Most flavors of Sun Chips are clearly not vegan.
The Original flavor of sun chips do seem to be vegan, but we can’t be 100% sure of it.
Let me quickly explain why.
Ingredients in Original Sunchips
Here’s the full list of ingredients in the original flavor:
Whole Corn, Sunflower Oil, Whole Wheat, Rice Flour, Whole Oat Flour, Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavor and Maltodextrin (Made from corn).
While most of those ingredients are clearly plant-based, 2 of them may not be.
Both sugar and natural flavor may or may not be vegan:
- White sugar in North America isn’t always vegan since it’s sometimes processed with bone char. This isn’t my biggest concern here, but it could be an issue for some strict vegans.
- Natural flavor is an umbrella term for many flavoring ingredients. Some natural flavor ingredients are vegan, and some are not.
The only ones who know the answer to whether or not these are vegan ingredients is Frito-Lay, who makes them.
The good news is that it does appear that the natural flavor is plant-based. From Frito-Lay’s website:
Only a few snacks have animal flavors and they will be listed on the ingredient statement, not hidden under “natural flavors.”
So there’s still some concern over the sugar, but there’s a pretty good chance that these are vegan.
Original Sunchips are most likely vegan, but strict vegans may not want to take the chance on them due to the sugar of unknown origin.
Why Are Other Sunchip Flavors Not Vegan?
Just to be comprehensive, I looked at the other flavors of Sunchips.
There are 7 flavors in total (including original), but the rest all have some sort of obvious animal product in them and are not vegan.
Here’s a summary table of the issues to save you some time:
|Four Cheese||Whey, Buttermilk, Sour cream, Cheese|
|French Onion||Whey, Sour cream, Butter, Cheese|
|Garden Salsa||Whey, Cheese, Buttermilk|
|Harvest Cheddar||Whey, Cheese, Buttermilk|
|Sweet Potato & Brown Sugar||Butter, Honey|
|Veggie Harvest||Whey, Cheese, Buttermilk, Milk|
None of them are even remotely close to being vegan.
I’ll try to keep this page updated if any new vegan Sunchip flavors are released, but I wouldn’t be too hopeful.