In most countries around the world, you can walk into a grocery store and find potato chips. The salty snack is universally loved—so much so that the global market is worth more than $33 billion. Americans, in particular, are fond of potato chips, in fact, in 2019, more than 35 million people in the US ate 16 bags or more. And most of them likely came from Frito-Lay.
Owned by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay is a major New York-based snack multinational. Right now, it has around 29 brands and produces over 1,000 different types of snack foods. But if you’re vegan, can you still enjoy the company’s potato chips? The answer, we’re pleased to reveal, is a big yes. The main ingredient in potato chips is a vegetable, after all.
That said, you do need to watch out for different flavorings and sneaky ingredients, like milk powder. To help you out when you’re scanning the aisles for the best plant-based munch, here, we’ve gathered all of the vegan-friendly brands from Frito-Lay. Get snacking.
Which Frito-Lay brands are vegan-friendly?
Lay’s is one of the biggest potato chip brands in the US, and good news: vegans don’t have to miss out, because it has plenty of animal-free flavors. Options like Classic, Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, and Lightly Salted are all plant-based, but that’s just a handful of examples. Before you buy, just make sure you give the ingredients list a quick scan for things like beef or chicken flavoring or milk powder.
A bag of Doritos suits so many occasions. Lying on the beach? Watching the game? Having a movie night? Eating your feelings? Doritos is there for you. Again, you need to scan the packet to check before you buy, as ingredients change sometimes, but there are a few Doritos flavors suitable for vegans, including Spicy Sweet Chili.
One of the founding brands of Frito-Lay, Fritos were invented back in the 1930s, but they are still popular today. The Original flavor is totally animal-free, but you can also opt for Lightly Salted, too. These are quite plain options, but you don’t have to skip out on flavor, just whip up a vegan dip to go with your potato chips. We love this vegan bacon cheddar jalapeño option.
4 Cracker Jack
If you’re gearing up to watch a baseball game, you’ve got to have a bag of Cracker Jack popcorn in hand. Created back in the 1800s, this retro snack is vegan-friendly. In fact, The Original Caramel Coated Popcorn & Peanuts is made with just a few ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, popcorn, peanuts, molasses, salt, corn, and soy lecithin.
Most plain tortilla chips are vegan, and Tostitos options are no exception. Its Original range is animal-free, including Scoops and Restaurant Style, but watch out for its flavored options, like Mexican Style Three Cheese, as these contain ingredients like buttermilk and whey, so are not vegan.
6 Nut Harvest
Frito-Lay has several nutty options in its roster, including Nut Harvest. Its Lightly Roasted Almonds, Delux Salted Mixed Nuts, and Spicy Pistachios are all vegan, but avoid options like its Cocoa Dusted Almonds, which contain animal ingredients.
8 Maui Style
Usually found on the Hawaiian islands, Maui Style Potato Chips come in several different flavors. The Onion and Salt & Vinegar flavors contain milk, but the Shrimp option appears to be vegan (go figure).
9 Miss Vickie’s
Founded in the 1980s, Miss Vickie’s was acquired by Frito-Lay in the 1990s. The Canadian brand is still going strong today, but it only has one option suitable for vegans: Sea Salt. Smokehouse BBQ, Jalapeño, and Sea Salt & Vinegar all contain buttermilk.
If you’re after a plain, crispy, crunchy potato chip with no frills or added flavorings, then Munchos is for you. It’s just simple, salty goodness, and for that reason, it’s also totally vegan. Of course, you’ll also need a dip. If the above spicy cheese suggestion isn’t for you, why not try this pink beet hummus instead?
11 NatuChips & El Isleno
For those who love plantain, a tropical fruit that’s closely related to a banana, we have great news. You can buy this starchy ingredient in vegan-friendly chip form from two Frito-Lay brands: El Isleno and NatuChips. The former just has one flavor, Original, while the latter has a few more options (including Garlic Flavored and Lime Flavored).
12 Rold Gold
Rold Gold is a little different from the other options on this list because the salty snack it specializes in is not potato chips, but something equally delicious: pretzels. Check the ingredients before you buy, but most flavors are totally vegan. Just watch out for honey and milk in some varieties.
If ridge-cut potato chips are your jam, then Ruffles has you covered. It has a handful of vegan-friendly options, including Original and All Dressed. Need more dip inspiration? This simple vegan classic guacamole recipe is always a crowd-pleaser.
For fans of a thicker potato chip, Santitas is a great choice. Its signature Yellow Corn Tortilla Triangles are made with just corn, vegetable oil, and salt, so they’re vegan by default. Top tip: they taste delicious with this easy vegan cheesy queso.
Got a movie night on the cards? Then, of course, you need popcorn. While most of this brand’s flavors are not vegan, as they contain various different milk-derived ingredients, the Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn is totally animal-free.
If you prefer a slightly lighter snack, then consider giving Stacy’s baked pita chips a try. The Simply Naked option is vegan, or for something a little sweeter, try Cinnamon Sugar. There’s also Garden Veggie Medley, and, if bagel chips are more your thing, then you could try Stacy’s Simply Naked Bagel Chips, too.