Becoming a vegan or adopting a more plant-based diet is an admirable decision for the planet, animals, and your own health. However, it can be a difficult task trying to determine whether some foods are vegan or not.
One of the biggest issues that can be faced by vegans, especially those new to plant-based diets, is what versions of food products are suitable for vegan diets.
Potato chips are one of the most confusing food items to work out whether they are vegan or not.
Which Pringles Flavors Are Vegan?
As we mentioned above, some potato chip flavors are naturally vegan and some are not. This is particularly true with Pringles potato chips.
While it is understandable that not all Pringles flavors are going to be vegan friendly, the main issue that many vegans have with Pringles is the fact that they regularly change their recipe and ingredients.
This can mean, as in the case of the BBQ flavor, that a type of Pringle that was once vegan, suddenly no longer is.
The worst part is that Pringles often don’t make a big announcement about this, so vegans really have to be on their guard with these chips.
To make it a little bit easier for you, we have put together a list of the Pringles flavors that are currently vegan. The best thing is that most of these flavors are likely to remain vegan too.
1. Original Flavor
Let’s begin with the star of the Pringles range, the original flavor. Not only are these one of the most moreish flavors that Pringles make, but they are also entirely vegan.
Although this is more by accident than design, it’s always good when a potato chip is suitable for vegans.
The Original Pringles flavor was the first one to exist way back in 1968 and was vegan-friendly even then.
The recipe for making the original flavor of Pringles hasn’t really changed much over the years and remains very simple today.
The ingredients that are labeled on the tube for the original Pringles state the following things are used to make this delicious snack.
Dried potatoes are the main ingredient with vegetable oil which can include sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or cottonseed oil. These are the ingredients that are used in the highest volume.
Additional ingredients are wheat starch, rice flour, and salt. These are the ingredients that give Pringles their unique texture and flavor.
The final two ingredients listed are dextrose and maltodextrin. Both of these ingredients are used to help improve the texture of the chip.
2. Lightly Salted Flavor
One of the main differences between the original Pringle and the lightly salted original flavor Pringle is the amount of salt that is used.
However, there are also a couple of extra ingredients that have been added to the list.
These lightly salted Pringles are a great option if you are trying to be more healthy and reduce the amount of salt that you consume in your diet.
Rather than cutting out treats like Pringles altogether, you can simply swap to this version as they are still vegan.
Like all Pringle’s recipes, the lightly salted version still contains dried potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. However, the salt content is obviously lower than other varieties.
The chips also contain corn starch, rice flour, and wheat starch. Maltodextrin and degerminated yellow corn starch are also used to help improve the texture of the chips.
These chips also contain mono- and diglycerides which help to preserve the chips in the tube and keep all of the ingredients mixed together for an extended period of time.
3. Reduced Fat Original Flavor
Again, because this is an original flavor Pringle, the ingredients list is very similar to the ones described above.
In fact, the only real difference between the recipes is that the reduced fat Pringles will contain the same amount of salt as the original Pringles but 25% less fat than both the original and the low sodium versions.
Because most of the flavor of these Pringles comes from the salt that is added, the reduced fat Pringles do not taste that different from the original version.
Because the fat in these Pringles has been reduced, mainly through using less oil in the recipe, the texture of the chips might be slightly different from the others in the range.
The ingredients of these Pringles are the same as the reduced salt version.
Therefore, they include dried potatoes, vegetable oil (although in a lower quantity than others), salt, corn starch, rice flour, wheat starch, maltodextrin, degerminated yellow corn starch, and mono- and diglycerides.
4. Sriracha Asian Chili Sauce Flavor
One of the more surprising additions to the list of vegan-friendly Pringles is the sriracha Asian chili sauce flavor Pringles.
There is nothing in the name of these Pringles to suggest that they wouldn’t be vegan, after all, sriracha is often a naturally vegan sauce.
