Is Mountain Dew Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Vegans find themselves in a predicament when they first go vegan. “Do I need to drop most of my favorite foods and drinks? What kind of vegan alternatives are out there for me?”

Whatever the answers are, once you go vegan, you’re on a journey of constant learning. I’ve never looked at so many labels, wishing to find a delightful surprise.

Sometimes I find a positive surprise, but most of the time I’m disappointed.

Thankfully, the more time progresses, the more likely you are to find vegan products.

Still, we love what we love, and Mountain Dew is an old, all-time favorite for many Americans.

Is Mountain Dew suitable for vegans? Well, Mountain Dew has different varieties of flavors, many of which are vegan.

Also, the folks behind Mountain Dew put out different flavors throughout the year, so I’ll do my best to classify them below. This being said, let’s start this post with a basic question.

What Is Mountain Dew?

mountain dew
User:Genoist, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Simply put, Mountain Dew is a unique carbonated soft drink. Unique in the sense that there are no copycats or worthy competitors.

The color is unnatural, and the flavor is unlike any recognizable fruit or flavor.

Because of that, Mountain Dew has successfully launched different spin-off flavors, generating the same reaction as the original. No Mountain Dew variety looks and tastes the same.

Some Mountain Dews are yellow, blue, red, and taste “akin” to berry or lime. The names “Voltage”, “Revolution”, or “Supernova” don’t decode the flavor, unlike other sodas in the market. You can’t put a finger on it and that makes Mountain Dew unique.

Back in 1940, Mountain Dew was used as a whiskey mixer, but it evolved into America’s 5th most popular soda. The out-of-the-box approach from the Mountain Dew team involved rebranding each flavor, making it seem like a completely new drink, yet it works all the time.

The only exception seems to be the Black, White, and Green Label, which was discontinued in 2019.

If I was asked to describe people that drink Mountain Dew, I’d say “singular”. Mountain Dew doesn’t follow the crowd, the crowd follows Mountain Dew.

What Are The Ingredients In Mountain Dew?

Before I get into the different variations and flavors, it’s important to start with the one drink that started it all. The Mountain Dew Original.

Here is the list of ingredients:

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid (preserves freshness), gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, and artificial colors (yellow 5).

Mountain Dew Original doesn’t have animal-based ingredients.

Therefore, technically, it is vegan.

Artificial Colors and Animal Testing.

Artificial colors are made in laboratories from isolated chemicals or derived from a byproduct of petroleum. Because they are synthetic, one would think they’re vegan.

Sadly, colors are routinely tested on animals such as mice, rats, and dogs.

Some people claim that testing is necessary because it is intended to prove the safety of these ingredients. That’s why it’s such a tricky issue. Whether or not you consume products with artificial colors depends on your definition of “vegan”.

Still, don’t forget that artificial colors/dyes exist due to the vast animal tests conducted in the past.

In my opinion, it all comes down to each one’s personal view.

Are All Mountain Dew Varieties Vegan?

There are several Mountain Dew flavors, and that is partly due to the several Mountain Dew products launched through the years.

There’s the Regular & Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Kickstarter, Mountain Dew Amp, and Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel.

Instead of speaking individually about each product and flavor, I’ve created a table to identify whether or not a product is vegan.

Mountain Dew: Problem Ingredients: Verdict:
Original Yellow 5 No animal ingredients.
Diet Yellow 5 No animal ingredients.
Code Red Yellow 5, Blue 1 No animal ingredients.
Ice Lemon-Lime N/A No animal ingredients.
Merry Mash-up Red 40 No animal ingredients.
Live-Wire Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 No animal ingredients.
Voltage Blue 1, Red 40 No animal ingredients.
White Out N/A No animal ingredients.
Pitch Black Blue 1, Red 40 No animal ingredients.
Diet Code Red Blue 1, Yellow 5, Red 40 No animal ingredients.
AMP Original* Blue 1 No animal ingredients.
AMP Tropical Punch* Red 40 No animal ingredients.
AMP Strawberry Limeade* Red 40 No animal ingredients.
AMP Cherry Blast* Red 40 No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Original Blue 1 No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Cherry Blast Blue 1 No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Cherry Burst Blue 1, Red 40 No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Tropical Strike Yellow 5, Yellow 6 No animal ingredients.

*Taurine is found in most energy drinks. It is often suggested that it’s extracted from a bull’s lower parts, but it’s actually produced industrially from ethylene oxide and sodium bisulfite. There are no animals harmed in the process.

As you can see, most Mountain Dew products contain artificial colors. Technically, they don’t contain animal ingredients and thus are vegan.

However, you have to make up your mind and determine whether or not you’re okay with it.

Summary: Mountain Dew May Be Vegan

Mountain Dew, as well as most sodas, are typically considered vegan.

But just because they’re vegan, that doesn’t mean you should drink them. Sodas have unhealthy ingredients that might negatively affect your health in the future.

As such, I would recommend you to search for more natural alternatives – for instance, Zevia is a brand that produces delicious, natural sodas without as many crappy ingredients. 

Also, my last word of advice is to not lower your guard. Other sodas or beverages may contain ingredients such as cochineal (crimson dye) and ester gum, which are not vegan.

Let me know if I’m missed anything so that I can give you the correct information.

Related Topics

Here’s a list of other similar posts about empowering carbonated drinks that may or may not be vegan:

Feel free to visit one of these pages or roam around the website for useful information. In fact, if you appreciate a few tips on how to make your vegan experience better, feel free to read this blog post.


Mountain Dew FAQs

Is Mountain Dew Gluten-Free?

Yes, like most sodas, Mountain Dew is also gluten-free. It doesn’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients like wheat, barley, and rye, nor does it come into contact with gluten ingredients during production. 

Is Mountain Dew Caffeine-Free?

The regular Mountain Dew does contain caffeine, however, PepsiCo has a version of this drink that doesn’t contain any caffeine. 

Is Mountain Dew Discontinued?

No, there is no evidence that shows Mountain Dew will be discontinued due to its negative effects on health. 

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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