Is Captain Crunch Vegan? (Probably Not…)


I’ve seen many people claim that Captain (or Cap’n) Crunch is vegan friendly.

I disagree…

I’ll walk you through why I don’t think Captain Crunch is vegan, and you can make your own verdict at the end.

Ingredients In Captain Crunch

captain crunch box

I’ve found the ingredients to the original flavor of Captain Crunch. Let’s take a quick look at them.

Here’s the full list I’ve highlighted the ones a vegan might care about:

Corn Flour, Sugar, Oat Flour, Brown SugarPalm and/or Coconut Oil, Salt, Reduced Iron, Yellow 5, Niacinamide*, Zinc Oxide, Yellow 6, Thiamin Mononitrate*, BHT (a preservative), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride*, Riboflavin*, Folic Acid*.

At first, this might appear to be vegan because there are no obvious animal ingredients like dairy or vitamin D3.

However, there are 3 potential reasons that a vegan might not consider Captain Crunch to be vegan.

Let’s go through them one at a time.

Is the Sugar in Captain Crunch Vegan?

Not all white and brown sugar is vegan.

A lot of sugar, mainly in North America, is filtered using bone char, made from the bones of animals. It’s a cheap way for sugar manufacturers to make sugar as white as possible. (Note that brown sugar is made from white sugar, so same issue).

While the only ones who knows if the sugar in Captain Crunch was made with bone char is Quaker, it’s likely not. Huge companies usually have multiple sugar suppliers, and the chances that at least one of those uses bone char is pretty high.

In addition, cheap cereals usually use cheap ingredients (shocker), which also increases the chance that the sugar was filtered with bone char.


The sugar in Captain Crunch may or may not be vegan. It’s up to you if you care, and if you want to take a risk on it.

What About Artificial Colors?

Second are the artificial colorings, yellow 5 and 6 in particular.

These dyes have routinely been tested on animals (mice, rats, dogs, and more) for the past decades, and it doesn’t seem like it’s stopping any time soon.

I’ve written a detailed guide to why food coloring might not be vegan.


Artificial colors are synthetic ingredients, but often tested on animals. They are also very hard to avoid so some vegans feel it’s unreasonable to avoid them altogether.

Finally, Not All Vegans Eat Palm Oil

palm oil bowl

Note that based on the fact that it says “and/or”, palm oil may not be used in your country.

While it’s controversial, many vegans don’t eat palm oil. The industry is responsible for cruel treatment and near extinction of orangutans, tigers, and many other animals.

Most ethical vegans share this viewpoint once they learn more about the palm industry. So while it’s technically a vegan ingredient, many vegans don’t consider it to be so based on their personal definition of veganism.


Many strict vegans don’t eat palm oil because of the animals killed by the palm industry. It’s pretty controversial though, since many vegans still eat palm oil and palm oil is allowed in products that are “certified vegan”.

Is Captain Crunch Vegan to You?

Whether or not Captain Crunch is vegan depends on how strict of a vegan you are.

Everyone’s personal definition of veganism that differs, and if you’re okay with these controversial ingredients, that’s your choice.

I’m not here to pass judgement, just to lay out the facts so you can make your own decision.

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.