Fiona is the editor of Plantpuree, a website that celebrates vegan living. With over 20 years in diet & fitness, fashion, and beauty, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to her work and writing on veganism.
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If you’re new to veganism and looking for a nutritional vegan cereal, you may be wondering if Blueberry Cheerios are vegan. After all, they do contain blueberries, which are a type of fruit. And fruits are vegan, right? Well, yes but it’s more complicated than that. The problem comes with some of the other ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list to see if Blueberry Cheerios are truly vegan.
Table of Contents
Are Blueberry Cheerios Vegan?
No. Because of the use of animal-derived components such as lanolin and bone char, vegans should avoid Blueberry Cheerios. Lanolin is extracted from sheep sebaceous glands and used to make Vitamin D3. Bone char, which is typically produced from cattle, is used to refine sugar.
What are Blueberry Cheerios?
Blueberry Cheerios is a popular breakfast cereal made by General Mills. The cereal is made from ground oats, sugar, oat bran and blueberry puree which is puffed and baked.
Blueberry Cheerios Ingredients
General Mills, the manufacturer of Blueberry Cheerios, currently list their main ingredients as:
Whole Grain Oats
Blueberry Puree Concentrate
Canola and/or Sunflower Oil
Vegetable and Fruit Juice Color
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 Blueberry Cheerios?
There are two non-vegan ingredients in Blueberry Cheerios: Vitamin D and refined sugar.
Vitamin D3 is a vitamin that is important for bone health. It can be found in fortified foods or supplements, and it can also be produced by the body when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is commercially made from lanolin. Lanolin is a waxy substance derived from sheep’s wool. Given vitamin D is derived from an animal source, this means that breakfast cereals fortified with this are not vegan, however they are suitable for vegetarians. 1
Why is sugar a problem? It’s made from sugar cane isn’t it? How does it go from being a plant based product to animal based?
The sugar’s color is the source of all confusion. White sugar doesn’t achieve its white by itself and sugar processing frequently involves the use of bone char in the US.
The bone char is made from cattle bones and although white sugar doesn’t contain bone char, it’s the number of animals that are used to produce the bone char which is an issue. 2
Blueberry Cheerios Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 36g
|Of which saturates||0.0g|
|Of which 10g are added sugars|
Are Blueberry Cheerios Dairy Free?
There are no dairy products listed on the ingredients label, so yes, Blueberry Cheerios are dairy free as long as you don’t add milk to them.
Vegan Alternatives To Blueberry Cheerios?
There are a few vegan cereals on the market that resemble Cheerios in appearance and texture, allowing consumers who want a vegan version of Cheerios to avoid eating animal products. Some well-known vegan certified choices are:
Kashi Organic Blueberry Clusters Cereal
Ingredients: Whole oats, rice, cane syrup, blueberry granola clusters (rolled oats, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, whole oat flour, brown rice flour, canola oil, blueberries, elderberry juice concentrate for color, natural flavor, rosemary extract , invert cane syrup, salt, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) , natural flavors, baking soda.
Cascadian Farm Organic Fruitful O’s Cereal
Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Cane Sugar, Corn Meal, Oat Fiber, Tapioca Syrup, Wheat Starch, Sea Salt, Sunflower Oil, Color (carrot concentrate, elderberry juice concentrate, annatto, pumpkin concentrate, apple concentrate), Natural Flavor, Dextrose. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)
Kashi GO Toasted Berry Crisp
Ingredients: Whole grain oats, soy flakes, cane sugar, wheat sticks (whole wheat flour, Kashi Seven Whole Grain and Sesame flour [oats, hard red wheat, rye, brown rice, triticale, barley, buckwheat, sesame seeds]), brown rice syrup, chicory root fiber, soy protein concentrate, degerminated yellow corn flour, dried cranberries (cranberries, cane sugar, vegetable glycerin), canola oil, oat fiber, dried blueberries (blueberries, cane sugar), baking soda, salt, natural flavors, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)
So, are Blueberry Cheerios vegan? Unfortunately, no. The vitamin D3 is derived from sheep wool and the sugar is processed using bone char making it unsuitable for a vegan lifestyle. However, there are a number of similar vegan alternatives on the market that are suitable for vegans and provide a similar look, taste, and texture.
With so many delicious options available, you’re sure to find a vegan cereal that you love!
Frequently Asked Questions
No – because of the risk of cross-contamination during processing. Although General Mills labels Cheerios as Gluten Free – the Canadian Celiac Association recommend that Celiac sufferers do not consume Cheerios. 5
According to Nestle (who are General Mills partners in Europe) Multigrain Cheerios are currently not listed as dairy free. 6
Sources: Are Blueberry Cheerios Vegan?