Ritz is now one of the most popular brands of crackers on the market, but is it vegan-friendly? This is quite confusing as even though Ritz crackers do not contain animal-derived ingredients, some of the products used in their manufacturing processes may not be suitable for a plant-based diet.
Did you know that when Ritz crackers were first launched in 1934 they were advertised as a luxury product? The name at the time was associated with Cesar Ritz, the owner of a fancy hotel chain. The first advertisements showed golfers and passengers on a luxury cruise being served these famous crackers by workers in uniforms. Released during the Great Depression, Ritz crackers were often purchased by middle-class families who wanted to get a taste of the wealthy lifestyle.
In this article, we are going to put an end to the debate by answering the one-million-dollar question, ‘Are Ritz crackers vegan?’. Below you will find an analysis of the ingredients and manufacturing processes of this famous brand to help you clarify the confusion behind these popular snacks.
Table of Contents
When trying to figure out whether a certain product is vegan or not, we need to take into account its ingredients list and manufacturing processes. We are going to start with the former and move to the latter in the next session.
Let’s begin by analyzing Original Ritz, the brand’s most popular product. These crackers are often considered vegan, but is this the case? Original Ritz crackers are made with the following ingredients:
- unbleached enriched flour
- canola oil
- palm oil
- high fructose corn syrup
- soy lecithin
- natural flavors
Among these, there are two main ingredients that may not be suitable for vegans, sugar and natural flavors. The former is often bleached with bone char, an animal-derived product, which helps sugar get its typical white color. This process makes this ingredient unsuitable for a vegan diet. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether or not this is the case for the sugar used in Ritz crackers, meaning that it is up to you whether you want to keep buying them or not.
Natural flavors is an umbrella term used to describe a series of ingredients that may or may not contain animal products. Similarly to sugar, it is impossible to know whether or not these are vegan and even people who tried to contact the company did not get a clear answer.
On top of this, while Original Ritz crackers only contain two ingredients that may not be suitable for vegans, other varieties of Ritz, such as Ritz honey wheat or Ritz cream cheese and onions, include animal-derived ingredients such as dairy and honey.
So, which Ritz crackers are vegan? Strictly speaking, none of them. However, while some flavors contain animal products, such as cheese and honey, the Original Ritz crackers only have two ingredients which may or may not be vegan, being sugar and natural flavors.
Manufacturing Processes and Cross-Contamination Risks
Even though the Ritz’s official website clearly claims the company focuses on sustainable practices and is putting a real effort into minimizing its environmental impact, the manufacturing processes of Ritz crackers have never been disclosed.
But what about the cross-contamination risks? Well, Ritz crackers are produced in a facility processing several animal-derived ingredients, such as dairy and honey. This means that the risk of cross-contamination is present.
Certification and Labeling
As we said earlier, Ritz crackers may or may not be included in a vegan diet, depending on your level of strictness, as they do contain ingredients such as natural flavors and sugar. This is also why this brand doesn’t have any vegan labels or relevant plant-based certifications on its packages.
Debunking Common Myths and Misconceptions
Despite what we discussed, there are several articles on the internet claiming that Ritz crackers are vegan. Original Ritz crackers do not contain eggs, dairy, animal fats, gelatin, or honey. But this doesn’t mean they are suitable for a plant-based diet. As we mentioned above, Ritz crackers are made with sugar and natural flavors that may contain animal products.
Unfortunately, the company never disclosed any information regarding these ingredients, so doubts remain. Whether you want to add Ritz crackers to your diet or not, it’s up to your level of strictness with your diet.
Vegan Alternatives to Ritz Crackers
But does this mean that you cannot enjoy a nice platter of crackers and cashew cheese ever again? Of course not! Nowadays, you can easily find several vegan cracker brands in big supermarkets or online. Some of our favorites are
On average, always try your best to look for the vegan label and question brands that do not have any plant-based certification printed on their packages.
So, Are Ritz Crackers vegan?
So, are Ritz crackers vegan-friendly? The answer is no. Ritz crackers contain sugar and natural flavors that may or may not include animal-derived products such as bone char. Whether or not you want to keep eating this popular snack is completely up to you.
On top of this, some Ritz flavors include ingredients such as honey and dairy that are not suitable for a plant-based diet. But there is no reason to despair. You can still enjoy a variety of vegan crackers by opting for other brands, such as Oh My Yummies and Triscuit.
Making informed choices about your diet is fundamental if you want to make a difference in the world by supporting brands prioritizing animals’ rights and sustainable practices. So, always double-check your labels and never stop informing yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Ritz peanut butter crackers vegan?
Ritz peanut butter crackers contain sugar which may have been bleached with bone char, an animal-derived product. They are therefore not fully vegan.
Are Original Ritz crackers vegan?
Original Ritz crackers contain sugar that comes from unknown sources and natural flavors. Both of these may contain animal-derived products such as bone char, making Original Ritz crackers not suitable for a vegan diet.
Are Ritz cheese crackers vegan?
No. Ritz cheese crackers contain cheese and are therefore not vegan.
Are Ritz roasted vegetable crackers vegan?
Ritz roasted vegetable crackers contain sugar that may have been bleached with bone char, an animal-derived product. This means they are not vegan.
Are Ritz bacon crackers vegan?
Ritz bacon crackers contain sugar and natural flavors, two ingredients that may contain animal-derived products such as bone char. Whether or not you want to keep eating this snack is up to your level of strictness with your diet.