Are Lucky Charms Vegan?


lucky charms

I’ve got some bad news for you.

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

It’s easy to miss them when you first scan the ingredients list, so let’s look at them in more detail.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in Lucky Charms

Here’s the full Lucky Charms cereal ingredient list:

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. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

Two of those ingredients come from animal sources:

  • Gelatin – Made from collagen, which is made from various animal parts. There is no vegan collagen, so whenever you see this ingredient, you know the product is not suitable for vegans.
  • Vitamin D3 – On top of the gelatin, 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.

Summary: Lucky Charms Are Not Vegan

The gelatin and vitamin D aren’t the only potential animal products in Lucky Charms. 

So even if the gelatin is removed from Lucky Charms someday, there are still quite a few issues that likely make this cereal 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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