Are Tesco Bran Flakes Vegan? (No, But You Have Options!)

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Trying to find vegan options can be tricky at the best of times. When it comes to Bran Flakes, not only are there a number of whole wheat flake cereals across different brands, what’s even more confusing is that some are vegan and some aren’t! Lucky for you, we’ve done the research to figure out if Tesco Bran Flakes are vegan-friendly. In this post, we’ll take a look at the ingredients list for Tesco Bran Flakes and also compare them with Kellogg’s version. We’ll also discuss the health benefits of eating bran flakes and offer you some vegan alternatives. So, are Tesco Bran Flakes vegan? Here’s everything you need to know…

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Key Take Aways

1. Tesco Bran Flakes are not suitable for strict vegans due to traces of animal derivatives.

2. Tesco does offer a vegan Bran Flakes cereal option but it is 3 times more expensive.

3. Tesco Malt Wheats Cereal is a budget-friendly vegan alternative to Tesco Bran Flakes.

Are Tesco Bran Flakes Vegan?

The answer is no. The ingredients list includes Vitamin D and sugar which contain traces of animal by-products. So, if you are a strict vegan, we recommend avoiding this cereal. However, Tesco does offer Tesco Free From Branflakes which is a vegan and gluten-free cereal but is 3 times the cost per serving.

What Are Bran Flakes?

Bran flakes are a popular breakfast cereal made from wheat bran, rich in minerals and fiber, with a slightly sweet, nutty taste.

There are a large number of bran flake products on the market, from budget supermarket versions to more expensive, organic options. Some brands of bran flakes are made with whole wheat, while others use wheat flour. Bran flakes are also available in gluten-free varieties.

It’s important to note – not all brands of bran flakes are equal. In fact, while the ingredients vary slightly between different bran flake brands, some brands differ significantly in price, nutritional levels, and whether or not they use animal derivatives in their ingredients.

Tesco Bran Flakes Ingredients

If you and your family are vegan, you want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to ensure the products you are feeding your family aren’t harming animals or the environment and support nutritional needs and normal growth.

This is especially true when it comes to cereal. Just because many brands of bran flakes are marketed as plant-based, vegetarian “healthy” or “organic” doesn’t mean they are nutritious and vegan.

The good news is, since 2017, Tesco committed to labeling their own brand products with an in-house vegan label if the product was free from animal derivatives. Unfortunately, Tesco Bran flakes are not one of these products. The following table lists the ingredients and highlights the two problem ingredients – sugar and vitamin D.

Table of Ingredients

Wholewheat (80%)
Wheat Bran
Barley Malt Extract
Niacin, Iron, Pantothenic Acid B5,
Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin,
Folic Acid, Vitamin D,
Vitamin B12
Tesco Bran Flakes Ingredients

Non Vegan Ingredients

There are two non-vegan ingredients in Tesco Bran Flakes: Vitamin D and refined sugar.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a vitamin that is important for bone health. It can be found in foods that have been fortified with it, or you can take supplements. Vitamin D3 can also be produced by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. The problem with Vitamin D3 for vegans is that it is made from a waxy material that comes from sheep’s wool. (1)


Something that you might not expect is sugar. Sugar is usually made from sugar cane, sugar beets, or coconuts. But sometimes the refining process uses animal derivatives.

Bone char is a substance made from animal bones that are heated at high temperatures. This substance is often used to filter and whiten sugar. You are unlikely to see a reference to bone char in the ingredients list, as many brands simply refer to it as natural carbon.

In the UK, most brands do not use bone char to decolorize sugar. Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of bone char. However, the sugar industry in the US still uses bone char filters which have implications for vegan cereals. (2)

Although the ingredients list shows that Tesco Bran Flakes are not vegan, Tesco does offer a gluten-free and vegan version of bran flakes within the vegan section of their Free From range – Tesco Free From Bran Flakes.

Tesco Bran Flakes Nutrition

Bran flakes generally have a high nutritional value, providing a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are low in fat and calories and can be a healthy breakfast option for people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

I’ve included additional brands to show you just how favorably Tesco Bran Flakes compares to other brands, particularly regarding fiber content and folic acid levels where it lands in first place.

