Is Raisin Bran Vegan? (Try This Brand Instead of Kellogg’s)

Did you know the creator of Raisin Bran was not Kellogg’s? You’ve probably never heard of Skinner’s Raisin Bran, but it was the original. Today, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran is the 11th most popular cereal in America. And everybody wants to know: Is it vegan?

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran can loosely be considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. For a more strictly vegan alternative, consider Cascadian Farm’s organic raisin bran.

Below, I’ll break down all the ingredients in Raisin Bran—not just the Kellogg’s version, but 7 other brands, too. Plus, I’ll look at Raisin Bran Crunch and Raisin Nut Bran. There are a few surprises in some of the brands I looked at!

What Is Raisin Bran Made Of?

Let’s start by looking at today’s leading brand of Raisin Bran (Kellogg’s). I’ve marked the two “gray-area” ingredients in bold red:

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Raisins, Wheat Bran, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains Two Percent or Less of Salt, Malt Flavoring, Invert Sugar, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Zinc Oxide, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.” (source)

What’s the deal with these two ingredients, exactly?

  • Sugar: Gray Area. Sugar is often debated amongst vegans. Non-organic cane sugar is often filtered with animal bone char to make it whiter. Therefore, some vegans avoid it, while others don’t. (Personally, I don’t worry about it.)
  • Vitamin D3: Gray Area. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is typically harvested from lanolin (from sheep’s wool). Most brands of raisin bran, including Kellogg’s, have added vitamin D3. Some vegans avoid this ingredient—others don’t. I explained why I don’t worry about it here.

So, whether Raisin Bran counts as vegan depends on whether you eat sugar and vitamin D3. The most strict vegans consider it non-vegan for those reasons. But other vegans, like me, say it’s good enough.

Does Raisin Bran Contain Dairy or Lactose?

Raisin Bran does not contain dairy, milk, or lactose. The leading brand, Kellogg’s, does not even have an allergy warning for traces of milk or “may contain milk”—so Raisin Bran should be safe for people with milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

Obviously, your choice of milk will determine whether your Raisin Bran meal contains dairy. I’d recommend going with soy milk—it’s my favorite plant-based milk, widely believed to be more “realistic” than almond milk or coconut milk.

Now that we’ve covered Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, let’s look at some related products.

Is Raisin Bran Crunch Vegan?

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch is generally not considered vegan, but some vegans may be okay with it. It contains honey, sugar, glycerin, palm oil, natural flavor, and vitamin D. Each of these ingredients are avoided by some vegans (but not all).

Take note that the added gray area ingredients here, compared to Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, are honey and palm oil.

Honey is debated by vegans because it’s not clear how much bees experience consciousness or feel pain. Palm oil is debated because it is often harvested in unsustainable ways, hurting the habitats of orangutans and other animals.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Raisins, Rice, Wheat Bran, Whole Grain Oats, Brown Sugar Syrup, Glycerin, Corn Syrup, Contains 2% or Less of Salt, Malt Flavor, Modified Corn Starch, Molasses, Palm Oil, Cinnamon, Honey, Natural and Artificial Flavor, BHT for Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid and Sodium Ascorbate), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Hydrochloride), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.” (source)

Which Brands of Raisin Bran Are Vegan?

We already covered the ingredients for Kellogg’s Raisin Bran above. Many of the competitors have very similar ingredients. But there are a few outliers on the market. For example:

  • Millville Raisin Bran (found at Aldi) contains two extra “gray area” ingredients for vegans: Glycerine and natural flavor.
  • Cascadian Farm offers an organic raisin bran that has no gray-area ingredients whatsoever. So if you’re a very strict vegan, you may want to check out Cascadian Farm.

Now let’s dive into the full breakdown of these 7 additional Raisin Bran brands.

Is Post Raisin Bran Vegan?

Post Raisin Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Post Raisin Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Post Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Raisins, Wheat Bran, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Salt. Vitamins And Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide (Source Of Zinc), Vitamin A Palmitate, Pryidoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Total Raisin Bran Vegan?

Total Raisin Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Total Raisin Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Total Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Raisins, Sugar, Corn Bran, Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve freshness.Vitamins And Minerals: Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin E Acetate, Iron And Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), A B Vitamin (Calcium Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Millville Raisin Bran Vegan?

Millville Raisin Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar, glycerine, natural flavor, and vitamin D3, which are all gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Millville Raisin Bran.

I’m not sure why Millville contains these extra gray-area ingredients (glycerine and natural flavor) compared to most brands of Raisin Bran. But neither one is that serious in my opinion. I would be surprised if either were animal-based in this case.

Glycerine can be derived from animal fat—but it’s also commonly made from soybean oil, and VRG even marks it as “Typically Vegan.”

Meanwhile, “natural flavor” can legally contain animal ingredients without disclosing it. But I can’t think of why they would be using animal-derived flavors for Raisin Bran.

Millville Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Raisins, Rice, Wheat Bran, Whole Grain Oats, Molasses, Glycerin, Corn Syrup, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Oat Flour, Canola Oil. Maltodextrin, Cinnamon, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Vitamin E (mixed Tocopherols) Added To Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide (source Of Zinc), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Kroger Raisin Bran Vegan?

Kroger Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Kroger Raisin Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Kroger Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Raisins, Wheat Bran, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Salt. Vitamins and Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide (Source of Zinc), Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Cascadian Farm Raisin Bran Vegan?

Cascadian Farm Raisin Bran is vegan. Unlike most brands of Raisin Bran, it does not contain any vitamin D3 from sheep’s wool or sugar filtered with bone char.

We know the sugar is not filtered with bone char because it is organic sugar. For more about which sugar is filtered with bone char, check out this resource from VRG.

Cascadian Farm Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Wheat Bran, Raisins, Sugar, Oat Fiber, Sea Salt, Malted Barley Extract. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Retain Freshness.” [All ingredients are organic except for the sea salt and vitamin E.] (source)

Is Great Value Raisin Bran Vegan?

Great Value Raisin Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D (cholecalciferol), which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Great Value Raisin Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Great Value Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Wheat Bran, Raisins, Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less Of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Malt Extract, Iron (Ferric Orthophosphate), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Niacinamide, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Folic Acid, BHT Added To Packaging To Help Preserve Freshness.” (source)

Is Trader Joe’s Raisin Bran Vegan?

Trader Joe’s Raisin Bran is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Trader Joe’s Raisin Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Trader Joe’s Raisin Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Wheat Bran, Raisins, Natural Milled Sugar, Barley Malt, Salt. Vitamins & Minerals: Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron Source), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide (A B Vitamin), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid (A B Vitamin), Zinc Oxide (Zinc Source), Cyanocobalmin (Vitamin B12), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride )Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D.” (source)

Is Raisin Nut Bran Vegan?

General Mills Raisin Nut Bran cereal is typically considered vegan. However, it contains sugar, glycerin, and natural flavor, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid Raisin Nut Bran.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Raisin Nut Bran Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Raisins, Almonds, Corn Bran, Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerin, Canola Oil, Corn Starch, Molasses, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins & Minerals: Zinc and Iron (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12.” (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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