Rice Crispies

Are Rice Krispies Vegan?

Rice Krispies are mainly composed of just two ingredients: Rice and sugar. You’d think such a simple product would be easy to declare vegan, right? But unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Rice Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid. Sugar is often filtered with bone char, and vitamin D3 is usually derived from lanolin (from sheep’s wool).

Below, I’ll explain more about these ingredients and how to decide whether you’ll avoid them. Then I’ll look at all the other flavors of Rice Krispies (like Cocoa Krispies), common off-brands, and international versions of Rice Krispies to see if their vegan status differs!

Rice Krispies Ingredients [Analyzed]

Let’s start by looking at the ingredients for regular Rice Krispies in the United States. I’ve bolded the two ingredients that some vegans take issue with in red:

Rice Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, malt flavor. 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)

So, why are sugar and vitamin D3 potential issues for vegans?

  • Sugar: Gray Area. Sugar is commonly debated by vegans. This is because non-organic cane sugar often gets filtered with “bone char” to make it whiter. As a consequence, some vegans avoid it. Other vegans don’t worry about it. Personally, I’m okay with sugar. More detail here.
  • Vitamin D3: Gray Area. Vitamin D3, also called “cholecalciferol,” is typically harvested from lanolin (which is from sheep’s wool). Some vegans avoid it. But others don’t worry about it because it’s present in such small amounts. I explained why I don’t worry about it here.

So, as you can see, whether Rice Krispies are vegan depends on whether you consider sugar and vitamin D3 vegan. The most strict vegans consider it non-vegan, but most vegans would probably think it’s good enough.

Personally, I’m fine with eating Rice Krispies as a vegan. And actually, one of my closest friends is a vegan who eats Rice Krispies most days for breakfast. So I’m not alone here.

 I think it’s ineffective to boycott ingredients that are only tangentially or potentially related to animals. I think the signal you’re sending to companies isn’t very clear. Meanwhile, it makes it much harder to be vegan if you’re very strict about that stuff.

My opinion: If you want to do more for animals after going like 97% vegan, just donate or volunteer for a good activist organization. Don’t stress about every single, tiny animal by-product.

Do Rice Krispies Have Dairy?

Rice Krispies cereal is dairy free. It doesn’t contain any milk, lactose, or other dairy products. That is, of course, unless you add dairy milk to the bowl!

Do Rice Krispies Have Gelatin?

Rice Krispies cereal does not contain gelatin. However, Rice Crispy Treats made with marshmallows do contain gelatin. That said, you can make vegan Rice Crispy Treats with alternatives to normal marshmallows.

Do Rice Krispies Have Pork?

Rice Krispies cereal does not contain pork, as it contains no gelatin. However, Rice Crispy Treats made with marshmallows do contain gelatin. Since a lot of gelatin comes from pigs, these treats are likely to contain pork-derived ingredients.

Do Rice Krispies Have Eggs?

Rice Krispies cereal does not contain eggs. Rice Crispy Treats are also typically egg-free. (source)

Flavors of Rice Krispies

Of course, we don’t just have regular Rice Krispies nowadays. There are many other flavors. So, what about Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Krispies, and the rest? Are they vegan?

Are Cocoa Krispies Vegan?

Cocoa Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

If you notice, there’s one added “gray area ingredient” in Cocoa Krispies that wasn’t in normal Rice Krispies. It’s “natural flavor.” In this case, I’m not worried about “natural flavor.” We have no reason to suspect they’d be seasoning Cocoa Rice Krispies with animal products.

However, it is legally allowed to include animal-based flavors in “natural flavors.” So, some of the most picky vegans may avoid it or try to contact the company and ask what it includes.

Cocoa Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, semisweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, dextrose), contains 2% or less of hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut, soybean and/or cottonseed), salt, malt flavor, natural flavor. 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)

Also, take note: Cocoa Krispies are dairy free. People often assume that chocolate flavored products are going to contain milk. But cocoa powder is vegan. So there are many chocolate products that are fully vegan.

Are Frosted Rice Krispies Vegan?

Frosted Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Those are the same gray area ingredients as Rice Krispies themselves. So whatever your verdict on Rice Krispies, the same would apply to Frosted Krispies.

Frosted Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, malt flavor. 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)

Are Cookies & Creme Krispies Vegan?

