Are Fruit Rolls Ups Vegan? How to Identify if it’s Vegan or Not!

Fruit roll-ups evoke a sense of nostalgia after each delicious bite. These rolled-up sheets of delight were popularized in the 90s and have since become a relatively common snack in every household. 

The downside of switching to a plant-based diet is that you can’t enjoy all the sugary treats you once loved since some of them aren’t vegan-friendly. You must be wondering if fruit roll-ups are vegan or not, and we are finally here to reveal the truth. 

Can Vegans Eat Fruit Roll-Ups? 

Fruit roll-ups are enriched with whole fruits, which is a good source of fiber. These nostalgic sweets contain a mix of the most organic and healthy ingredients. 

Even though fruit roll-ups are jam-packed with nutrients, plant-based eaters are still skeptical about some of its ingredients. They are generally vegan, but it totally depends on your choices. If you are a strict vegan that refrains from direct and indirect non-vegan constituents, then sadly, fruit roll-up isn’t for you. 

Why Are Fruit Roll-Ups Not Vegan? 

Fruit roll-ups consist of fairly clean ingredients that are suitable for most vegans. However, if you are concerned about specific non-vegan components, continue reading. 

Bone Char Used to Bleach Sugar 

There are many vegans that denounce the consumption of processed sugar in foods because it contains a non-vegan derivative, bone char. Bone char is essentially an indirect constituent that is used in sugar factories as a decolorizing or bleaching agent. This sounds feasible because all it does is remove the impurities from brown sugar and transform it into a white, powdery color. 

The reason why bone char is scrutinized by the vegan community is due to its animal-based derivates. It is derived from disintegrated animal bones that have been combusted over a period of time. This black absorbent substance leaves no traces in processed sugar, but vegans vehemently disregard its consumption as it involves animal cruelty. 

Unethical Production of Palm Oil

Technically, palm oil is a plant-based oil and contains no direct animal products. Despite being a vegetable product in its raw form, vegans argue that it adversely impacts the environment and destroys the habitat of animals. Listed below are three reasons why palm oil is not sustainable. 

  • Deforestation and Climate change: As palm oil grows in demand, forest areas are stripped bare to create a palm oil plantation. The natural habitat of animals and humans are seized and uprooted for the development of palm tree plantations. This poses a threat to the environment and leads to global warming. 
  • Impact on Human Beings: Everyone who is involved in the direct or indirect production of palm oil has been exploited in some way or the other. Recent reports unveil the harsh truths of people working as laborers on palm oil plantations. It is the breeding ground for several human rights violations, including child labor, unsafe working conditions, and low wages. 
  • Displacement of Animals: In order to create these plantations, a lot of animals are forcefully displaced from their homes and are left to fend for themselves. Their natural habitat is cleared away for unethical purposes, and many endangered species are forced to abandon their habitats. 

So, what if palm oil is produced sustainably? Is it then vegan? Even if palm oil is produced sustainably without harming the environment and animals, there is no clear way to find out as companies are vague about each of their ingredients. 

Natural Flavors and Colours 

The term ‘natural flavors’ has raised concerns in the vegan community due to its ambiguousness. As such, natural flavor is a general term that can be ascribed to several natural sources such as microbes, animals, and plants. The FDA even states that natural flavors can be derived from all sources, making them questionable for most vegans. 

On the other end of the spectrum lies myths surrounding the origin of ‘vegan-friendly’ food colors. Artificial colors are usually tested on animals before human consumption. So, practically the existence of vegan food colors is totally a farce as they are only approved for use after testing on animals. 


Monoglycerides are emulsifiers and are used as additives in food. These emulsifiers are responsible for improving the texture and consistency of food and help prevent stickiness. It serves several purposes for different foods, such as improving the texture of margarine and giving the ice cream a creamier consistency. 

The authenticity of monoglycerides has sparked a debate in the vegan community as it is derived from either animals or plants. Even though the company claims that the monoglycerides are plant-based, it is still safer to check with the manufacturers. 

Vegan Alternatives to Fruit Roll-Ups 

If you’re vegan-conscious and not comfortable with consuming non-vegan constituents, then these alternatives are best for you. 

Stretch Island, Strawberry Fruit Leather

Stretch island’s naturally sweet fruit strips are a great vegan alternative to fruit roll-ups. It is gluten-free and does not contain any artificial flavors and colors, making it a perfect choice for vegans. 

Some other Fruit Leather flavors include: 

  • Raspberry 
  • Grape 
  • Apple 
  • Cherry 
  • Apricot 

These sweet flavors have a sour aftertaste and contain no sweeteners or additives. 

Simply Balanced, Organic Fruit Strips

A mouth-watering snack for adults and children alike, the Simply Balanced Organic Fruit Strips are an ideal way to indulge in your favorite guilty pleasures while being responsible. This serves as a great substitute for fruit roll-ups. These fruits strips are 

  • Organic 
  • Vegan 
  • Gluten-free 
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher 

The best part of these sweet treats is that they contain no artificial colors or preservatives, so it is perfectly vegan-friendly. 


Fruit roll-ups are satisfying when you’re craving something chewy and sweet, but they are not entirely vegan. So take these pointers with a pinch of salt and decide for yourself whether they fit into your definition of veganism or not. 

The bottom line is that fruit roll-ups contain vegan as well as non-vegan constituents that harm animals indirectly. We hope that this article cleared your doubts and helped you make an informed decision. 

Brett White
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