Are Maple Cheerios Vegan Friendly? (Find Out Now!)

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

When it comes to veganism, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. One of the most common questions people have is whether or not a specific food is vegan. In some cases, it’s straightforward and the answer is obvious. But in other cases, things can get a bit more complicated. This is definitely the case when it comes to Maple Cheerios. Some claim that it is a vegan cereal while others say it’s not. So what’s the truth? Let’s take a closer look at this popular cereal to find out.

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Are Maple Cheerios Vegan?

In a nutshell no. Maple Cheerios are not suitable for vegans because they include or rely on animal-derived components such as lanolin and bone char. Lanolin, derived from sheep sebaceous glands, is used to make Vitamin D3 and Maple Cheerios’ refined sugar is prepared using cattle bone char.

What are Maple Cheerios?

Maple Cheerios is a popular breakfast cereal made by General Mills. The cereal is made from ground oats, sugar, oat bran and maple syrup 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. 

Maple Cheerios Ingredients

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

Whole Grain Oats


Brown Sugar Syrup

Corn Starch

Maple Syrup

Oat Bran


Canola Oil

Tripotassium Phosphate

Natural Flavor

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 Maple Cheerios?

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

Vitamin D3

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


The problem with sugar is because of its processing, not the actual ingredient itself. Sugar Cane is processed using bone char, which is made from animal bones heated at high temperatures. Bone char is widely used commercially to filter and whiten sugar. Although the sugar itself doesn’t contain fragments of bone – it’s the number of animals that are used to produce the bone char which is an issue. 2

Maple Cheerios Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 36g

Calories: 140

USA36g Serving
  Of which saturates0.0g
  Of which 11g are added sugars

Vegan Maple Cereal Alternatives  

Some vegan certified popular options which are great vegan alternatives to Maple Cheerios include:

Nature Path Foods Maple Sunrise Cereal

Ingredients: Whole grain corn meal, raw cane sugar, brown rice flour, corn meal, yellow corn flour, inulin, quinoa puffs, maple syrup (2.8%), flaxseed (1.6%), natural maple flavour, buckwheat flour, quinoa , sea salt, amaranth, molasses, antioxidant: tocopherol-rich extract. Organic. May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts or soy.

Whole Earth Maple Frosted Flakes

Ingredients: Corn (72%), Maple Syrup (14%), Raw Cane Sugar* Salt+, emulsifier: sunflower lecithin

Oat Pantry Maple & Pecan Pie Porridge

Ingredients: Gluten free porridge oats, Pecans (12%), Coconut sugar, Natural Maple Flavouring (3%)

Contact Cheerios to ask for Vegan Maple 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

For individuals who wish to avoid animal-based substances in their Maple Cheerios, genuine vegan options are not available from General Mills in the Cheerio range.

If you’re one of these people, please contact General Mills and express your dissatisfaction with the dearth of genuinely vegan options. Let them know that as a consumer, you would find it beneficial if they increased the number of vegan-friendly goods available. After all, the greater we communicate about our beliefs, the more likely we are to make progress!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Honey Nut Cheerios Low Fodmap?

At present, Monash University has not certified any variety of Cheerios as Low FODMAP. This means that we cannot be certain that they are suitable for people following a low FODMAP diet.

Are Oat Crunch Cheerios Gluten-Free?

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. 3

Are Honey Nut Cheerios Dairy Free?

According to Nestle (who are General Mills partners in Europe), Multigrain Cheerios are currently not listed as dairy free. 4

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Sources: ‘Are Maple Cheerios Vegan?’