2015 Dairy-free advent calendars: tried and tested

There’s a bumper crop of dairy-free advent calendars on the market this year. We tried out some of the best, from kid-friendly numbers to sophisticated dark chocolate advent calendars for the grown-ups…

Moo Free Advent Calendar

This year’s Moo Free Advent Calendar wins points for the fun, child-friendly packaging. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and soya-free too so it’s ideal for kids with multiple allergies. The chocolates are very mild-tasting. Grown-ups may find them a little lacking in flavour, but little fans will love it.

£4.99  from Ocado, Waitrose.com and health food shops.

Best for: Children with allergies/intolerances

Tesco Free-From Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar

Another cute calendar for kids. What I really like about this Tesco calendar is the packaging – whimsical drawings of skating polar bears and carol-singing robins, plus a jigsaw on the back. Little touches like this are really important for kids with allergies who miss out on mainstream products. The chocolates themselves are very pleasant, with a creamy milk chocolate texture (they’re made with rice syrup and rice flour).

£0.50 from Tesco 

Best for: Mums on a budget

Hotel Chocolat The Advent Calendar: Dark

This sophisticated number is definitely one for the grown-ups. The gold cover opens like a book to reveal 24 large windows with a shaped dark chocolate behind each. The chocolates are rich and smooth with a beautiful dark chocolate flavour. NB this one is suitable for vegetarians and vegans but it is made in the same environment as milk chocolates so not for those with a milk allergy.

£12.50 from Hotel Chocolat

Best for: Grown-ups with lactose intolerance; gifts

Holland & Barrett Organic Dairy-Free Advent Calendar

Holland & Barrett has two dairy-free advent calendars this year. This one has cute packaging (with minimal free-from logos on the front; they’re all on the back) and is organic and Fairtrade, too. I found the chocolate to be very sweet and a little bland but it has a good milk-chocolate style creamy consistency. Another good pick for kids. It’s also made in a nut-free facility, but may contain soya traces.

£3.99 from Holland & Barrett

Best for: Children who also have a nut allergy

Holland & Barrett No Added Sugar Alternative to Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar

Holland & Barrett’s second offering is sugar-free as well as dairy-free (it’s sweetened with Xylitol). I really liked how all the allergy info was kept to the back of the calendar, so the front just looks like a regular calendar. The chocolates weren’t doing it for me taste-wise (a bit earthy) but a good pick for diabetics.

£3.99 from Holland & Barrett

Plamil No Added Sugar Alternative to Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar

Another no-added sugar, dairy-free calendar, this one from Plamil which makes its chocolates in a milk-free, nut-free facility. Again, the taste isn’t doing it for me but if you’re in the market for no-added sugar chocolate then Plamil is another good choice.

£4.95 from independent health-food shops and Plamil.co.uk

Plamil Organic Dairy-Free Alternative to Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar

A jolly advent calendar filled with creamy dairy-free chocs with a pleasant after-taste of cocoa. Another good pick for those with multiple allergies as it is free from egg, dairy and animal ingredients and made in a nut-free environment. May contain soya traces.

£4.95 from independent health-food shops and Plamil.co.uk

Best for: People on a no-added sugar diet


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