Are Apple Jacks Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 27, 2023

Navigating the world of breakfast cereals, such as Apple Jacks, to determine if they align with a vegan lifestyle can be quite tricky.

You’ve nearly got to be an expert in processed food ingredients to unravel the mysteries of nutrition labels.

Fear not, dear reader! This article aims to uncover the truth, providing you with the knowledge necessary to uphold your commitment to a vegan lifestyle and to our shared planet.

Are Apple Jacks Vegan?

Based on the ingredient list of Apple Jacks cereal, it is not definitively vegan. Several ingredients may not align with a strict vegan diet, including sugar, natural flavors, and certain vitamins, like Vitamin D3.

The reason for this is twofold. First, sugar used in commercial food products, like Apple Jacks, can be processed with bone char, a material derived from animal bones. Although not every type of sugar is processed this way, it’s challenging to know for sure without confirmation from the manufacturer​.

Second, the term “natural flavors” in an ingredient list can include both plant and animal-derived substances, and without explicit clarification from the manufacturer, it is impossible to know the exact source of these flavors​.

Lastly, and perhaps most definitely, Vitamin D3 is often derived from lanolin, a product of sheep’s wool, making it non-vegan. However, the ingredients list for Apple Jacks doesn’t specify the source of its Vitamin D3. It’s safest to assume it’s not vegan.

Are Apple Jacks Cruelty-Free?

No, Apple Jacks cereal is not cruelty-free.

A notable portion of the ingredients used in the cereal originate from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This raises concerns about whether the product can be considered cruelty-free, as the cultivation and production of GMOs can involve various ethical and environmental considerations, including animal testing.

Furthermore, Apple Jacks contain food coloring, which is tested on animals. Products that are tested on animals cannot be considered cruelty-free.

What Are Apple Jacks Made Of?

Apple Jacks cereal is made from a variety of ingredients, each playing a different role in the final product. Here’s the full list of ingredients:

  • Corn flour blend (including whole-grain yellow corn flour)
  • Sugar
  • Wheat flour
  • Whole grain oat flour
  • Modified food starch
  • Vegetable oil
  • Oat fiber
  • Salt
  • Soluble corn fiber
  • Degerminated yellow corn flour
  • Dried apples
  • Apple juice concentrate
  • Cornstarch
  • Cinnamon
  • Natural flavor
  • Modified corn starch
  • Food coloring: Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1
  • Wheat starch
  • Baking soda
  • Vitamins and minerals​

Let’s break down each ingredient of Apple Jacks cereal:

Corn Flour Blend (including whole-grain yellow corn flour)

Corn flour blend, including whole-grain yellow corn flour, is used in Apple Jacks cereal. This ingredient is typically considered vegan. It is, however, GMO.


Sugar is used in Apple Jacks cereal. In most cases, sugar is considered vegan, but some vegans may choose to avoid it in case it has been processed with bone char, which is a filtering agent made from animal bones. This sugar is probably GMO.

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is one of the ingredients in Apple Jacks cereal. It is generally considered vegan.

Whole Grain Oat Flour

Whole grain oat flour is used in Apple Jacks cereal and is typically considered vegan.

Modified Food Starch

Modified food starch is used in Apple Jacks cereal. It is usually plant based and considered vegan.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is used in Apple Jacks cereal as an emulsifier. It is typically plant-derived and considered vegan, although the vast majority of non-organic vegetable oils are GMO.

Oat Fiber

Oat fiber is one of the ingredients in Apple Jacks cereal and is generally considered vegan.


Salt, a mineral, is used in Apple Jacks cereal to balance the flavors. Salt is vegan.

Soluble Corn Fiber

Soluble corn fiber is used in Apple Jacks cereal. It is typically considered vegan, though it is GMO.

Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour

Degerminated yellow corn flour is another one of the GMO ingredients in Apple Jacks cereal. It is considered vegan but not cruelty-free.

Dried Apples

Dried apples are used in Apple Jacks cereal. They are plant based and vegan.

Apple Juice Concentrate

Apple juice concentrate is used in Apple Jacks cereal for flavor and is vegan.


Cornstarch is a starch derived from corn, so it’s plant derived and considered vegan, but it is GMO.


Cinnamon is a spice used in Apple Jacks cereal for flavor. Cinnamon is vegan.

Natural Flavor

The vegan status of natural flavor can vary, as it may be derived from both plant and animal sources. It’s best to check with the manufacturer for specific details.

Modified Corn Starch

Modified corn starch is usually plant based and considered vegan, though it’s GMO.

Food Coloring: Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1

These food colorings are used in Apple Jacks cereal. They are synthetic and not derived from animal sources, but they are routinely tested on animals.

Wheat Starch

Wheat starch is vegan.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate is used in Apple Jacks cereal as a leavener and is vegan.

Vitamins and Minerals

The specific vitamins and minerals used in Apple Jacks cereal can vary, and their vegan status may depend on their sources. It’s advisable to contact the manufacturer for more information regarding the vegan status of these additives.

Vegan Alternatives to Apple Jacks

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly breakfast cereal options as alternatives to Apple Jacks, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of choices available on the market. These cereals not only offer a variety of flavors and textures but are also free from animal-derived ingredients. Here are some specific vegan cereal options:


In conclusion, determining the vegan status of a product like Apple Jacks isn’t always straightforward due to the potential animal-derived sources of certain food ingredients.

It’s always a good idea to check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure, and remember there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternative brands out there!