Are Prawn Cocktail Crisps Vegan?

September 25, 2023

Identifying whether or not Walker’s Prawn Cocktail Crisps are vegan can be a bit of a puzzle.

The challenge arises from ingredients whose names do not reveal their source, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral.

Fear not, though! This article is here to help, delving into the depths of this product’s ingredients and supporting you in your admirable vegan lifestyle.

Are Prawn Cocktail Crisps Vegan?

Look, a lot of websites claim that Walkers Prawn Cocktail Crisps are safe for vegan consumption. However, even Walker’s own website says only “suitable for vegetarians.” I’d venture to guess that if this product were truly 100% vegan, Walker’s would say so on its website.

One ingredient that gives us pause is the “flavoring” in the prawn cocktail seasoning. While the exact composition of this flavoring isn’t clear, it’s possible that it could contain animal derivatives.

Moreover, it’s important to note that these crisps are manufactured in a facility that also handles milk, which could raise concerns about cross-contamination for some strict vegans.

Are Prawn Cocktail Crisps Cruelty-Free?

We can’t say for sure. GMO information is not as readily available for UK products as it is in the US because GMOs aren’t as common. However, according to the Royal Society, the vegetable oils and cornstarch in these crisps may be GMO, which would make these crisps not cruelty-free due to the fact that GMOs are tested on animals.

What Are Prawn Cocktail Crisps Made Of?

Now, let’s break down what’s actually in these crisps. Here is a full list of the ingredients found in Walkers Prawn Cocktail Crisps:

  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable oils (sunflower, rapeseed, in varying proportions)
  • Prawn cocktail seasoning:
    • Flavoring
    • Cornstarch
    • Sugar
    • Salt
    • Dextrose
    • Potassium chloride
    • Citric acid
    • Dried yeast
    • Dried onion
    • Tomato powder
    • Color (paprika extract)
    • Sweetener (sucralose)
  • Antioxidants: rosemary extract, ascorbic acid, tocopherol rich extract, citric acid


Potatoes are the main ingredient of any crisp, including the prawn cocktail crisps. They’re a plant-based food, so they’re definitely vegan-friendly.

Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Rapeseed)

Vegetable oils, whether from sunflower or rapeseed, are plant derived and thus are vegan. They’re used in the crisps to fry the potatoes and give them their crunchy texture.

Prawn Cocktail Seasoning

The Prawn Cocktail Seasoning is where things get a bit tricky. This is a mix of various ingredients, including unspecified flavoring, which could potentially contain non-vegan elements.

Other ingredients like cornstarch, sugar, salt, dextrose, potassium chloride, citric acid, dried yeast, dried onion, tomato powder, paprika extract, and sucralose are typically vegan friendly, even if some may be GMO.

However, the uncertainty around the flavoring leaves us unable to confidently claim that the seasoning, and hence the crisps, are vegan.

Antioxidants (Rosemary Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol Rich Extract, Citric acid)

These are typically vegan as they are derived from plants (rosemary extract, citric acid) or are synthetic (ascorbic acid, tocopherol rich extract). They’re included in the crisps to preserve the freshness and extend the shelf-life of the product.

Vegan Alternatives to Prawn Cocktail Crisps

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly snacks that deliver the same crunch and flavor as prawn cocktail crisps, there are several options out there:

  • Vegan-friendly flavors of Walkers Crisps: While the prawn cocktail flavor may not be suitable for vegans, there are other options in the Walkers range that are, such as the Ready Salted Crisps.
  • Oven-baked crisps and chips: These crisps often have simpler ingredients and may offer vegan-friendly flavors. Try these baked chips from Good Chips.
  • Brands dedicated to vegan snacks: There are many brands on the market committed to producing vegan-friendly snacks. Check out Spudsy Sweet Potato Puffs, for example.
  • Homemade vegetable chips: If you’re up for a bit of cooking, you can make your own crisps at home with vegetables like kale, beetroot, or sweet potato. Just toss them in a bit of oil, add your favorite spices, and bake until crispy.


While Prawn Cocktail Crisps may seem like a tantalizing treat, they fall short of being suitable for vegans. The ambiguity around some ingredients, such as flavoring, in the prawn cocktail seasoning, coupled with potential cross-contamination risks and potential use of GMO crops, prevent these crisps from being a sure vegan and cruelty-free choice.

However, the world of vegan food is vast and varied, offering plenty of alternative brands that align with a vegan lifestyle.

Remember, every choice you make in support of a cruelty-free world matters. Happy snacking!