Weetabix is a brand of popular cereals in the United Kingdom. In fact, it was through my short stay in the UK that I found Weetabix. That developed into a habit and now it’s among my favorite cereals. Not because it’s delicious, but because it’s highly nutritious.
So, Is Weetabix vegan?
Weetabix consists of different cereals. There’s the classic Weetabix, the flavored Weetabix, Minis, Protein, and Oatibix. The entire line is made of either whole wheat or oats, which represent about 90% of the cereal’s content.
Naturally, the ingredients vary according to the specific cereal. But what you’ll find in many is a combination of vitamins, minerals, sugar, and salt.
Many products in the Weetabix line are vegan but there are some exceptions. If you’re confused, please allow me to explain in a bit more detail.
The Definition of Vegan.
Usually, people adopt a vegan diet for one of three different reasons:
- Prevent animal suffering;
- Save the environment;
- To better our health.
Regardless of the reason that led you (or I) to become vegan, I feel like the vegan definition is always evolving and encompassing different causes. I personally embraced veganism for animals, but eventually, I embraced environmental and social causes.
But put simply, a vegan is someone that follows a plant-based diet and doesn’t eat animal products. In other words, a vegan avoids:
- Meat (including poultry, fish, squid, and even insects) ;
- And Honey (though, this one is up for debate).
In addition to that, many vegans also avoid products that are tested on animals or affect the environment in a negative way. There are also vegans that avoid minor animal by-products or “vegan” products of companies with a history of animal exploitation.
So whether or not you consume Weetabix depends on your definition of veganism.
Questionable Ingredients In Weetabix.
Some of the questionable ingredients in Weetabix are sugar, iron, and vitamin D.
Sugar May Not Always Be Vegan.
Sometimes sugar is filtered and bleached with bone char so that it gains a pristine white color.
That only happens with sugar from sugarcane. Sugar from beet is different since it is extracted with a diffuser and mixed with additives that allow it to crystalize.
What is also worth noting is that not every supplier uses bone char to bleach cane sugar since granular powder can be used to achieve the same goal.
In addition, the use of bone char is banned in some European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Weetabix is originally from the United Kingdom, so unless the company sources sugar from a supplier outside these countries, I’d say their sugar is considered vegan.
What About Iron?
Iron, on the other hand, exists in two different forms: Non-heme iron and heme-iron.
Non-heme iron is predominantly found in plants, which isn’t absorbed as well as the heme iron found in meat.
The type of iron present in cereals like Weetabix is non-heme iron. It’s also a type of iron that is present in supplements and other fortified foods. This iron is extracted from plants.
Vitamin D3 Is Not Vegan.
The vegan diet contains little to no Vitamin D without fortified foods or supplements.
And typically, there are two forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3). Vitamin D2 is vegan — obtained by exposing fungi to the sun.
On the other hand, Vitamin D3 comes from fish oil or sheep’s wool, although there is a vegan version made by Vitashine. Sadly, fortified are in many cases fortified with Vitamin D3.
Unfortunately, several Weetabix products are not vegan because they contain Vitamin D3.
What Weetabix Products are Vegan?
|Product||Is It Vegan?||Why?|
|Crispy Minis Chocolate Chip||No||Vitamin D3|
|Crispy Minis Fruit and Nut||No||Vitamin D3|
|Crispy Minis Banana||No||Vitamin D3|
|Oatibix Flakes Red Berries||Yes||N/A|
|Weetabix Protein||No||Vitamin D3|
|Protein Crunch Original||No||Vitamin D3|
|Protein Crunch Chocolate||No||Vitamin D3|
|Weetabix Protein Chocolate Chip||No||Vitamin D3|
Should You Even Buy From Weetabix Limited?
Weetabix Limited is known for creating products with plant-based ingredients.
However, there’s a range of products called Weetabix On The Go. These products are drinkable yogurts that contain ingredients such as skimmed milk, milk cream, and milk protein.
All of which are non-vegan ingredients.
This being said, most Weetabix products are suitable for vegans. By comparison, the impact Weetabix Limited has had on both animals and the environment comes nowhere close to companies like Hormel Foods and Unilever.
Whether you decide to stop consuming Weetabix’s products based on this information depends on your own definition of veganism.
Verdict: Most Weetabix Cereals Are Technically Vegan.
Most Weetabix cereals are vegan because they do not contain animal-based ingredients.
However, there are several variations that contain Vitamin D3, a solution most likely extracted from fish oil or sheep’s wool.
Also, we don’t know if the sugar used is filtered and bleached with bone char. Since Weetabix Limited is a European company, I would like to believe that isn’t the case.
In order to get that information, the only solution is to contact the company for information. And although that could be meaningful for some vegans, I don’t think people would just suddenly stop eating Weetabix since sugar is present in many foods.