One common misconception about vegans is that their diets are basically the same as rabbits. And, that there are no crave-worthy snack foods that are vegan.
Okay, sure – vegans do tend to eat tons of leafy greens and typically maintain a nutrient-dense food regime, but you’d be surprised how many snack foods (and junk foods, for that matter) are accidentally vegan. Eating a vegan diet does not necessarily mean you are eating healthily. There are plenty of fun vegan friendly snack foods that can ruin a diet if consumed on a regular basis.
If you browse through the store, you’d be surprised at how many snacks that are in fact animal-product free. The main reason for this is that many foods are deemed to be ‘accidentally vegan’, This means that they haven’t been made for the vegan consumer, but can now be marketed to vegans due to containing all animal-free ingredients.
It’s best to be aware though that ingredients do vary by region, so make sure to read packaging before you buy to make sure you’re getting the real deal. Nowadays it should be pretty clear whether or not the snack or junk food is vegan friendly.
Now more than ever, it is easy to find vegan movie snacks, holiday themed treats and tasty vegan junk food. It is normal to have lots of questions.
Are Kind Bars vegan? Are rice cakes vegan? There can be confusion around the parameters of vegan friendly snacks. Are pita chips vegan? It is important for you to know how to take advantage of these delicious opportunities.
If you’re vegan and craving something sweet, salty, crunchy, or greasy that you’d find at any old convenience store, we’ve got the ultimate list of snack foods for you. In no time at all, you can be enjoying sweet delights and salty treats that you might be surprised are vegan friendly.
Yep, that’s right.
You won’t even have to make a trip to Whole Foods to satisfy your vegan snack cravings.
Bring on the “vegan junk food”.
18 Vegan-Friendly Snack Foods You Can Find Pretty Much Anywhere
Luckily for the vegans of the world, a number of popular snack brands have produced foods that are actually vegan-approved. Hoorah! Now it is time to dive into them and start exploring.
The thing to keep in mind is that these snacks may or may not actually be marketed as vegan, even though they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. You’ll probably have to do a bit of hunting online and at your local store to find vegan snacks. But it is definitely worth doing as there are many snacks that have flavors unique to vegan foods.
If you’re nervous about shopping for snacks and other processed foods as a vegan – we get it. There certainly can be some gray areas as to whether or not particular snack foods are vegan (like the infamous “Are Oreos vegan?” debate, which is a bit more complicated than you may have been led to believe. Nevertheless, we’re going to look closer at this topic within this blog.
We’ve found a number of snack foods (both healthy and not-so-healthy) that actually adhere to vegan standards. Hopefully some of these snacks will make their way into your weekly vegan diet.
That’s right – these super-addicting Ritz crackers your mom fed you as a kid when you had the stomach flu are also appropriate for vegans. They’re the perfect option if you want something flaky, salty and a little butter-y (without the actual butter).
They are a simple snack that work well in combination with some vegan cheese. Their flaky and crumbly goodness are definitely worth trying if for some reason you have managed to go your whole life without eating a Ritz cracker.
Even as a vegan you can find something to munch on at the movie theatre. Sour Patch Kids don’t contain gelatin like other gummy candies, so you can eat as many as you like until your tongue goes numb!
They are the perfect vegan movie snack because they combine the joy of childhood memories and the delicious sourness you need in your diet every now and again.
What? We had to put some healthy vegan snack foods on this list too!
But honestly, these vegetable chips are just as tasty as traditional potato chips and perfect for when you have the munchies but don’t want to feel terrible about yourself. They’re also one of the best healthy vegan snacks on the go – whether you’re off to work, out with friends or on a day trip.
Terra Real Vegetable Chips come in numerous varieties, most of which are vegan-friendly (and thank goodness too – because you’ll probably eat an entire bag in one sitting).
We recommend trying the original flavor first which combines a lovely blend of yuca, sweet potato, parsnip, taro and batata chips. They are certainly one of the best snacks for you to indulge in without feeling terrible.
4. Thin Mints
Yep, the holy grail of all Girl Scout cookies are officially vegan.
We won’t judge you if you buy out all the Thin Mints from your neighborhood girl scout. After all, they freeze really well – so you can always save some for later.
The “crispy chocolate wafers dipped in a mint chocolate coating” are a classic treat. Thin Mints are also a great option if you have kids who want to eat some vegan friendly snacks. They are tasty fun for all the family!
Who knew it would be so easy to get vegan chips for a party? These classic potato chips are not only vegan-approved, but also salty, crunchy, and a crowd-pleaser. They are ideal for a party and also nice if you want a salty and flavorsome treat during the day.
And, if you’re feeling adventurous flavor-wise, these Lay’s Potato Chips varieties are also suitable for vegans:
- Deli Style
- Dill Pickle
- Lightly Salted
- Lightly Salted Barbecue
- Salt and Vinegar
- Kettle Cooked Original
- Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
There are a wide variety of flavors that are suitable for vegans so there is always the option to switch it up if you get bored of the classic flavor.
