These days, we live in a very vegan-friendly food world. We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but most of your favorite foods may not be vegan-friendly. For instance, Lucky Charms!
Lucky Charms is one of the most popular breakfast cereal brands in the United States. Is Lucky Charms a vegan product? If you follow a vegan diet, you might not like the answer to this question. We know Lucky Charms contains a “marshmallow” component, but how much of that is a real marshmallow, which would normally contain gelatin or other animal-based ingredients?
In this article, we will find out if our suspicion of Lucky Charms ingredients being vegan or not is true. Below we have analyzed the ingredients that seem problematic to the vegan community. Keep reading to find out.
Lucky Charms – Brand Overview
Lucky Charms is a brand of breakfast cereal created by product developer John Holahan for the General Mills food company in 1964.
Lucky Charms was the first cereal to introduce marshmallows into its recipe. Because of their small size, these pieces are known as “marshmallow bits” or “marbits.”
Initially, the oat cereal was not sugar-coated. Although initial sales fell short of expectations, the oats were sugar-coated, and the cereal’s popularity skyrocketed. Lucky Charms are available in a variety of magically delicious flavors: Gluten-free Original Lucky Charms! Lucky Charms are also available in Chocolate, Fruity, and Frosted Flakes varieties!
Are Lucky Charms Vegan?
Lucky Charms is a marshmallow-filled breakfast cereal. Because this breakfast cereal contains gelatin, Lucky Charms is not considered vegan. Gelatin, derived from animal hooves, contributes to the gelatinous consistency of sticky candies and marshmallows.
Along with this non-vegan ingredient, there are also problematic ingredients such as processed sugar, Vitamin D3, and artificial colors, which many vegans will reject for significant reasons.
Lucky Charms Cereal Ingredients: Controversial and Non Vegan Ingredients
Although gelatin is the most prominent non-vegan ingredient, there are several other ingredients that some vegans find questionable:
Gelatin is neither vegan nor vegetarian. Gelatin is a type of animal protein derived from the boiling of skin, joints, ligaments, and bones, among other things. In this case, the gelatin is incorporated into the marshmallows. More on this below, but the short version is that it is not vegan.
2. Artificial Colors
Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Blue 1 are artificial colors in Lucky Charms. Artificial colors are created through a synthetic process from petroleum. So they’re not derived from animals.
However, they are still tested on animals due to ongoing safety concerns. As a result, a small number of vegans avoid them. That is hardly a convincing reason to continue animal abuse, particularly when alternative testing methods such as computer models, cell cultures, and human tissue are available.
To make it whiter, non-organic cane sugar is frequently filtered with animal bone char. And you can’t tell if bone char was used just by looking at the label. According to PETA, these bones originate in countries such as Afghanistan, Argentina, India, and Pakistan, where they are sold to traders in Scotland, Egypt, and Brazil, who then resell them to sugar suppliers in the United States.
As a result, some vegans avoid using the word “sugar” as an ingredient.
4. Vitamin D3
Uncertainty. Vitamin D3 in cereal is typically derived from lanolin, a grease derived from sheep’s wool. As a result, it contains an animal ingredient. However, it is only used in trace amounts (it is the final ingredient in Lucky Charms). As a result, some vegans believe it is permissible to consume it.
5. Natural Flavors
Plants and animals can provide natural flavor. In the case of Lucky Charms, it’s most likely not animal-based, but we can’t tell from the label.
Honey is a somewhat contentious food among vegans. Many vegans avoid honey because commercial honey production may be harmful to honeybees’ health. Honey is extracted from bees and replaced with sucrose or high fructose corn syrup before it is sold.
Sucrose and HFCS, on the other hand, do not provide bees with the numerous nutrients found in honey. So it’s basically the exploitation of honey.
7. Oil from Palms
As previously stated, a product does not have to contain animal-derived ingredients to be non-vegan. This category includes palm oil.
People are being exploited, and massive deforestation is happening today, causing animals to lose their homes. Endangered species like orangutans are being moved away from their habitat, which may not end well for them.
Lucky Charms Flavors
1. Original Lucky Charms Cereals
Hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons, unicorns, rainbows, and tasty red balloons are all part of the original Lucky Charms Cereals. Even after a short time in the milk, this cereal does not become soggy.
The crunchy, gluten-free oats cereal, on the other hand, contains all of the vegan-unfriendly ingredients such as sugar, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Natural and Artificial Flavor. As a result, the original Lucky Charms Cereal flavor is not vegan.
2. Chocolate Lucky Charms Cereal
You can enjoy the goodness of chocolatey flavor with delicious marshmallow charms with Chocolate Lucky Charms Cereal. However, like the original Lucky Charms Cereals, this flavor is not gluten free.
