Are Tesco Cornflakes Vegan? (All You Need to Know)

Are Tesco Cornflakes Vegan

Do you know if Tesco cornflakes are vegan? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

If you’ve recently adopted veganism, you might be looking at your favorite foods in a new light. It doesn’t seem like cereals include animal products, but you’re not sure. Are Tesco cornflakes vegan?

Most of the ingredients in Tesco cornflakes are vegan. However, the vitamin D and sugar in them might not be.

What makes sugar and vitamin D not vegan? What are all the ingredients in Tesco cornflakes? I’ll answer these questions and more in this article.

What’s in Tesco Cornflakes?

The complete ingredient list for Tesco cornflakes is:

  • Maize
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Barley Malt Extract
  • Iron
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12

Most of these ingredients should be vegan. Whether you’re ok with eating the vitamin D and sugar in the cornflakes is entirely up to you.  

Read also >> Who Makes Tesco Cornflakes? (Are They Good?)

Why Isn’t Vitamin D Usually Vegan?

In fortified foods, vitamin D usually comes from animal sources. The most common source is lanolin, which is an oil from sheep’s wool.

Other sources include egg yolk, the skin from fatty fish, and liver. There are plant sources like lichens, but it’s harder to find vitamin D sourced from plants than from animals.

Tesco doesn’t say where the vitamin D in their cornflakes comes from. It’s safe to assume they use animal sources, too.

This makes it difficult for a lot of vegans to get enough vitamin D in their diets. While most of our vitamin D comes from the sun, having it in food or supplement form is essential for non-sunny seasons.

While they’re rare, there are vegan vitamin D supplements.

Why Isn’t Sugar Vegan?

To clarify, there are some vegan sugars. They just don’t represent the majority of available and refined sugars. Unless otherwise noted, the sugar in your favorite cereals probably isn’t vegan friendly.

Most white or refined cane sugar gets its appealing color through bone char filtration. Usually, this involves burnt cow bones. While there are some sugar refineries which have switched to vegan-friendly processes, many still use cow bones.

Like the vitamin D, Tesco doesn’t state whether they use vegan-friendly sugar in their cornflakes. It’s probably a safe bet that they don’t. If you’re concerned about the bone char method, you’ll probably want to avoid all food and cosmetics which use refined cane sugar.

While some brown sugars are vegan-friendly, many refineries still create it by mixing molasses in with refined cane sugar. If you like cane sugar, you’ll probably want to stick with raw, which hasn’t been through any filtering processes.

If the refinery uses vegan-friendly filtration, they should say that somewhere on the packaging.

You might love refined sugar, but now want to avoid all cane sugar. Luckily, beet sugar is a great option.

The refining process is much easier than the refining process for sugar cane, and does not involve any cow bones.

Unrefined sugar options which are also vegan include:

  • Date sugar
  • Fruit sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Non-white golden caster sugar

Are There Certified Vegan-Friendly Cornflake Options?

Unfortunately, a lot of commercially available cornflakes contain these “gray-area” ingredients. There are corn flakes available which include organic cane sugar and are not fortified with vitamin D.

However, these might not be available in the United Kingdom.

Organic cane sugar doesn’t go through the same refining processes as white cane sugar. Instead, refineries clarify and evaporate sugar cane juice.

The result is crystals that might not be the usual white, but are vegan. Any cereal which includes organic cane sugar is vegan-friendly.

Tesco does sell their own “free from” cornflakes, which are gluten-free. However, they still contain vitamin D and just sugar, not organic cane sugar. You can assume these aren’t vegan friendly.

If you’re vegan and struggling to find cereals in the UK, this article has a full list of brands. It will tell you whether your favorite is vegan-friendly.

One Great Cornflake Option: Barbara’s Organic Corn Flakes

Barbara’s is a US-based cereal brand. They sell all kinds of cereal, all certified organic by the USDA. Their cornflakes include corn, organic cane sugar, and sea salt.

These are all vegan ingredients. They’re also gluten free, kosher, and non-GMO project verified.

Unfortunately, Barbara’s might be hard to come by in the UK. They are available through Amazon UK, if you don’t mind paying the shipping charge.

If you don’t want to ship in all your cereal, I’d recommend looking at the ingredients of any cereal you want to buy. Search for vitamin D and the word “sugar.”

If the cereal contains any of the vegan sugars I’ve mentioned, it’s ok. If it’s just sugar, that most likely means refined cane sugar, which might not be vegan.

Do Vegans Still Eat These Cereals?

It depends on the vegan. Some think vitamin D and refined cane sugar are removed enough from animal sources to be ok to eat.

Some just aren’t aware of where they come from or the filtration process. Others avoid them entirely. That’s why many refer to them as “gray area” ingredients.

Since they’re difficult to avoid, or, in the case of vitamin D, necessary for normal functioning, this further complicates the issue.

If you’re vegan and didn’t know about sugar or vitamin D, it isn’t your fault. A lot of manufacturers hide this information.

Even Tesco isn’t up front about where their vitamin D or sugar comes from. If you decide to look for more vegan-friendly cereals, you do have options no matter where you live.


Most of the ingredients in Tesco cornflakes are vegan. The exceptions are the vitamin D and sugar, which may involve animal products.

There are options available for vegan cereals which use vegan sugars and omit the vitamin D.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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