Are Oreos vegan? Have you heard that Oreo cookies are accidentally vegan? Or seen articles claiming this world-famous cookie is vegan-friendly? It sounds like a dream that this delectable dessert could be vegan, but what if it really was that? Just a dream.

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The Classic Oreo Cookie is most commonly known for its creamy filling and crisp, circular chocolate biscuit exterior. With dozens of flavors to choose from, it can be fun to indulge your sweet tooth and try something new.

Yet, for those following a vegan diet, it is important to take a step back and ask the question, are Oreos vegan? Let’s take a deeper look at this popular claim. 

Does Oreo Claim That They Are Vegan?

No, Oreo’s parent company, Mondelez International, states they cannot guarantee that Oreos are vegan. This is in part due to cross-contamination. As the company produces products that contain or may contain trace amounts of dairy.

This national biscuit company does not currently have a plan to certify Oreos as vegan or plant-based. Even so, many vegans and plant-based enthusiasts still consume Oreos regularly. Some might list these chocolate cookies as vegan junk food.

Pile of several Oreo cookies.

Do Oreos Contain Animal Products?

Some do. Others might. Oreos may contain animal ingredients. One of Oreo’s main ingredients is refined sugar, which may contain animal bone char.

Oreos are also processed in a facility that processes other packaged food products. These products may contain milk and/or animal products. This means that cross-contamination is possible and cannot be ruled out.

What Are The Classic Oreo’s Ingredients 

Mondelez International’s Classic Oreo Cookies ingredient list:

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1), Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Sugar, Palm and/or Canola Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Leavening (Baking Soda and/or Calcium Phosphate), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor.

The Oreo cookies package also states: “Safety warning Contains: wheat, soy.”

What Oreo Flavors Are Vegan-Friendly?

Technically no Oreo flavors are vegan-friendly for strict vegans. Yet there are certain Oreo flavors that technically contain no or minimal animal-derived ingredients.

Although strict ethical vegans would not consume Oreos, certain vegans may still consume Oreos if they have not yet eliminated refined sugar, palm oil, and/or artificial coloring from their diet. Each vegan is on their own personal journey, and certain vegans do not agree that these products should be eliminated from our diet.

Classic Oreos

Blue package of classic Oreos.

Oreo Thins

Package of Golden Oreo Thins.

Oreo Flavors

Package of Brookie-O Flavored Creme Oreos.

Limited Edition Oreos

Yellow package of golden snickerdoodle Oreos.

Fudge Covered Oreos

  • No fudge-covered Oreos are vegan. They all contain one or more animal-derived products.

Are you interested in watching a documentary about plant-based and vegan diets’ impact on your body? If so, check out this post, The Best Food Documentaries.

Which Oreos Are Not Vegan?

Oreos come in various flavors, including birthday, fudge, strawberry, matcha, chocolate, etc. As a result, certain flavors contain dairy products. Milk or dairy is an animal by-product and is not vegan.

It is also important to note that Oreos produced for certain countries, events, or for a limited time may contain animal products. Always make sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing, as new Oreo Flavors continue to be produced.

Oreo Classics

  • Cakesters Soft Snack Cakes (Contains wheat, milk, egg, and soy allergens. They may also contain peanut or tree nuts.)

Oreo Thins

  • All Oreo Thins are animal product free. 

Oreo Flavors

  • Fudge Covered & White Fudge Covered Sandwich Holiday Cookies (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)
  • White Fudge Covered OREO Sandwich Cookies, Holiday Edition (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)

Limited Edition Oreos

  • Fudge Covered & White Fudge Covered Sandwich Holiday Cookies (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)
  • White Fudge Covered OREO Sandwich Cookies, Holiday Edition (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)

Fudge Covered Oreos

  • Fudge Covered & White Fudge Covered Sandwich Holiday Cookies (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)
  • Fudge Covered Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)
  • Fudge Covered Mint Creme Sandwich Cookies (Contains wheat, milk, and soy.)
Large pile of dozens of Oreos cookies covering the surface.

Controversial Plant-Based Ingredients

You may have read articles that say Oreos are vegan but have also heard about potentially controversial ingredients that Oreo cookies contain. This can be confusing, which is why it is important to learn about the history of these ingredients.

