Are you missing those hearty Snickers bars, on the hunt for an Almond Joy alternative, in need of a Twix to share, or simply craving a Reeses? Go Max Go Candy Bars make several vegan versions of classic candy bars. And they do it without any dairy, eggs, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.
Tasting Notes for Go Max Go Candy Bars
We had three taste-testers on our initial group, myself (strictly dairy-free), Tony (also dairy-free, but for general health), and Stacy (not dairy-free or vegan, our most impartial judge). Hannah of Bittersweet and Sarena of The Non-Dairy Queen also tried a few of the bars and offered their feedback. There are a few newer bars that we haven’t tried, but I’ve added information for those.
Mahalo (Almond Joy copycat; Gluten-Free)
Something compelled me to select this bar first, and it turned out to be an excellent choice. We all loved it. I haven’t had an Almond Joy in a while, but the inside tasted a bit chewier (almost like caramel) than what I remember. Yet it was perfectly “coconut” and spot on for sweetness. The almonds tasted incredibly fresh, and I really loved the rice milk coating. It was a sweet treat compared to the usual dairy-free options of dark chocolate. I felt like a kid again eating Halloween candy!
Tony said, “It tastes like an Almond Joy but better. The coconut has a smoother finish. I find Almond Joy’s to have a slightly harsh taste from the “chemicals” used. They taste more processed than this.” He agreed this one had a slight caramel like flavor and texture, but the whole bar really worked for him.
Sarena shared this bar with her husband, and he liked it better than the original! He said, “it tastes fresher and more like real coconut.” She even caught him telling other people about this bar!
Ingredients: desiccated coconut, organic unrefined cane sugar, organic rice syrup, palm kernel oil, rice syrup, organic agave syrup, cane sugar, almonds (dry roasted), cocoa powder (natural), palm oil, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, enzyme modified soy protein, salt. contains: almonds, coconut, and soy.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 280 calories, 19g fat, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 18g sugars, 3g protein.*
Twilight (Milky Way copycat; Gluten-Free)
I love(d) Milky Ways, so this one hit home with me. Chewy and packed with flavor, it was a definite winner. The nougat isn’t as fluffy as the processed stuff, so the texture of the caramel is dominant. I remember pulling chunks of chocolate right off the top of the nougat, but can’t do that with this bar. Nonetheless, the flavor is spot on and the sweet indulgence of it all is over the top.
Tony said, “This is just like a Milky Way! They have really knocked these bars off nicely.”
At this point, Stacy chimed in to give her opinion on both the Mahalo! and the Twilight. “I’m liking these better than the name brand ones, these are really good!”
Hannah said “the dense, chewy, almost creamy nougat is very sweet, but still possesses a good chocolate flavor.” She thought the smooth, milky chocolate coating was quite prominent, but that it all married harmoniously with the deep, burnt sugar notes of the caramel.
Ingredients: organic rice syrup, cane sugar, organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, palm oil, cocoa powder (natural and alkalized), soy protein concentrate, dextrose, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, salt, enzyme modified soy protein, agar, guar gum. contains: soy.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 250 calories, 9g fat, 42g carbs, 1g fiber, 29g sugars, 1g protein.*
Buccaneer (3 Musketeers copycat; Gluten-Free)
If you are all about the rice milk coating, go for this one. A layer of soft and chewy nougat is enrobed in a very thick coating of rice milk chocolate. I loved it as a serious contrast to dark chocolate, but some may find it too sweet.
Tony said, “It’s good. Sugary … but that’s why I like it.”
Stacy said, “Yeah, it was really sweet, but I still loved it!”
Hannah elaborated, “Somewhat top-heavy on the chocolate coating, the thick exterior gives way to an intensely sweet and chocolatey nougat. Absolutely delicious, but akin to taking straight frosting shots. This bar is for the serious sweet tooth only!”
Ingredients: cane sugar, organic rice syrup, organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder (natural and alkalized), palm oil, enzyme modified soy protein, salt, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, guar gum. contains: soy.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 230 calories, 7g fat, 43g carbs, 1g fiber, 33g sugars, 1g protein.*
Jokerz (Snickers copycat)
This candy bar shares some serious caramel love with a thin milk chocolaty coat. As mentioned, their nougat is slightly chewy, but with a nice light chocolate and caramel vibe. Consequently, it blended almost seamlessly with the very thick layer of what I called “the perfect caramel”. It was really good (as evidenced by how fast the bars disappeared), but seemed to have fewer peanuts than a Snickers bar. I really wanted more peanuts in there. And it would definitely need more peanuts to win over my Snickers-loving dad.
Tony thought it was good, but not the best one. I had to leave Stacy’s sample for her, but when I returned she exclaimed with big eyes, “I just got done inhaling that candy bar! It was good, but I do think there is a little too much caramel.”
Hannah thought there were plenty of peanuts. Perhaps her bar had more. “Packed full of chewy, sticky caramel sprinkled with ample amounts of fresh-tasting peanuts, one bite is an intense taste sensation. A good hit of salt brings out the high notes in those crunchy nuts and rounds out the whole flavor profile.”
