In this article, we will be looking at the popular chips Pringles and will try to figure out whether they are suitable for a vegan lifestyle or not? First, we will discuss what we know about the ingredients in Pringles and its different flavors. By the end, we will find out… Are Pringles vegan?
Pringles are they Vegan or not?
Yes and no. It depends on the ingredients and of course it does vary with each variety.
Original Pringles are the base for all of the different flavours and luckily they are suitable for vegans.
Some flavors of pringles are vegan as they only contain potato, vegetable oil, rice flour, and salt. However, not all pringles are vegan as some flavors may have animal products such as eggs and dairy in their ingredients list.
Original Pringles contain:
- Potatoes which have been dehydrated
- Vegetable Oils specifically sunflower & corn oils
- Flour, rice and corn
- Wheat Starch
- Emulsifier (E471), *see later note.
One ingredient that we are thankful for not being included is palm oil, this is becoming more and more apparent in vegan snacks – one that should be avoided where possible.
The Snacking Industry
The snack market in the UK is a £3.3 billion per annum industry. The manufacturers want you to eat them, therefore they will bit many a spin on why we should eat them. It’s so convenient. So much so that over 62% of the humble spud produced in the UK goes to manufacturing our much loved snacks. Sales of crisps surged 20% in the UK during the first period of lockdown.
Pringles however are not made in the UK. So if thinking about climate change and the impact on the global economy is something that concerns you – this could be something you may want to consider before you start popping those tasty Vegan Pringles – but more of that later.
Which Pringles are Vegan?
- Pringles Original
- Pringles Wavy Classic Salted
- Pringles Reduced Fat Original
- Pringles Lightly Salted Original
- Pringles Snack Stacks Original
- Pringles Grab&Go Original
Vegan Pringles in the UK
There are only 5 varieties currently available in the UK which are suitable for a vegan diet.
- Pringles Original
- Pringles Paprika
- Pringles Smokey Bacon
- Pringles Thai Sweet Chilli
- Pringles BBQ Sauce
Pringle flavors that are not considered Vegan
- Pringles Sour Cream and Onion
- Pringles Cheese and Onion
- Pringles Cheesy Cheese
- Pringles Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream
- Pringles Sea Salt and Vinegar
We could not believe that Pringles Salt and Vinegar were not Vegan!
Salt and Vinegar Pringles contain similar ingredients to Original:
- Salt and Vinegar Seasoning
- Lactose – Milk!
- Monsodium Glutamate E621
Unsurprisingly all of the cream and cheese varieties are non vegan!
As are the meaty and fishy ones:
- Pringles Prawn Cocktail
- Pringles Salt and vinegar
- Pringles BBQ Sausage & Onion Flavour
- Pringles Chicken Salt Flavour
- Pringles Steak
- Pringles Roast Chicken & Herbs
- And surprisingly Pringles Hot & Spicy are also not considered to be vegan…
What ingredients are in Pringles?
● Dehydrated Potatoes
● Vegetable Oils
● Rice and corn flour
● Wheat Starch
● Emulsifier (E471)
● Maltodextrin (A plant based sweetener. Has a similar amount of calories as sugar)
● Yeast Extract and powder
● Colour (Annatto)
A note on emulsifier (E471)
Emulsifiers especially E471 are used to form an emulsion of fat and water. This means that it prevents the fats from separating from the water especially in products such as cake icing or ice cream.The Vegan Society generally has a negative view on this E number. Even though it is mainly from plant origin animal fats can/may be used.
A note on maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is a processed carbohydrate that is derived from corn, rice, potato, or wheat. It provides a low-calorie alternative to sugar and can be found in many foods such as cereal bars and ice cream.
A note on yeast extract and powder
Yeast extract is a by-product of the beer brewing process. It is a dark brown liquid that has a strong, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor. Yeast extracts are used in cooking to add depth to meat dishes and sauces or as an addition to pickles or spreads.
