Dark chocolate has some promising health benefits, and that's all thanks to special ingredients like cacao and cocoa beans. Unfortunately, there are some sustainability issues that come along with them, and the chocolate industry has come under fire for unethical sourcing practices that are harming farmers and the communities that produce them.
In a time like ours, choosing the best organic chocolate bar means buying from a company that prioritizes sustainability and ethical sourcing. And with so many options on the market, we set out to help you find the yummiest of them all.
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We asked registered dietitians to share their favorite organic chocolate bar, and most came up with a few! They told us what makes each of these bars unique, and let us know what ingredients, nutrient info and labels to look out for when shopping.
The organic chocolate bars on this list were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Cacao content
- Sustainability and ethical farming efforts
- Taste and texture
- Amount of sugar
- Pascha Chocolate Organic Dark Chocolate Bar ($43.28 for 10; Amazon)
- Chocolove Organic Dark Chocolate ($51 for 12; Amazon)
- Raaka Mini Dose Chocolate Bars ($28.95 for 3; Amazon)
- Theo Pure Organic Dark Chocolate Bar ($47.08 for 12; Amazon)
- Alter Eco Total Blackout 100% Cocoa Bar ($5.41 per bar; Walmart)
- Green & Black Organic 70% Dark Chocolate ($34.80 for 10; Walmart)
- Hu Kitchen Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa Dark Chocolate ($43.20 for 8; Hu Kitchen)
- Taza Organic Mexican-Style Chocolate ($18.38 for 8; Amazon)
- Venchi Organic Dark Chocolate Bar ($9.95 per bar, Venchi)
- Equal Exchange Organic Very Dark Chocolate ($31 for 12; Equal Exchange)
- Beyond Good Madagascar Pure Dark Chocolate ($14.99 for 3; Amazon)
- Eating Evolved Signature Dark Chocolate ($4.99 per bar; Eating Evolved)
1. Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate
- Sugar: 4 grams
Made from certified organic Peruvian cocoa beans, cane sugar and vanilla (yup, that's it), this bar by Pascha is well-balanced without a trace of bitterness — and it's low in sugar. Made in a dedicated allergen-free facility, it is vegan and free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, wheat and gluten.
The company promotes that the cocoa in their products is grown by farmers certified by the UTZ, which recently merged with the Rainforest Alliance and is the largest certification program for coffee and cocoa in the world.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $43.28 for 10 bars
2. Chocolove Organic Dark Chocolate
- Sugar: 8 grams
While milk chocolate is undeniably delicious, dark chocolate tends to have more nutritional perks.
"Dark chocolate is rich in a group of antioxidants called flavonoids," says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN. "Research shows that epicatechin, a specific flavanol found in cacao and dark chocolate, is particularly beneficial for supporting heart health."
"This chocolate bar has a nice, rich texture to it, which will delight your tastebuds," Burgess says. "The company also offers sugar-free organic chocolate, and I like that they have miniature-sized bars for smaller portions and on-the-go snacks."
Chocolove supports the International Federation of Red Cross program in West Africa, an organization in the fight against the Ebola virus. The company supports ethical manufacturing processes, is committed to fair trade and is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $51 for a pack of 12
3. Raaka Mini Dose Chocolate Bars
- Sugar: 2 grams
With unique flavors like Pink Sea Salt, Oat Milk and 100% Cacao, this variety pack of organic chocolate bars from Raaka has something to satisfy every chocolate lover's palate. Because each bar is certified-organic and free of allergens like soy and GMOs, this one is surely worth adding to your chocolate stash.
"Each Raaka bar has minimum to zero added sugar, and they have some iron and magnesium," says Edibel Quintero, RD. "These bars are small, which means you don't have to eat a lot of it in one sitting. Even better is that the product is organic, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free for those with dietary restrictions."
4. Alter Eco Total Blackout 100% Cacao Bar
- Sugar: 0 grams
This pure dark chocolate bar contains 100 percent cacao and is totally sugar-free, which means you'll reap even more of the health benefits chocolate has to offer. If you take a look at the nutritional label, you'll see it boasts important nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium and fiber. Alter Eco also makes a less-intense version that contains 90 percent cacao.
Not only is this chocolate bar made from all organic and Fair-Trade-certified ingredients, but even the outside wrapper is made with ecofriendliness in mind — make sure to toss it in the recycling bin!
5. Green & Black Organic Chocolate Bar
- Sugar: 4 grams
If you're looking for an organic chocolate bar with a super simple ingredient list and bold, decadent flavor, go for this one from Green & Black.
"There are only four ingredients in this product; organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter and organic vanilla," says Angela Lago, RD, LDN.
"I also love that this chocolate bar is soy-free, as it's very difficult to find chocolate that does not contain soy lecithin. This bar can also be found in many grocery stores, so it's easy to keep on hand and doesn't require a special order."
6. Theo Pure Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
- Sugar: 4 grams
Like others on our list, this chocolate bar has a high amount of cacao at 85 percent. Not only that, but it's totally vegan and free of soy, making it a good choice for those with dietary restrictions.
