Anything “natural” typically has a good chance of being vegan.
Some Nature Valley granola bars are clearly not vegan, but some might be depending on how strict your definition of veganism is.
I’ll go over the potential problem ingredients in each flavor of the popular “crunchy” bar line, and you can decide for yourself.
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Nature Valley Granola Bars
Before we get to the ingredients in each individual flavor, you may need some background information on why some ingredients may not be vegan:
- Honey – Honey is not vegan for a variety of reasons.
- Sugar – As far as I know, all Nature Valley bars are made in the United States. Not all sugar in the U.S. is vegan, because a significant portion of it is made using bone char. With a company as large as General Mills, it’s likely that at least some of their sugar is sourced from a manufacturer that uses bone char.
- Natural flavor – The term “natural flavor” on an ingredient list is an umbrella term that can cover many ingredients, some of which aren’t vegan. I’m typically not too worried about it, but if you want to be on the safe-side, avoid it.
Which “Crunchy” Flavors Are Vegan?
Of the 11 flavors, 4 have honey and are out for vegans, but the rest deserve a closer look:
|Flavor||Potential Non-Vegan Ingredients?||Verdict|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate||Honey, Sugar, Natural Flavor||Not Vegan|
|Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate||Honey, Sugar, Natural Flavor||Not Vegan|
|Oats ’n Honey||Honey, Sugar, Natural Flavor||Not Vegan|
|Maple Brown Sugar||Honey, Sugar, Natural Flavor||Not Vegan|
|Almond Butter||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
|Peanut Butter||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
|Coconut||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
|Pecan||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
|Apple Crisp||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
|Roasted Almond||Sugar, Natural Flavor||Possibly Vegan|
Every single bar has sugar in it, which is the main problem for me.
Summary: Can Vegans Eat Nature Valley Granola Bars?
Ultimately, it comes down to the risk you want to take.
If you’re willing to take a risk on the sugar not being fully vegan, there are quite a few options for you:
- Almond Butter
- Peanut Butter
- Apple Crisp
- Roasted Almond
Unfortunately, for vegans that don’t see a need to take any risks, no Nature Valley granola bars are clearly vegan, so you’d be better looking at something like Clif bars (many Clif bars are vegan) instead.