Are MultiGrain Cheerios Vegan?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Multigrain Cheerios is a popular breakfast cereal made by General Mills. In the US, the cereal is made from ground oats, corn, sugar, and rice which is puffed and baked. However, in Europe the ingredients list also includes wheat. (1) If you’re vegan, you know that it’s important to read the ingredients list on every food product before purchasing it. This is especially true for processed foods, as some of them may contain hidden animal products. So are Multigrain Cheerios vegan? Let’s find out.

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Are Multigrain Cheerios Vegan?

No, strict vegans should avoid Multigrain Cheerios because they include animal-derived components. Lanolin is a natural substance produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep and is used to make Vitamin D3. The sugar in Cheerios is processed in the US using bone char, which is made from animal bones. Try Cascadian Farm Purely O’s Cereal or Barbara’s Original Multigrain Spoonfuls Cereal instead.

Multigrain Cheerios Ingredients

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

Whole Grain Oats
Whole Grain Corn
Corn Starch
Whole Grain Rice
Whole Grain Sorghum
Brown Sugar Syrup
Corn Syrup
Tripotassium Phosphate
Tocopherols (Vitamin E for preservatives)
Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C,
Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate,
Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1,
Vitamin A,  Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

Non Vegan Ingredients In Multigrain Cheerios

There are two non-vegan ingredients in Cheerios: Vitamin D and refined sugar. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

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. (3)


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. (4)

Multigrain Cheerios Nutrition

Serving Size: 39g

Calories: 150kcal

USA39g Serving
  Of which saturates0.0g
  Of which 8g are added sugars

Are Multigrain Cheerios Gluten Free?

Yes in the US and no in Europe!

Multigrain Cheerios are sold in Europe via a Cereals Partners Worldwide partnership between Nestlé and General Mills under the Nestle Brand and very often contain different ingredients. For example, the European Nestle version contains 30% wheat. However, the US General Mills Multigrain Cheerios does not contain wheat and labels the product as gluten free.

Are Multigrain Cheerios Healthy?  

According to Healthline, Cheerios are low in fat and calories as well as loaded with vitamins and minerals. However, they do note that some varieties are high in sugar and low in protein and recommend choosing Multigrain as the healthier option with additional protein such as nuts and nut butter. (5)

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. If you are looking for a cereal that is certified vegan, Multigrain Cheerios are not the right choice. You might try some of the vegan alternatives to Cheerios suggested in this article. Alternatively, you could write to General Mills to express your concern about the lack of truly vegan options and ask them to consider creating more plant-based products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Multi Grain Cheerios Dairy Free?

Multi Grain Cheerios do not have any dairy products. However, they are not certified as dairy-free. This means that it is unclear if there is a risk of cross-contamination during processing. If you are on a dairy-free diet, it would be wise to avoid them.

Are Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Vegan?

No. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios contain traces of animal ingredients and are not vegan-friendly.

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