Originally, I intended this to be a complete list of a ton of different microwave popcorn brands.
As I learned while looking up ingredients for dozens of brands, there aren’t many vegan options for microwavable popcorn.
In total, I found 2 brands that are technically vegan.
Unfortunately, they both contain palm oil, which means that many vegans don’t consider them to be truly vegan. (See my summary of what’s wrong with palm oil for details).
The better option is to ideally make your own popcorn, whether on the stove or in your microwave (You can just put kernels in a bowl and cover with a lid).
But, if you are okay with palm oil, I’ll list the 2 brands of microwavable popcorn that are technically vegan.
Why Most Microwable Popcorn Isn’t Vegan
I looked up the ingredients for several popular brands of microwave popcorn.
Unfortunately, most of them look like this:
The issue is the “natural flavors”.
Natural flavors is an umbrella term that can cover many flavouring ingredients. Some natural flavors are vegan, and some are not.
In this case, the label clearly says “contains: milk”, so we know that there are milk ingredients in the natural flavors. (most likely a butter derivative).
Most microwavable popcorns have some kind of dairy in them.
1. “SmartPop” – Made by Orville Redenbacher is Vegan
This popcorn only has 5 ingredients:
- Whole grain popping corn
- Palm oil
- Vitamin E
Other than the palm oil, all of those are clearly vegan ingredients.
There is about 2 grams of fat (from the oil) in a 6.5 cup serving of popcorn, so it’s not like there’s a ton of oil in it, but there is some.
2. Jolly Time “Simply Popped” Sea Salt Popcorn is Vegan
This popcorn has similar ingredients to the one above:
- Non-GMO popcorn
- Palm oil
- Sea salt
- Rosemary extract
Note that there is much more fat in this popcorn, meaning there’s more palm oil than in SmartPop if that matters to you.
I know microwavable popcorn is convenient, but buying plain kernels and popping your own is also quite easy once you figure out how to. As a bonus, it’s much cheaper, and you can experiment with toppings.