Are Ritz Crackers Vegan? (I Contacted Nabisco to Find Out)

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ritz crackers

Many crackers turn out to be accidentally vegan.

So let’s put Ritz Crackers to the test.

Ingredients in Ritz Crackers

I just looked at the original crackers here, but all the other varieties are similar.

Here’s what’s in Ritz, I’ve highlighted a few ingredients of interest:

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda And/or Calcium Phosphate), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Malted Barley Flour, Natural Flavor.

The non-highlighted ingredients are all clearly vegan friendly, but the sugar and natural flavor are less clear.

Both of those ingredients may or may not be vegan, depending on where they’re sourced from.

Why Sugar in Ritz Crackers May Not Be Vegan

Not all sugar made in North America is vegan.

A decent portion of it is filtered with bone char, made from the bones of cattle.

Some vegans think avoiding products with “sugar” on the ingredients label is unreasonable, while others don’t. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Why Natural Flavors in Ritz Crackers May Not Be Vegan

The term “natural flavor” is an umbrella term that manufacturers can include a wide variety of flavoring ingredients under.

Most natural flavors are vegan, but some are not. The only one who can tell you whether or not the natural flavors in Ritz are vegan is the manufacturer.

I Contacted The Manufacturer of Ritz to See if They Were Vegan

The only way we can be sure one way or another is if we know if the natural flavors and sugar in Ritz are vegan – which only the manufacturer knows.

Ritz are one of many food products made by Nabisco, which is owned by Mondelez International.

Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible to get a straight answer from them about any of their products.

You’re welcome to try, but on the several occasions I’ve contacted them, I always get the same templated email:

Unfortunately, this ingredient information is not currently available…As you can imagine our products change frequently and maintaining a list of products that contain enzymes would be virtually impossible. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

Potential Non-Vegan Ingredients in Different Ritz Flavors

ritz cracker varieties

I’m not going to assume which ingredients you might be okay with or not, so I’ve summarized potential non-vegan ingredients in all varieties of Ritz crackers in the table below:

ProductPotential Non-Vegan IngredientsVerdict
Ritz Original CrackersSugar, Natural FlavorsMaybe Vegan
Ritz Roasted Vegetable CrackersSugar, Palm OilMaybe Vegan
Ritz Whole Wheat CrackersSugar, Palm OilMaybe Vegan
Ritz Bacon CrackersSugar, Natural FlavorsMaybe Vegan
Crisps & Thins: Original (With Creamy Onion)WheyNot Vegan
Crisps & Thins: BaconSugar, Natural FlavorsMaybe Vegan
Crisps & Thins: Sour Cream & OnionCheeseNot Vegan
Crisps & Thins: Salt & VinegarSugar, Natural FlavorsMaybe Vegan
Crisps & Thins: Sweet Chili & Sour CreamWhey, MilkNot Vegan
Crisps & Thins: BarbecueSugar, Natural FlavorsMaybe Vegan
Crisps & Thins: CheddarWhey, Milk, CheeseNot Vegan
Ritz Bits: Peanut ButterMilkNot Vegan
Ritz Bits: CheeseWhey, Milk, CheeseNot Vegan

Summary: Should A Vegan Eat Ritz Crackers

So where do we stand?

Some varieties of Ritz crackers are clearly not vegan.

However, many flavors, including the original Ritz crackers have sugar and natural flavors in them, which may or may not be vegan. The same goes for other popular crackers like Wheat Thins.

There’s no way to find out either way, since the manufacturer won’t tell us.

So, it’s up to you whether or not you want to take a chance on Ritz. Personally, there are many other crackers that are clearly labelled vegan that I’d rather buy.

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.

3 comments

  • Thank you, Dale. I recently found out I have the Alpha-Gal allergy which means I can’t have any products which have mammalian animal ingredients (including dairy and any of those pesky byproducts that are used to enhance the flavor of many foods). I appreciate your straight forward approach. Explaining your thought process and the steps you took to get your information which brought you to your conclusions about whether a product is vegan or not is very reassuring and helps to make sense of a complicated web which should NOT be so complicated. Keep up the great important work you are doing! You are appreciated!

    • Thanks Susan, I agree that it would be really nice if it would be less complicated. People should be able to easily know what’s in their food.