However, that doesn’t always guarantee that the Pringles version will be suitable for vegans, the salt and vinegar ones aren’t.
In addition to the ingredients that make up the original flavor of Pringles, the sriracha Asian chili sauce flavor includes MSG, citric acid, chili pepper, paprika extract, and apple cider vinegar.
Another ingredient is hot sauce which contains red peppers, vinegar, garlic, and salt. There is also some Red 40 to help add a little bit extra color to make them look spicy.
These Pringles also contain disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate which are both flavor enhancers that help to get the most out of the other ingredients in the recipe.
5. Wasabi And Soy Sauce Flavor
Another more flavorful Pringles variety that is accidentally vegan is the wasabi and soy sauce flavor.
Again, there is nothing in the name of this flavor to suggest that it wouldn’t be vegan-friendly, however, with Pringles you can never be too careful as they are not 100% a vegan-friendly company.
In addition to all of the ingredients that are used in the original flavor of Pringles that have been listed above, there are a few others that help make the delicious wasabi and soy sauce flavor.
The additional ingredients in this flavor include garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, dried horseradish, and vinegar. These all help to give the chips an authentic and tangy flavor.
There are also two main colorings used called Blue1 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake. Both of these food colorings are suitable for vegans because they are not made from animal products or animal byproducts.
If you are an ethical vegan, however, you may want to avoid these chips as sometimes Yellow 5 Lake can be tested on animals.
6. Salsa De Chile Habanero Flavor
Salsa de Chile habanero flavor Pringles are another variety that features a lot of flavors and additional ingredients yet remains vegan-friendly.
Again, it is worth pointing out that the fact that a Pringles flavor doesn’t sound like it would contain animal products doesn’t mean that it won’t.
Thankfully, this delicious flavor is another accidentally vegan delight that you are free to indulge in whenever you like.
The additional flavors used to create this flavor include a lot of added colorings such as Red 40, Yellow 6 Lake, and caramel colors.
All of these colors are made without any animal products or byproducts and therefore are considered to be vegan.
Although, it is worth noting that sometimes, yellow food coloring can be tested on animals. So, if you are an ethical vegan you may want to avoid these Pringles.
The other additional ingredients include paprika extra, mustard extract, tomato powder, spices, habanero pepper, and other spice extracts.
7. Kickin’ Chicken Taco Flavor
This is one of the most interesting flavors that has made it onto this list of vegan Pringles varieties.
Despite the flavor being called kickin’ chicken taco, there are no animal products or byproducts used to make this potato chip.
This is great news for vegans who miss the flavors of some of their old favorite dishes.
You can still get a taste of them without having to compromise your morals or your diet. This used to also be the case for the BBQ Pringles until they changed the recipe.
It is important to note that because Pringles have a tendency to alter their recipes and make them not suitable for vegans, you should always check the ingredients before buying them.
The kickin’ chicken taco Pringles contain all of the same ingredients as the original recipe with the addition of some flavorings and colorings.
These include paprika extract for color, tomato powder, spices, sugar, and onion powder.
8. Wavy Original Flavor
Although it may seem that the fact that a potato chip is wavy or ridged rather than flat shouldn’t affect whether it is vegan, that isn’t always the case.
There are slight differences in the ingredients that are used to make these potato chips compared to the regular original Pringles.
Part of the reason why there are extra ingredients in the wavy version of the original Pringle is to add some extra color to the chip.
Many Pringles in the range are very pale because no color is added. It can be an easy but effective change to add some color to a chip to entice consumers.
The ingredient label for the wavy original flavor Pringles has the following ingredients listed.
Dried potatoes and vegetable oil make up the majority of the recipe. Corn starch, wheat starch, rice flour, and salt are all used just like in the original recipe as well as maltodextrin.
The additions to the ingredients list are degerminated yellow corn flour which can add more yellow color to the chips and contains a surprising amount of health benefits including providing energy and lowering cholesterol.
