Are Lucky Charms Vegan?


lucky charms

I’ve got some bad news for you.

Lucky Charms are NOT vegan, as they contain multiple animal products.

It’s easy to miss them when you first scan the ingredients list, so let me break it down.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in Lucky Charms

A quick look at the ingredient list reveals why:

Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Starch, Dextrose, Salt, Gelatin, Trisodium Phosphate, Yellows 5 & 6, Red 40, Blue 1 and Other Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin A (palmitate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

Gelatin is made from collagen, which is made from various animal parts.

It is not vegan in any circumstances.

On top of that, the vitamin D3 isn’t vegan either because it’s derived from lanolin (wool wax from sheep). It’s one of the most common non-vegan ingredients added to cereals, and you need to watch out for it.

However, the amount of vitamin D3 is a very small amount (literally micrograms), so some vegans think it’s unreasonable to avoid. It’s a vegan grey area that you’ll have to decide where you stand on.

Other Potential Issues for Vegans in Lucky Charms

Just so you know what to consider when looking at other cereals that may or may not be vegan, let’s go through a few of the other ingredients in Lucky Charms.

On top of the animal products like gelatin and vitamin D, there are other controversial ingredients for vegans like:

  • Sugar – White sugar in the U.S. is often made with bone char. Large companies that make cereals like Lucky Charms often have multiple sugar suppliers, so there’s a decent chance that at least one uses non-vegan sugar.
  • Artificial colors – Dyes like Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1 are a gray area. The colors themselves are synthetic, but they are also tested on animals, so many don’t consider artificial colors to be vegan.
  • Natural flavor –Natural flavors may or may not be vegan. It’s an umbrella term that covers many flavoring ingredients, some of which are vegan, and some are not. In this case, we have no way of knowing what is in the cereal.

So even if the gelatin is removed from Lucky Charms someday, there are still quite a few issues that likely make them not vegan.

Consider a cereal like Kashi instead, which has some vegan flavors.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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