Trying to work out if Lilt is vegan can be tough.
Beverages often have a lot of different ingredients and it can be hard to determine which ones are vegan and which ones aren’t.
So, is this product of Coca-Cola vegan? To make sure that you’re only eating foods that align with your vegan lifestyle, I’ve investigated the ingredients and production methods used to make Lilt.
Here’s what I found out.
Is Lilt Vegan?
The clear answer is no. Lilt is not vegan. This is because Lilt contains Vitamin D and fish gelatin.
Vitamin D can only be found in animal-based products. It is often added to beverages like Lilt to help improve the flavour and to make sure that the drink is fortified with this important nutrient.
Lilt also has fish gelatin, which is used as a stabiliser for the colour. Fish gelatin is not suitable for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet because it’s made from fish bones, skin, and connective tissue.
In addition, Lilt contains ‘flavourings’, which is often a catch-all term for ingredients that food brands don’t want to disclose. These are what give Lilt the ‘totally tropical taste’ that they are known for.
Vegans know that these natural flavourings may or may not be vegan depending on the source, and the Coca-Cola Company did not provide any information about the source of their natural flavours, so it’s impossible to say for sure if they are suitable for vegans.
Is Lilt Cruelty Free?
Yes. Lilt is cruelty free. Since 2007, Coca-Cola has had a policy that they do not test their products on animals, and they have been certified by PETA as a cruelty-free company.
What Is Lilt Made Of?
Here are the ingredients of Lilt:
- Carbonated water
- Fruit juices from concentrates (pineapple, grapefruit)
- Citric acid
- Antioxidant (ascorbic acid)
- Sweeteners (acesulfame K, aspartame, sodium saccharin
- Preservative (potassium sorbate)
- Stabilisers (acacia gum, guar gum, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, glycerol esters of wood rosin)
- Colour (carotenes)
Let’s break down each ingredient of Lilt.
This is just water that has been carbonated or had carbon dioxide added to it. This is what gives Lilt its fizzy quality. Carbonated water is often used in sodas and sparkling water and is vegan friendly.
Fruit juices from concentrates (pineapple, grapefruit)
Fruit juices are made by extracting juice from fruits. The juices are then concentrated, which means that the water is removed. There are no animal-derived ingredients in these fruit juices. They are vegan friendly.
Sugar is a controversial ingredient among vegans. Some vegans avoid sugar because it is often processed with bone char, which is made from animal bones. However, most brands of sugar in the UK, where Lilt is sold, are vegan friendly.
Citric acid is a type of organic acid that is found in citrus fruits. It is often used as a preservative or to add flavour to foods and drinks. Citric acid is vegan friendly.
Antioxidant (ascorbic acid)
Ascorbic acid is a type of antioxidant that is found in citrus fruits. It is often used to preserve food or to add flavour. Ascorbic acid is derived from plants.
Sweeteners (acesulfame K, aspartame, sodium saccharin)
Artificial sweeteners are often used to sweeten food and drinks without adding calories. These artificial sweeteners are made from chemicals and are not made from animal-derived products. They are suitable for vegans.
Flavourings are used to add flavour to food and drinks. They can be made from natural or artificial ingredients. The Coca-Cola Company did not disclose the source of their flavourings, so it is not possible to say for sure if they are safe for vegan consumption.
Preservative (potassium sorbate)
Potassium sorbate is a type of preservative that is often used in food and drinks. Preservatives extend the shelf life of food and drinks and prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. Potassium sorbate is derived from plants.
Stabilisers are used to keep food and drinks from separating. They are often used in sodas and sparkling water. Lilt uses several of these:
- Sucrose acetate isobutyrate—Sucrose acetate isobutyrate is a type of sugar alcohol. It is derived from sugar and is vegan friendly.
- Glycerol esters of wood rosin—Glycerol esters of wood rosin are made from glycerol and rosin. Rosin is a resin that is derived from pine trees. It is vegan friendly.
- Acacia gum—Acacia gum is a type of gum that is derived from the acacia tree. It is vegan friendly.
- Guar gum—Guar gum is a type of fibre that is derived from the guar bean. It is vegan friendly.
- The colour carotenes are also vegan friendly because they are derived from plants and not animals.
Why Isn’t Fish Gelatin Listed as an Ingredient?
Lilt does not list fish gelatin as an ingredient because it is a ‘solvent or carrier for an additive’ and is used in very small amounts. Gelatin dissolves the beta-carotene colour and does not need to be listed on the ingredients label. This is according to the UK Food Labelling Regulations.
In other words, the law does not require Lilt to list fish gelatin as an ingredient because it is used in such small amounts and serves a specific purpose.
Why Isn’t Lilt Vegan?
Lilt is not vegan because it contains vitamin D and fish gelatin. Vitamin D is often sourced from animals. It is a by-product of the wool industry.
Fish gelatin is made from the bones and skin of fish. It is acquired by boiling the fish parts in water. This creates the collagen-rich mixture that gives gelatin its jelly-like texture.
Lilt also contains natural flavours, which may or may not be vegan, and as of the time of publishing, the Coca-Cola Company have not provided information about the source of these flavours.
Is Lilt Zero Pineapple and Grapefruit Vegan?
No. Lilt Zero is not vegan. It uses the same ingredients as regular Lilt—Vitamin D and fish gelatin. This product is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Lilt Mango and Mandarin Vegan?
No. Lilt Mango is not vegan. It uses the same ingredients as Lilt, only with added mango and mandarin orange flavouring. This product is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Lilt Banana and Peach Vegan?
No. Lilt Banana is not vegan. It uses the same ingredients as Lilt, only with added banana and peach flavouring. This product is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Lilt Mango Flavour Vegan?
No. Lilt Mango is not vegan. It uses the same ingredients as Lilt, only with added mango flavouring. This product is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Lilt Zero Vegan?
No. Lilt Zero is not vegan. It uses the same ingredients as Lilt—vitamin D and fish gelatin. It is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Diet Lilt Vegan?
No. Diet Lilt is the same as Lilt Zero. It is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Diet Coke Vegan?
Yes, Diet Coke is vegan. Diet Coke does not contain vitamin D or fish gelatin. In fact, the majority of Coca-Cola products are vegan. Lilt is one of the only drinks produced by Coca-Cola that is not vegan.
Vegan-Friendly Alternatives to Lilt
As you see, there are several reasons why this fizzy drink is not vegan. The main reasons are because of vitamin D and fish gelatin. These ingredients are simply a no-go for vegans.
There are, however, plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives to Lilt. Zevia, Dash Water, Honest Lemon, Belle & Co, and Belvoir all make great options for those looking for a delicious and refreshing drink that is also vegan.
But as always, be sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing to ensure that it meets your dietary needs and preferences.