Are Hardees Fries Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 17, 2023

Identifying whether or not Hardees is a vegan-friendly brand is no easy task. 

The challenge often lies in manufacturers adept at obscuring the true nature and source of their ingredients. 

This article is dedicated to lifting that veil and supporting you in your noble journey towards a vegan lifestyle.

Are Hardees Fries Vegan?

Hardees, as a company, does offer a mix of both vegan and non-vegan products. But the question we are specifically focused on here is: are Hardees fries vegan?

Are Hardees Fries Cruelty-Free?

When considering whether Hardees practices cruelty-free sourcing and manufacturing, it’s important to know that the company as a whole doesn’t explicitly label itself as “cruelty-free.” 

While their potato-based products like the natural cut French fries and seasoned curly fries do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, the lack of a clear company-wide cruelty-free policy leaves a bit of uncertainty.

What Are Hardees Fries Made Of?

Hardees, also known as Carl’s Jr. in the western US, is famous for their crispy and delicious fries. But what exactly goes into making these flavorful pieces of fried potatoes? Understanding the ingredients that go into our food is important, not just for health reasons, but also for dietary restrictions like vegetarianism or veganism. Let’s break down the ingredients of Hardees Fries:

  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil (canola oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives])
  • Dextrose
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  • Salt


Potatoes are a starchy vegetable that originates from South America. They are the main ingredient in the Hardees Fries, giving it its shape, texture, and a good chunk of its flavor. Potatoes are vegan friendly because they are plant based.

Vegetable oil (canola oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor)

The vegetable oil in Hardees Fries is a mix of canola oil, soybean oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil. These oils are used to deep-fry the potatoes, providing the crispy texture that we all love. The oils themselves are vegan because they are plant derived. However, the natural beef flavor added to the oil is derived from wheat and milk derivatives, which means it is not vegan friendly.


Dextrose is a simple sugar derived from corn and is used in Hardees Fries to help achieve a uniform golden color when they are fried. Dextrose is vegan because it is derived from plants.

Sodium acid pyrophosphate

Sodium acid pyrophosphate is a food-grade phosphate that prevents discoloration in potatoes and helps maintain the fries’ fresh-looking color. It is synthetically produced, and while it is not derived from animals, its production process could potentially involve testing on animals, making its vegan status uncertain.


Salt in Hardees Fries acts as a flavor enhancer, making the fries more savory and palatable. Salt is a mineral and is completely vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Hardees Fries?

If you’re seeking vegan alternatives to Hardees fries, rest assured, options are plentiful. 

Many fast-food chains offer vegan fries, including Burger King’s French fries and Taco Bell’s nacho fries. Also, other vegan options at Hardees include the Beyond Burger on a lettuce wrap or toasted premium bun, though you’d have to request they leave out the cheese and mayo.


So, are Hardees fries vegan? The natural cut French fries technically are, though cross-contamination risks are present. Unfortunately, Hardees does not have a clear, company-wide cruelty-free policy, which might give ethical vegans pause. 

But don’t be discouraged! There are still plenty of vegan-friendly options at Hardees and other fast-food brands for us to enjoy. Let’s continue supporting the push for more transparency and vegan options in the fast-food industry. Together, we can make a difference for our planet and its inhabitants.