Tesco Bran Flakes Nutritional Comparisons

Nutritional Values per 100g

Aldi (Harvest Morn)360kcal2.7g16g64g12g12g0.35
Marks and Spencers 360kcal2.7g16g64g12g12g0.35

Tesco Bran Flakes Vitamins & Minerals Comparison

Vitamin and Mineral Values per 100g

Vitamin D
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6
Folic Acid
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B5
Marks and Spencers1.31.618.01.62302.96.916.0

Are Tesco Bran Flakes Healthy?

Yes, although Tesco Bran Flakes are not suitable for strict vegans they are a rich source of dietary fiber which is essential for a healthy diet. (3) The NHS and FDA recommend at least 30g a day and a serving of Tesco Bran Flakes provides 5.0g – close to 17% of the recommended daily amount. (4,5)

In addition, Tesco easily meets the requirements of a ‘good’ wheat bran cereal, which according to Berkley School of Health should contain at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving. (6)

Benefits of Tesco Bran Flakes

  1. Normalises bowel movements – Bran is a good source of dietary fiber which helps to keep our digestive system regular by softening stools and adding bulk which aids in their passage through the intestines. (7)
  2. Helps maintain gut health – bran helps to feed the good bacteria in the intestine. Good gut health aids digestion and promotes a healthy immune system. (8,9,10)
  3. Improves heart health – Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers cholesterol – Bran is rich in soluble fiber which has been shown to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, by binding to it and preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. (11)
  4. Helps maintain a healthy weight – studies indicate that fiber can help you maintain and even lose weight because it helps to reduce appetite and calorie intake (12)
  5. Helps you to live longer – studies suggest an increase in life span associated with an increase in cereal fiber (13,14)
  6. Reduce the risk of some cancers – studies indicate that wheat bran may benefit some cancers, particularly bowel and colon cancer. (15)
  7. Rich in micronutrients – wheat is rich in a variety of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. These important nutrients help to increase energy levels, focus, and overall strength. Additionally, wheat provides magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. (16)

Tesco Bran Flakes vs Kelloggs

A common question asked is how Tesco Bran Flakes compares to Kellogg’s Bran Flakes. Both brands are similar in ingredients and not vegan, but where they differ is in nutrition levels and price.

In terms of nutrition, Tesco Bran Flakes are significantly higher in iron, folic acid, fiber and niacin than Kellogg’s.

If you are on a budget and are pursuing budget vegan meals and looking to make your plant-based diet more affordable, note that Kellogg’s is twice the price of Tesco and should be avoided. If you are a strict vegan, a better budget high fiber option would be Tesco Biscuit Cereal or Tesco Malt Wheats Cereal.

Vegan Alternatives to Tesco Bran Flakes

Instead of Tesco Bran Flakes buy Tesco Free From Bran Flakes which is vegan, gluten-free, and just as delicious! Other Tesco vegan cereals high in fiber include:

Tesco Biscuit Cereal

Tesco Biscuit Cereal is Tesco’s version of Weetabix and is vegan.

Wholewheat (95%)
Malted Barley Extract
Niacin, Iron,
Thiamin, Riboflavin,
Folic Acid,

Tesco Malt Wheats Cereal

Tesco Malt Wheats Cereal is Tesco’s own brand version of Nestle Shreddies and is vegan

Wholewheat Flour
Malted Barley Extract
Partially Inverted Sugar Syrup
Niacin, Iron, Pantothenic Acid B5,
Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin,
Folic Acid, Vitamin D,
Vitamin B12


All in all, Tesco bran flakes are not a vegan-friendly breakfast cereal because of the addition of vitamin D3 and sugar. However, Tesco does offer a vegan-friendly alternative in the form of their Free From Bran Flakes. These flakes are gluten-free and provide a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you are looking for more healthy, affordable, and delicious vegan breakfast cereals from Tesco own brand range, Tesco Biscuit Cereal and Tesco Malt Wheat cereals are also great options!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tesco Bran Flakes Gluten-Free?

No, Tesco Bran Flakes are not gluten-free. However, Tesco does offer a vegan and gluten-free alternative in the form of their Free From Bran Flakes.