Accidentally vegan food is food that was not produced specifically for the vegan market, but happen to be vegan. It’s vegan because it does not contain any meat, dairy or eggs.
Lots of foods you eat every day are accidentally vegan, including bread, pasta, some sweets, crisps, biscuits and cereals.
There are dozens of accidentally vegan products for sale in the UK and across the world. Once you know what to look for, it’s incredibly easy to spot them.
Please note, for the purposes of this article, we'll be including items that contain palm oil as an ingredient. If you avoid palm oil because you are concerned about the ethics involved in it’s production, you may want to check the ingredients of the items listed here to make sure it is not used.
For more information about palm oil and why some vegans avoid it, you can read our dedicated article.
Accidentally vegan foods
Foods are accidentally vegan when they contain only plant-based ingredients. There are lots of products available in supermarkets that were not created specifically for vegans, but do not contain any animal flesh, milk, eggs or honey. When this is the case, vegans calls these products 'accidentally vegan'.
Lots of the food people eat every day is accidentally vegan, including most bread and pasta, as well as some sweets, crisps and biscuits. You'll also find lots of accidentally vegan sweets including Starbursts, Millions and some brands of jelly sweets.
Accidentally vegan candy
There are lots of sweets that are accidentally vegan. You can find most of them in your local supermarkets. Some are even available in garages.
You can eat:
- Flying Saucers
- Love Hearts
- Jelly Tots
- Sherbet Fountains
- Turkish Delight
- Marks & Spencer Veggie Colin The Caterpillar (please note that Veggie Percy Pigs are not vegan, as they contain beeswax).
Accidentally vegan chocolate
You'll find lots of accidentally vegan chocolate in supermarkets and shops. You might be surprised to realise how much of the chocolate you already eat is accidentally vegan.
If you're vegan, you can eat the following chocolate:
- Cadbury Bournville Plain Chocolate
- Green & Blacks – Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Currant, Ginger, Maya Gold, Espresso, Spiced Chilli, Lemon, Mint
- Lindt Excellence – 70%, 85% and 90% Dark Chocolate
- Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp Dark Chocolates
- Divine – Dark Chocolate Mint Thins, Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins, dark chocolate bars in various flavours
- Fry’s Chocolate Cream
- Tesco Dark Chocolate Mint Thins
- Craving Nutella? There are five vegan alternatives to chocolate spread.
Accidentally vegan cookies and biscuits
You can buy vegan biscuits in most supermarkets. Lots of ordinary biscuits are accidentally vegan. If you avoid animal products, you can eat the following biscuits and cookies (as provided by PETA):
- Lotus Original Caramel Biscuits
- Fox's Ginger Crinkle Crunch Biscuits
- Fox's Dark Chocolate Chunkie Cookies
- Fox's Party Rings
- Bourbon Biscuits
- Nairn's Biscuits – Dark Chocolate Chip Oat, Stem Ginger Oat, Mixed Berries Oat, Fruit & Spice Wheat Free
- Crawford’s Pink Wafers
- McVities' – Ginger Nuts, Fruit Shortcake, Fig Rolls, Hobnobs, Chocolate Chip Hobnobs
- Mr Kipling – Apple & Blackcurrant Pies, Treacle Tart
Accidentally vegan cereal
There are lots of cereals that are accidentally vegan, since most cereal is mostly grains and fruit, but vegans do need to be aware that some vitamins added to cereals are not vegan.
This includes Vitamin D3, which is found in some cereal, and is often derived from sheep's wool. Most cereals will not make it clear whether the Vitamin D3 they are using is from a vegan source or not, so it's best to conduct extra research, or to avoid that cereal all together.
If you're vegan, you can eat the following cereals:
- Weetabix Crispy Minis
- Kellogg’s Unicorn Fruitloops
- Fruit Wheats
- Shreddies (frosted and coco flavours, too!)
- Tesco Cinnamon Squares
- Coop Strawberry Crisp
If you're looking for accidental vegan cereals, you need to look out for Vitamin D3, gelatin, honey and milk powder, as these can sometimes be hidden within the ingredients and are not vegan.
Accidentally vegan cake mix
Most people who are looking for accidentally vegan cake mix are looking for the Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix you can add a can of coke to.
If you're looking for vegan cakes, there are lots on the internet to try. We like this lemon cake from BBC Good Food, or this delicious chocolate cake from Jamie Oliver.
Accidentally vegan fast food
You can buy accidentally vegan fast food from most fast food restaurants. If you're looking for fries, onion rings and other friend goods, just make sure they are not cooked in lard, or in the same oil as the meat, and you should be good to go. Most fast food restaurants cook their vegetarian ingredients separately to their meat and fish these days.
In the UK, you can eat the following fast food if you're vegan:
- McDonalds fries
- Subway’s veggie delight (look out for sauces that contain egg and milk or bread that contains cheese)
- Starbucks BBQ Vegan Wrap With Jackfruit And Slaw
- Yo! Sushi (various dishes)
- Pizza Hut, Dominos and Pizza Express (all do takeaway pizza with vegan cheese)
- Burger King fries
If you're looking for more variety, look for an official vegan fast food joint in your local area.
If you're close to Manchester, try V-Revs for incredible vegan burgers and loaded fries, or Zad’s vegan takeaway. If you're in London you have loads of options, including Temple Of Seitan, Unity Diner and Tell Your Friends for incredible vegan burgers and other great food.
Further North in Newcastle? Try Junk It Up.
Wherever you are, it’s highly likely ther'’s vegan fast-food close by, so use your favourite search engine to do some research.
The most common accidentally vegan foods
- Most bread (look out for eggs and milk)
- Most pasta (look out for eggs and milk)
- Most crisps (except for cheesy flavours and some meaty flavours that contain actual animal)
- Most peanut butter
- Most instant noodles
- Most stir-fry sauces (look out for anchovies)
- Most spices
- Most spirits
- Most crackers (except ones with cheese in)
- Most stuff in the free-from aisle (look out for eggs in cake and biscuits)
- Lots of Quorn (not all, look out for egg)
- Lots of Linda McCartney (not all, look out for eggs and milk)
- Most frozen and refrigerated veg (look out for stuff glazed with butter)
- Pretty much the whole fruit and vegetable aisle
- Agave and maple syrups
- Some sweets, including Starbursts, Millions and Jelly Tots
- Some chocolate, including Cadbury Bournville Plain Chocolate and lots of Green & Black’s varieties
- Most cereals (look out for milk powder, Vitamin D3 and honey
- Lots of biscuits, including McVities Hobknobs and Ginger Nuts, Fox’s Party Rings and Bourbons
- Baked beans (not the sugar-free Heinz ones)
- Branston Pickle
- Most sauces, like mustard, ketchup, brown sauce, tabasco and sriracha
- Rice noodles
- Most jam
- Most hummus
- Lots of crumpets
- Lots of bagels
- Lidl’s Bramley apple pies and Mr Kipling Treacle Tart, Jam Tarts, Apple and Blackcurrant Pies
- Coop jam and custard donuts
- Walkers Crisps: Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar, Pickled Onion, Prawn Cocktail, Worcester Sauce, Crinkles Simply Sea Salted, Chipsticks Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Flavour, Sensations Lime & Coriander Chutney Poppadoms, Sensations Balsamic Vinegar & Caramalised Onion, Sunbites Sweet Chilli, Sunbites Original, Sausage and Brown Sauce