6. Clif Bars
Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of Clif Bar flavors are accidentally vegan – perfect for eating before or after a workout as they’re one of the most popular high protein vegan snacks. It is always nice to find out that one of your favorite treats is accidentally vegan!
There are no actual animal products in the ingredients, but the company does want you to know that some bars may have trace amounts of dairy products from their production facilities. This may be an important factor for some stricter vegans.
For some vegans, this isn’t such a big deal. But we understand that some of you may take issue with this and we wouldn’t want to lead you astray. Thankfully there are many other popular vegan friendly snack foods from which you can choose.
We all grew up knowing that SunChips were considered the healthier chip option. Well, turns out that the original flavor was vegan all along!
SunChips “contain 30% less fat than regular potato chips”. They are a convenient healthy chip alternative that are very moreish. They are made with whole grains to support heart health.
SunChips also believe that if you choose to indulge in their treats you will experience waves of sun-toasted taste with all of the goodness of multigrains. It is a no-brainer for vegans who also want to stay healthy when snacking.
We also cried tears of joy when we found out these creamy, crunchy, delicious peanut-butter sandwich cookies qualify as a sweet vegan snack. We also ran to the grocery store and picked up the biggest case of Nutter Butter Cookies we could (just like you probably will).
With their smooth peanut butter filling “The Nutter Butter is the peanut butter lovers cookie, combining sweet and savory flavors for a satisfying treat”.
Thankfully, when you are looking for vegan snacks at Target you can rest easy in the knowledge that, despite having ‘butter’ in the name, Nutter Butter Cookies are vegan friendly.
These semi-healthy snacks that many of us got in our lunch boxes throughout our school years are also vegan!
If you’ve got a long day of work or plan on spending a good chunk of the day studying at the library, grab one of these Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bar flavors: Apple Crisp, Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar, Peanut Butter, Pecan Crunch, or Roasted Almond varieties.
They’ll surely keep your tummy full while you’re hard at work. Be careful if you are eating them at your desk because they can be quite crumbly and may cause a mess! There is nothing artificial or non-vegan friendly about them. They are ideal for the hungry vegan!
If you’re looking for a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth and your childhood nostalgia, Smarties are the perfect choice.
Turns out, these chalky, pastel candies are vegan-approved and (thank god) you can buy a 5-pound bag of them on Amazon to have on-hand for “emergencies.”
For some people a whole bag may last all year but for others the Smarties may be finished within a couple weeks. They are small treats that are deceptively filling and they also happen to be extremely vegan friendly!
Most of Doritos brand tortilla chips are not vegan-friendly snacks. But there is a loophole: the Spicy Sweet Chili flavor. Nowadays food brands know it is important to cater for many different dietary requirements. And Doritos have made a delicious vegan friendly bag of sweet and spicy treats just for you!
So if you’re looking for a vegan snack that’s sweet, savory AND spicy – these are your best bet. Plus, you can probably find them at any gas station or corner store. They are highly addictive so we advise a certain level of moderation when it comes to chowing down.
No one knows why Nabisco Original Graham Crackers are so addicting. Once you start eating one, you just can’t seem to stop! They are the ideal treat for traveling with and they taste pretty good when you are relaxing at home too.
While the source of these crackers’ deliciousness seems to be a mystery, there’s one thing that’s certain: these subtly sweet, crunchy snacks are vegan.
They are delicious “when paired with fruit and spreads” and they also work well when crumbled over vegan ice cream. Thankfully nothing that makes them sweet or crunchy is meat or dairy based. So feel free to binge!
As far as we know only the Nabisco brand grahams are vegan, so double check the ingredient label before you buy another brand.
13. Kettle Brand Potato Chips – Multiple Varieties
If Lay’s potato chips aren’t really your thing, you can still have your potato chips and be vegan too.
The majority of Kettle Brand potato chips are vegan-friendly, and their flavors are a little more exciting than other potato chip brands (in our opinion). Here are all the flavors you can munch on as a vegan:
- Backyard Barbecue
- Maple Bacon (there’s no actual bacon!)
- Red Curry
- Roasted Garlic
- Sea Salt
- Sea Salt & Vinegar
- Spicy Thai
Check their potato chips flavors here. The incredible variety is pleasing to see as a vegan because options are usually quite limited. But Kettle Brand Potato Chips allow you to choose from Backyard Barbecue, Red Curry and Sriracha so that you can snack to your heart’s content.
14. Swedish Fish
Turns out the most popular fish-shaped candy in the world is also vegan-approved. These fun little snacks are sweet, chewy gummies that you can pick up at a number of stores and vending machines.