In addition to adding flavor, yeast extract can also be used in place of salt in some instances because it helps retain moisture in food while also adding umami flavors that we typically associate with soy sauce or mushrooms.
Do Pringles contain palm oil?
Pringles do not contain palm oil. Since 2014, Pringles have stopped using palm oil and has switched to using a blend of high oleic sunflower oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil 🙂
Ingredients that Vegans need to be mindful of:
If you are a strict vegan, and have decided to be vegan based on your views around animal well fare and climate, then there will be more ingredients that you will want to be aware of. Some of which can be found in Pringles – which may mean that you want to avoid this popular snack altogether.
● Mono – and diglycerides
● Buttermilk Milk Cream
A note on mono – and diglycerides
Mono – and diglycerides are food additives. They can occur naturally in some foods, but these additives are also used industrially to improve the texture of processed foods.
Diglycerides are made by combining glycerin with fatty acids like soybean oil. Mono – and diglycerides are used to form fats that are solid at room temperature, sometimes using hydrogenated oils.
This is done because it is easier to preserve fats when they’re solid, rather than liquid. They then act as stabilizers in processed food products, or they can be added for flavor or texture purposes.
A note on whey
Whey is the natural byproduct of making cheese. It has many uses in the food industry. One is as a component of yogurt. Which helps to create a creamy texture.
Whey is also used as an ingredient in bread, it provides elasticity and moisture. And when it’s used to make candy or chocolate, it gives them a sweeter flavor and softer texture.
A note on lactose
Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products that are broken down into simple sugars by an enzyme called lactase.
Lactose intolerance can be uncomfortable and it occurs when the body is unable to produce enough lactase to break down the amount of lactose in the digestive system. This leads to symptoms such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea, and gas.
What is liquid smoke?
Liquid smoke is a condiment that has the flavor and aroma of wood smoke, but without burning or smoldering. It is a liquid that contains a mixture of water, natural wood extractives, and emulsifiers.
This is used to get the smoked flavour in the Smokey Bacon variety. Sawdust and wood are burnt over a high heat. The smoke Is allowed to condense and voila-there’s their liquid smoke. Definitely vegan.
Is Caramel color vegan?
Yes, the Caramel color is vegan.
In the process of making caramel, sugar is heated with water until it dissolves and then boiled to the desired color. This process does not use any animal products except for sugar.
Are BBQ Pringles Vegan?
No BBQ Pringles are not vegan. It has been noted that one of the key ingredients is whey which is generally derived from milk.
This means that BBQ-flavored Pringles do not qualify to be called a vegan snack.
Are Sour Cream and Onion Pringles Vegan?
No, because it contains buttermilk cream. However, vegetarians can eat this since this product does not involve any meat.
But since for vegans anything that is derived from animals including dairy is a no-go, this product does not count as a vegan snack.
Are Salt and Vinegar Pringles Vegan?
No, it is not because this flavor contains lactose which is a type of sugar derived from milk.
Other Pringle Products
Not wishing to let competitors gain some of Pringles market share there are new products constantly being developed:
The tortilla chips are in competition with Doritos who have rather cheekily released a new style of packaging. Doritos are another tasty crisp that we have also written an informative article about click here to find out more Are Doritos Vegan?
A triangular “tube”. It is so, so similar to the Pringles packaging but different. How cunning!
● Pringles Rice – not vegan
● Pringles Xtra – not vegan
● Pringles Tortilla (only original flavor vegan)
Pringles Tortilla Chips
- Original Pringles Tortilla Chips (Like the Pringles Original, these are vegan.)
The other 3 flavours of Pringles Tortilla Chips are not.
- Pringles Tortilla Chips Nacho Cheese
- Pringles Tortilla Chips Spicy Chilli
- Pringles Tortilla Chips Sour Cream
Pringles Rice Fusion – Non Vegan
- Red Curry
- Peking Duck
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Japanese BBQ Teriyaki
Pringles Sizzl’n– Non Vegan
Unfortunately these are also no good for Vegans either.
- Kickn Sour Cream
- Spicy BBQ
- Extra Hot Cheese n Chilli
- With all of these flavours, milk is the culprit.
What Pringles flavors are Vegan?
● Pringles Original
● Pringles Lightly Salted Original
● Pringles Reduced Fat Original
● Pringles Wavy Classic Salted
● Pringles Grab&Go Original
● Pringles Snack Stacks Original
Can Vegans eat Pringles?
Vegans can only eat certain flavors of Pringles for example the Pringles original and classic salted. This is due to Pringles not ensuring that all flavors of Pringles are dairy and egg-free but this means that they are suitable for vegetarians.
Is there dairy in Pringles?
Yes, many pringles have dairy in them, so it is best to read the labels before buying them.
What chips are Vegan?
Luckily there are a huge number of alternative chips, crisps and savoury snacks in the UK and the US for those of us who are looking to cut back on animal products or cut them out altogether:
● Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
● Popchips Sea Salt Potato
● Enjoy Life Plentils
● Indian Life Chips
● Original Salsitas Spicy Salsa Flavored Tortilla Rounds
● Fritos Original Corn Chips
● Flamin’ Hot Munchos Potato Crisps
● Tangy Buffalo Wing Pringles
● 7-eleven Select Go! Smart Sriracha Corn Tortilla Chips
● Zapp’s Voodoo Potato Chips
● 7-eleven Select Wasabi Soy Flavored Potato Chips
● Popchips Sweet Potato
● Santitas Totopos De Maíz Tortilla Chips
● Sun Chips Original
● Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Canyon Cut Jalapeño Chips
● Chile & Lime Flavored Sabritones Puffed Wheat Snacks
● Earth Balance Vegan Sour Cream & Onion Kettle Chips
● Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Kettle Chips
● Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
● Kettle Brand Maple Bacon Potato Chips
● Ruffles All Dressed
Recycling your Vegan Pringles
Pringles cans are a mix of metal and card, plus the plastic top. Kellogg’s (the owner of the Pringles brand) are making an effort to make the packaging greener. They have an arrangement with TerraCycle.
This arrangement involves posting the cans via freepost. It’s a bit of a faff and I wonder how many people would actually do this. Or even be aware of the recycling opportunity.
Kellogg’s say that they are committed to having all of their packaging recyclable by 2025.
If you like us enjoy finding out about ethical companies than you should check out some of our latest articles on bamboo and it’s sustainability Is Bamboo Sustainable and Eco Friendly? as well as our posts on Ethical Clothing Manufacturers and Ethical Swimwear.
Pringles Global Footprint
There are many crisp type snacks made in the UK. Most containing a higher potato content than Pringles. Pringles are less than 50% potato, and that’s potato in a dehydrated form. They are however highly processed. But if it’s a Pringle for you, be aware that they are only manufactured in 5 factories worldwide:
- Jackson, Tennessee USA
- Mechelen, Belgium
- Johor, Malaysia
- Kutno, Poland
- Fujian, China
Summary … So are Pringles Vegan Friendly?
Only the Original, Lightly Salted Original, Wavy Classic Salted, Pringles Grab&Go Original, Reduced Fat Original Pringles flavors, and Pringles Snack Stacks Original are vegan.
There are so many other potato (and maize, rice etc) based snacks available. The crisp being the most obvious. But the texture and convenience of a Pringle is pretty unique. You certainly have a good idea if they’re broken, unlike in a crisp packet. They are resealable unless you are one who “once you pop you can’t stop”, in which case it doesn’t really matter. So if you want to Pop a can (that’s what they call it, on their website, not a tube), of Pringles then you have a choice of six. Original, Smokey Bacon, Paprika, Thai Sweet Chilli, BBQ Sauce and Original Tortilla.
So, if the Pringles can you are thinking about eating has “salted or “original” in the name, then it is likely to be vegan friendly however it is always recommended to read the labels before purchasing.
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