There’s no greater feeling than the moment of joy when you realise one of your favourite snacks is accidentally vegan.
Not having to give up regular supermarket buys or find alternative versions of your classic teatime treats makes transitioning to a vegan diet even easier.
As a vegan biscuit-fiend myself, I hoard and scoff my way through packets of accidentally vegan treats with a cup of tea.
But are all Oreos certified vegan? And if they are, can they be enjoyed as part of an ethical vegan diet?
In this article, you will learn about:
- Are Oreos vegan?
- Oreo ingredients
- Why does Oreo say Oreos are vegetarian but not vegan?
- Are Oreos gluten-free?
- Oreos and palm-oil
- Vegan Oreo alternatives
- How to make vegan Oreos
Are Oreos vegan?
Yes! In short, the vast majority of Oreos available to purchase in the UK are accidentally vegan and do not contain any animal ingredients (not even milk!).
These include: Classic Oreos, Golden Oreos, Double Stuff, and Chocolate Cream Oreos.
The only Oreos which are not suitable for vegans are the Peanut Butter flavoured biscuits which contain milk.
If you’re buying Oreos in another country you’ll want to check the ingredients list, as other countries may have different manufacturing procedures. For example, in the US Oreos are made from sugar filtered with bone char.
Here are the current ingredients for the Original Oreo as available in the UK according to Oreo’s website:
Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm), Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder 4.6%, Wheat Starch, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Salt, Raising Agents (Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate, Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, Ammonium Hydrogen Carbonate), Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, Sunflower Lecithin), Flavouring (Vanillin).
Please note that manufacturers may change the recipe of their products so make sure you double-check the label before purchasing.
Why does Oreo say Oreos are vegetarian but not vegan?
Unlike the cookies themselves, the debate on whether Oreos are vegan is anything but black and white.
Despite many Oreos being free from animal products, the biscuits are only listed as vegetarian on the official Oreo website.
According to the Oreo website: “No, OREO have milk as cross contact and therefore they are not suitable for vegans.”
This means that whilst the majority of cookies might be accidentally plant-based, the manufacturers do not have the procedures in place to be able to confidently claim that their products are vegan.
This is due to the possibility of milk cross-contamination arising from dairy products that are used within the factory.
Therefore, the manufacturers have to advise that traces of dairy may be found in Oreos.
However, this is more of a legal requirement to ensure those allergic to milk are fully informed before choosing to buy an Oreo.
Due to cross-contamination issues, some vegans will choose to avoid eating products such as Oreos which may contain trace amounts of dairy.
However, many vegan products also feature a ‘may contain’ label, due to factory conditions so it is down to personal choice for many vegans whether they choose to eat products carrying this warning.
Vegan charity Viva! says: “They [accidentally-vegan products] make it much easier to not only find vegan snacks and treats, but to enjoy them with family and friends.
“So, although it is your choice whether to eat products with ‘may contain’ warnings, we would encourage new and transitioning vegans not to be too hard on themselves, as it is unlikely that the product is non-vegan.”
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Are Oreos gluten-free?
At the time of writing, Gluten-Free Oreos are unfortunately not available to buy in the UK. However, Gluten-Free Oreos do exist and are available to buy in the USA.
These biscuits are made using oat flour rather than wheat flour, and are also accidentally vegan.
Hopefully, these free-from treats will find their way into our supermarket shelves very soon!
Does the fact they contain palm oil still mean that Oreos are vegan?
Palm oil is always a complex subject when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy a product. In fact, it’s a topic that often divides vegans in their buying habits.
Whilst Oreos do contain palm oil, it is stated on the manufacturer’s website that the palm oil used is sourced responsibly and ensures procedures are in place to minimise deforestation.
Despite this, some vegans choose to boycott products that contain palm oil due to the environmental impact of palm plantations.
However, palm oil is vegan as the oil is derived from palm plants. Furthermore, its production does not need to involve the abuse or misuse of animals.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether Oreos are a part of your regular vegan snacking schedule.
What flavours of Oreo are vegan?
Oreo boasts an ever-changing lineup of flavours with around 85 flavours having being released over the years. From the decadent ‘Stuf’ varieties to seasonal flavours and its crispy ‘Thins’ range, there are plenty of vegan-friendly Oreo flavours on offer.
Vegan Oreo flavours* in the current core range in the US include:
- Birthday Cake Oreos
- Caramel Coconut Oreos
- Carrot Cake Oreos
- Chocolate Oreos
- Chocolate Hazelnut Oreos
- Chocolate Marshmallow Oreos
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreos
- Cinnamon Oreos
- Classic Dark Chocolate Oreos
- Dark Chocolate Oreos
- Gluten-Free Oreos Oreos
- Golden Oreos
- Java Chip Oreos
- Lemon Oreos
- Mint Oreos
- Double Stuf
- Golden Double Stuf
- The Most Stuf
- Mega Stuf
Seasonal Oreo varieties
- Halloween Orange Boo
- Red White & Blue
- Winter Joy
- Minis Original
- Minis Golden
- Thins Original
- Thins Coconut
- Thins Dark Chocolate
- Thins Golden
- Thins Latte
- Thins Lemon
- Thins Mint
- Thins Pistachio
- Caramel Coconut
- Carrot Cake
- Cinnamon Bun
- Maple Creme
- Peanut Butter
Please note that while these Oreo flavours don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, they may contain processed cane sugar that has been filtered with bone char if they have been manufactured in the US.
