Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Whether you’re fully plant-based or just trying to cut down on your meat and dairy intake, your weekly shop might suddenly feel like a bit of a minefield.
You may find yourself walking past the snack aisles completely, assuming that all your favourite brands are now off the cards.
But, oh, how wrong you are…Whether it’s your beloved Pot Noodles or the Oreos you’re no longer reaching for, don’t rule any of your faves out just yet.
It turns out that a whole bunch of food and drink products are accidentally vegan. So, to make your life easier, we’ve listed a bunch of them:
Perhaps the worst kept secret within the vegan community… Oreos are accidentally vegan.
The cult American biscuit may have a creamy centre, but the good news is that in the original Oreos there’s no milk in sight. Oreos are actually made from unbleached flour, sugar, cocoa, canola or palm oil and corn syrup.
So, you can twist it, lick it and dunk it until your heart’s content.
Walkers Crisps (Various)
You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ll never be able to munch on a packet of roast chicken or prawn cocktail flavoured crisps again. It’s kinda in the name, right?
But believe it or not, loads of Walkers crips flavours are accidentally vegan when you look at the ingredients.
It’s not just the flavours you’d expect, like Salt and Vinegar and Ready Salted (although they are, predictably a-okay). You can also tuck into the two flavours listed above, seeing as they only contain meat flavourings, and no animal bi-products.
Pickled Onion, Marmite and Worcester sauce flavoured crisps are also on the menu, but Smoky Bacon, Tomato Ketchup, Cheese and Onion and Flamin’ Hot should be avoided, because they contain milk.
Overall, though, several Walkers crisps are the vegan snacks you never considered.
Much like your Walker’s Prawn Cocktail crisps, KP Snacks’ Skips are also accidentally vegan.
Yep, the melt-on-your tongue snack might resemble a bag of mini prawn crackers, but they’re actually completely fine to tuck into if you’re living a plant-based lifestyle.
Made from tapioca starch, the crisps get their seafood flavour from natural ingredients such as citric acid, dried onion and vinegar – not an animal bi-product in sight.
Crawford’s Pink Wafers
Ah, the nostalgia of tucking into a pink wafer. These take us right back to the biscuit jar at our grandparents’ house.
You may not have had a pink wafer in a while, but we bet you want one now, don’t ya? And the good news is, you don’t have to miss out because you’re vegan.
Whilst not all pink wafer brands are plant-based, Crawford’s are, and they’re damn tasty, too. They might be packed full of pink food colouring, but as for dairy? You’re all good.
Another gem to add to your cupboard of vegan snacks.
Skittles are also well-known for being an accidentally vegan snack. When you pick up an original bag of the sweets, you can rest assured that there are no animal products to be seen.
Wrigley changed its formula in 2015 to ensure that no E120 dye was used – you know, the red type that contains cochineal extract (that’s crushed up bugs, in layman’s terms).
So, if you have a packet from seven years ago, you’d better steer clear. Of course, eating seven year old sweets isn’t to be advised anyway.
Pot Noodles (Various)
Need a three minute dinner that’s ready in the flick of the kettle? Pot Noodles are very much still on the cards. Whilst not every flavour is accidentally vegan, an impressive eight out of the 12 classic flavours are. Not bad, ey?
Whilst the brand might not go as far as to say it themselves, according to the ingredients BBQ Pulled Pork, Beef and Tomato and Bombay Bad Boy pots are all vegan-friendly, as well as Chinese Chow Mein, Jerk Chicken, Sticky Rib, Piri Piri Chicken and Sweet and Sour. Various other infusions and Asian-style editions were also in the green at the time of writing.
Steer clear of Curry, Chicken and Mushroom and all Chicken Korma flavours, alongside several more favourites.
If you aren’t sure, it’s probably best to check the label.
Throwing a kids party? Or maybe just a party for one? Well, you know what to stock up on.
Party Rings are very much still on the cards, seeing as they’re accidentally vegan and completely free of animal bi-products. Result!
Whilst they previously contained gelatine, Fox’s changed the recipe of the colourful iced-ring biscuits in 2015 and they are officially vegan snacks.
The only caveat is they must be consumed whilst playing pass the parcel. Sorry, we don’t make the rules.
Perhaps the King of all plant-based baking ingredients, we probably don’t need to tell you that Lotus Biscoff is accidentally vegan.
But if you didn’t know then…surprise!
The speculoos spread and biscuits contains no animal products, and many of the Biscoff spin-off products are also vegan, like the grab-and-go pots, the sandwich biscuits and the topping sauce.
This means you can slather it on your toast, dollop it in your porridge or enjoy it alongside a coffee, just like you did before.
Jammie Dodgers are another much loved vegan snack that you might not know you can still munch on.
They were plant-based for many years before a recipe change back in 2016, which added milk powder into the mix.
But passionate vegan Jammie Dodger fans weren’t having any of it, and ended up creating an online petition calling for the shortbread biscuits to be available to them once more.
In 2020, Burton’s Biscuit Company listened, and they’re now dairy free again. Hooray!
Always check the label
As we hope you can now see, going plant-based absolutely doesn’t mean you have to shun the snack cupboard forever more.
However, there is an important disclaimer to make. Whilst all the products above have completely plant-based ingredients lists, most won’t call themselves vegan because they’ve been made in factories where other ingredients may have been used. Oreos, for example, warn they may contain traces of milk, whilst Pot Noodles also come with the same caveat.
Whilst potential cross-contamination is an issue for some vegans, many others are more liberal about this.
Also, it’s worth noting that brands change their ingredients all the time, and whilst all of these are accidentally vegan snacks at the time of writing, always give the label a quick glance to check to ensure you don’t slip-up.