO sustainability.
- So avoid brands like “Oreo”, “Milka” (which does have some palm oil free chocolates, those without filling), “Nutter butter”, “The Natural Confectionary Co”, and “Sour patch”
- There are some products without palm oil like “Toblerone”, “Chips ahoy”, and select “Cadbury” products (please read the label) but if you want to divest from supporting companies that are not standing by their palm oil promises than avoid the brand all together
- Mars has a selection of candies without palm oil, but they still are being questioned regarding their palm oil sources and ingredient transparency despite having RSPO sustainable palm oil membership. They are making large strides regarding focusing on quality palm oil suppliers by halving their previous producers to only those who meet RSPO standards. However, they only “partly” have committed to WWF’s “deforestation and conversion-free supplier policy”.
- If you choose to buy from Mars look for select “M&Ms” and “Mounds” which are palm oil free
- NESTLE does not have a large selection of candies without palm oil. They lost their RSPO membership in 2018 although it was quickly reinstated. They also are not transparent on their ingredient labeling in many countries, so proceed with caution. They have “delayed” their commitment to sustainable palm oil until 2023 rather than 2020 like other members, plus their commitment does not cover their entire corporate group. In addition, they only “partly” have committed to WWF’s “deforestation and conversion-free supplier policy” and they have not committed to WWF’s “100% covered by RSPO CSPO for all palm oil used”. They also sold their US candies to Ferrara in 2018 so see Ferrero Group’s list for many candies you may associate with Nestle.
- Nestle’s palm oil free candies include “After Eight”, “Chocolate Almonds”, Allen’s “Lollies” (e.g. Killer Pythons, Frogs Alive, Ripe Raspberries, etc), “Crunch” (which is owned only partially by Ferrara, US Distribution) and “Chocolate Macadamias”
- Allen’s is owned by Nestle. Most products in their line do contain palm oil, but it is labeled as vegetable oil without further clarification as to “what kind” of vegetable oils are being used.
- Ferrero Group (which owns Ferrara) has in the past been questioned regarding their ingredient transparency and palm oil sourcing although being RSPO certified, but WWF has judged that they are making the biggest strides out of mainstream confectionary companies to improve their palm oil sourcing. However they only “partly” have committed to WWF’s “deforestation and conversion-free supplier policy”.
- If you still want to buy some palm oil free Ferrara products you can purchase “Raisinets”, “Nerds”, most “Wonka products” (e.g. sweet tarts, gobbstoppers, runts, NOT Laffy Taffy), “100 Grand, “Crunch” (only Ferrara owned in the US, otherwise Nestle), “Atomic fireballs”, Brachs “candy corn” and Brachs “gummy bears”. Sadly their Kinder brand does not have any palm oil free products.
- HERSHEY is an RSPO member and many of their products are palm oil free, they are regularly cited as one of the big name RSPO members to go above and beyond their commitments for sustainable palm oil sourcing by providing clear traceability to producers, however they do admit to source from “Wilmar” which is a palm oil producer who has been charged with child labour and community abuses.
- If you want to still buy from HERSHEY you can purchase palm oil free select “Reeses”, “Hershey’s bars”, select “Hershey’s kisses”, “York peppermint patties”, and select “Hershey nuggets”
- Ritter Chocolate is also a member of RSPO. Like other companies they are not fully transparent regarding who they purchase from, but they do make efforts to be transparent with their ingredients list and have been rated as working towards sustainable segregated sourcing. However, in interviews they make excuses for finding alternatives including claims that coconut oil and soy oil is more environmentally impactful than palm oil which is untrue.
- Most Ritter Chocolates without a “creamy” filling are palm oil free while those with creamy fillings (e.g. yogurt, cream, etc) have palm oil.
- Lindt also is RSPO certified (rated as making strides to reach true sustainable palm oil sourcing but still not fully transparent) and has a range of chocolates that are palm oil free (avoid those with fillings). They have only “partly” have committed to WWF’s “deforestation and conversion-free supplier policy”. Also Ghiradelli chocolates offer many palm oil free variants, those without fillings are generally palm oil free while those with filling have palm oil.
- Other candies that can be purchased that are palm oil free include Airheads, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Chupa Chupa Lollipops, Mike & Ikes, Hot Tamales, Baby bottle pops, Ring pops, Mint Patties, Werther’s Originals, Hubba Bubba, Whittakers, Red Vines, Jolly Rancher Hard Candy, etc
- If you are willing to pay for higher quality chocolate there are a number of brands which are completely palm oil free, such as Tony’s Chocoloney, Divine, That Chocolate, The Seriously Good Chocolate Company, Scarborough Fair, Cocoa Loco, Elements Chocolate, Montezuma, Lake Champlain Chocolates, and many more
This list is by NO MEANS exhaustive! There are many brands out there that are fully palm oil free that we may have not included and there are plenty of brands who are RSPO certified that have some products available with no palm oil that we may have forgotten. So don’t take this list as being the only options available out there. We encourage everyone to take your time while shopping to read the ingredients on packaging (especially if you live in a country which does not require the ingredients in vegetable oil to be disclosed) or the product is using “tricky” wording to hide its palm oil usage (see this link to read some of the “alternative” names for palm oil). Most of the information from this article can be found in WWF’s palm oil scorecard list available on their website, and we encourage all of our followers to dig into this great resource on RSPO member companies since it goes beyond just food and candy companies and covers multiple sectors. We’d also love to thank all of our followers reading this! It is a huge step to educate yourself on this highly confusing topic and trying to support palm oil free companies is extremely important for protecting our natural world, especially tropical areas. It is extremely difficult to avoid palm oil and we appreciate your caring enough to read this post and trying to support a palm oil free Halloween!
Did you know there are over 200 ingridients that are a palm oil derivative? Follow this link to see the full list: