Are Chips Ahoy Suitable For Vegans? (Here’s all you need to know)

I don’t want to shoot my foot here, but I believe Chips Ahoy are arguably the most delicious chocolate chip cookies on the market.

When I was younger, I used to devour 2-3 boxes of mini Chips Ahoy in a row, but now it’s been over ten years since I ate Chips Ahoy and I’m now vegan. 

If you’re like me and want to know whether Chips Ahoy are vegan, read this article to find out. 

 

 

Chips Ahoy Ingredients

According to its US distributor, Chips Ahoy contains the following ingredients: 

  • Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid)
  • Sugar
  • Soybean, and/or Canola Oil, Palm, and/or Palm Kernel Oil
  • Cocoa (Processed with Alkali)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Skim Milk
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Artificial and Natural Flavor
  • Caramel Color
  • Milk

Unfortunately, Chips Ahoy contains milk, so it’s not vegan. It also has controversial ingredients such as sugar, palm oil, and natural flavors. 

Sugar

Refined sugar is obtained from one of two sources: sugar cane and sugar beets.

In the United States, manufacturers use both in similar amounts and while they have the same texture and taste, they’re processed differently.

Beet sugar gets filtered through a diffuser and mixed with additives to crystalize. Cane sugar, however, is sometimes filtered using bone char — which is another name given to charred cattle bones.

Fortunately, not every sugar refinery uses the same process. Certain refineries use alternatives like activated charcoal or ion-exchange resins to achieve the same result. Other companies like Red Bull rely on beet sugar, which is also free from bone char. 

During my research, I found out that most companies like Oreo and Ghirardelli source their sugar from a mixed pool of suppliers, including ones that process sugar with bone char, so it’s difficult to trace the ingredient back to its source and figure out if the product is tainted. 

However, in this case, Chips Ahoy are not vegan to begin with, so there’s no point in running an investigation on the type of sugar they use. Though, it’s always helpful to keep this in mind.

I’ve written a blog post on sugar and bone char, so feel free to check it out. 

Palm Oil

At its core, Palm oil is a plant-based ingredient.

However, the demand for palm oil turns this plant-based ingredient into a destructive force. Its demand urges the need for more plantations, which equals rainforests getting burned to the ground and the decline of existing biodiversity. 

Among the victims of this biodiversity decline you can find popular the Sumatran orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinoceros. For this reason, a lot of vegans also avoid palm oil consumption.

Still, swapping palm oil with a different plant oil will not solve the problem as palm oil is currently the most efficient oil plant because it requires relatively fewer resources. 

Also, some folks promote sustainable RSPO palm oil as the main solution, but non-profit organizations like Greenpeace point out that it’s just a free ticket for further exploitation

I do not avoid palm oil, but I can comprehend why some people do so. 

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors can come from plant or animal sources. 

Here is what the FDA says about natural flavors in their guidelines:

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means… which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice… or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products… etc.

Manufacturers can add animal products to foods and not have it labeled, unless it’s a major allergen like milk and seafood. The good news is that most natural flavors are plant-based. 

I’ve written an article about natural flavors, so if you’re interested in the topic, please check it out. 

Vegan Store-Bought Alternatives

One of the best vegan-friendly alternatives to Chips Ahoy is the soft-baked cookies manufactured by Enjoy Life Foods.

Here are the ingredients in the Enjoy Life soft baked cookies:

  • Brown Pure Cane Sugar
  • White Rice Flour
  • Juice Concentrate (Grape, Apple, or Pear)
  • Date Paste
  • Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil)
  • Chocolate Chips (Cane Sugar, Non-Alcoholic Cocoa Liquor, Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter)
  • Light Buckwheat Flour
  • Millet Flour
  • Natural Rice Dextrin
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Vanilla
  • Rosemary Extract.

It’s available in four varieties: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Brownie, Gingerbread Spice, and Snickerdoodle. 

This is by far the best and most popular vegan alternative you have in the market.

Vegan Homemade Alternatives

If you don’t live in the United States, and you can’t find an alternative like Enjoy Life, then next best option is to make your mini chocolate chip cookies at home.

Allow me to share with you a recipe by chocolatecoveredkatie.com.

This recipe is doesn’t require crazy, exotic ingredients, and it only takes 11 minutes to make. If you’re interested, watch the video above, or check the recipe by following the link above.

Summary: The Chips Ahoy Are Not Vegan

The Chips Ahoy are not vegan for a simple reason — they contain milk. 

They also have questionable ingredients such as refined sugar, palm oil, and natural flavors which have a poor reputation in the vegan community.

If you’re really yearning for some delicious chocolate chip cookies, feel free to (1) check out these chocolate chip cookies by Easy Life Foods or (2) make them at home by following the recipe in the video above.


Chips Ahoy FAQs

Are Chips Ahoy Halal?

The Chips Ahoy sold in United States are not certified halal. 

Are Chips Ahoy Nut Free?

The Original Chips Ahoy do not contain any nuts, so they should be 100% nut-free. However, keep in mind they’re also available in peanut-butter flavor, which is not vegan. 

Are Chips Ahoy Gluten Free?

No, unfortunately, Chips Ahoy contain wheat, so they’re not gluten-free. 

Do Chips Ahoy Contain Eggs?

According to the ingredients list put forward by the Chips Ahoy distributor, they do not contain any eggs, or ingredients derived from eggs. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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