Are Fruity Pebbles Vegan?

Questionable ingredients tend to make a lot of cereal unsuitable for a plant-based diet. But today, we want to know if Fruity Pebbles is vegan? The answer is that for most people, they are not.

But, there are still other flavors to consider. We are going to take a closer look at what goes into these childhood favorites, and see if there are any vegan alternatives to enjoy.

Fruity Pebbles Ingredients

With a variety of ingredients, anyone would be right to scrutinize these rice-based treats from a vegan perspective. Here is the full list, followed by a rundown of the ingredients that make them non-vegan:

Fruity Pebbles Cereal (rice, sugar, hydrogenated oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), salt, contains less than 0.5% of natural and artificial flavor, red 40, yellow 6, turmeric oleoresin (color), blue 1, yellow 5, blue 2, BHA (to help protect flavor). Vitamins and minerals: sodium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacinamide, reduced iron, zinc oxide (source of zinc), vitamin B6, vitamin A palmitate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D.)


An ingredient that will always stand out once you know about some of the unethical practices that go into making some unprocessed sugar. A lot of sugar included in confectionery and cereal in the US has been decolorized with bone char. 

This is made from the charred bones of cattle and pigs and imported to the US. Many will find it problematic because brands are not very transparent about where their sugar comes from. When questioned, a lot of companies will say that their sugar is derived from numerous sources.

Because of this, it is difficult to say whether or not Fruity Pebbles uses sugar that has undergone this process. Stick to sugar that is either organic or derived from coconut or beets.

Palm Kernel Oil

The main complaint that anyone with a conscience has with palm oil is that it contributes toward the displacement of animals. Because the rainforest is chopped down at an alarming rate to source this ingredient, many vegans will not touch it.

It is believed that palm oil production is responsible for around 8% of the world’s deforestation between 1990 and 2008. Animals such as orangutans are put into perilous situations that are causing their numbers to decline as a result of this.

Fruity Pebbles contains palm kernel oil, another reason why many would say that despite it not being animal-derived, it is not vegan. 

Natural Flavors

It is another tricky ingredient because although many natural flavors are plant-based, others are animal-derived. The fact that companies do not need to allude to where theirs is sourced, it is difficult for any vega to tell if the product is suitable for them or not.

Natural Colors

These have a chequered past and present. Natural colors are routinely tested on animals, so it is important to know which ones you are dealing with. 

Red 40 and Yellow 5, both made from petroleum byproducts, are two of the most common, and both of these have been tested on animals in recent times. Anything tested on animals is cruel and if it does not cause an animal to die, it will certainly cause them to suffer.

Red 40 and Yellow 5 are not animals derived, so technically they can be construed as vegan which is how many people will choose to look at it. Otherwise, anything tested on animals should rule it out as a potential vegan product. 

Fruity Pebbles contain both of these colors and more.

Vitamin D

A controversial ingredient because of where the Vitamin D commonly used in food is derived from, Unless otherwise specified, it is most likely derived from lanolin or sheep’s wool.

Vitamin D2 is plant-based, but the most common is D3 in food and comes from the above non-vegan source. 

Lanolin is a waxy substance that a sheep will produce to help it shed water. It is found in many hair care products but manages to find its way as Vitamin D. Of course, it is animal debris and therefore not vegan.

Even with the questionable ingredients, this ensures Fruity Pebbles are off the menu.

What About Other Flavors?

There have been 20 different flavors over the years, but the other readily available version on the shelves today is Cocoa Pebbles. The ingredient profile reads as follows:

Rice, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, cocoa, salt, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor. vitamins and minerals niacinamide, reduced iron, zinc oxide, vitamin b6, vitamin a palmitate, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid, vitamin b12, vitamin d3.

The same ingredients are all there bar the natural and artificial colors. This makes this cereal another that is not vegan.

Vegan Alternatives

Cascadian Farm Fruity O’s

They look the same and taste similar, but without cruelty. This is because they are organic. With an ingredient profile that uses organic sugar (no bone char to be found) and other ingredients that are vegan friendly, these make for an excellent alternative to Fruity Pebbles.

Whole Grain Oat Flour*, Sugar*, Corn Meal*, Oat Fiber*, Tapioca Syrup*, Wheat Starch*, Sea Salt, Sunflower Oil*, Color (Carrot Concentrate*, Elderberry Juice Concentrate*, Annatto*, Pumpkin Concentrate*, Apple Concentrate*), Fructose*, Dextrose*, Natural Flavor, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols), Added To Preserve Freshness. *Organic

Nature’s Path Organic Gluten-Free Crunchy Cereal

If you need a sweet fix, these might not be fruit-flavored, but they are vegan friendly as the brand itself will testify. Organic ingredients galore, these are a great option to help get you going in the morning.

Organic brown rice flour, organic whole grain cornmeal, organic cane sugar, organic cornmeal, organic yellow corn flour, organic inulin, organic maple syrup, organic quinoa, natural maple flavor, organic flax seeds, sea salt, organic buckwheat flour, organic amaranth, organic molasses, tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Read more about vegan cereals.

Final Word

Whilst it ensures that Fruity Pebbles are not vegan, vitamin D is a common ingredient in cereal. Still, with a little knowledge, you can now keep an eye out for other suspect ingredients.

With this in mind, we encourage anyone looking to follow a plant-based diet to try and buy organic, as sugar is a difficult ingredient to avoid.

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