*The information provided is correct at the time of publishing. However, it is important to note that ingredients and formulations can change over time and by country. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you always check the product labels and ingredient lists before making a purchase, as manufacturers may alter their recipes or introduce new variations.
What flavours of Oreos are not vegan?
Fudge-covered Oreos are not vegan because the chocolate coating contains dairy.
Oreo Cakesters are also not vegan as the soft-baked cake sandwiches with a creme filling contains milk and eggs.
Vegan Oreo alternatives
If you’ve decided that the issues surrounding classic Oreos are something you wish to avoid in your diet, you might be wondering what vegan Oreo alternatives are there?
Thankfully a number of vegan companies have created their own vegan Oreo alternatives so you can snack with a clear conscience.
1. Vegan Bakery’s Cookies ‘N Cream
Vegan biscuit manufacture Vegan Bakery’s Cookies ‘N Cream biscuits are both vegan and gluten-free. What’s more, they’re certified by The Vegan Society so you can rest assured they’re entirely free from animal products.
You can buy Vegan Bakery Cookies ‘N Cream from online vegan supermarkets.
2. GATO Cookie ‘n’ Cream Chocolate Vanilla
GATO’S crunchy chocolate cookies sandwiched together with smooth vanilla cream are another tasty vegan alternative to Oreo’s.
Moreover, they’re vegan, gluten-free and high fibre and 30%+ less sugar than similar cookies. They’re both nutritious and delicious and perfect for those looking for their Oreo fix.
GATO’S Cookies ‘n Cream biscuits are available on the high street at Boots and Holland & Barrett.
Vegan Oreo recipes
If you love vegan baking, why not trying making your own vegan chocolate sandwich cookies at home.
If you love vegan biscuits, try thesevegan cookie recipes!
SUMMARY. Oreo cookies are made without any animal products. However, the company that makes them says these cookies are made in facilities that handle milk. As a result, there may be traces of milk in Oreo cookies.Are Oreos vegan and why? ›
As the Oreo FAQ page states, while Oreos are indeed veggie-friendly, they are not strictly vegan as 'Oreo have milk as cross-contact and therefore they are not suitable for vegans'.How are Oreos accidentally vegan? ›
Lard was swapped with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in the 1990's transforming Oreos into a kosher and “accidental” vegan delight. However, this is still terrible for health, so it was finally upgraded to its current combination of canola and palm oil, making the cookies trans-fat-free.Does Oreo use bone char? ›
Oreos contain no animal-derived ingredients, but they use refined, or processed, sugar that may be processed using bone char. Bone char is unequivocally an animal product and, therefore, the Oreo cookie is not vegan or vegan friendly.Which Oreo is vegan? ›
Golden Oreos are vegan-friendly by most plant-based eater standards. Many Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies contain no obvious animal products.Do Oreos have milk or eggs in them? ›
They do not contain any animal-derived ingredients such as milk, eggs, honey or gelatine. It's unclear if US Oreos are vegan. They do not contain animal-derived ingredients but they do contain sugar, which is often processed using bone char in the USA.Why sugar is not vegan? ›
Because refined sugars made from sugarcane require bone char to achieve a clear white colour, most refined cane sugars are unsuitable for vegans. Some types of brown sugar also involve using bone char, such as those that are created by adding molasses to refined cane sugar to achieve the brown colour.What are Oreos really made out of? ›
Oreo cookies are technically vegan, according to Delish. The ingredients are fairly simple and include sugar, flour, oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate.Are Doritos vegan? ›
Of the twenty-one flavors listed on Doritos website, only three of them are vegan friendly. Spicy Sweet Chili, Blaze, and the Toasted Corn Tortilla Chips are the Doritos flavors that are vegan. All of the remaining Doritos flavors contain milk or chicken based ingredients. Read about other vegan snack options here.What candy is vegan? ›
Fortunately, loads of candies are vegan, so we can indulge our cravings (mostly) guilt-free. Most dark chocolate is vegan, as are popular sweet treats such as Smarties (known as Rockets in Canada), Oreos, Airheads, Jujubes, and Swedish Fish (some Swedish Fish contain beeswax, so be sure to check the label).
Animal ingredients in cookies
Butter and eggs are the most common animal products found in cookies. In addition to butter, dairy can also make its way into store-bought cookies in the form of whey. While not as common, there are a number of boxed cookies that use honey for added sweetness.
U.S. Oreo was created in 1912 as an imitation of Hydrox. Oreo eventually eclipsed Hydrox in popularity, which resulted in the Hydrox cookies being perceived as an Oreo off-brand.Why is Oreo so dark? ›
It's due to the cocoa powder that is used. Oreos contain black cocoa powder which is cocoa beans that have been heavily Dutched, meaning they've been soaked in a solution that removes the acidity and mellows out the flavor — it also darkens the color of the cocoa powder.What is the black part of the Oreo called? ›
Cocoa colors an Oreo black
Upon inspecting the ingredient list of Oreo cookies, you'll find that the only ingredient that significantly contributes to its color is cocoa powder, of which the cookies contain about 4.5%*. This confirms that they are indeed chocolate cookies.
Most types of Skittles are considered vegan, but not all. While Skittles Classic Fruits, Skittles Sour, Skittles Tropical and Wild Berry Skittles are all currently suitable for vegans, some special editions such as the Once in a Blue Moon Skittles are not, as the blue skittles contain animal product derivatives.