The entire Snapple range is enjoyed by many Americans every day, but is it vegan? The answer is that much of their range is vegan, especially their range of teas.
It is their juices that are problematic for a plant-based diet. We’re going to take a closer look to see what a vegan can enjoy, and why you should avoid some of the other varieties of Snapple.
Peta lists Snapple as a cruelty-free brand that does not conduct some of the cruel and painful tests on animals that other brands have been guilty of.
Based in Pano, Texas, Snapple is owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper who knows a thing or two about making a popular soft drink. Let’s take a look at what goes into the Snapple range, starting with the tea.
Takes Two To Mango Tea
The ingredient profile is simple, and most importantly, vegan. It contains the following:
Filtered water, sugar, citric acid, tea, natural flavors
The diet version would usually be cause for concern because it includes artificial sweeteners like sucralose:
The ingredients include citric acid, tea, filtered water, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and natural flavors.
Sucralose is a form of table sugar and is often decolorized in the US using imported bone char. This is how many brands leach their sugar to make it a more desirable white.
The problem is, bone char is made from cattle and pig bones. Many vegans take issue with the lack of transparency of brands that do not specify whether or not they use bone char to process their sugar.
As we mentioned earlier, Peta has listed Snapple Tea as cruelty-free, so we would have to assume that they do not use bone char.
The diet and regular versions are similar and both vegan. The ingredients read as follows:
Green tea, filtered water, sugar, fruit extracts, citric acid, and natural flavors. The diet version replaces sugar with the artificial sweeteners sucralose and again, we would have to assume that the sugar used in the regular version does not use bone char.
The vegan-friendly ingredients combine to make this fine for consumption and cruelty-free. The diet and regular versions are similar, with the only difference being their replacing sugar with aspartame and potassium citrate, and manic acid.
Aspartame has a controversial reputation as it can harm health when consumed in large quantities, but it is vegan.
Another version with a similar ingredient profile. It consists of the following ingredients:
sugar, filtered water, natural flavors, and citric acid.
The natural flavors can be controversial in some foods but not commonly in drinks. In various candies, for example, natural flavors could mean they are derived from plants or animals, and many brands are not specific.
This is generally not the case for drinks, with plant-based natural flavors more common. This, plus PETA’s seal of approval makes us confident that this version is vegan friendly.
For the diet version, there is no sugar, but potassium citrate and aspartame are present.
Another version, and another vegan tea. Both the diet and regular versions follow a similar pattern and there are no ingredients that jump out.
100% plant-based, it is made up of sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, and filtered water.
These are made with a different recipe and not every version is vegan friendly. This is because some are clarified, but we will get to that a little later.
Some of the following flavors are vegan friendly, but there are a few to look out for as they are not strictly vegan.
The plant-based ingredients make this fine for consumption and include the following:
Ascorbic acid, lemon juice concentrate, filtered water, sugar, acacia gum, salt, beta carotene, soy lecithin, and natural flavors.
One of the most popular flavors, it is vegan and made up of the following ingredients:
Ascorbic acid, fruits juice concentrates such as apple, grape, and pear, sugar, filtered water, acacia gum, salt, and natural flavors.
Kiwi Strawberry Juice
There are toe ingredients that vegans will find concerning, but the full list is as follows.
Strawberry and kiwi juice concentrate, filtered water, vegetable juice concentrates, sugar, ester gum, acacia gum, and artificial flavors.
It is ester gum that many will find problematic. Used in soft drinks as a thickener and to keep oils in suspension, it can be derived from animals.
Sometimes labeled as glyceryl ester gum of wood resin, it is commonly found in orange sodas. Because glycerol is commonly made from animal fats, it’s a non-vegan ingredient. As a result, it is best to avoid this Snapple flavor as further clarification is required.
Because of the inclusion of clarified lemon and watermelon juice concentrates, there is a chance that this is not vegan.
Because these ingredients might be processed using animal-derived ingredients. Since Snapple does not clarify if this is the case, it might be one to avoid.
The full ingredients list is as follows.
Filtered water, clarified lemon and watermelon juice concentrates, sea salt, citric acid, acacia gum, natural flavors, and other fruit juice concentrate (for color).
How Is Snapple Made?
Marketed as “made from the best stuff on earth” the manufacturing process is a closely guarded secret.
Because Snapple is thought of as a vegan-friendly tea producer, the sugar must be sourced without the use of bone char.
Also, it means that when made, natural flavors are derived from vegan-friendly sources.
This is only for the tea as the Snapple Kiwi Strawberry Juice is made with ester gum and therefore not suitable.
Like many within the vegan community, we await further clarification on how their clarified juices are made. Snapple isn’t alone in this, and it is cause for frustration for those following a plant-based life.
So, Is Snapple Vegan?
The truth is that without Peta’s approval it would be difficult to say.
The inclusion of natural flavors and sugar would usually be cause for concern, but with Peta listing Snapple tea as a vegan option, we can only assume the source of both ingredients is vegan friendly.
Although Snapple Tea has a simple ingredient profile, other drinks that the brand produces might not be vegan friendly.
It shows the importance of knowing how each ingredient is made and clearly, there is work to be done within the industry in terms of transparency.