Are Kettle Chips Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 22, 2023

Deciphering the vegan status of a product such as Kettle Brand potato chips can be a tricky business. 

Manufacturers often shroud the true nature and origins of their ingredients in mystery, making it difficult for compassionate consumers to navigate their choices. 

Fear not! This article is here to reveal the truth and support you in your ethical, vegan lifestyle.

Are Kettle Chips Vegan?

Some Kettle chips are vegan, while others are not. This verdict is based on an analysis of various chip flavors and their respective ingredients.

Kettle chips vegan-friendly flavors include Sea Salt, Sea Salt Vinegar, and Jalapeno Potato Chips, which contain potatoes, sunflower oil, and organic salt. 

However, other flavors, such as Honey Dijon, Sour Cream Onion, Maple Bacon Potato Chips, and New York Cheddar, contain animal-derived ingredients that prevent them from being classified as vegan. Non-vegan ingredients include honey, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon.

Are Kettle Chips Cruelty-Free?

The answer to this is nuanced. Kettle Chips that contain vegan-friendly ingredients can be considered cruelty-free, in the sense that they do not directly contribute to animal harm. 

However, flavors containing ingredients like honey, sour cream, and crispy bacon, which involve the exploitation of animals, cannot be classified as cruelty-free.

What Are Kettle Chips Made Of?

Kettle Chips are a popular brand of potato chips known for their thick cut and variety of interesting flavors. But what exactly goes into a typical bag of these delicious snacks? Let’s break it down to see each ingredient and its contribution to the final product.

The main ingredients for a standard bag of Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips include:

  • Potatoes
  • Safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil
  • Sea salt


Potatoes are the star of the show in Kettle Chips. These tuberous crops are grown in various parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia, though they’re native to South America — most people think it’s Ireland, but nope. 

They provide the structure for the chip and contribute to its crunchy texture. The type of potatoes varies, but many companies use a combination of russet and white potatoes for the best flavor and texture. As a plant-based ingredient, potatoes are completely vegan.

Safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil

These are the oils used to fry the potato slices to turn them into chips. Safflower oil is derived from the seeds of the safflower plant, sunflower oil comes from sunflower seeds, and canola oil is made from the seeds of the canola plant (a type of rapeseed). 

Each oil has a slightly different flavor and nutritional profile, but all are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These oils give the chips their crispy texture and contribute to their flavor. As they are all plant-derived oils, they are also vegan.

Sea salt

Sea salt is used to enhance the flavor of the chips. It is produced through the evaporation of seawater. Unlike table salt, it may contain trace minerals from the sea, depending on where and how it was harvested. These minerals can add subtle differences in flavor. Sea salt gives the chips their characteristic savory taste. As an inorganic compound, sea salt is vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Kettle Chips

The great news is there are many vegan alternatives to Kettle Chips. Some are made by the same brand, while others are offered by competitors who prioritize animal-free ingredients. Here are some alternatives:


While some Kettle Chips flavors are vegan and cruelty-free — my favorite are the Sea Salt & Vinegar chips — others contain ingredients derived from animals. It’s crucial to check each product’s ingredient list to make an informed decision that aligns with your vegan lifestyle.

Fortunately, there are several vegan food alternatives available, offering a variety of tasty options for ethical snacking. The power to protect the planet and its inhabitants lies in your hands, and even the smallest food brand choices, like picking the right potato chips, can make a big difference. So, snack wisely and compassionately!