Ingredients: peanuts (dry roasted), organic rice syrup, cane sugar, organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder (natural), palm oil, soy protein concentrate, dextrose, natural flavors, malt powder (extract of barley malt and corn), sunflower lecithin, salt, agar, guar gum, enzyme modified soy protein. contains: peanuts and soy.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 280 calories, 15g fat, 33g carbs, 2g fiber, 22g sugars, 5g protein.*
Snap! (Nestle Crunch copycat; Gluten-Free)
I was the only one of our tasters who sampled this particular bar, which is scored into perfect nibble-sized chunky squares. Just two squares at time seemed to satisfy thanks to their sweet, milky chocolate. Plus, it was dotted with the perfect amount of brown rice crispy crunch to keep things interesting.
Ingredients: organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, whole grain brown rice, cocoa powder (natural), sunflower lecithin, salt.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 250 calories, 13g fat, 33g carbs, 1g fiber, 21g sugars, 2g protein.*
Cleo’s Peanut Butter Cups (Reese’s copycat; Gluten-Free)
Don’t expect to find an identical vegan replacement for those Reese’s cups here, but do expect to find an amazing peanut butter and chocolate dessert! Do you remember those days of dipping chocolate bars in the peanut butter jar? Come on, I know my sister and I weren’t the only ones! These Go Max Go Candy Bars are really like that. Each bite is a true all natural peanut butter meets chocolate experience. The milky chocolate coating is super thick, and sweeter, but perfectly tempered by the slightly savory, soft and almost gooey peanut butter filling.
Ingredients: peanuts (dry roasted), organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder (natural), sunflower lecithin, salt. contains: peanuts.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 240 calories, 18g fat, 18g carbs, 2g fiber, 14g sugars, 5g protein.*
2fer (Twix copycat)
Ingredients: organic unbleached wheat flour, organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, sugar, palm oil, organic rice syrup, cocoa powder (natural), enzyme modified soy protein, dextrose, natural flavors, salt, vegetable glycerin, sunflower lecithin, agar, natural color. contains: wheat and soy.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 210 calories, 12g fat, 24g carbs, 2g fiber, 17g sugars, 3g protein.*
Cleo’s White (Reese’s White copycat; Gluten-Free)
Ingredients: peanuts (dry roasted), organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, natural flavor, sunflower, lecithin, salt. contains: peanuts.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 240 calories, 18g fat, 18g carbs, 2g fiber, 14g sugars, 5g protein.*
Thumbs Up (Butterfinger copycat; Gluten-Free)
Ingredients: cane sugar, tapioca syrup, peanuts (dry roasted), organic unrefined cane sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa powder (natural), salt, sunflower lecithin, corn starch, natural color, natural flavor, tocopherol (vitamin e). contains: peanuts.
Nutrition (per candy bar): 160 calories, 6g fat, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 19g sugars, 2g protein.*
Additional Allergen Notes
Like most chocolate products, Go Max Go candy bars are made on shared equipment with milk chocolate products. They do clean between batch runs and this is a vegan product, but there is a risk for trace cross-contamination, which could be a concern for those with severe milk allergies. Here is what they state:
This product is manufactured in a facility that produces products containing dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, and other tree nuts, therefore trace amounts of these ingredients may be present.
The Facts on Go Max Go Candy Bars
Price: $2.49 per candy bar
Availability: Go Max Go Candy Bars are sold at independent natural food stores in the U.S., and at vegan shops worldwide. You can also order them online from Amazon.
Certifications: Go Max Go Candy Bars are Certified Vegan and Non-GMO Verified. The gluten-free varieties are Certified Gluten Free.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Go Max Go Candy Bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Select varieties are made without gluten, nuts and/or peanuts.*
For More Product Information: Visit Go Max Go’s website at www.gomaxgofoods.com.
*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy.
There’s plenty of vegan treats out there, but I find a lot of vegan chocolates to be on the dark and bitter side. That’s fine sometimes, but I’m not always in the mood for it. If you’re like me, and you’ve been looking to go non-dairy but are having a hard time parting with sweet and milky chocolate… you’re in luck. Go Max Go makes the best sweet vegan chocolate bar knockoffs out there, hands-down. Thumbs Up is a stand out for me, but Mahalo and Twilight are close seconds. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
A delicious bite of nostalgia without dairy or artificial ingredients
Each flavor is reminiscent of a classic candy bar for a delicious bite of nostalgia without dairy or artificial ingredients. And lest you think they’re only for vegans, all of our tasters, dairy-free or not, gave these treats rave reviews. The Mahalo was voted “better than an Almond Joy”, while the Cleo Cups offered the freshness of milk chocolate dunked in a jar of peanut butter. Just be aware that these are truly sweet treats, with the Buccaneer (3 Musketeers copycat) being likened to frosting shots!