If you’re a snacker and happens to be an American, your snack cabinet must have potato chips. The love Americans have for potato chips is unmatched. I don’t say this; research does! According to a Neilson Consumer Survey, chips are the most popular snacks in North America. And when it comes to potato chips, you can’t skip Lays.
You may not like all its flavors, but if you’re a potato chips lover, you just cannot dislike Lays chips altogether. However, if you’re a vegan, your commitment to vegan philosophy takes precedence over your love for potato chips and you have to determine your favorite Lays chips’ vegan status before grabbing a bag from the grocery store.
Are Lays Chips Vegan?
Some flavors of Lays chips are vegan, while most of them are not!
What Lays Chips Are Vegan?
As a vegan, you should know by now that you have to read the ingredients list carefully to determine if a product is vegan-friendly or not. So, let’s get to work and take a look at the ingredients of some of the most popular (and majority’s favorite) Lays flavors to figure out what lays chips are vegan and which ones need to go out of your snack cabinet.
Are Lays Classic Chips Vegan?
Salted Lays chips only contain three basic ingredients, none of which are animal-derived or controversial. Hence, Lays classic chips can be safely classified as vegan-friendly.
Are Lays Salt and Vinegar Chips Vegan?
Lays Salt & Vinegar is categorized by many as vegan-friendly. However, some vegans may prefer to avoid it due to the ongoing debate on natural flavors.
As I have discussed in many other articles, the term natural flavors means that the flavors are derived from natural sources. But, what are these natural sources? We don’t know. A natural source can be vegan or non-vegan, and unless we know the exact source of flavors, we cannot ignore the possibility of these sources being non-vegan.
That being said, many vegans do not mind consuming products containing natural flavors because they’re found in the majority of store-bought products and are almost impossible to avoid.
To sum up, the decision to consume Lays Salt & Vinegar or not, as a vegan, can vary from person to person.
Are Lays Barbeque Chips Vegan?
If you’re both a vegan and Lays chips fan, you would know that there has been quite a lot of debate over barbecue flavored potato chip chips lately in the vegan community, with many sources claiming that they contain chicken or beef fat. However, no such ingredient seems to be present in Lays Barbecue. Here’s what these chips have, as per Lays’ official website:
Lays barbecue chips get their flavor from torula yeast, which is a vegan alternative to meat, and paprika. However, they contain sugar, which is considered a controversial ingredient in the vegan community because it’s commercially refined using bone char. [Refer to my article Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan for a detailed discussion on why sugar is considered a controversial ingredient in veganism].
So, are Lays BBQ chips vegan?
The answer depends on you!
Similar to natural flavors, sugar is found in a huge majority of packaged foods, which makes it almost impossible to avoid. Therefore, many vegans do not mind consuming foods containing sugar.
Are Lay’s Dill Pickle Chips Vegan?
The vegan status of Lays Dill Pickle is the same as Lays Salt & Vinegar. Most vegans find them okay to consume, but some prefer to avoid them due to the unspecified source of natural flavors. So, the answer to are lays pickle chips vegan depends on your definition of veganism and your commitment to the philosophy.
Are There More Lays Vegan Flavors?
In addition to the popular Lays flavors discussed above, there are several more varieties of Lays chips that are vegan-friendly. Here is a list of them for your convenience:
Note: Many of these Lays varieties contain natural flavors and sugar. If you avoid these ingredients, make sure to check the ingredients list before grabbing any of them.
- Lays Limon
- Lays Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice Flavored – it may come as a surprise to you, but it doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
- Lays Lightly Salted
- Lays Lightly Salted BBQ
- Lays Kettle Cooked Original
- Lays Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
- Lays Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut – Sea Salt
- Lays Kettle Cooked 40% Less Fat – Original
- Lays Wavy Original
- Lays Wavy Lightly Salted
- Lays Stax Original
- Lays Stax Hot’ N Spicy Barbecue
- Lays Simply Sea Salted
- Lays Simply BBQ Flavored Thick Cut Potato Chips
Are Lays Baked Chips Vegan?
If you’re a health-conscious vegan potato chips lover (sounds a little complex combination), you may find yourself asking – are lays baked chips vegan – to cut down on unhealthy calories coming from fat.
Unfortunately, only Original Baked Lays are vegan; the other flavors contain milk-based ingredients. But, hey! Something is better than nothing.
What about Vegans Who Avoid Sugar and Natural Flavors?
If you’re a person who has wholeheartedly committed to the vegan lifestyle to the extent that you even avoid products that contain sugar and (unspecified) flavors, you will find yourself in trouble searching for potato chips that fit your criteria. In that scenario, your best bet would be to make your own potato chips at home instead of spending hours in the grocery store reading ingredients of every kind of potato chips you find. Check out this video for the homemade Lays chips’ recipe:
You can also check out this list of vegan chips given by PETA.
So, Are Lays Potato Chips Vegan?
According to a rough estimate, only about 30% of Lays chips varieties available on the market are vegan-friendly; the rest are not.
Do you wonder what makes other Lays chips flavors non-vegan?
Milk and milk products are the culprits in most flavors!
Are Lays Chips Vegetarian?
The majority of Lays flavors are suitable for vegetarians as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, as a rule of thumb, you should always check every product’s ingredients of every product to ensure their suitability for your dietary preferences before consumption.
Want to learn about the vegan status of other chips? Read my detailed article Are Doritos Vegan? to find out if these corn chips are vegan-friendly!