Home & Garden Home Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan? Does this sweetly spiced cereal contain animal products? The answer may surprise you. By Hayley Bruning Hayley Bruning Associate Editor Ramapo College of New Jersey Hayley Bruning has worked as a staff writer, editor, proofreader, and marketing assistant. Her focuses include veganism, sustainable food, and agriculture. Learn about our editorial process Published January 18, 2023 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Treehugger / photokitchen / Getty Images Home Sustainable Eating Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism In This Article Expand Why Cinnamon Toast Crunch Is Not Vegan Vegan Cinnamon Toast Crunch Products Vegan Alternatives Frequently Asked Questions Famous for its delightful cinnamon swirl, satisfying crunch, and those cute cartoon squares many of us grew up watching in commercials, Cinnamon Toast Crunch continues its reign as one of the most popular breakfast cereals. But is it safe for vegans to consume? This sweetly spiced General Mills cereal contains at least one ingredient that, for some plant-based eaters, makes it unethical to eat. Discover more about the vegan status of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in our guide. Why Cinnamon Toast Crunch Is Technically Not Vegan Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains several ingredients that you would expect in a cereal, and most of them are vegan: whole grain wheat, rice flour, and, of course, cinnamon. Still, there’s one unexpected non-vegan outlier: vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and phosphorous, important minerals for bone health. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is found naturally in humans and animals but not in plants. The vitamin D3 listed in foods and supplements often comes from lanolin, which is extracted from sheep’s wool. Because there is no guarantee that the lanolin was extracted humanely from the sheep, vitamin D3 is considered not vegan. Everything You Need to Know About Wool Sugar While most vegans consume sugar, this sweet ingredient still gives some plant-based eaters pause. Sugar can come from either sugar beets, sugarcane, or both. While sugar beets are processed singularly—undergoing extraction, purification, and crystallization without the addition of non-vegan ingredients—cane sugar is sometimes refined with activated charcoal made of animal-based bone char. It is not always easy to determine what kind of sugar is used in processed foods, so most vegans don’t worry too much about consuming it from time to time. Still, some strict vegans may avoid foods containing sugar altogether. Did You Know? General Mills, the brand owner of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, is committed to improving animal welfare, according to its website. The company's policy cites the five freedoms for supply chain animals and offers ambitious sustainability objectives related to animal agriculture. Its goals include using 100% cage-free or free-range eggs by 2025 and eliminating the use of gestation crates for pigs. Vegan Cinnamon Toast Crunch Products Craving more than the traditional cereal flavor? Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a line of other food products, including variations of the original cereal, for those who can’t get enough of the sweet cinnamon flavor. While there aren’t many that are vegan, a few make the list. (Vegans avoiding sugar, though, beware.) Dulce de Leche Toast Crunch: Caramel lovers, rejoice. This dessert-like cereal contains sugar but not vitamin D3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cake Mix (Original and Coffee Cake): While these cake mixes contain no animal products, both recipes call for eggs. However, if you’re crafty in the kitchen, you can put a plant-based spin on the recipe. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnadust: Sprinkle this on oatmeal, toast, and anything else you’d like. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnadust Glaze Snack Popcorn: Love kettle corn? You’re in for a sweet crunchy treat. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Frosting: Great news: You can top your vegan version of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cake (or any vegan cake) with this Cinnadust-flavored frosting. Vegan Alternatives to Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal If you are concerned with the inclusion of vitamin D3 in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, there are tasty alternatives available. The next time you’re in the cereal aisle, look for boxes labeled “vegan” so you can be absolutely certain your breakfast is cruelty-free. The following cereals are for cinnamon lovers only, but these brands carry other plant-based flavors, too. Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch CerealNature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon CerealBarbara’s Organic Puffins Cinnamon Cereal Frequently Asked Questions Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal have dairy in it? Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not contain dairy. It does, however, contain vitamin D3, which is usually sourced from sheep's wool, and sugar that may or may not have been refined with animal-based bone char. Which cereals can vegans eat? There are plenty of cereals on the market that are suitable for vegans to eat. We like Cascadian Farm Organic cereals, Barbara's Organic Puffins, and Nature's Path cereals. When shopping, make sure to double check the ingredient's lists. View Article Sources "Vitamin D." Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health. Buttriss JL, Lanham-New SA. "Is a vitamin D fortification strategy needed?" Nutr Bull, vol. 45, no. 2, 2020, doi:10.1111/nbu.12430.