Are Pringles Vegan

Are Pringles Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Pringles?

Answer: It depends. Although most Pringles products share common based ingredients, most of the Pringles available in the United States are not friendly for vegans.

Depends

The answer to that is both yes and no. It sounds simple and straightforward, but not really. 

You are what you eat, as the saying goes. This line couldn’t be more valid for vegan people or adopt veganism as a lifestyle choice. However, it’s baffling when it comes to your go-to snack, Pringles. And that’s precisely why I am writing, clearing your confusion once and for all, whether Pringles are vegan friendly or not. So please stick with me for a few know-how.  

I have reviewed through all the varieties and flavors of Pringles currently on shelves in the United States. There is no questioning about the ever-rising popularity of Pringles in the States; however, overtly health-conscious vegans won’t eat these potato-based snacks. Nonetheless, I have come across vegans who savor a little junk food from time to time; this article is for those vegans.

Scroll down further to know which Pringles are okay for vegans to munch and which should are not. But first, a bit of here and there about Pringles

What Are Pringles?

Pringles is a brand of potato-based stackable snack chips famous for its saddle shape. Its canister style packaging makes it ultra-portable for munchers and crunchers to take it anywhere and everywhere. 

Pringles were initially developed by Proctor & Gamble in 1967. Frederic Baur, an organic chemist and food storage technician, created the stackable chips’ universally recognizable shape and the cylindrical can. 

Kellogg’s bought The Pringles brand in 2012 and produces in five factories globally: USA, Belgium, Malaysia, Poland, and China.

From What Are Pringles Made?

Interestingly, Pringles are a potato-based snack, but the potato content is only 42% in reality’s standard varieties. It contains highly processed dried potato flakes, water, and corn starch, which is then molded into the final saddle-shaped and deep-fried in edible vegetable oil for that savory taste and crispy finish. 

For those scrupulous vegans, here’s a more detailed ingredient list for Pringles original variety, rice flour, wheat starch, dried potatoes, salt, vegetable oil, maltodextrin (extract from vegetable starch), and dextrose (they make simple sugar from corn). It has no artificial ingredients and no added preservatives.

How Many Pringles Flavors Are Available? 

This list is prepared, keeping in mind the products available in the US when writing this article. Pringles categorize into three stacks: the Favorites, Wavy, and Lighter Side.

The Favorite Category Includes:

  1. Pringles BBQ
  2. Pringles Cheddar Cheese
  3. Pringles Cheddar & Sour Cream
  4. Pringles Honey Mustard
  5. Pringles Memphis BBQ
  6. Pringles Jalapeno
  7. Pringles Pizza
  8. Pringles The Original 
  9. Pringles Sour Cream & Onion
  10. Pringles Screamin’ Dill Pickle 
  11. Pringles Buffalo Ranch
  12. Pringles Scorchin Chili & Lime 
  13. Pringles Ranch
  14. Pringles Salt and Vinegar
  15. Pringles Parmesan and Roasted Garlic 
  16. Pringles Rotisserie Chicken
  17. Pringles Baconator  

The Wavy Category:

  1. Wavy Classic Salted
  2. Wavy Sweet & Spicy BBQ
  3. Wavy Fire Roasted Jalapeno
  4. Wavy Applewood Smoked Cheddar

The Lighter Side:

  1. Pringles Lightly Salted Original

Please note that seasoning and flavoring create a unique taste for all Pringles products, and it can vary from country to country. Pringles also introduce Limited Edition Flavors from time to time, and it’s hard to keep track of those products, given its comprehensive market coverage. I haven’t listed any of those here. 

Which Pringles Flavors Are Vegan Then?

The Pringles brand is available in numerous flavors, and at times it is hard to find out which flavors are vegan friendly and which ones aren’t. To make it easier for you, here’s a quick reference of the Pringles flavors available in the United States, which are supposedly safe and okay for vegans to chew at the time of writing this.

