Is Ketchup Vegan? Easy Label & Brands Guide

by Alena
Pinterest Hidden Image

Have you ever wondered, “Is ketchup vegan?” Find out all about questionable ingredients, vegan-friendly brands & more.

When you’re going vegan, you’re faced with a lot of label-checking. From sweets to sauces and beverages, you want to be sure you aren’t purchasing any animal products!

We’ll help you figure out whether vegans can eat ketchup, bread, eggs, or olive oil. Let’s start with the first food in question!

Nutriciously Transition Course iPad

join our free vegan course!

Learn how to thrive on a plant-based diet with practical tips & a 3-day meal plan!

Is ketchup vegan?

The short answer is: yes, ketchup is vegan! Well, 98% of the time, at least.

There are two main ingredients to look out for if you want to find out if any specific ketchup is vegan: sugar and honey. Why? Keep on reading.

What is tomato ketchup made of?

Ketchup is a sweet and tangy condiment made mainly from tomatoes with some added white or brown sugar (sometimes high fructose corn syrup), vinegar, seasonings, and spices.

Interestingly, ketchup used to be made with foods such as egg whites, oysters, mussels, walnuts, or mushrooms instead of tomatoes – but these ingredients are not often found in today’s recipes, which is why ketchup is vegan in most instances.

Top view of differently shaped red and green tomatoespin it

How to tell if ketchup is vegan

Let’s take a closer look at some “hidden” animal products in your ketchup.

Honey

Some healthier or organic ketchup brands are sweetened with honey instead of sugar. Since honey is made by bees, it is not vegan!

Is Honey Vegan? →

Sugar

Some types of sugar or not vegan because they can be filtered through animal bone char to whiten it. Look out for organic, unrefined, or raw sugar on the label to ensure it is vegan!

Vinegar

Vinegar is mostly vegan but can be filtered through fish bladders, egg whites or gelatin.

Flavorings

Other less common ingredients like sucralose or natural flavorings may also not be vegan. However, since they are only used in trace amounts, it doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense to dive that deep into your ketchup research.

Should you be concerned?

We certainly don’t want to make veganism seem too complicated and restrictive. These details can be interesting to know — however, you don’t need to worry about ingredients that might be included in minuscule amounts.

If you want to be 100% sure that your ketchup is vegan, look out for a vegan label on the bottle.

This guide to condiments by PETA shows how we can generally categorize products like ketchup, salsa, mustard or ranch into “very likely vegan” and “not vegan”.

You man in restaurant holding Heinz ketchup bottle upside downpin it

Best vegan ketchup brands

While pretty much all ketchup you’ll find at the store or restaurants are vegan, it’s up to each individual to decide how deeply they want to go into details.

To make things easier for you, here are a few vegan ketchup brands you can look out for!

Is Heinz Ketchup vegan?

Yes, Heinz ketchup is vegan-friendly. Their sugar has officially not been refined using bone char!

Is Annies Naturals Organic Ketchup vegan?

Yes, Annies Naturals Organic Ketchup is vegan.

Is Hunts Ketchup vegan?

Hunt’s Classic tomato ketchup is definitely vegan because it is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Their 100% Natural Tomato Ketchup might not be vegan, though!

It contains cane sugar, which could be refined with bone char.

Is True Made Foods Ketchup vegan?

Yes, True Made Foods Ketchup is certified vegan and gluten-free. Plus, it contains 50% less sugar!

Is 365 Everyday Value Tomato Ketchup vegan?

Yes, 365 Everyday Value Tomato Ketchupis vegan. Their product consists of tomato puree, organic cane sugar, organic distilled vinegar, salt, and some spices.

Other widely available vegan ketchup brands include Del Monte, Hellman’s, Tesco, Trader Joe’s, Great Value, Red Gold, and more.

Ketchup served at restaurants

Usually, it’s hard to tell whether ketchup at a specific restaurant is vegan. However, if you know the brand of ketchup a restaurant uses, you can do a little research on your own!

Many restaurants serve classic Heinz ketchup, which you already know is vegan. Popular fast food chains that serve vegan ketchup include Subway, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Chil-Fil-A.

two glasses of homemade sugar-free ketchup on a tablepin it

Make your own ketchup

If you want to know exactly what’s in your ketchup, make your own ketchup at home within just 5 minutes!

Follow our sugar-free ketchup recipe that’s sweetened with dates and goes well with anything from burgers and fries to tacos, burritos, and more.

More articles

Did you know this about ketchup and are you going to check labels now? Share with us in the comments below and pin this article here.

Browse these categories

Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

2 thoughts on “Is Ketchup Vegan? Easy Label & Brands Guide”

  1. I’ve been vegan for 20 years but I use honey at times from friends hives and other humanely sourced vendors. With all the issues the bees are having, we owe it to them by providing safe sources for them to thrive.

    Reply
    • Honey isn’t a very clear-cut issue — per definition, bees are animals and vegans abstain from using animals for food, but it’s not 100% established that insects are in fact sentient. Maybe there’s a way of helping the bees without taking their honey and just using a different sweetener, too! But omitting all of the other animal products is probably more important than that.
      Thanks for the comment and for having been vegan for 20 years :)

      Reply

Leave a Comment