Is Ketchup Vegan?

Is Ketchup Vegan

Are you a lover of all things ketchup? Want to know if you can still layer your fries in red sauce when following a vegan diet? Read on to discover whether ketchup is vegan-friendly.

The vast majority of ketchup products are vegan-friendly. Most are made from a combination of vinegar, salt, tomatoes, spices, and some form of sweetening product like corn syrup or sugar.

The sugar is where things may become questionable with regards to the vegan status of the product itself.

A lot of white sugar is often filtered through animal bone char and as this is the porous material that stems from charred animal bones, it is definitely not something that a vegan would want any sugar coming into contact with.

Some companies will use granular carbon to filter their sugar itself but it is very difficult to determine how a product has been made just by reading the ingredients.

Brown sugar is also no different as it is usually made by adding molasses to white sugar.

Therefore, if you are vegan, ketchups that are made with a conventional form of sugar may be something that you want to purchase and consume.

In addition, any ketchup that is sweetened using honey is also not vegan-friendly. Any organic form of granulated sugar is usually a safe bet as this form of sugar is never processed using bone char and so any ketchup that is made using organic sugar is undoubtedly vegan.

Checking the ingredients is the best way to determine what kind of sugar has been used in the manufacturing of the ketchup and alternatively, if you wish to play it extra safe, you can stick to specifically vegan brands.

Which Ketchup Brands Are Vegan-Friendly?

Which Ketchup Brands Are Vegan-Friendly

Heinz Tomato Ketchup is the most commonly known ketchup brand and it is also vegan-friendly as it is sweetened using corn syrup and only uses plant-based ingredients.

Hunt’s Classic Tomato Ketchup is also vegan as it uses corn syrup too.

However, the ‘Simply’ variety of both of these brands may not be entirely vegan as these are sweetened using cane sugar which could have been filtered using bone char so you should choose the traditional form of this ketchup in order to avoid any ingredient that isn’t vegan-friendly.

Target’s Market Pantry is also vegan and their Organic Simply Balanced ketchup is one variety of ‘Simply’ ketchup that is vegan-friendly!

Any organic variety of ketchup including Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup or Annie’s Naturals Organic Ketchup is vegan-friendly as these products are made using only organic sugar.

Any sugar that is classified as organic in the United States cannot be filtered using bone char and so these products are also a safe bet for vegans.

Other hugely popular vegan brands of ketchup include 365 Everyday Value Organic Tomato Ketchup, Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup, Veg’d Organics Vegan All-Natural Ketchup, True Made Foods Ketchup, Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, Fody Foods Vegan Tomato Ketchup, and Tessemae’s Organic Ketchup.

Is Tomato Ketchup Plant-Based?

It is important to note that being vegan and being plant-based are two distinctly separate things.

Ketchup is therefore always considered plant-based as it is mostly made using tomatoes irrespective of whether the sugar is vegan or not.

Are There Any Animal Products In Tomato Ketchup?

If ketchup is certified as vegan then there are no animal products contained within the ketchup at all and unless it contains an ingredient like honey, the product is definitely animal-free.

This is because sugar that has been bleached using bone char isn’t classified as an animal product.

However, strict vegans will not consume a product that has been made with sugar that is not organic as they do not want to consume any product that has this kind of relationship to animals.

Does Ketchup Contain Dairy?

Does Ketchup Contain Dairy

Traditional forms of ketchup are naturally free of any dairy products.

However, if you are purchasing quirkier varieties of ketchup that may use other ingredients then you should definitely check the label to ensure that any additions are dairy-free.

Ketchup has a stable shelf life as it is naturally acidic and it can therefore be stored at room temperature until it has been opened.

After it has been opened, it is recommended that it is stored in a fridge in order to preserve its shelf-life but there is actually no need to keep it refrigerated as the tomatoes and vinegar within the product help to naturally preserve it.

This would not be a possibility if ketchup contained any form of animal or dairy products.


To conclude, ketchup is a tasty addition when squirted onto your fries or mashed potatoes. It can also act as a great substitute for tomato puree!

As long as you are using it as a thickening ingredient, you will be able to use ketchup as a tomato paste effectively in any vegan recipe of your choosing.

You can also reduce it on a hot stove in order to give it a paste-like consistency and this works wonderfully when you are cooking up a vegan-meatball treat!

On the whole, this product is classified as vegan-friendly and of course, you should always check the ingredients on the label in order to certify whether any granulated sugar has been used in the product as this may have been filtered using animal bone char.

However, the vast majority of popular ketchup brands will sweeten their sauce using corn syrup and you can rest assured that any ketchup product that is listed as ‘organic’ will not contain sugar that has been filtered using this method.

Ketchup is, therefore, stable addition to a vegan-friendly diet and unless you are a strict vegan, you will be able to consume this product endlessly without any anxiety as it does not typically contain any dairy or animal-based products.

However, if you are anxious about the brand of ketchup that you are using, contacting the brand’s manufacturer will be the best way to determine what their manufacturing process is.

Brett White
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