Are Corn Flakes Vegan? [With 10 Off-Brands Compared]

Corn Flakes are made of corn. So it should be pretty simple to declare them vegan, right? Well, unfortunately it’s a bit more complicated than that. Allow me to use my 13 years of vegan experience to guide you through this issue.

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid. In addition, out of ten off-brands of Corn Flakes, I found that all ten contain sugar, and eight contain vitamin D.

Below, I’ll explain what’s so controversial about sugar and vitamin D3 for vegans. I’ll also share which off-brands of Corn Flakes are free of vitamin D3!

What Are the Ingredients of Corn Flakes?

Let’s start by looking at the ingredients for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in the United States. I’ve bolded in red the two ingredients that some vegans would find suspicious:

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Milled Corn, Sugar, Malt Flavoring, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt. Vitamins and Iron: Iron, Niacinamide, Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.” (source)

Let’s take a look at each of these controversial ingredients:

  • Sugar: Gray Area. Sugar is often debated amongst vegans. Why? Well, non-organic cane sugar is often filtered with bone char to make it whiter in color. Some vegans avoid it, but most don’t bother. (Personally, I don’t worry about sugar, except from a health standpoint.)
  • Vitamin D: Gray Area. Vitamin D that is added to cereal is usually the D3 kind, sourced from lanolin, which is a grease from sheep’s wool. So yes, it is very likely to be derived from animals. However, it’s used in such small quantities (it’s the very last ingredient in Corn Flakes). So many vegans (like me) believe it’s okay to eat it. Here’s a longer explanation of how I feel about the issue.

And I’ll also address this: “Malt flavoring” is totally vegan. Some people assume “malt” has dairy, because of the association with “malted milkshakes.” But this is not true. Malt is just a barley product. Read more on that here.

So really, whether Corn Flakes are vegan depends on how you view these “gray area” ingredients. If you’re a super picky vegan who avoids sugar and vitamin D3, then you’ll have to avoid Corn Flakes (at least the name brand—see the off brands below).

But if you’re like me and you’re a bit flexible with minor ingredients, then Corn Flakes are totally fine. It just depends how picky you are.

Personally, I feel that avoiding those minor ingredients makes veganism a lot harder without much impact. So I don’t worry about them. And I’m not the only vegan who feels this way.

Do Corn Flakes Have Dairy in Them?

Corn Flakes do not contain milk, lactose, or any dairy ingredients. This is the case for Kellogg’s brand, as well as all ten of the other brands I was able to check.

Also, looking at the box of Corn Flakes I have here, there is not even an allergen warning for “traces of milk” or anything. So it should be safe, even for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance.

Do Corn Flakes Have Eggs?

Corn Flakes do not contain eggs. This is the case for Kellogg’s brand, as well as all ten of the other brands I was able to check. Really, you will almost never find eggs in breakfast cereal. I can’t think of a single example of one right now.

Do Corn Flakes Have Gelatin?

Corn Flakes do not contain gelatin. This is the case for Kellogg’s brand, as well as all ten of the other brands I was able to check.

Mostly, you will only see gelatin in cereals that contain marshmallows (like Lucky Charms) or ones where a heavy amount of frosting needs to be attached to the cereal (like Frosted Mini-Wheats).

Are Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs Vegan?

This is the only other official Corn Flakes product currently sold by Kellogg’s besides normal Corn Flakes. It’s a “crumb coating” that you can use in baking, and it provides a similar flavor as crushed up Corn Flakes.

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Really, the ingredients are about the same as normal Corn Flakes. Here’s the full list:

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs Ingredients: “Milled corn, sugar, malt flavor, contains 2% or less of salt.vitamins and minerals: iron (ferric phosphate), niacinamide, vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin b2 (riboflavin), vitamin b1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin d3, vitamin b12.” (source)

What About Corn Flakes Off-Brands?

Now let’s look at a bunch of Corn Flakes off-brands, to see if the ingredients vary in any meaningful way from Kellogg’s, from a vegan perspective.

Are ASDA Corn Flakes Vegan?

ASDA Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

ASDA Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Maize, Sugar, Salt, Malted Barley Extract, Vitamin and Mineral Mix [Iron, Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid (B9), Vitamin D, Vitamin B12].” (source)

Are Great Value Corn Flakes Vegan?

Great Value Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Great Value Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Degermed Yellow Corn Meal, Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Salt, Malt Extract, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid), Iron (Ferrous Fumarate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Niacinamide, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Folic Acid, Bht Added To Packaging To Help Preserve Freshness.” (source)

Are Harvest Morn Corn Flakes Vegan?

Harvest Morn Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Harvest Morn Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Maize, Sugar, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Maltodextrin, Iron, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Folic Acid.” (source)

Are Kroger Corn Flakes Vegan?

Kroger Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Kroger Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Degermed Yellow Corn Meal, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Ferrous Fumarate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide, Thiamin Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, BHT Added to Packaging to Help Preserve Freshness.” (source)

Are Millville Corn Flakes Vegan?

Millville Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Millville Corn Flakes Ingredients: Milled corn, sugar, salt, malted barley syrup. Vitamins and minerals: sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), reduced iron, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12. (source)

Are Morrison’s Corn Flakes Vegan?

Morrison’s Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Morrison’s Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Maize, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Iron, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Are Nestle Corn Flakes Vegan?

Nestle Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, which is a gray-area ingredient that some vegans avoid.

It is notable that Nestle Corn Flakes do not contain the vitamin D3 that most brands of Corn Flakes do. This arguably makes Nestle Corn Flakes “more vegan” than most other brands.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Nestle Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Breakfast Cereal Cereal Grains [Corn Semolina, Whole Grain Corn (27.4%)], Sugar, Minerals (Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Reduced Iron), iodized Salt (Sodium Chloride, Potassium iodate), Barley Malt Extract [Malted Barley (gluten), Tapioca Starch] Glucose Syrup, Stabilizer (Trisodium Phosphate E339ii), Emulsifier (Monoglycerides E471), Tocopherols, Vitamins [B3, B5, B6, B2 and B9).” (source)

Are Sainsbury’s Corn Flakes Vegan?

Sainsbury’s Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, which is a gray-area ingredient that some vegans avoid.

It is notable that Sainsbury’s Corn Flakes do not contain the vitamin D3 that most brands of Corn Flakes do. This arguably makes them “more vegan” than most other brands.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Sainsbury’s Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Maize (93%), Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Niacin, Vitamin E, Ferric Diphosphate, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Are Tesco Corn Flakes Vegan?

Tesco Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Tesco Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Maize, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Iron, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Are Trader Joe’s Corn Flakes Vegan?

Trader Joe’s Corn Flakes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), which is a gray-area ingredient that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Trader Joe’s Corn Flakes Ingredients: “Organic Milled Corn, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Sea Salt, Organic Barley Malt Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron Source), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Acetate, Niacinamide (A B Vitamin), Zinc Oxide (Zinc Source), Folic Acid (A B Vitamin), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1).” (source)

More Vegan Cereal Guides

I’ve been writing a bunch of guides about which popular breakfast cereals are vegan. Here are a few more that might interest you:

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.

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