Vegan Dairy on Restaurant Menus? Why the Desserts Might Not be Safe


Perfect Day, the original vegan dairy company, has now made their way into food service. They’ve teamed up with Villa Dolce to create vegan gelato and ready-to-bake dessert mixes with their genetically engineered whey proteins. These dairy-full sweets will be available via distribution to over 2000 restaurants, hotels, casinos, and universities. Which means, some of those vegan desserts on the menu might not be dairy-free.

Vegan Dairy on Restaurant Menus? Why the Desserts Might Not be Safe

Vegan Dairy on Restaurant Menus? Why the Desserts Might Not be Safe

Yes, there are now vegan products that contain dairy. We realize it’s confusing, which is why we have information on the new era of Vegan Foods that Contain Dairy. We also have an ongoing guide for Vegan Products that Contain Dairy. But food service distribution is a trickier situation.

Unlike manufacturers of pre-packaged food products, food establishments have no requirements to list ingredients or allergens on freshly prepared items. But they can, and often do use descriptors like “vegan” on their menus. This means dairy-free customers will have to scrutinize items labeled as vegan when eating out. And they might be dealing with staff that isn’t well educated in allergens, dairy ingredients, veganism, and genetically engineered dairy proteins.

Villa Dolce also makes sorbetto, but the vegan dairy line includes several flavors of creamy gelato. And make no mistake – those are milk based! According to Perfect Day, the gelato flavors include:

  • Sea Salt Vanilla & Honeycomb​
  • Caramel Cold Brew​
  • Chocolate all’Arancia​
  • Strawberry After Dark​
  • Burnt Caramel Praline​
  • Pistachio Latte​
  • Tahitian Vanilla Bean​

And the ready-to-bake dessert mixes are as follows:

  • Cookie Dough​
  • Pistachio Cake​
  • Southern Brown Butter Cake​
  • Lava Cake

These products seek to meet the needs of ethically-driven vegans, but can be problematic for other types of dairy-free consumers. They have already been picked up by Arizona State University, UCLA, Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Many more restaurants and food halls are expected to come on board.

At present, the genetically engineered milk proteins only affect desserts in food service. But vegan dairy cheese is rapidly heading toward the market and could also hit food service in the coming years.

Vegan Dairy on Restaurant Menus? Why the Desserts Might Not be SafePhotos from Perfect Day Foods

Related Reading for Dairy-Free Consumers

Is Vegan Dairy Free? Usually, But These Products are Exceptions …

When Vegan Isn’t Dairy-Free, a New Era of Engineered Food

What are “May Contain” Allergy Statements and What They Mean for You

Non Dairy vs Dairy Free: Why One May Contain Milk

For More Dairy-Free Living Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition - The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook for Dairy-Free Living with Over 250 Recipes!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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