Knowing where the ingredients come from and how they are produced can make you feel more connected with your food. This can help you to make the right decision concerning your personal health and diet.

Food Coloring

Food coloring has been used for centuries and is a fun way to transform a dish or make it look more appealing. In the past, we used natural food coloring derived from flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Today, the vast majority of food coloring used commercially is artificial. Having been produced and developed in a sterile lab. Scientific labs do not have a great reputation when it comes to the treatment of animals.

Animal testing is common, and for FDA approval, it is often required. This means that many of the Oreo cookie flavors are not ethically vegan. As animals were used in the process of producing the artificial food coloring used to create these Oreo varieties.

Oreos that contain red food coloring #4 or carmine are also not vegan. As this food coloring is derived from the crushing of red insects. Keep in mind that the original chocolate Oreo cookie does contain artificial flavor, which was produced in a lab and may have been tested on animals.

Finally, many other commercially made food colorings contain colors or additives that are petroleum based. That is just something you don’t want to be consuming, whether you’re vegan or not.


Sugar is often the number one ingredient in popular snacks, cookies, and candies. So it may surprise you to learn that sugar is not necessarily vegan. Most refined white sugars and some brown sugars contain animal products. This is due to bone char being added during the production process.

Bone char is created when animal bones are ground and then charred in a low-oxygen environment, removing all organic material. The bone char is then added to the white sugar as a decolorizing filter.

Some brown sugars are created through the combination of white sugar and molasses, meaning they may also contain bone char. Those on a vegan diet often avoid refined sugar and instead opt for raw sugar, beet sugar, unrefined cane sugar, maple syrup, or rice syrup as an alternative. Many vegan products are careful to choose organic and non-GMO sugar suppliers with strong ethical practices.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of palm trees and is popularly used in various consumer products, including cosmetics and packaged foods. Palm trees grow and thrive in hot environments.

Due to palm oil’s growing popularity, a large portion of the rainforest has been converted to palm tree plantations for palm oil production. This has resulted in the mass devastation of animal habitats and the environment.

It has also increased animal-human conflicts and resulted in the death of endangered animals. As a result, many plant-based eaters do not feel that it is right to consume palm oil and products containing palm oil.

Although palm oil does not contain animal products. The consumption of palm oil conflicts with the vegan community’s ethical stance on not harming animals and taking care of the environment. Currently, there are no sustainable palm oil products available.


Can vegans eat Oreos?

No, but also yes. Individuals who are following a strict vegan lifestyle cannot consume Oreos. This results from harm done to animals in the production of Oreo ingredients. There are some vegans that do still consume Oreos, as they do not strictly follow all ethical vegan practices. Depending on your own personal stance, you may choose to consume or not consume Oreos.

Why are Oreos not vegan?

Oreos are not vegan because they contain refined sugar, palm oil, and food coloring. These ingredients have been known to either contain animal products or harm animals during production. Veganism is not only refraining from consuming products containing meat and animal by-products but also an ethical stance to do no harm to animals. This is why Oreos are not vegan. 

In addition, as listed above, there are currently nine oreo flavors that contain milk products.

Finally, Oreos themselves have stated that Oreos are not vegan.

What foods are accidentally vegan?

A food or product may be accidentally vegan if the manufacturer or corporation creates a product using vegan-friendly ingredients without intentionally trying to do so. PETA has a list of accidentally vegan food products, but remember that most of these products contain refined white sugar, palm oil, or food coloring. Meaning that they may not technically be vegan.

Tall stack of Oreo chocolate creme cookies on a white background.

Are Oreos Vegan: Final Thoughts

You may be wondering, if Oreos are not vegan, then how can you satisfy your sweet tooth? There are many certified vegan-friendly cookies and chocolate biscuits available for purchase, including Made Good Chocolate Chip Cookies, GoGo Quinoa Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Wise Bites Soft Mini Cookies.

Being vegan does not mean depriving yourself of a sweet treat. It just means being mindful of what products and companies you support and consume. As the vegan diet has become more popular in the United States and abroad, more products are becoming vegan-certified. Making being vegan just that much easier.

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  1. I’ve always considered Oreos to be “accidentally vegan”. This post was a good read and had some points to consider.