  • Pringles The Original 
  • Pringles Wavy Classic Salted
  • Pringles Lightly Salted Original

You can take my word for it. These Pringles flavors are completely vegan friendly and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. All the components used in making these crisp Pringles chips are plant-based products. 

For Pringles Original, there’s something timeless about it. Its recipe combination is considered the gold standard by vegan purists to be the 100% vegan-friendly Pringles. There are no added flavor enhancers supplementing it. It lives up to the adage; what you see is what you get.

The Pringles Wavy Classic Salted is another delicious crisp chip with a crunchy twist. It is crispier and thicker than the original version. Flavor-wise, nothing too radical here; the additional crunch gives it a distinct texture. 

The Pringles Lightly Salted is almost as pure as the original. But there’s a catch; its underlying flavor is a hint of salt. 

Coming to the ingredients part, here is what I have to tell you. All vegan-friendly Pringles have a common based ingredient. Except for the Original, both Pringles Wavy Classic and Lightly Salted they process with Mono and Diglycerides, which are fatty acid chains. 

These fatty acid chains have properties to improve the texture of foods. In the case of Pringles, these fatty acid chains are from vegetable oil, which makes it perfectly acceptable for vegans.

For further clarity, let me elaborate on the based ingredients for vegan-friendly Pringles: 

  • Maltodextrin (a white powder made from corn or wheat) 
  • Wheat Starch
  • Vegetable Oils – (corn, cottonseed, soybean, and sunflower oil) 
  • Cornstarch
  • Mono-and Diglycerides (fatty acids) 
  • Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour
  • Salt 
  • Potatoes 
  • Rice Flour

So, the next time you’re thinking to crunch some Pringles with your friends or at a picnic party, you can be sure of what’s going into your mouth and don’t have to think twice.

A notable mention here is Pringles Paprika, which is vegan friendly but unfortunately not available in the US. Paprika contains capsaicin, which has antioxidant properties and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Which Pringles Flavors Are Not Vegan? 

Although most Pringles products share common based ingredients, most of the Pringles available in the United States are not friendly for vegans. The reason lies in filler and flavoring ingredients, which are in some way or the other derived from animal byproducts.

The not so friendly vegan Pringles are:

  1. Pringles BBQ
  2. Pringles Cheddar Cheese
  3. Pringles Cheddar & Sour Cream
  4. Pringles Honey Mustard
  5. Pringles Memphis BBQ
  6. Pringles Jalapeno
  7. Pringles Pizza
  8. Pringles Sour Cream & Onion
  9. Pringles Screamin’ Dill Pickle 
  10. Pringles Buffalo Ranch
  11. Pringles Scorchin Chili & Lime 
  12. Pringles Ranch
  13. Pringles Salt and Vinegar
  14. Pringles Parmesan and Roasted Garlic 
  15. Pringles Rotisserie Chicken
  16. Pringles Baconator  
  17. Pringles Wavy Applewood Smoked Cheddar
  18. Pringles Wavy Sweet & Spicy BBQ 
  19. Pringles Wavy Fire Roasted Jalapeno

The Pringles coming under this not friendly to vegans category, also have an underlying based ingredient listed below:

  • Onion Powder
  • Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour
  • Potatoes
  • Maltodextrin
  • Salt (less than 2%)
  • Sugar
  • Mono- and diglycerides
  • Yeast Extract 
  • Whey (which is a protein of milk)
  • Vegetable Oil ((corn, cottonseed, soybean, and sunflower oil)
  • Rice Flour
  • Citric Acid
  • Cornstarch

I will dwell upon each product to give you a clearer picture of what you’re letting go of being a vegan.

The Pringles BBQ comes with a flavor quite unlike any other; it’s barbeque, after all. Contrary to many blogposts about Pringles BBQ being vegan friendly, it is not. And there’s a good reason for that. It contains the shared product ingredients, malic acid, wheat starch, inosinate, whey, paprika extract colors, guanylate, malted barley flour, and wheat starch, and natural flavors. Whey is derived after the milk has been curdled and strained, and therefore that doesn’t qualify Pringles BBQ to be vegan friendly. 