For the most part, vegans can safely buy a package of Swedish Fish without fear. However, there have been instances of people getting packages of Swedish Fish that contain beeswax. We aren’t sure why, but just be sure to read the label before you commit to buying. It always pays to stay informed when it comes to your eating habits.
These rolled-up, deep-fried tortilla chips from Mexican company Barcel have become a cult favorite in the world of snack fanatics.
Are Takis vegan-friendly?
Well, we have good news: a few of the Takis flavors are accidentally vegan.
Takis Fuego: vegan! And Takis Nitro flavor is also vegan-friendly. It’s rumored that the Takis Salsa Brava and Zombie flavors are also suitable for plant-eaters. Just be sure to buy one of these varieties or read the ingredients very closely on the package (some Takis flavors contain animal ingredients like casein and cheese). So make sure to be vigilant when enjoying your Takis.
But for those of you who love munching on something spicy and crunchy, Takis are the perfect vegan snack food to satisfy those cravings. They are the quintessential mexican snack and now you can enjoy them for all their spicy vegan goodness.
Now, this is one of the foods on the list I just cannot believe to be vegan – OREOS?! Wouldn’t it be great if it were true?! Now, there was recently a debate about whether or not these biscuits were suitable for vegans.
In an FAQ on the manufacturer’s website, a question states: “Is Oreo suitable for Vegans?” with the answer: “No, Oreo have milk as cross-contact and therefore are not suitable for vegans.”
Okay, so don’t panic. This only means that the biscuit may have come in contact with milk somewhere along the production line. It doesn’t mean there’s milk contained within each biscuit, so technically, you have nothing to worry about. You can eat all the Oreos you like without feeling guilty.
The back of a package of Oreos lists the following as ingredients: sugar, unbleached enriched flour, high oleic canola and/or palm and/or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate. So if you are particularly strict you may want to do some further research into the Oreos production process and ingredients.
Candy is a snack we just love to indulge in at the end of a long hard day, so you vegans will be delighted to know that Twizzlers are suitable for you! No animal products whatsoever are used in the process of making them.
However, just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean they’re healthy, we’re sorry to say.
You’ll find a whole host of ‘naughty’ ingredients including sugar, palm oil, trans fats and you guessed it…artificial colorings contained within them. But who cares? They taste good, they’re 100% vegan and there’s nothing wrong in treating yourself once in a while, right?
Now, it’s not technically a snack, but Monster Energy Drink gets you through those long, hard days when you need an energy boost. What’s more…the drink has been deemed suitable for vegans.
Although it contains no animal byproducts, it hasn’t actually been vegan-certified. So, how can we trust it? Well, PETA lists Monster as one of their 5 energy drinks you can trust as completely vegan. So, if you’ve been drinking Monster lately, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
You may be wondering why they don’t advertise it as such – the main reason is, that veganism isn’t really considered ‘important’ by their brand’s target audience and they don’t feel the need to shout about it. You could say it’s one of the brand’s best-kept secrets.
Consider Your Vegan Snack Cravings Fulfilled
There’s no need to go out of your way to go to a natural foods store every time you want a snack. Plenty of snack foods that are sold at typical big box grocery stores or your local gas station are vegan-approved.
Whether it’s a healthy snack, sweet snack, savory snack, or just straight up junk food that you’re craving, chances are high that you’ll find something free from animal ingredients. Indeed some of the most popular snacks in the world have accidentally been vegan friendly all along!
To recap, here’s the 15 vegan-approved snack foods you can start enjoying today:
- Ritz Crackers
- Sour Patch Kids
- Terra Real Vegetable Chips
- Thin Mints
- Lay’s Classic Potato Chips
- Clif Bars
- SunChips Original
- Nabisco Nutter Butter Cookies
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars
- Doritos Sweet Spicy Chili
- Nabisco Original Grahams
- Kettle Brand Potato Chips – Multiple Varieties
- Swedish Fish
- Monster Energy Drink
Heck, this is only a list of 15 popular snack foods that are actually vegan — it doesn’t even begin to cover all of the snacks out there that are free from animal ingredients. It may just take a little more time and research to find out which of your favorite products are vegan, but you’ll probably be very surprised at how much you’re able to eat.
Granted, just because a processed snack food is vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you, and following a vegan diet doesn’t automatically make you a healthy eater. So keep in mind that many of the vegan snack foods on this list should be eaten in moderation.
But hey – even vegans are allowed to indulge every now and then!
Alongside these popular snack foods there are also plenty of vegan specific snacks that have not been included. You may feel that you want to support the vegan industry by choosing some of these in the future.
It is a good idea to balance some of the unhealthy snacks with some healthier options so that you can enjoy your treats without feeling bad.
What’s your favorite vegan snack food? We’d love to add more to our list!
Tell us what you’re eating in the comments below!