Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan? (Beware of These Ingredients)

Have you ever wondered whether Cinnamon Toast Crunch is suitable for vegans? Non-vegan ingredients might be included unexpectedly in a product so it’s always important to check before purchasing or eating something.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is often counted as vegan, but if you are a very strict vegan, you may not be able to consume it. You might be wondering why, and the answer is that it contains two problematic ingredients: sugar and vitamin D3. These can cause issues for vegans.

It’s often difficult to ascertain exactly what counts as vegan, and how far you take your ban on animal products depends upon your personal ethics and your circumstances. We’re going to look at Cinnamon Toast Crunch in more detail so you can decide whether this popular cereal is right for you.

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

cinnamon toast crunch

Many people count Cinnamon Toast Crunch as vegan, even though it technically is non-vegan because of the three ingredients mentioned above – sugar and vitamin D3. These make it a problematic cereal for some vegans, and they may choose to avoid it because of them.

However, most of the ingredients are vegan. These include:

  • Wholegrain Wheat
  • Rice flour
  • Canola Oil
  • Fructose
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel Color
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron and Zinc
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12

As you can see, the list of vegan ingredients is extensive, but you need to add sugar and vitamin D3 to that list, and these make the cereal an issue if you are a strict vegan that wants to consume no animal products at all.

To be clear, many vegans eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch happily and do not worry about these ingredients, as sugar is hard to avoid, and the use of animal products is low. They make up a small overall percentage of the cereal, so you may decide that you are happy to eat them, even if some vegans would object.

Why Isn’t Sugar Vegan?

You might be surprised to learn that one of the things making Cinnamon Toast Crunch technically unsuitable for vegans is its sugar content. Sugar comes from a plant, so many people think that it is vegan, and a lot of vegans class it as okay – but unfortunately, an animal product may be used in the creation of white sugar. 

If you are purchasing and consuming non-organic cane sugar, it is possible it may have been filtered with bone char, because this removes the color and makes the sugar white. This practice is done all over the world, using cattle bones. Some white sugar does now exist that avoids this practice, but it’s still a common practice.

Beet sugar is vegan friendly because it is easier to refine, so it doesn’t need to be filtered using bone char – and therefore there are no animal products being used in the creation of the sugar. You can also use unrefined sugar. However, Cinnamon Toast Crunch uses standard refined cane sugar, and this makes it unsuitable for vegans.

Why Isn’t Vitamin D3 Vegan?

The vitamin D3 in Cinnamon Toast Crunch is also problematic, as it is generally made using lanolin, taken from the wool of sheep. It is possible to make it from plants such as lichen, but this is rarely done, so vitamin D3 is unlikely to be vegan, and it is best to assume that it isn’t unless otherwise stated.

Because vitamin D3 is present in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it is therefore likely that it makes the whole product non-vegan from a technical perspective. However, it is present in small quantities, so many vegans feel it is acceptable to eat this product.

Some cereal manufacturers have moved toward using vitamin D2 in their products. This is vegan-friendly because it is produced from plant matter, so if you see this on a box of cereal, it is fine for you to eat. Hopefully, other manufacturers will follow suit in the future, making more cereals suitable for vegans.

What About The Other Ingredients?

All of the other ingredients of Cinnamon Toast Crunch seem to be suitable for vegans. The only other one that requires closer inspection is the caramel coloring, and it is possible that this contains non-vegan ingredients. However, it is reasonable to assume that it doesn’t.

Caramel coloring is usually made by heating up sugar, often corn sugar, to create the rich brown hue. This should be safe for vegans in almost all cases, so there’s nothing to worry about when looking at the caramel color on the ingredients list.

None of the other ingredients should be problematic either; they are all derived from plant matter, and should be perfectly suitable for vegans to consume. If in doubt, however, consider following up with the manufacturers for more information.

Is There Gelatin In Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Gelatin is a major problem for many vegans because it appears in so many products, and it is made from cow hooves. It is used to give all kinds of foods texture and stability because it is a gel-like product that helps to bind and stabilize.

Fortunately, Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not contain any gelatin, as it isn’t necessary to help the product retain its texture and structure. However, you should be aware that spin-off products, including things like the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treat Bars, may contain gelatin. 

