Is ketchup vegan?

Yes, you’ll be happy to know that ketchup is vegan. In fact it’s even listed as such in the PETA Vegan condiment guide. Ingredients do differ by brand however, so always be careful to check the label – there’s a couple of things you’ll want to watch out for. The main pitfall being that a lot of popular brands contain sugar, which is not (always) strictly vegan.  Read on for further details.

Is ketchup vegan?

What’s in ketchup?

Generally speaking, ketchup is made up of:

  • tomatoes
  • salt
  • vinegar
  • spices
  • and either sweeteners or sugar.

Of course for a more flavoursome ketchup, you can always get a little creative. Here’s a great recipe if you fancy making your own.

What to look out for?

Be careful with ketchup’s that use sugar instead of sweeteners. Certain parts of the sugar industry use bone char as a decolorizing agent – which allows for whiter/more pure looking sugar. Bone char is derived from animal bones.

If you come across a ketchup that uses sugar, be sure to check that it’s organic before you purchase it. If it is, then it’s likely free of bone-char, and as such vegan friendly.

Which brands should I avoid?

This can be a bit tricky. Certain brands are vegan, whereas others are not. And to make things more complicate some brands offer both vegan and non-vegan products. For example, ‘Heinz ketchup’ uses corn syrup in place of sugar and as such is vegan friendly. However, their ‘Simply Heinz’ range contains non-organic sugar and is not-vegan friendly.

To make things easier, here are a couple of products to avoid:

  • Heinz – Simply Heinz
  • Hunt’s – Tomato ketchup
  • Bramwells – Tomato ketchup
  • Tesco – Tomato ketchup

And here are a couple to seek out:

  • Heinz – Organic ketchup
  • Annies – Organic ketchup
  • SimplyNature – Organic ketchup