Moreover, it also contains gelatin, sugar, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Natural and Artificial Flavor just like Original Lucky Charms Cereal. Even this flavor of Lucky Charms Cereals is not vegan.
3. Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal
Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal combines a fruity cereal with Lucky’s magical marshmallows to create a magical combination for cereal lovers. Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal became non-vegan due to the fact that marshmallows are made from gelatin.
Like any other Lucky Charms Cereal, it contains sugar, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Natural and Artificial Flavor. So we can say Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal is not vegan.
4. Lucky Charms Honey Clovers Cereal
You can now enjoy Lucky’s utterly delicious marshmallow charms with clover-shaped pieces sweetened with real honey. Although this cereal is one of the most popular among others, one of the main ingredients is non-vegan.
Honey is considered a problematic ingredient. Some vegans consume honey, while the rest believe it’s not.
Moreover, it has other non-vegan ingredients like any other Lucky Charms Cereal. It contains sugar, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Natural and Artificial Flavor. So we can say Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal is not vegan.
Vegan Alternative to Lucky Charms
Barbara’s Puffins are an excellent replacement for Lucky Charm as well as Captain Crunch cereal (check vegan status). One of the best aspects of this cereal is its low sugar content. As a result, it is a healthier choice. Peanut butter puffins can pass as a dry snack due to the sweet, rich, ultra-peanutty flavor baked into each piece of cereal.
They’re decently powdered, and the topmost layers are smeared with a coating of what appears to be dried but velvety peanut butter. Furthermore, the word “vegan” clearly shows on this kid-friendly plant-based cereal box, which consumers surely appreciate.
They are non-GMO and popular among vegans for valid causes, with a simple ingredient list and no added sugar.
Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal is made of delectable organic whole grain squares, which have been thinly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. This certified organic cinnamon cereal contains 15 grams of whole grain and 3 grams of fiber per serving and is free of genetically modified organisms and synthetic pesticides.
This healthy and balanced cinnamon cereal is delicious with milk, but you can also grab a couple of handfuls for a quick snack on the go. Cascadian Farm believes in using natural, organic ingredients that Mother Nature has perfected. As a result, it is a popular choice among the vegan community.
Start your day off right with Three Wishes Cereal, which is gluten and grain-free. It tastes exactly like the breakfast cereal you used to eat as a kid but with far less sugar. It also has a distinct fruity flavor.
Three Wishes’ delicious cereals are high in protein, low in sugar, and made with healthier ingredients – only nutrient-rich, plant-based ingredients! With only 3g of sugar, this is an excellent breakfast or snack option. It is non-GMO Project verified, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free and makes an excellent breakfast or snack.
Forager Project’s fruity cereal, made with natural ingredients like navy beans, pea protein (check complete protein status), and cassava root, has a great crunch, tons of nutrients, and a nice dose of digestion-boosting fiber.
This crunchy grain-free cereal is lightly sweetened to satisfy your sweet tooth while providing energy. Forager Project Grain & Gluten-Free Vegan Breakfast Cereal cereal is USDA organic and made with wholesome, natural ingredients. The cereal packet contains no gluten ingredients and is also vegan-certified.
Post Grape-Nuts breakfast cereal is not only a part of your healthy diet. It’s also been a part of American history for more than 100 years. Grape-Nuts, invented by C.W. Post in 1897, are both classic and versatile. Grape-Nuts’ whole-grain crunch has the power to assist you in climbing your own mountain.
This nutritious cereal is a good source of fiber. A satisfying crunch for breakfast, snacking, or any other time of day. The 5g of sugar is inherent in the ingredients listed, as all carbohydrates contain natural sugars.
When sugar is added, it will be listed as “added sugars” in the nutrient list. Grape-Nuts contain no added sugars. There are no such ingredients in Post Grape-Nuts Non-GMO Breakfast Cereal that seem problematic for the vegan community. This yummy breakfast cereal makes a perfect option for vegans.
Lucky Charms are NOT Vegan because gelatin is used in the production of this breakfast cereal. And gelatin is one of the main ingredients in Lucky Charms and some other questionable ingredients that many vegans would never consider eating. However, an increasing number of businesses are making their products vegan-friendly.
The alternatives to Lucky Charms listed above are just a few examples of vegan breakfast cereal that you will undoubtedly enjoy. However, it’s always a good idea to read the ingredients and see if there’s anything problematic before purchasing the product. We have also reviewed some of the cereals brands like Chex Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cheerios, Rice Krispies and many more for their vegan status.