Beer – some beers use isinglass (from fish bladders) as a processing aid, for example. Don’t panic though – visit to find out what beers are vegan.

Dark Chocolate – even dark chocolate sometimes has milk products in it, so check the label. Chocolate also often contains lecithin, which will usually be from soya but can also come from animal sources. Don’t panic though – there are plenty of brands that are vegan.

Crisps – you can’t tell by the name of the flavour, you’ll have to check the label carefully. Don’t panic though – there are plenty of brands and flavours that are.

Fizzy drinks & Squashes – LiltLilt ZeroKia-Ora Orange Squash No Added Sugar and Schweppes Orange Squash contain small traces of fish gelatine, which is used as a stabiliser for the beta-carotene colour. Five Alive Apple Five Fruit Blend also contains traces of gelatine. 

Honey – it’s often overlooked, but it’s made by bees for bees and so it’s not suitable for vegans. Alternatives include agave or maple syrup.

Margarine – even if it calls itself an “olive oil” or “sunflower” spread, it will often contain buttermilk or another milk derivatives – so check the label. Vegan friendly brands include Tomor, Vitalite (although Vitalite contains annatto which we avoid for other reasons), and Pure.

Sugar – animal bone char is sometimes used as a processing aid, so check the packaging or ask the manufacturer. As at 28 April 2014, Tate & Lyle state All of our sugars and syrups are suitable for vegans, except Tate & Lyle Traditional Royal Icing Sugar, which contains egg white” (on The Tate and Lyle US site states “Our Natural Pure Cane Sugar is certified vegan by Vegan Action, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.” Billington’s state “Billington’s sugars are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, however, our Golden Icing sugar is produced in a factory which handles egg and therefore carries a ‘may contain traces of’ warning on pack and should be avoided by vegans.”

Quorn – it’s vegetarian but all quorn products contain egg white and some also contain dairy, so it’s not vegan. Vegan-friendly alternatives include the extensive range of Frys Family products (available from independent health food shops and from Ocado). Some but not all Linda McCartney products are suitable for vegans – check the label (at time of writing Linda McCartney sausages and sausage rolls are vegan-friendly).

Vegetarian burgers – supermarket own brand frozen vegetarian burgers tend to contain egg white and so are not suitable for vegans.

Wine – egg, dairy or fish products are used in the filtering of some wine. Visit for further information. Co-op are quite good at labelling their wines as suitable for vegans. Some online supermarkets will allow you to search for vegan wines.


See Shopping for vegans – how to read a label.