Pringles Salt & Vinegar contains vinegar, malic acid, wheat starch, sodium diacetate, dextrose, and lactose (milk sugar, a type of sugar only found in animal milk), which makes it not vegan-friendly and turmeric color.

Pringles Buffalo Ranch is not vegan because it contains whey solids, whey protein concentrates, and buttermilk. 

Pringles Rotisserie Chicken contains buttermilk (fermented dairy), which is an obvious no for vegans. To make room for clarity, it also has a Caramel color, confusion among many. Still, it is a food coloring and flavoring ingredient that derives from corn and vegetable sources.

Pringles Jalapeno is for those who like to spice things up just a notch. For starters, Jalapeno is a medium-sized hot pepper. The Pringles Jalapeno is, however, not vegan friendly because it contains whey (a derivate of animal milk).

Pringles Memphis BBQ, another great smokey savory flavor for barbeque lovers but not for vegans,t contains artificial and natural flavors that are milk-derived. Looking at the ingredients, you must be wondering, what is Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, and Blue 1 Lake? 

Well, all these are coloring additives certified by US FDA in the food industry.

Pringles Honey Mustard, the honey-flavored Pringles, packs a punch but not so for vegans as it contains milk-derived lactose to flavor the Pringles. 

Pringles Cheddar Cheese, make no mistake the cheddar is the creme de la creme of cheese, and it truly delivers. 

For vegans, a glance at the name is enough for a telltale sign to back off. By far, among all the Pringles, this contains the most animal-derived byproducts- cheddar cheese, buttermilk, blue cheese, buttercream, and nonfat milk. 

Pringles Wavy Applewood Smoked Cheddar is devouringly delicious, but not for vegans because there’s a caveat. It includes the cheddar cheese flavor enhancer and whey ingredient. 

With so many product lineups, the list can go on, so I have nitpicked and highlighted the popular ones. It’s important to note that Pringles, which are not friendly to vegans, are so because they contain lactose, whey, cheese, and buttermilk. Pringles also contains natural and artificial flavor enhancers, unknown and not listed by Pringles because of proprietary reasons. 

Unfortunately, the lack of label disclosure and trans-fat labeling ambiguity adds to the general perplexity of what oils, emulsifiers, and taste enhancers are used and processed for the finished product. 

And for starters, who are new to vegan, things can be overwhelming at times, making sense of whether the ingredients are vegan or not. A quick life hack- check the allergen section; it will clear the air of confusion for you in many cases. Companies like Pringles label their products as vegan friendly, so make sure you check that out while buying.

For Alternatives 

Frankly, for vegans who like to munch and crunch occasionally, there isn’t a whole lot of vegan-friendly Pringles out there for you. But the options are plenty around in the already very competitive potato-based snack market. Lays and Doritos also have many offerings in their line up for vegans and are pretty popular among the vegan community. The likes of which are:

  • Doritos Toasted Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Doritos Blaze
  • Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili
  • Classic Lays Potato Chips
  • Lightly Salted Classic Lays

Besides these, I highly recommend you to look into alternatives like Fritos Original Corn Chips, Kettle Brand Potato Chips, and Taco Bell Tortilla Chips, which are superb no lesser than any potato chips available out there. More snack companies have started introducing vegan-friendly products in their lineup, which is a good step towards a healthier lifestyle even for non – vegans. 

In my concluding remark, not all Pringles products are vegan, but there’s a brighter side, and that is, the ever-portable Pringles has vegan-friendly product offerings in their lineup too. I do hope they continue to introduce such more products in the future.

After reading this, what I can vouch for you right now is that the next time you walk into a grocery store to pick up your delicious Pringles, you can be sure what to look for without hovering around and creating a scene for yourself. And that’s all, folks.

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