Finally, these pringles contain mono- and diglycerides which are emulsifiers. Their role is to prevent the oil from separating and extending the shelf life of the chips.
Why Are Some Meat Flavor Pringles Vegan?
One of the most pressing questions that many vegans have is the legitimacy of meat flavor Pringles, or any potato chip, being truly vegan.
Understandably, this doesn’t make a lot of sense in our heads, surely you need to use animal products to make something taste like meat.
Luckily, thanks to science, there actually isn’t any need to include any animal products in something that is meat flavored.
This is because the flavorings that are used can be artificial. While many people try to avoid eating any artificial flavorings or colorings because they believe that they are bad for them, this isn’t always the case.
With science moving forward in the leaps and bounds that it currently is, we can create almost any flavor by mixing the right natural chemicals together.
This means that it is perfectly possible and safe to create meat-flavored potato chips that are entirely vegan.
However, as we have mentioned above a few times, not all Pringles products are vegan, and just because a meat flavor Pringle variety is vegan now doesn’t mean it always will be.
Pringles don’t seem to make a big announcement when they are changing their recipes regardless of whether it affects whether the product remains suitable for vegans. It is always best to check the ingredients label before purchasing.
Why Are Some Pringle Flavors Not Vegan?
While it is understandable that not all Pringles flavors will be vegan, especially the ones with meat in their name, there are some flavors that are surprisingly not vegan.
One such surprise is that the salt and vinegar pringles are not vegan despite both salt and vinegar being vegan ingredients.
The thing that makes flavors such as salt and vinegar not suitable for vegans is the fact that whey is added to the recipe. Whey is the liquid that is left after cow’s milk has been curdled and is not vegan.
The most common reason why whey and other milk products are more commonly being added to potato chips is that it is a replacement for MSG.
Many food manufacturers are moving away from using MSG in their products because consumers are trying to avoid it.
Unfortunately, they are replacing it with whey and milk powder to help retain the texture and flavor of their product. This means that more and more potato chips are becoming non-vegan.
It is important to check the labels on potato chips before eating or purchasing them to ensure that they are still vegan.
Vegan Additives And Colorings
Another area that can be a concern for vegans is whether the additives and colorings that are added to the potato chips are vegan or not.
To help avoid a lot of Googling on your part, below are some of the most common additives and colorings used in Pringles potato chips to help you get a clearer understanding.
It is common for people to wonder whether liquid smoke is vegan or not due to the fact that it is most commonly used with meat-flavored products such as BBQ flavor or Steak flavor chips to give an authentic taste.
However, just because something is used with meat-flavored products does not mean that it isn’t vegan.
Liquid smoke is essentially what it says it is. It is made 100% from smoke that has been contained and condensed to make a concentrated liquid that smells and tastes like smoke.
The smoke is generated by burning wood chips and sawdust, no animals or animal products are involved.
Red 40 can be a confusing color that is added to some of the vegan Pringles flavors. The most confusing thing about Red 40 that can put vegans off is that it is easily confused with Red 4.
Although the color of these products is very similar, they are made in vastly different ways.
Red 4 is made from beetles which makes it ardently not suitable for vegans. Red 4 should be avoided by anyone on a vegan diet.
However, Red 40, the one used in some Pringles, is derived from petroleum and therefore, is vegan-friendly.
Caramel color is another additive that makes vegans think twice about the legitimacy of a supposedly vegan product.
Although caramel is a non-vegan-friendly candy, the coloring is made without using lactose which caramel candy is often made with. The caramel color is vegan-safe.
Yellow 5 & 6 Lake
As we mentioned above, the colorings Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake are both vegan-friendly in terms of their ingredients.
However, they can sometimes be tested on animals which makes them not suitable for ethical vegans.
A surprising amount of Pringles are suitable for vegans. This is likely through accident rather than design. Enjoy your vegan-friendly potato chip snacks and keep an eye out for sneaky changes to Pringles recipes.