Is Cherry Coke Vegan?

September 11, 2023

Identifying whether a product like Cherry Coke is vegan can be challenging.

Manufacturers often mask the origins and nature of their ingredients, making it difficult for consumers to make informed choices.

However, this article aims to unveil the truth, helping to support your ethical, vegan lifestyle.

Is Cherry Coke Vegan?

The simple answer is: Yes, Cherry Coke is generally considered vegan.

This statement is based on the list of ingredients in the product. None of the key components in Cherry Coke are derived directly or indirectly from animals.

However, strict vegans should proceed with caution due to some ingredients, particularly natural flavors and caramel color. Manufacturers may not always reveal the sources of these ingredients, and in some rare cases, they might have animal origins or involve animals at some point in their production.

But the Coca-Cola Company, the parent company of Cherry Coke, has clarified that its drinks do not contain any animal derivatives.

Is Cherry Coke Cruelty-Free?

No. Cherry Coke is not cruelty-free. High fructose corn syrup, the ingredient that gives Coke its sweetness, comes from corn which is almost always GMO, unless it’s organic.

GMOs are tested on animals to ensure their safety for human consumption. Therefore, nothing that contains GMO ingredients can be considered cruelty-free.

What Is Cherry Coke Made Of?

Let’s delve into the specific ingredients that make up Cherry Coke:

  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Caramel color
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Caffeine

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water is simply water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It provides the fizz that is characteristic of soft drinks like Cherry Coke. This ingredient is completely vegan.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. It gives Cherry Coke its sweet taste. Like carbonated water, HFCS is vegan, but it is not cruelty-free.

Caramel Color

Caramel color is a common food colorant made by heating sugar, often in the presence of acids or alkalis. It gives Cherry Coke its characteristic color. Although it is typically vegan, its source is not always clear, and it could, though probably isn’t, sourced from sugar processed with bone char.

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid is used to provide a tangy or sour taste in soft drinks. It is vegan friendly because it is derived from mineral sources.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors refer to the flavors derived from natural sources like plants or animals. In the case of Cherry Coke, the Coca-Cola Company has clarified that its natural flavors are not of animal origin. This is probably where the “cherry” flavor comes from.


Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in several kinds of plants. It provides the stimulant effect in many soft drinks. Caffeine in Cherry Coke is vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Cherry Coke

Looking for a vegan-friendly alternative to Cherry Coke? There are numerous brands out there. Some of these include:

  • Spindrift Sparkling Water: Try this for a healthier alternative. It’s just water and fruit.
  • Coca-Cola Zero Sugar: Similar taste to the original but without any sugar.
  • Costa Coffee’s Coca-Cola Georgia Peach: A refreshing peach-flavored cola.
  • Honest Lemon: A tangy, refreshing alternative.
  • Pepsi Cola: Another cola alternative that is also considered vegan.
  • Schweppes Orange Squash or Kia Ora Orange Squash: For a fruity, non-cola option.


Navigating the world of food and drinks as a vegan can sometimes be complex due to unclear labeling practices.

However, Cherry Coke, as per our understanding, is vegan based on its list of ingredients, though not cruelty-free.

It’s always important to stay informed about the ingredients in our favorite foods and drinks, supporting manufacturers that align with our values. And remember, even within the fizzy world of soft drinks, there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives!