Are Apple Cinnamon Cheerios Vegan? (You’ll be Surprised!)

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios are a favorite breakfast cereal, but are they vegan? The answer is a little complicated. Let’s take a closer look at whether or not these breakfast treats are free from animal products.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliated; we may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. We only ever add brands & products we truly believe in. Thank you for supporting the brands who are making the world a better place!

Are Apple Cinnamon Cheerios Vegan?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Strict vegans should avoid Apple Cinnamon Cheerios because they include or make use of animal derived components such as lanolin and bone char. Lanolin is produced by sheep sebaceous glands and is utilized in the manufacture of Vitamin D3 and the refined sugar in Cheerios is processed in the US using bone char, which is formed from animals.

What is Apple Cinnamon Cheerios?

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios is a popular breakfast cereal made by General Mills. The cereal is made from ground oats, sugar, oat bran and apple puree which is puffed and baked.  

In the US, the Cheerios brand offers 18 different varieties – all varying in ingredients and nutritional content but none of which are vegan. Similarly, there are four varieties offered in Europe and eight in Canada but again – none of which are vegan.

US General Mills Cheerio Brands

1.     Blueberry Cheerios

2.     Maple Cheerios

3.     Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon

4.    Original Cheerios

5.     Honey Nut Cheerios

6.     Multi Grain Cheerios

7.     Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

8.     Chocolate Cheerios

9.     Frosted Cheerios

10.   Cheerios Oat Crunch Almond

11.   Cheerios Oat Crunch, Oats ‘N’ Honey

12.   Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios

13.   Cinnamon Cheerios

14.   Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch

15.   Honey Nut Cheerios Treat Bars

16.   Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries

17.   Strawberry Banana Cheerios

18.   Very Berry Cheerios


Uk and Europe Nestle Cheerios Varieties

1.      Nestle Cheerios Multigrain cereal

2.      Nestle Cheerios Honey cereal

3.      Nestle Cheerios Flavoured ‘O’s

4.      Nestle Chocolate Cheerios Cereal

5.      Nestle Honey Cheerios Breakfast Bars

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios Ingredients

General Mills, the manufacturer of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, currently list their main ingredients as:

Whole Grain Oats


Oat Bran

Corn Starch

Corn Syrup

Canola Oil

Apple Puree Concentrate


Refiners Syrup


Tripotassium Phosphate

Tocopherols (Vitamin E for preservatives)

Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin A,  Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

What Are The Non Vegan Ingredients In Apple Cinnamon Cheerios?

There are two non-vegan ingredients in Apple Cinnamon Cheerios: Vitamin D and refined sugar.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D aids in the regulation of calcium and phosphate levels in the body. This group of nutrients is required for the maintenance of bones, teeth, and muscles. 1 Vitamin D3 is made from lanolin, a waxy substance obtained from sheep’s wool. It isn’t vegan. 2

General Mills have confirmed that sheep are the source of the vitamin D3 contained in their products. 3


Sugar cane juice has been used for centuries to make sugar. Natural carbon, often known as bone char and derived from cattle, is a porous material that’s widely utilized by the sugar industry in the US as a decolorizing filter, allowing the sugar cane to attain its appealing white color.

Although sugar itself does not contain bone fragments, the amount of animals used to process it is a concern. 4

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 37g

Calories: 150g

USA37g Serving
  Of which saturates0.0g
  Of which 12g are added sugars

Vegan Alternatives To Apple Cinnamon Cheerios?  

Thankfully there are a few vegan cereals on the market that are similar in appearance in look and texture for those wanting a vegan version of Cheerios. Some vegan certified popular options include:

Barbara’s Puffins Cinnamon Cereal


Corn Flour, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Cane Sugar, Oat Fiber, Corn Bran, Unsulfured Molasses, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Tocopherols

Barbara’s Organic Crunchy Cinnamon Raisin Bran


Organic Whole Grain Wheat, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Granola Clusters [Organic Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice (organic brown rice, sea salt, organic brown rice syrup), Organic Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Organic Cornstarch, Organic Honey, Organic Vanilla, Salt], Organic Raisins, Organic Wheat Bran, Sea Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Barley Malt Extract, Organic Sunflower Oil.

Contact Cheerios to ask for Vegan Cheerio Options

If you’re a fan of Cheerios but are looking for a vegan option, the best thing to do is to contact the company and let them know of your interest. You can find General Mills’ contact information here

Or email the Board of Directors directly at

Final Thoughts

It seems that General Mills does not have a true vegan option for those who want to avoid animal derived ingredients within their Cheerios.

This leaves many people who want to eat cereal that is free from animal products with fewer choices. If you are one of these people, or if you simply want more variety when it comes to vegan-friendly breakfast cereals, please write to General Mills and express your concern about the lack of truly vegan options. Let them know that as a consumer, you would like to see more plant-based cereals on store shelves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios Gluten Free?

No – because of the risk of cross-contamination during processing. Although General Mills label Cheerios as Gluten Free – the Canadian Celiac Association recommend that Celiac sufferers do not consume Cheerios. 5

Are Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios Dairy Free?

There are no dairy products listed in Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios. However, they are not certified as dairy-free and it’s unclear whether cross-contamination may occur during processing.

Are Asda Bran Flakes Vegan?

Is Baby Cereal Vegan?

Vegan Budget Meals: How to Make a Plant Based Diet More Affordable

Sources: ‘Are Apple Cheerios Vegan?’