Is Chex Cereal Vegan? (Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Etc)

Rice Chex was supposedly one of the first gluten-free cereals in America. It’s also dairy-free. But is it 100% vegan? And what about other Chex flavors? Well, I’ve got 13 years of vegan label-reading experience, and I’m here to help.

Most flavors of Chex cereal are in a “gray area” for vegans. There are no flavors with dairy or gelatin, but all flavors do contain sugar and vitamin D3, which some vegans avoid. Honey Nut Chex also contains honey.

Below, I’ll lay out which Chex flavors contain which animal by-products. I’ll also share the reasons why some vegans avoid those ingredients, while other vegans let them slide—so you can determine what’s right for you!

Which Chex Cereal Is Vegan?

There are currently nine flavors of Chex cereal. Here’s a quick overview of the questionable ingredients in each, from a vegan perspective:

  • Rice Chex contains sugar and vitamin D3.
  • Corn Chex contains sugar and vitamin D3.
  • Wheat Chex contains sugar and vitamin D3.
  • Chocolate Chex contains sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.
  • Peanut Butter Chex contains sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.
  • Cinnamon Chex contains sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.
  • Blueberry Chex contains sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.
  • Honey Nut Chex contains sugar, honey, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.
  • Vanilla Chex contains sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3.

Now let’s look at why each of those ingredients are avoided by some vegans—and why some vegans are okay with eating them anyway.

Animal By-Products in Chex Cereal

Here are the four “gray area” ingredients that appear in different flavors of Chex:

  • Sugar: Sugar is debated by vegans because non-organic cane sugar is often filtered with animal bone char to make it whiter. And when reading a food label, you can’t usually tell whether bone char was used or not. Some vegans avoid it, others don’t. Personally, I don’t worry about it.
  • Vitamin D3: Fortified vitamin D in cereal is usually sourced from lanolin, which is a kind of grease from sheep’s wool. So it is an animal ingredient. But it’s used in such small amounts (it’s the very last ingredient in Chex), so some vegans (like me) think it’s okay to eat. Here’s a longer explanation of my view.
  • Natural Flavor: “Natural flavors” can legally include animal ingredients, and the exact recipe is usually secret. So we can’t know for sure if it’s vegan. But in the case of Chex, I have no reason to suspect animal ingredients are used. So I’m okay with it.
  • Honey: Honey is an animal product. Personally I avoid it. However, it’s debated to what degree bees experience consciousness or feel pain. So some vegans think it is okay to consume honey. Here’s an interesting old article from Dr. Michael Greger on whether honey is vegan.

Some strict vegans may try to avoid all four of these ingredients… To them, no Chex flavor would be considered vegan. In fact, even if you just want to avoid sugar or vitamin D3, that alone would make all Chex flavors non-vegan, since all of them contain sugar and D3.

However, for a vegan like me who is a bit more relaxed about things, I only avoid one of those four ingredients—honey. Therefore, I personally consider all Chex cereal flavors to be vegan except for Honey Nut Chex.

Does Chex Cereal Have Dairy?

Chex cereal does not contain milk, butter, lactose, or other dairy ingredients. None of the nine flavors contain any dairy.

In fact, looking at my box of Rice Chex, it doesn’t even have a warning for “traces” of milk or “may contain milk.” So it should be okay for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance.

Does Chex Cereal Have Eggs?

Chex cereal does not contain eggs. None of the nine flavors contain egg whites, egg yolk, whole eggs, or any other egg ingredients.

Chex Cereal Ingredients

In case you want to look through the ingredients yourself, here’s the full scoop on each of the nine flavors of Chex cereal.

Is Rice Chex Vegan?

Rice Chex 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 list of ingredients:

Rice Chex Ingredients: “Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Salt, Molasses. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin A (palmitate), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Corn Chex Vegan?

Corn Chex 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 list of ingredients:

Corn Chex Ingredients: “Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Sugar, Corn Starch, Salt, Baking Soda. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Wheat Chex Vegan?

Wheat Chex 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 list of ingredients:

Wheat Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Salt, Molasses, Baking Soda. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Chocolate Chex Vegan?

Chocolate Chex is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

There’s also the issue of whether cocoa powder is vegan. Most people would consider it vegan—but some vegans may want to check if the cocoa is produced with fair labor. Read more in my post on cocoa powder and slave labor (from a vegan perspective).

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Chocolate Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Canola Oil, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Salt, Molasses, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Peanut Butter Chex Vegan?

Peanut Butter Chex is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Peanut Butter Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Peanut Butter (Peanuts, Sugar, Monoglycerides, Salt), Sugar, Corn Starch, Salt, Canola Oil, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide),Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Monoitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12,Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Cinnamon Chex Vegan?

Cinnamon Chex is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Cinnamon Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Canola Oil, Salt, Rice Fiber, Cinnamon, Molasses, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Blueberry Chex Vegan?

Blueberry Chex is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Blueberry Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Canola Oil, Blueberry Powder, Salt, Molasses, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Honey Nut Chex Vegan?

Honey Nut Chex is generally not considered vegan. It contains honey, sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are all gray-area ingredients to vegans. That said, some vegans are okay with eating all four of those ingredients.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Honey Nut Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Sugar, Corn Starch, Honey, Salt, Molasses, Canola Oil, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Natural Almond Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc And Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Is Vanilla Chex Vegan?

Vanilla Chex is generally considered vegan. However, it does contain sugar, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients that some vegans avoid.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Vanilla Chex Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Rice, Sugar, Canola Oil, Salt, Rice Fiber, Molasses, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (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.

Sharing is caring!