Is Manwich Vegan and Cruelty?

July 30, 2023

It’s often challenging to determine whether a product like Manwich is truly vegan. 

This difficulty arises because manufacturers sometimes hide the nature and origin of their ingredients. 

This article seeks to uncover the truth about Manwich, helping you, dear reader, in your commendable pursuit of a vegan lifestyle.

Is Manwich Vegan?

Regrettably, Manwich cannot be confidently labeled as vegan. The reason behind this is the existence of ambiguous ingredients like “natural flavors” in the product that could potentially be animal-derived.

Is Manwich Cruelty-Free?

Without direct clarification from the manufacturer, we cannot assert whether Manwich is entirely cruelty-free. ‘Natural flavors’ might sometimes involve animal testing, making the product’s status uncertain in the cruelty-free category.

What is Manwich made of?

Manwich, a popular canned sloppy joe sauce, is known for its sweet and tangy flavor that transforms simple ground meat into a delightful, hearty meal. The product’s ingredients contribute not only to its signature taste but also to its overall nutritional value. 

Let’s take a look at the main ingredients:

  • Tomato puree
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Carrot fiber
  • Dried green and red bell peppers
  • Chili pepper
  • Guar gum
  • Spices

Tomato puree

Tomato puree is made by cooking and straining tomatoes to achieve a thick, smooth liquid. It comes from fresh or ripe tomatoes, which are abundant in regions with temperate climates. Tomato puree is the base for Manwich, providing the main flavor and body of the sauce. It’s vegan friendly because it comes solely from plant-based sources.

High fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener derived from cornstarch. Predominantly manufactured in the United States, it serves as a cost-effective sugar substitute. In Manwich, it adds a hint of sweetness that balances the tanginess of the tomatoes. HFCS is vegan. However, it’s often criticized for its potential health effects. Its use is even restricted in the EU.

Distilled vinegar

Distilled vinegar, also known as white vinegar, is produced by fermenting distilled alcohol. It’s widely used across the globe and adds acidity to the Manwich sauce, balancing out the sweetness and enhancing other flavors. This ingredient is vegan friendly.

Corn syrup

Similar to HFCS, corn syrup is a sweetener made from cornstarch. It’s used in Manwich to enhance the sweetness. Like other plant-derived ingredients, corn syrup is vegan friendly.


Salt, usually harvested from sea water or mined from salt deposits, is a universal flavor enhancer used in nearly all food products. It helps to bring out the flavors of other ingredients in Manwich sauce. Salt is a mineral, making it suitable for vegan diets.


Sugar, derived from either sugarcane or sugar beet, adds to the sweetness of the sauce. While it’s generally vegan, some white sugar is processed using bone char from animals, making it potentially non-vegan. However, the type of sugar used in Manwich is not specified.

Carrot fiber

Carrot fiber is a dietary fiber sourced from carrots. It’s typically used as a thickener in food products. In Manwich, it contributes to the sauce’s consistency. This ingredient is vegan.

Dried green and red bell peppers

Dried bell peppers, both green and red, are dehydrated forms of the vegetables. They add a hint of sweetness and a touch of flavor complexity to the sauce. As plant-based ingredients, they are suitable for a vegan diet.

Chili pepper

Chili pepper is used to add a bit of heat to the Manwich sauce. They are plant-based and thus vegan-friendly.

Guar gum

Guar gum is a thickening agent derived from the seeds of the guar plant, grown predominantly in India and Pakistan. It’s used in Manwich to improve the texture and stability of the sauce. Guar gum is vegan.


“Spices” is a catch-all term that can include a variety of plant-derived seasonings. The exact spices used in Manwich are proprietary, but they provide additional flavor nuances. They are typically vegan-friendly.

Although most ingredients in Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce are vegan, it’s important to note that the product itself is often served with ground meat. The potential use of bone-char processed sugar could also raise concerns for strict vegans. Always check the product label for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Vegan Alternatives to Manwich

There are several vegan-friendly alternatives to Manwich that can still deliver a meaty texture and robust flavor to your vegan sloppy joes.

  • Vegan sloppy joe mix: Many health food stores carry vegan-friendly sloppy joe mixes that rely on spices, tomato paste, and other plant-based flavorings.
  • Homemade vegan sloppy joe sauce: You can make a sauce using tomato sauce, chili powder, vegan Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup or brown sugar, and other vegan-friendly spices.
  • Vegan beef crumbles: For the classic, “meaty” consistency of sloppy joes, consider using vegan beef crumbles or canned lentils as your base.

Remember to serve your vegan sloppy joe on toasted buns and garnish with green or red bell peppers for added crunch!


Determining whether a product like Manwich is vegan can be a complex task. While many of its ingredients, such as tomato puree, chili powder, and vinegar, are undeniably vegan, the inclusion of ‘natural flavors’ creates ambiguity. 

As conscious consumers and protectors of our planet, we must continuously question and explore the source of our food. Thankfully, there are vegan alternatives available from various brands that give us the same delicious experience while being kind to all earthlings. 

Stay strong in your vegan journey, and know that every plant-based choice you make contributes positively to our world.