Are Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls Vegan and Cruelty Free? The Swirling Truth

Figuring out whether Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are safe for vegans to consume can be challenging.

Fancy coffee beverages from restaurant chains often contain vague ingredients, such as “natural flavors,” and even when companies do provide a full list of ingredients, it can be difficult to determine whether those ingredients are vegan.

To make sure that you’re only eating food that aligns with your vegan lifestyle and diet, I’ve looked into the ingredients and production processes of Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls.

Here’s what I found out.

Are Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are not vegan.

Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are Dunkin’ Donuts’ answer to the syrups and sauces that you can find at other coffee chains.

They come in six flavors: Peanut Butter Cup, Pumpkin, Caramel, French Vanilla, Frozen, and Mocha. Of these flavors, only Mocha is dairy free. The others all contain milk products.

The Mocha Swirl, despite not containing any dairy and being on DD’s vegan menu, is likely not vegan, either, because it contains refined sugar. Refined sugar is technically vegan, but many vegans avoid it because of the way it’s produced.

Refined sugar is often processed using bone char, which is made from the bones of cows. If you feel strongly about not consuming products filtered through bone char, then you should avoid Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls, even Mocha Swirl.

Are Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls Cruelty Free?

Yes! Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are cruelty free.

Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are not tested on animals at any point in their production. They also do not contain ingredients that are tested on animals, such as artificial colors.

Dunkin’ Donuts follows a humane animal welfare policy. The coffee and breakfast food brand works with suppliers that follow animal welfare guidelines set by industry experts, so you can be sure that the animals used for its products are well-cared for.

Animal testing is a cruel and outdated practice that needs to end. It only leaves innocent animals disfigured, maimed, and dead. Thankfully, many companies are moving away from this traumatic and ghastly testing and are instead finding new, more humane ways to test their products.

What Are Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls Made Of?

Here are the ingredients of the Dunkin’ Caramel Flavor Swirl:

  • Sweetened condensed nonfat milk (nonfat milk, sugar)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Brown sugar
  • Caramel color
  • Potassium sorbate (preservative)
  • Natural flavors
  • Salt

Let’s break down each ingredient of Dunkin’ Caramel Flavor Swirl:

Sweetened condensed nonfat milk (nonfat milk, sugar)

Sweetened condensed nonfat milk is a dairy product. It’s made by removing the water from milk and adding sugar. This type of milk is often used in baking because it’s less likely to curdle than regular milk. Sweetened condensed nonfat milk is not vegan.

High fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from cornstarch that has been processed to change its sugar composition. It’s often used in processed foods because it’s cheap and has a long shelf life. High fructose corn syrup is vegan.

Sugar

Sugar is a sweetener made from sugar cane or sugar beets. It’s often used in baking and food and drink preparation. Sugar is naturally vegan, but the problem is that most sugar in the US is processed with bone char, which makes it not vegan. Unless it is labeled “raw,” “organic,” or “unrefined,” it is probably not vegan.

Water

Water is a vegan ingredient used as a solvent. It is vegan.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is a type of sugar that is made by adding molasses to white sugar. It’s often used in baking because it gives baked goods a richer flavor and darker color. Brown sugar, like white sugar, is most likely not vegan.

Caramel color

Caramel color is a food coloring made by heating carbohydrates. It’s often used to color cola drinks and other dark-colored foods. The caramel color is vegan unless it is made from sugar processed with bone char. It’s actually hard to say on this one because sources for ingredients such as this aren’t routinely disclosed. If you’re a hardcore vegan, avoid caramel color.

Potassium sorbate (preservative)

Potassium sorbate is a preservative made by combining potassium hydroxide with sorbic acid. It’s often used in food and cosmetics to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Potassium sorbate is vegan.

Natural flavors

Natural flavors are extracts from plants or animals that are used to flavor food. In the case of Dunkin’ Caramel Flavor Swirls, given the nature of the product, the natural flavors are most likely extracted from vegan sources.

Salt

Salt is a mineral made of sodium and chloride. It’s often used to flavor food or as a preservative. Salt is vegan.

Why Aren’t Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls Vegan?

Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are not vegan because they contain milk and refined sugar. Milk is always a no-no because it comes directly from cows. Dunkin’ Donuts’ refined sugar is probably filtered through bone char in its processing. Because of these ingredients, Flavor Swirls at Dunkin’ are unsuitable for vegans.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Peanut Butter Cup Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Peanut Butter Cup Swirl is not vegan. It contains nonfat milk and refined sugar.

Dunkin’ Donuts Peanut Butter Cup Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl is not vegan. It contains nonfat milk and refined sugar.

Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Caramel Swirl is not vegan. It contains nonfat milk and refined sugar.

Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Swirl is not vegan. It contains nonfat milk and refined sugar.

Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Swirl is not vegan. It contains nonfat milk and refined sugar.

Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Flavor Swirl Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Flavor Swirl is not vegan. It may be dairy free, unlike the others, but it contains refined sugar.

Mocha Swirl is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Chai Latte Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Chai Latte is not vegan. It contains milk and its chai tea syrup contains refined sugar.

The Dunkin’ Iced Chai Latte is not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Donuts at Dunkin’ Donuts Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts are not vegan. There are no vegan donuts at Dunkin’ because all flavors contain sugar, eggs, and dairy milk.

Dunkin’ currently has no vegan donuts. None of its donuts are safe for vegan consumption.

Are Bagels with Cream Cheese at Dunkin’ Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Bagels with Cream Cheese are not vegan. Dunkin’ bagels contain refined sugar and the cream cheese is a dairy product.

Bagels with Cream Cheese are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are There Other Vegan Options at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Yes, they do! These are the only items that are 100% vegan at Dunkin’ Donuts:

  • Oat Milk Coffee
  • Coconut Milk Coffee
  • Plain Coffee (Hot/Iced Coffee)
  • Plain Cold Brew Coffee
  • Macchiato Latte (with coconut or oat milk)
  • Iced Latte (with coconut and oat milk)
  • Hot Tea
  • Iced Tea (except the sweetened ones)

The following menu items are claimed to be vegan by Dunkin’ but they all contain refined sugar that may have been filtered with bone char:

  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
  • Sesame Bagel
  • English Muffin
  • Flavor Shots (Toasted Almond, Hazelnut)
  • Almond Milk
  • Iced Matcha Latte

Because you don’t know what brand of sugar Dunkin’ uses, and even if you did, if it uses bone char, strict vegans should exercise caution with these menu items.

Vegan Alternatives to Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly coffee syrups, there are plenty of other options on the market. Here are some:

With these flavored syrups, you can make your own vegan-friendly flavored coffee at home. You have many different options to choose from so you can find the perfect flavor for you.

Final Words

So, there you have it! Dunkin’ Flavor Swirls are not vegan because they contain dairy milk and refined sugar. But don’t be discouraged! If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, there are plenty of other delicious syrups on the market that are surely vegan friendly. Enjoy!