Remember that you should always check the ingredients list unless a product is specifically labeled as vegan. The main cereal being suitable for vegans does not mean that any associated products are.

Is There Dairy In Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

No, Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not contain any dairy (although spin-off products and other alternative brands may do so). You can safely eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch with a vegan plant-based milk and it will not contain any dairy at all.

There are also no eggs or other traditionally problematic products that often sneak into apparently vegan products, such as casein or whey. Apart from the three ingredients listed above, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is vegan and is suitable for all vegans and vegetarians.

Should I Eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Unfortunately, each vegan will have to come to their own decision on this, based on their personal circumstances and how strongly they feel about borderline products such as sugar. Many highly dedicated and long-term vegans do consume things like sugar, despite the problems associated with it, because they have decided that it is okay for them.

Other vegans are not comfortable with this, and will avoid products that have sugar in them. if you feel that you need to do this, you cannot eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but this needs to come from a personal decision. There is no fixed “yes” or “no” answer when it comes to products like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which has borderline ingredients.

Are Other Flavors Of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

There are a variety of similar cereals made by the same manufacturers, and you might be wondering whether you can consume these. However, you do need to be cautious, as there are many non-vegan options. The unsuitable choices include the Strawberry Toast Crunch, the Blueberry Toast Crunch, the Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and the Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

The latter of those even contains lactose, making it even less suitable for vegans. It is important to check ingredients lists, however, as formulas may be updated and it is possible for something to swap from being unsuitable for vegans to suitable without much fanfare. Keep yourself up to date on the products you are thinking of purchasing.

Are Other Cinnamon Cereals Suitable For Vegans?

If you have decided not to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you may be wondering what alternatives you have and whether you should try any of these. Fortunately, there are quite a few options, including things like Barbara’s Organic Corn Flakes, Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise, Kashi Organic Island Vanilla, Nature’s Path Rice Puffs, and Barbara’s Original Puffins.

Any of these should be fine to swap to, but remember that it is important to check and double check before consuming a product. This is important because as recipes change and get updated, it’s very easy for a minor alteration to switch a product from vegan friendly to unsuitable.

Whenever you are uncertain about something, get in touch with the manufacturer for clarification. They should be able to tell you where and how their ingredients are sourced, and look into the issue of animal products for you. Doing this may also encourage manufacturers to move toward more vegan products in the future.

What Ingredients Should I Look Out For?

When choosing cereals, it helps to have a list of ingredients that you should be wary of. Becoming vegan often involves a steep learning curve, because it isn’t just about the obvious meat, eggs, milk. There are a lot of products – like sugar – that seem innocent until you look more closely and do further research.

There are many non-vegan ingredients that can end up in cereals, but some of the key items you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Honey
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Marshmallows (unless stated as vegan)
  • Gelatin
  • Milk
  • Casein
  • Whey and whey powder
  • Eggs
  • Cream
  • Milk proteins

Always skim the ingredients lists for the above products and be wary of any that include them. These products are not vegan and you should avoid them.

Why Don’t Cereals Say If They Are Vegan?

You might be wondering why manufacturers of vegan cereals do not always state this on the label. It can be confusing; you may end up scouring ingredients lists, wondering what the unsuitable addition is, when in fact the cereal is perfectly safe for you to eat.

There are two reasons that many manufacturers do not state a product is vegan on the label. The first is that many do not realize that this would be beneficial to their business, despite the fact that many more people are searching for vegan breakfast options.

The second is that for a manufacturer to make this claim, they need to do significant research into their supply chain and they need to make sure that the vegan branding is removed (or re-confirmed) whenever they alter their recipe. Any changes to their suppliers may cause issues that result in packaging changes, which can be expensive.

However, you should not dismiss cereals just because they don’t tell you that they are suitable for vegans. Many options are vegan-friendly without saying anything about it on the box, so check the ingredients and do further research if in doubt. You may find that you can eat something that looks delicious but doesn’t have any claims to being vegan.

Conclusion

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a difficult option for many vegans because it contains sugar, and vitamin D3, which are not technically vegan. However, a lot of vegans will willingly eat these things for a number of different reasons, and the remaining ingredients are vegan. 

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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