Country Crock is a food brand that originally started by selling spreads like margarine, but they eventually extended to side dishes, namely mashed potatoes and pasta. At one point, they even sold cheese, but I believe they’ve done all this under a different license.
If you know Country Crock, you will know that they’re most recognized for their spreads. Currently, they have two product categories: Original Buttery Spreads and Plant Butters, and among them you will find both vegan and non-vegan products.
By the end of this article, you will know which Country Crock products are vegan and why is it that some of their products are not vegan (it’s not because of milk derivatives).
Country Crock Products
Here is a quick table with the different Country Crock products:
|Country Crock Categories:||Products:|
|Original Butter Spreads||Original Spread|
|Churn Style Spread|
|Calcium 8% Daily Value|
|Salted Baking Sticks|
|Unsalted Baking Sticks|
|Plant Butters||Plant Butter Tub with Avocado Oil|
|Plant Butter Sticks with Sea Salt|
|Plant Butter Sticks with Olive Oil|
|Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil|
|Plant Butter with Almond Oil Tub|
|Plant Butter with Olive Oil|
|Plant Butter Sticks with Almond Oil|
The products within the Original Butter Spreads are by far the most popular, but unfortunately, none of them are suitable for vegans.
Products like the Original Spread and the Light Spread contain vitamin D3, and others like the Salted and Unsalted Baking Sticks contain whey or milk.
Why Isn’t Vitamin D3 Vegan?
Vitamin D3 is not vegan because it’s typically extracted from lanolin, also referred to as wool yolk, wool wax, or wool grease, which is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals, though most of the lanolin is predominantly extracted from sheep wool that is about to be processed into yarn or felt.
The lanolin is extracted from the wool using a scouring process, during which the fleece is washed in hot water with a detergent. It undergoes a saponification process, which separates the fatty component that is removed via centrifugation, from the ‘unsaponifiable’ component, known as ‘lanolin alcohols’.
From the lanolin alcohols, they extract cholesterol that undergoes a series of solvent extractions, washes, and dry until it is pure and crystalline. Finally, the purified cholesterol is taken through a four-step chemical process to make 7-Dehydrocholesterol, which is then irradiated to produce vitamin D3.
Some vegans claim that the quantity of vitamin D3 used in each product is so minimal that we could disregard it and consume products containing it, but this fact doesn’t change: vitamin D3 comes from an animal source.
Despite the images of sheep living carefree and grazing in lush hillsides, the wool industry is not a gentle place, particularly in Australia, where most of the wool comes from. They do a lot of “mulesing” – a practice in which they slash away the wrinkled skin of sheep without anesthetics to prevent flystrike.
You can’t consider a product vegan when it contains ingredients derived from animals, regardless of the amount added to the final product.
Which Country Crock Products Are Vegan?
Since Country Crock’s line of original products contain either vitamin D3 and whey, we have to turn toward the Plant Butters, which are all vegan, without exception.
Here is the list of vegan Country Crock products:
- Plant Butter Tub with Avocado Oil
- Plant Butter Stick with Sea Salt
- Plant Butter Sticks with Olive Oil
- Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil
- Plant Butter with Almond Oil Tub
- Plant Butter with Olive Oil
- Plant Butter Stick with Almond Oil
None of these products contain animal ingredients, but some vegans might disagree by claiming that ingredients like palm oil and lactic acid are controversial or suspicious.
Palm oil, as you might know, comes from a plant-based source, so it’s technically vegan. However, the way it is farmed is quite destructive to the environment and the animal species that inhabit it. For that reason, some vegans choose to avoid it, which is comprehensible.
Lactic Acid raises some questions because of the word “Lactic” in the name, which in some cases implies the presence of lactose, a milk-derivative.
However, most lactic acid is vegan as it primarily occurs during the natural fermentation process of plants or it can also be made in a lab using plants. Lactic acid can also be found in meat and dairy, but it’s not as common.
Therefore, if you’re vegan and want to consume Country Crock’s Plant Butters, you’re free to do so.
Country Crock has several products, but not every product is suitable for vegans.
The original line of products (or the most popular) like the Original spread and Light spread contains vitamin D3, so it’s not vegan-friendly.
However, they also have a line of Plant Butters without animal ingredients.
Country Crock FAQs
Is Country Crock Dairy-Free?
Yes, Country Crock products are dairy-free, except for their baking sticks that contain whey. Their spreads, which are Country Crock’s most popular products, do not contain milk, so they’re dairy-free.
Is Country Crock Gluten-Free?
Country Crock’s products are all gluten-free, except for their baking sticks.