Are Apple Jacks Vegan? – 2023

Apple Jacks have never been my go-to cereal, but some people can’t get enough of this apple and cinnamon flavored treat. Maybe it is the creepy-looking apple and cinnamon characters in the commercials. Maybe I prefer breakfast cereals like Cocoa Puffs and Fruity Pebbles over Apple Jacks. 

Not everyone is like me. Some people love this Kellogg’s cereal. 

If you are a vegan who is here to check if this cereal is vegan before digging into a bowl, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading to find the answer to the question, are Apple Jacks vegan?

Are Apple Jacks vegan?

Apple Jacks cereal is one of many products that make answering this simple question a little complicated. In hopes of giving you a quick answer, I will say that Apple Jacks are considered vegan in most ways. They do not contain gelatin, dairy, honey, or other obvious animal products and by-products. However, it’s not that simple.

Apple Jacks contain ingredients that vegans are often left questioning. These ingredients include natural flavor, artificial colors, sugar, and of course vitamin D3. If you have read any of our other posts about cereal you probably already know the drill. With all of these ingredients, there is a risk of them containing animal products or by-products. 

What ingredients are found in Apple Jacks?

Before we can answer the question, are Apple Jacks vegan, we need to explore the ingredients list. Apple Jacks are made with three grains and provide 15 grams of whole grain per serving. You can get quite a few vitamins and minerals from a bowl of Apple Jacks too. But, what else is packed into this cereal? 

The ingredients found in Apple Jacks include:

  • Corn flour blend
    • Whole grain yellow corn flour
    • Degerminated yellow corn flour
  • Sugar
  • Wheat flour
  • Whole grain oat flour
  • Modified food starch
  • Vegetable oil
    • Hydrogenated coconut
    • Soybean
    • Cottonseed
  • Oat fiber
  • Salt
  • Soluble corn fiber
  • Degerminated yellow corn flour
  • Dried apples
  • Apple juice concentrate
  • Cornstarch
  • Cinnamon
  • Natural flavor
  • Modified corn starch
  • Wheat starch
  • Baking soda
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Red 40
  • Blue 1
  • BHT for freshness
  • Vitamins and Minerals:
    • Reduced iron
    • Niacinamide
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)
    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
    • Vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride)
    • Folic acid
    • Vitamin D3
    • Vitamin B12

As you can see, this cereal is another one of those products that contain a long list of ingredients. After reading through this, you may be asking how this cereal could not be considered vegan. That’s a great question, and it just depends on how strict you are as a vegan. 

Thankfully, this cereal does not contain palm oil. Many vegans avoid anything with this ingredient unless it is ethically sourced. This is because palm oil is a big culprit in deforestation and the destruction of animal habitats. You do not have to worry about that ingredient with this cereal which is kind of rare. 

In this case, the ingredients that are cause for concern are natural flavor, artificial colors, sugar, and vitamin D3. Let’s take a look at each one of these ingredients and explore how they can make something not vegan-friendly. 

are apple jacks vegan

Which pesky ingredients in Apples Jacks cereal may not be vegan?

Some of the ingredients in Apple Jacks aren’t as easily determined to be vegan as others.


Sugar is often not vegan-friendly because it is refined through a process that uses bone char from animals. Unfortunately, this process still exists in today’s world, even though vegan-friendly alternatives exist.

Natural flavor

According to the FDA, natural flavors can come from spice, fruit, fruit juice, vegetables, vegetable juice, edible yeast, herbs, bark, bud, root, leaf, and other plant materials. In those cases, natural flavors would be considered vegan-friendly. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. The FDA says natural flavors can also come from meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, or fermentation products. 

It is impossible to know where the natural flavors come from unless a company is clear about it. With Apple Jacks, we don’t know if the natural flavors used are free of animal products and by-products or if they contain them. 

Artificial colors 

Many artificial colors are not vegan-friendly because they either contain animal-based ingredients or are tested on animals. Many of these potentially harmful colors are used in Apple Jacks to create the colors seen in this cereal. This cereal contains Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and Blue 1.

Even if these colors do not contain animal-based ingredients, they still go against the beliefs of ethical vegans. These beliefs are what ethical vegans base their decisions on. These colors are tested on animals, and vegans do not support animal cruelty. 

Because Apple Jacks contain artificial colors, it is difficult to say whether or not this cereal is cruelty-free. This is a dealbreaker for many vegans. 

Vitamin D3

The vitamin D found in many popular kinds of cereal is not vegan-friendly. In most cases, this vitamin D is made from lanolin which comes from sheep’s wool. Vitamin D is not always safe for vegans. It is difficult to say whether the vitamin D3 in Apple Jacks is vegan. It is assumed that it is not vegan in many other Kellogg’s cereals, so that is probably true here as well.

Curious about other popular cereals and wondering which ones are vegan-friendly? Check out this helpful guide to vegan cereal.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Apple Jacks are generally considered vegan, but they contain some questionable ingredients. If you are a strict vegan who avoids sugar, natural flavors, artificial colors, and the vitamin D3 found in cereal, you may choose to skip this one.



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