Sprite is probably the world’s most famous carbonated lime-drink. But what else would you expect from a drink brought to market by the monopolizing Coca Cola Corporation?
The original lime-flavored Sprite remains as popular as ever, and it has expanded to a variety of flavors including cranberry, cherry, and zero versions. Sprite is available in more than 190 countries, which is impressive considering the competition.
These are the current Sprite variations available on the market:
- Sprite Zero Sugar
- Sprite Cherry
- Sprite Cherry Zero Sugar
- Sprite Cranberry
- Sprite Cranberry Zero Sugar
- Sprite Tropical Mix
- Sprite “Lymonade”
All of which are technically considered vegan, unless you’re heavily against the use of questionable ingredients such as artificial colors & flavors, as well as (some) natural flavors.
So, Is Sprite Actually Vegan?
At the same time, we have to keep in mind that veganism for some goes beyond the ingredients being used, and in many cases, it’s about the impact of the product on the environment, its ethical implications, and the ethos of the corporation producing it.
Sometimes you have a company that accidentally produces vegan-friendly products, but unfortunately, it’s in favor of conducting tests on animals. (Red Bull is an example)
Natural Flavors in Sprite.
One questionable ingredient Sprite has is listed on the label as a natural flavor.
According to the FDA, natural flavors are derived from nature, or synthesized from something derived from nature. They can come from a plant-based source or an animal source.
Using the word “natural flavor” makes it sound safe and organic, but I believe the truth sometimes is uglier than that.
For instance, castoreum is a common natural flavor that is derived from the anal secretions of a beaver, which is used to create vanilla flavors, and in some cases, to enhance strawberry and raspberry flavors. Plus, natural flavors aren’t actually “natural”.
Oftentimes, natural flavors are recreated in labs through artificial synthesis. For example, the natural flavor in a blueberry drink wasn’t created by simply crushing blueberries, but it is the result of a lab-made process.
Artificial Colors in Sprite “Lymonade”.
The Sprite “Lymonade” is the sole Sprite can with added colors. It contains Yellow 5, which is used to reflect the color of what a lemonade would supposedly look like.
The problem with artificial colors, as I’ve mentioned, is that they are periodically tested on animals. During that process, animals are put through painful procedures, and in some cases, they develop malevolous tumors and other conditions that lead to their death.
Some people suggest this is a necessary evil because testing is needed to prove the safety or danger of such substances. Some people also suggest this occurs rarely, so it’s supposedly not as impactful as avoiding flagrant animal ingredients.
However, I found out that due to the serious health implications of added colors, there’s a need to periodically run tests on animals.
Some vegans are against colors, but you also have others that are okay with eating products with artificial colors in them.
A More Vegan-Friendly Alternative Than Sprite.
Health-wise, it is definitely superior to Sprite, or any other mainstream carbonated drink.
However, you cannot expect Zevia to taste exactly like a mainstream carbonated drink, even though the flavors (lime, cola, ginger, etc) are similar in name.
This being said, the reviews on Amazon are amazing, and it’s definitely a drink that is worth trying out and potentially drink it instead of mainstream beverages.
Bottom Line: Sprite is Technically Vegan.
Sprite does not have any animal-based ingredients. Therefore, it is considered vegan.
This being said, it still has some questionable ingredients such as “natural flavors”, and one of the sprite flavors contains an artificial color named yellow 5, which, like every color, is associated with animal testing.
In the end, it comes down to the individual, and whether or not he/she is a vegan that tolerates the use of artificial ingredients (and shady natural flavors) or not.
Here are other blog posts you might be interested in:
Thank you for reading this blog post, and let me know if ended up tasting and liking the Zevia drink. 🙂
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