Are Classic Lays Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 31, 2023

Navigating the world of food labels to identify whether a product is vegan can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. 

This difficulty often arises because manufacturers can be opaque about the origins and nature of their ingredients. 

Fear not! This article aims to shed light on the vegan status of a beloved snack, Classic Lays, and support you in your compassionate, planet-loving, vegan lifestyle.

Are Classic Lays Vegan?

No, Classic Lays is not entirely vegan. The reason for this lies within their ingredients. While at first glance, many of the ingredients such as potatoes, vegetable oil (including sunflower, corn, and/or canola oil), and salt appear to be plant-based, it’s the “natural flavors” that make these potato chips not completely vegan.

Are Classic Lays Cruelty-Free?

No, Classic Lays are not considered cruelty-free. Again, the culprit is the “natural flavors.” They are an ambiguously named ingredient and can often be derived from animal sources, hence, not cruelty-free.

What Are Classic Lays Made Of?

Classic Lays Potato Chips, like many other potato chip products, have a simple list of ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Dried potatoes
  • Vegetable oil (sunflower, corn, and/or canola oil)
  • Salt
  • Natural flavor

Dried potatoes

These are simply dehydrated potatoes. Potatoes are a vegetable, making them completely vegan and plant-based.

Vegetable oil (sunflower, corn, and/or canola oil)

These oils are derived from plants and are vegan. They give potato chips their characteristic crispy texture.


Salt is a mineral, and is thus naturally vegan.

Natural flavor

Here is where things get tricky. “Natural flavor” is a term that can include both plant-based and animal-derived ingredients, and manufacturers are not required to specify the origin. For Classic Lays, the source of their natural flavor is undisclosed, meaning it could potentially contain animal-derived ingredients, rendering these chips not entirely vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Classic Lays

Even though Classic Lays might not fit into a vegan diet, there are plenty of other flavorful potato chips that do. Some great vegan alternatives:

These are all brands that have confirmed their potato chips to be vegan-friendly.


Even though we live in a world where it can sometimes be difficult to determine if a food product fits into our vegan lifestyle, by keeping informed and asking the right questions, we can make choices that align with our values. 

While Classic Lays Potato Chips may not be entirely vegan due to their “natural flavors,” there are many delicious alternatives out there that are. Keep striving to make the best choices for our planet and its inhabitants, one snack at a time!