Cocoa Puffs were always one of my favorite cereals as a kid. They were — and still are sugary, chocolatey, and not at all a healthy balanced breakfast or snack. But boy are/were they tasty.
Unfortunately, Cocoa Puffs made by General Mills (The Original/Popular ones) are not vegan as they contain Vitamin D3 derived from lanolin (Extracted from Sheep’s Wool). There are quite a few vegan alternatives to cocoa puffs though, so don’t lose hope!
Here is the whole ingredients list: Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Corn Meal, Corn Syrup, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Canola Oil, Fructose, Salt, Caramel Color, Refiner’s Syrup, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor.
There’s three main alternatives that are vegan, namely Kashi’s Cocoa Puffs/Crisps, which are probably the most economical yet tasty choice, but there’s also some Organic cocoa crisps by whole foods that are pretty good although they’re a bit different due to their texture (they’re small), and the best one of them all in my opinion is Nature’s Path Choco Chimps.
Table of Contents
Why do regular Cocoa Puffs have Non-vegan D3?
General Mills, and most large cereal companies (Such as Kellogg’s) add vitamins to their cereals to make them seem healthier and less like junk-food/candy. As a result they added many vitamins, and generally they add Vitamin D3 as it’s one of the cheapest and most effective forms of Vitamin D you can consume.
The problem is, Vegan Vitamin D3 is quite costly as it’s not as simple to acquire as non-vegan D3, as well as it’s simply not as popular and the costs of scale aren’t on it’s side.
Are Cocoa Puffs dairy free?
Cocoa puffs are indeed dairy-free, however they’re not exactly 100% Vegan since they do contain Non-vegan D3 in them.
Can Vegans eat Cocoa Puffs?
Some Plant-based/Vegan folks may make an exception for such “minor” non-vegan ingredients such as the Non-vegan D3 Cocoa Puffs contain, but many also will not. Technically they’re non-vegan, however many people who identify as a vegan likely eat them anyways, be it out of ignorance, or simply because they aren’t as immovable as some other vegans.
You can eat Cocoa Puffs as a Vegan, you just shouldn’t eat General Mills branded cocoa puffs, but instead one of the other ones linked/mentioned above, which are in fact 100% Vegan.