And because this bar skips out on the filler ingredients and preservatives, it's worth every single bite. "This organic chocolate bar has 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving — two nutrients our bodies need," Burgess says. "Try pairing a few chocolate squares with a handful of almonds and fresh berries for a nutritious dessert option."
7. Hu Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa Dark Chocolate
- Sugar: 7 grams
If you like your chocolate with a bit of crunch sans weird filler ingredients and preservatives, then this is definitely the chocolate bar for you.
"My favorite organic chocolate bar is Hu's Almond Butter With Puffed Quinoa chocolate," says Amanda Lane, RDN. "The almond butter gives you some unsaturated healthy fats and a creamy mouthfeel, which nicely compliments the dark chocolate."
Hu makes plenty of different flavor options, too, including their delicious Hazelnut Butter Dark Chocolate.
8. Taza Organic Mexican-Style Chocolate
- Sugar: 2 grams
With exciting flavors like Guajillo Chili, Coffee and Cinnamon, this variety pack of Mexican-style organic chocolate bars from Taza will definitely spice things up. It comes with eight chocolate "disks" that make the perfect sweet snack when a craving hits.
"Not only does Taza offer incredible quality chocolate, but they offer dairy-free options and some delicious flavors to choose from," says Lindsay Wengler, RD, CDN.
"Taza ingredients are chosen with care, and they take sourcing their cacao seriously. Each year they publish transparency reports that show their commitment to the environment and fair labor practices for the farmers they work with."
9. Venchi Organic Ecuador Dark Chocolate
- Sugar: 5 grams
This organic chocolate bar from Venchi is a must-have for chocolate lovers who like a rich, bold flavor. The cocoa beans used to make it are sourced from a single-origin, Ecuador, which is known for cocoa that has a very aromatic intensity and aroma with toasted notes, according to Venchi.
"Venchi chocolate has a lot of cacao, which offers powerful antioxidants and flavanols," Wengler says. "Flavanols are linked to heart health benefits like improved blood flow and blood pressure." Just another delicious reason to reach for chocolate!
Buy it: Venchi.com; Price: $9.95 per bar
10. Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate Bar
- Sugar: 8 grams
If the bolder the better is your personal affirmation, then you'll love any of the dark organic chocolate bars from Equal Exchange. Depending on how bold you like it, you can buy variations with different amounts of cacao from 55 percent to 80 percent.
"Its high cacao content means that this chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, which are tied to lowering inflammation in the body. One serving has just eight grams of added sugar, which I consider a reasonable amount for chocolate," says Stephanie Wells, RD, LD.
This chocolate is also totally dairy-free, so it's good for those with allergies to lactose as well as anyone following a vegan or plant-based diet.
Vegan and free of soy, this company sources 100 percent of its ingredients from Fair Trade cooperatives.
11. Beyond Good Single-Origin Madagascar Chocolate
- Sugar: 8 grams
Dark and intense, any organic chocolate bar by Beyond Good is a great choice. No matter which flavor option you choose (there are plenty), you can be sure the chocolate is sustainably sourced from a single origin: Madagascar, Africa. Plus, they're vegan.
The company practices sustainable sourcing of their cocoa beans by buying directly from farmers to ensure they're the ones making a profit.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $14.99 for 3 bars
12. Eating Evolved Signature Dark Chocolate
- Sugar: 7 grams
This organic chocolate bar from Eating Evolved is superbly balanced with a satisfying crunch and a salty-sweet finish. It's also vegan and paleo-friendly. At 72 percent cacao, you'll get that distinct flavor as well as the antioxidants.
Eating Evolved is certified by the Rain Forest Alliance, an organization that helps protect forests and the rights of farmers by addressing issues like child labor, low wages and poor working conditions.
Eating Evolved also uses organic coconut sugar to sweeten their chocolate bars, which may be more sustainable than ingredients like cane sugar.
Things to Consider Before Buying
When you're shopping for the best organic chocolate bars, here are some things to consider as you search.
When selecting organic chocolate, it's helpful to look at the cacao percentage. Generally, bars with a higher cacao percentage have more antioxidants and less sugar.
With this in mind, Burgess advises sticking with bars containing 70 percent cocoa or higher. "This higher percentage allows you to really get the benefits of the cacao, like fiber and antioxidants," she says. "These bars will also have a more intense flavor."
Labels and Certifications
To determine if your organic chocolate bar is actually organic, make sure to check your product labels. "Look for the USDA Certified Organic label on the packaging," Butler explains. "This means that the product has met strict organic standards.
Some chocolate bars can have a long ingredient list. As you saw with many of the organic chocolate bars on our list, good chocolate doesn't have to be so complicated.
When you're shopping, stick with products that have a small and simple ingredient list, as it ensures your chocolate that's claiming to be "healthy" isn't filled with additives and artificial flavors.
"For the best quality organic chocolate, look for an ingredient list that ideally has nothing more than cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar and milk ingredients (if you tolerate lactose) without any added fats or artificial flavors," says Jennifer Pallian, RD.