Often imitated and seldom equaled, Pringles are easily one of the crunchiest munchies potato chips around.
They’re maddingly more-ish and the container is perfect for passing around at a party or on the sofa.
But before you pop, are there any ingredients in Pringles that should give you a stop? Are Pringles vegan or are they another potato chip that is off-limits to the animal friendly crowd?
Let’s take a closer look.
Are Pringles Vegan?
Some flavors of Pringles are not vegan and some are.
Like most snack foods, unless the brand is exclusively and very proudly vegan, you have to look at each item on a flavor by flavor basis.
There are a fair few vegan Pringles flavors rather than just the token one or two.
Yet even though some Pringles are vegan, the majority are not, and it’s possible those that are and those that are not are all made under the same roof.
Vegan Pringles Flavors
- Pringles Original
- Pringles Sweet Chilli
- Pringles Paprika
- Pringles Smokey Bacon Flavour
- Pringles Texas BBQ Sauce
Non-Vegan Pringles Flavors
- Pringles Cheese and Onion
- Pringles Cheesy Cheese
- Pringles Prawn Cocktail Flavour
- Pringles Salt & Vinegar
- Pringles Roast Chicken & Herbs
- Pringles Steak
- Pringles Sour Cream & Onion
- Pringles Hot & Spicy
The Main Problem With Potato Chips
As I was scanning the Pringles ingredients labels to work out which flavors were vegan friendly and which weren’t, something just as disturbing as the presence of needless animal products came up.
Obviously these “potato chips” are a highly processed food and should only be eaten in moderation.
But the fact that they’re less than 50% potato was completely shocking to me.
A more accurate description would be “assorted mush chips”. It hasn’t got quite the same appeal now, does it?
Monoglycerides and Diglycerides
Vegans like to eat healthy whole foods and that is probably because there are so many question marks over ingredients labeled as “emulsifiers.”
Monoglycerides and diglycerides are used to provide a nicer texture to these not quite potato chips and join all the flours together as a whole.
The problem with monoglycerides is that we can never be sure that they’re vegan.
Most of the time monoglycerides and diglycerides are sourced from soybean oil, but they are also made from animal fats and most companies don’t care enough to let you know which theirs is.
3 Problematic Non-Vegan Ingredients
If you’re trying to work out “are Pringles vegan or not,” the first thing you need to know is what to look out for on the ingredients label. While some ingredients are obvious, like cheese, some are less so, like monoglycerides.
Here’s a quick list of ingredients that you don’t want to see on a vegan-friendly flavor of Pringles.
1. Animal Fats or Flavorings
You cannot get chicken fats or proteins without a dead chicken.
This means some exclusive or more overtly meaty flavors of pringles, like Roast Chicken & Herbs, are a no-go for vegans and vegetarians alike.
Other meaty flavors like BBQ rib or Peking Duck don’t actually have real animal flavorings but still feature the next item on the list.
If there is one main offender on the majority of Pringles packs ingredients list, then milk or lactose is definitely it.
They put milk bizarrely and infuriatingly on almost all of their flavors. You would think Salt & Vinegar is the obvious choice for a vegan-friendly snack.
But it isn’t, because of the milk-derived lactose.
It should be a no-brainer that cheese doesn’t make for vegan Pringles. So while Sour Cream is out, Original Pringles are in.
That said, even the vegetarians should always double-check. Strangely, some cheese flavor crisps sometimes use chicken flavoring or proteins too - all the more reason to stay away.
The Company Isn't Vegan Friendly
As mentioned above, the Pringles brand is not a vegan brand.
This means you can check the ingredients list and find a few flavors like the Original Pringles to scratch your itch, but the company is unlikely to notice or even know why their Original Pringles flavor is suddenly outselling Salt & Vinegar.
Choosing to give money to a company that obviously doesn’t consider making vegan a priority is problematic.
Why is there milk in the Salt & Vinegar? Surely it isn’t needed?
Until Pringles makes a shift in the very least their most popular flavors, the more die-hard vegans should probably stay away altogether.
5 Vegan Pringles Alternatives
So if your favorite flavor isn’t Original Pringles, then you might be in the market for some vegan alternatives.
While sour cream still isn’t on the menu, we have some absolutely delicious alternatives that are just as non-stop poppable.
It has to be said that I am a bit of a flavor fiend. If I’m going to snack, I want my taste buds to be taken somewhere absolutely cosmic.
This is exactly why Salsitas is my number one choice.
They deliver big on a zesty and sumptuous tongue tease.
Perfect on their own and even better double dipped in a tasty salsa if you’re looking to replace Pringles at your next party, these corn and avocado-infused beauties won’t let you down.
Just be aware, like Pringles, El Sabroso sells some very non-vegan products like Pork Crackling too.
Why settle for a vegan potato crisps when you can have a vegan pork rind?
This is another great snack for your pals at a party or for a crunchy munchy time of your own.
When it comes to a choice between lightly salted original Pringles and something lime and chili flavor - I’m going to spice town every time.
Another important way that Sabritones are superior to Pringles is that instead of a less than 50% potato chip, you’re getting a much less processed wheat snack instead.
It’s vegan, it’s whole, it’s not exactly healthy, but it’s a step in the right direction.
If you like your potato crisps flavors a little more simple, like Pringles Lightly Salted, then why don’t you grab yourself a bag of Terra Potato Crisps.
Because while they keep it simple up top, it’s what’s underneath that really matters.
Instead of boring old potatoes, these chips are made from taro, sweet potato, yuca, and parsnips.
Because if you’re going for a salty snack, surely a mixture of root vegetables is better than a “potato” chip that is more wheat starch and rice flour than it is potato?
If you’re looking for some sin-free snacking in terms of calories as well as animal-derived ingredients, then Sunchips are the perfect vegan Pringles alternative.
These delicious little whole grain chips are much less processed, and just as tasty.
You’ll need to avoid the sour cream flavor as it’s non-vegan for obvious reasons but the original is just as appealing.
Instead of a strange mix of wheat starch and rice flour pretending to be potato-like with Pringles Original, here you just have simple grains, baked to perfection, and a little bit of salt.
5. Forager Project Cheezy Greens
Who said vegans can’t enjoy a cheesy chip? Move over cheddar sour cream, there’s no cow needed for this unbelievably tasty organic and completely gluten-free miracle snack.
They’re organic, they’re whole, they’re made from ancient grains and they’re tastier than most vegan Pringles flavors.
While cheddar cheese Pringles are a no-go, these reduced-fat alternatives don’t contain dairy at all.
Honestly, they have to be tasted to be believed but they’ll have even the most die-hard Pringles fan converted if you serve them at your next BBQ.
Other vegan chips you can have:
So, Are Pringles Vegan?
Looking at the ingredients list for some Pringles flavors, you could make the Pringles vegan argument.
Unfortunately for many a vegan, Pringles Original is just not exciting enough a flavor.
The company as a whole is not committed to making even its mainstay flavors like Salt & Vinegar vegan.
Yes, Original Pringles and Smoky Bacon flavor Pringles are vegan, but even these vegan offerings are highly processed to the point of barely being able to call themselves potato chips at all.
I would recommend finding a Pringles alternative that better values the same ethics and ideals that vegans do.
Less processed, more whole, and definitely free from animal suffering.