Frosted Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Those are the same gray area ingredients as Cocoa Krispies above. So, whatever your verdict on Cocoa Krispies, the same would apply to this product.

Cookies & Creme Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, rice flour, malt flavor, cocoa processed with alkali, natural flavor. 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)

Are Strawberry Rice Krispies Vegan?

Strawberry Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here are the full ingredients:

Strawberry Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of Vegetable Juice for Color, Salt, Malt Flavor, Natural Flavor, Beta-Carotene for Color. Vitamins and Minerals: Iron (Ferric Phosphate), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E Acetate, Niacinamide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Off Brands

Many other brands make a version of Rice Krispies, usually called “Crisp Rice” or “Crispy Rice.” Are all of these vegan?

In short, all of the off-brands I checked contain sugar and fortified vitamin D. So it’s the same situation as with name brand Rice Krispies—it’s mostly vegan, but some strict vegans might not be on board with it.

Is Harvest Morn Crisp Rice Vegan? [Aldi UK]

Harvest Morn Crispy Rice is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Of course, we’re assuming that “Vitamin D” here means vitamin D3, likely taken from lanolin from sheep. That’s a bit of an assumption, however, and it could be incorrect. Here’s the full ingredients:

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

Is Kroger Crispy Rice Vegan?

Kroger Crispy Rice is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Kroger Crispy Rice Ingredients: “Rice, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Salt. Vitamins and Minerals: Ferric Orthophosphate (Source of Iron), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide (Source of Zinc), Folic Acid, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3” (source)

Is Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice Vegan?

Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice Ingredients: “Rice, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Salt. Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Niacin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin D, Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron), Zinc (Zinc Oxide).” (source)

Is Market Pantry Toasted Rice Vegan?

Market Pantry Toasted Rice is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Market Pantry Toasted Rice Ingredients: “rice, sugar, salt, malted barley syrup, mixed tocopherols (added to preserve freshness). vitamins and minerals: sodium ascorbate (vitamin c), reduced iron, niacinamide, alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), vitamin a palmitate, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid, vitamin d, vitamin b12.” (source)

Is Millville Crispy Rice Vegan? [Aldi]

Millville Crispy Rice is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Millville Crispy Rice Ingredients: “rice, sugar, corn syrup, salt. vitamins and minerals: ferric orthophosphate (source of iron), sodium ascorbate (vitamin c), niacinamide (vitamin b3), zinc oxide (source of zinc), folic acid, riboflavin (vitamin b2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), vitamin a palmitate, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), vitamin b12, vitamin d3.” (source)

Are Trader Joe’s Rice Krispies Vegan?

Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice cereal is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Ingredients: “Milled Rice, Naturally Milled Cane Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) For Added Freshness (Soy). Vitamins And Minerals: Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron Source), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid (B Vitamin), Zinc Oxide (Zinc Source), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3).” (source)

Rice Krispies Around the World

Are Rice Krispies Vegan in Canada?

Canadian Rice Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Canadian Rice Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, Sugar, Salt, Corn And Barley Malt Extract, Vitamins And Minerals: Iron, Niacinamide, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid.” (source)

Are Rice Krispies Vegan in the UK?

UK Rice Krispies are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, flavouring, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

UK Rice Krispies Ingredients: “Rice, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt, Flavouring, Vitamins and Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2(Riboflavin), Vitamin B1(Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12” (source)

Are Rice Krispies Multigrain Shapes Vegan?

Rice Krispies Multigrain Shapes are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, natural flavouring, and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Rice Krispies Multigrain Shapes (UK) Ingredients: “Cereal Flours(Rice{54%}, Oat{28%}, Maize{5%}), Sugar, Corn Fibre, Caramelised Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavouring, Colour(Annatto), Antioxidant(Alpha Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate). Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2(Riboflavin), Vitamin B1(Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Are Rice Bubbles Vegan?

Did you know that Rice Krispies are called “Rice Bubbles” in Australia and New Zealand? Fun fact—they are!

Rice Bubbles are generally considered vegan. However, they do contain sugar, which is gray-area ingredient that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full ingredients:

Rice Bubbles Ingredients: “Whole white rice (91%), sugar, salt, barley malt extract, minerals (iron, zinc oxide), vitamins (niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate).” (source)

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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