Is Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal Vegan?


Verdict: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran is probably vegan.


  • Raisin bran used to contain vitamin D3 from lanolin, an animal product, but doesn’t any more (but can vary by location, so check your box).
  • Some vegans are okay with eating small amounts of vitamin D3, but most are not.
  • There’s also a possibility that the sugar in Raisin Bran is not vegan.

A lot of cereals happen to be vegan, but I’m not convinced that Raisin Bran is.

Depending on how strict a vegan you are, you may or may not consider Raisin Bran to be vegan-friendly.

I’ll explain why after a quick look at the ingredients list.

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal

bowl of raisin bran

There used to be a slew of vitamins added to Raisin Bran, but I’ve looked around quite a bit and they seem to have simplified the ingredients to the following:

Whole grain wheat, raisins, wheat bran, sugar, brown sugar syrup, malt flavor, salt

Most of those are obviously vegan.

The only potential issue at this point are the sugars.

If You See Any Vitamin D on the Nutrition Information, It’s Probably Not Vegan

As I mentioned, Raisin Bran used to have vitamin D added. You can tell easily if there’s any vitamin D at all in the serving nutrition information.

Check the box before buying it, because I can’t guarantee it’s the same in every location.

While there are some sources of vegan vitamin D3, the vitamin D3 added to cereals and other packaged foods is rarely vegan.

Most of it comes from lanolin, a waxy/oily substance from sheep’s wool.

For that alone, if you find a box of Raisin Brand with D3 in it, it is not vegan for strict vegans.

To play devil’s advocate, why might you still eat Raisin Bran?

The counter-argument is based on quantity. Something like 99.9% of the cereal is vegan. There’s only a very small amount of D3 added (barely a visible amount). Some vegans are okay with this.

Those are the 2 sides, I’ll let you make up your own mind based on the facts.

Then there’s the sugar issue…

Why “Sugar” and Brown Sugar Might Not Be Vegan

There’s both sugar and brown sugar syrup in Raisin Bran.

If you didn’t know, brown sugar is made from white sugar, so the core issue is the “sugar” alone.

While a lot of white sugar is vegan, a substantial amount is not.

Long story short, a lot of white sugar is filtered using bone char (from the bones of cows) in order to remove as much color as possible.

While there’s no bone char in the final sugar product, it was still used to make it and most don’t consider this type of sugar to be vegan.

It’s possible that the sugar in Raisin Bran is vegan, but I don’t think it’s very likely, and I personally wouldn’t take the chance.

Summary: So is Raisin Bran Vegan Or Not?

To most, Raisin Bran is probably vegan, but it depends on if you’re okay with taking a risk of consuming sugar that was processed with bone char.

There may also be some boxes with vitamin D3 added out there, so double-check for it before buying any. 

Even in that case, you may consider avoiding vitamin D3 a bit too extreme, and might not mind taking a chance on the sugar.

That’s why I’ve laid out the arguments for and against Raisin Bran so that you can make your own informed 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.