Yes, kool-aid is vegan. It does not have any obvious non-vegan-friendly ingredients. The exact combination of ingredients changes depending on the flavor. Generally, each Kool-Aid has some water, sweeteners, Blue 1, Red 40, artificial flavorings, potassium sorbate, potassium citrate, gum Arabic, and citric acid. All of these are vegan ingredients.
This article will go over each of these ingredients to explain exactly why Kool-Aid is considered vegan. It will also contest the baseless rumor that Kool-Aid contains gelatin. So keep reading.
What Makes Kool-Aid Vegan?
Kool-aid is considered vegan because none of its ingredients are animal products or animal by-products. To prove this claim, we will go over each of the most common constituents of Kool-Aid and explain what makes them vegan.
Since Kool-Aid has many different flavors, the exact ingredient list for each is different. We can’t go over each of them, so instead, we’ve made a list of all the ingredients generally used. These include:
- Blue 1
- Red 40
- Artificial flavorings
- Potassium sorbate
- Potassium citrate
- Gum Arabic
- Citric acid
What Makes Water Vegan?
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated for most people, including vegans. Water itself comes from bodies like seas and lakes, which have nothing to do with the animal kingdom, so it can and should be consumed by vegans.
The only potential issue vegans may have with water is that it is sometimes filtered through carbon filters, and this carbon is made from animal bones, so it isn’t considered vegan. However, that has nothing to do with the water itself.
Moreover, many brands use reverse osmosis filters to clean their water which does not involve carbon filters. Even if a brand does happen to use a carbon filter, this is not reason enough for most vegans to stop consuming water, given how essential it is.
What Makes Sweeteners Vegan?
Artificial sweeteners, like the ones used in Kool-Aid, are considered vegan. They’re made in labs with chemicals, and the process does not involve animals and can be consumed by vegans.
Some labs may test their sweeteners on animals, but you can not know if that is happening in any given situation. There is no evidence showing that Kool-Aid uses sweeteners tested on animals.
Moreover, the creation of these chemicals is done by developers and not the manufacturers of Kool-Aid. Given this separation between the two parties, many vegans feel it is not right to hold companies responsible, even if their products are tested on animals during their supply chain.
Holding the developers directly accountable for their actions is seen as more effective and generally a better solution.
What Makes Blue 1 Vegan?
Blue 1 is a synthetic dye that produces a distant color. Its production does not include any animal products and can be considered vegan.
What Makes Red 40 Vegan?
Red 4 is another synthetic food coloring. Its creation does not involve any animal products either. The primary raw material used is petroleum.
What Makes Artificial Flavorings Vegan?
Artificial flavorings are not made with any animal products, but some strict vegans try to avoid them as these flavorings are often tested on animals. If you are a strict vegan, you may want to avoid drinking Kool-Aid because of this.
However, many vegans are willing to look past this and drink Kool-Aid. It is a personal choice that you will have to make.
What Makes Potassium Sorbate Vegan?
Potassium sorbate is a naturally occurring preservative with no relation to the animal kingdom and is produced by neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. Hence it is vegan.
What Makes Potassium Citrate Vegan?
This is another naturally occurring compound whose production does not involve animal products or by-products.
What Makes Gum Arabic Vegan?
Gum Arabic is a plant-based soluble fiber. It is made from the hardened sap of an acacia tree’s bark. It’s used in many vegan-friendly products like ice cream and hard candies, and Kool-Aid uses it too.
What Makes Citric Acid Vegan?
Citric acid is an organic acid extracted from plants and produced industrially using fungi and is completely vegan-friendly.
Kool-Aid Does Not Have Gelatin
Kool-Aid’s strawberry dessert contains gelatin, so people rush to assume Kool-Aid does too. This is not true. Gelatin is made from animal products and, as such, can’t be consumed by vegans.
So any dessert or drink that has it can’t be vegan-friendly. One of the best things about these drinks is that they’re different from other popular snack drinks. They don’t have gelatin in them.
As a vegan, there are a lot of food items that you can’t eat and several drinks you can’t enjoy. Kool-Aid ensures that this doesn’t apply to your snack cupboard. You can easily continue drinking Kool-Aid because it doesn’t have gelatin or animal-derived products.
Based on the ingredient breakdown, it’s clear that Kool-Aid is vegan. A few of the ingredients prepared in labs may have been tested on animals, but there is no way to prove or disprove this, given the information that is publicly available.
At the same time, the company producing Kool-Aid is not directly responsible for the animal testing if it is happening. That is entirely on the developers. While Kool-Aid could choose not to work with developers that engage in animal testing, they are not the ones directly causing the harm.
Most vegans will drink Kool-Aid because it is vegan-friendly. Very few will refuse to because there is a slight possibility animal testing was employed to produce some of the ingredients used in the drink. At the end of the day, the final decision to drink or not to drink Kool-Aid is yours.
If you liked this article, please check out our take on whether or not Junior Mints are vegan.