Coca-Cola is simply the best known soft drink in the world. It was created more than 130 years ago and is currently present in 200 countries and at more than 24 million points of sale.
Its parent company, The Coca-Cola Company, is also the owner of other well-known soft drinks such as Fanta, Sprite and Schweppes.
Over the years Coca-Cola has been launching new formulas of the product that meet the interests of consumers.
In the United States you can find the Original Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and other special versions with lemon, lime, and coffee.
With so many different varieties available, is the world’s best-selling soft drink suitable for those who follow a vegan diet? If you are a big fan, feel free to be happy, because Coca-Cola is considered a vegan product.
What is Coca Cola Made Of?
Coca-Cola Original: water, sugar, carbon dioxide, caramel coloring E-150d, acidifier: phosphoric acid and natural flavors (including caffeine)
Diet Coke: water, carbon dioxide, caramel color E-150d, sweeteners: sodium cyclamate, acesulfame K and aspartame, acidifier: phosphoric acid, natural flavorings (including caffeine) and acidity regulator: sodium citrate.
On first reading of the label we see that there are no ingredients of animal origin, such as milk or other derivatives. However, there are 2 ingredients that may raise a concern: the caramel colorant E-150D and the natural flavorings.
The caramel dye E-150D (ammonium sulfite caramel, class IV) is widely used in the production of soft drinks and well known for its negative role on health, however, it is not of animal origin. Caramel is usually produced by heating sugar, however, in the production of E-150D, ammonium sulfite is used, which makes it potentially carcinogenic.
The natural flavorings seem to be the secret of the recipe, and can be of vegetable or animal origin. Because they are not described on the label, the only option left to us is to contact the brand.
In conversation with Coca-Cola via online chat, it was clarified that none of the products that the Coca-Cola Company sells in the United States contain ingredients of animal origin and that the formula of Coca-Cola is the same in all countries.
So you can rest assured that whether you are in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil or traveling the world, Coca-Cola will not include animal ingredients.
Recommended Read: Can Vegans Drink Sprite? Here’s What You Need To Know!
Is Sugar Really Vegan?
Sugar is usually vegan ingredient, however, that may change depending on how it’s filtered.
Sugar from sugar beets is always vegan, whereas cane sugar may in some countries, and in some factories, be processed using charred cattle bones. You can learn more about this topic in this post about refined sugar.
When it comes to Coca-Cola, although the formula is the same between countries, the source of the ingredients may be different. For example, in the United States corn syrup is used while in Europe sugar is used. This is good news as far as sugar is concerned, as the United States is one of the countries where it is allowed to use charred bones for processing.
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Colors and Animal Testing
The colorings in Coca-Cola are not of animal origin.
The truth is that most colorings are not of animal origin, but they will always be related to animal suffering.
Unfortunately, for there to be so many colored foods on the market today, a lot of animal testing was conducted for safety reasons.
Even today, some dyes are often tested on animals, as is the case with allura red AC (E129).
Although it is difficult to avoid all the foods that contain dyes, it will always be a healthier and more ethical option to do so.
Recommended Read: Is Fanta Suitable For Vegans?
The Coca-Cola Company
The soft drink Coca-Cola is the first product of the company, but today Coca-Cola is a huge multinational behemot that sells more than 500 products and is present in more than 200 countries.
Despite its history of animal testing, at present, Coca-Cola claims not to test its products on animals.
Does The Coca-Cola Company conduct animal tests?
We don’t test our beverages on animals, and we encourage our suppliers to use alternatives to animal testing whenever possible.
Coca-Cola Company (source)
Alternatives to Coca Cola
Wewi is a great alternative to Coca-Cola, as it is a vegan brand that creates drinks with organic ingredients and no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Created in the UK, Whole Earth sells a coke-like drink that is vegan and made with natural and organic ingredients.
The good news is that Coca-Cola is technically vegan, and not a single variant includes animal ingredients.
Soft drinks can easily mislead us by the amount of colorants, flavorings, sweeteners and stabilizers they have, so we have no other option but to contact the company.
The representatives from Coca-Cola have been very helpful, and have openly stated that Coca-Cola soft drinks do not include ingredients of animal origin and that their formula is the same in the different countries.
I hope I’ve helped =)