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, love potato chips, in fact, in 2019, more than 35 million people in the United States ate 16 bags or more. And most of them probably come from Frito-Lay.
Owned by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay is a major New York-based snack multinational. At present, it has around 29 brands and manufactures more than 1,000 different types of snack foods. But if you’re vegetarian, can you still enjoy the company’s potato chips? The answer, we’re happy to reveal, is a big yes. Vegetables are the main ingredient in potato chips.
That said, you have to watch out for different flavors and hidden ingredients like milk powder. To help you out as you scan the aisles for the best plant-based munchies, here, we’ve rounded up all the vegan-friendly brands from Frito-Lay. Have a snack.
Which Frito-Lay brands are vegetarian-friendly?
1 of Ley
Lay’s is one of the biggest potato chip brands in the U.S., and good news: Vegans don’t have to miss out, as it has plenty of animal-free flavors. Classic, salt and vinegar, BBQ and lightly salted options are all plant-based, but these are just a few examples. Before you buy, just make sure you quickly scan the ingredients list for things like beef or chicken flavoring or milk powder.
A bag of Doritos is perfect for many occasions. Lying on the beach? Watching the game? Having a movie night? Eating your feelings? Doritos are there for you. Again, you’ll need to scan the packet before buying, as the ingredients sometimes change, but there are a few Doritos flavors suitable for vegans, including spicy sweet chili.
One of Frito-Lay’s founding brands, Fritos were invented in the 1930s, but they’re still popular today. The original flavor is completely animal-free, but you can also opt for lightly salted. These are pretty simple options, but you don’t have to skimp on flavor, whip up a vegan dip to go with your potato chips. We love this vegan bacon cheddar jalapeno alternative.
4 Cracker Jack
If you’re getting ready to watch a baseball game, you should have a bag of Cracker Jack popcorn on hand. Created in the 1800s, this retro snack is vegetarian-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 vegetarian, and Tostitos options are no exception. Its original range is animal-free, including Scoops and Restaurant Style, but watch out for its flavored options, such as the Mexican Style Three Cheese, as it contains ingredients such as buttermilk and whey, so is not vegan.
6 Nut crop
Frito-Lay has several nut options on its menu, including Nut Harvest. Its lightly roasted almonds, deluxe salted mixed almonds, and spiced pistachios are all vegan, but avoid alternatives like its cocoa dusted almonds, which contain animal ingredients.
8 Maui style
Commonly found in the Hawaiian Islands, Maui style potato chips come in a variety of flavors. The onion and salt and vinegar flavors contain milk, but the shrimp option appears to be vegan (go figure).
9 Miss Vicky’s
Founded in the 1980s, Miss Vicky’s was acquired by Frito-Lay in the 1990s. The Canadian brand is still going strong today, but it has an option that’s only suitable for vegans: sea salt. Smokehouse BBQ, Jalapeño and Sea Salt and Vinegar all contain buttermilk.
If you’re after a simple, crispy, crunchy potato chip with no frills or added flavor, Munchos are for you. It’s just simple, salty goodness, and because of that, it’s completely vegetarian. Of course, you will need a dive. If the spicy cheese suggestion above isn’t for you, why not try this pink beet hummus instead?
11 NatuChips & The Islander
For those who love bananas, a tropical fruit 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 Natoochips. The former has just one flavor, the original, while the latter has several other options (including garlic flavor and lime flavor).
12 Rolled Gold
Rolled Gold is a little different from the other options on this list because the salty food it specializes in isn’t potato chips, but something equally delicious: pretzels. Check the ingredients before you buy, but most flavors are completely vegetarian. Just watch out for some varieties of honey and milk.
If ridge-cut potato chips are your jam, Ruffles has you covered. It has a handful of vegetarian-friendly options, including original and all dressed. Need more deep inspiration? This simple vegan classic guacamole recipe is always a crowd-pleaser.
For fans of chunky potato chips, Santitas is a great choice. Its signature yellow corn tortilla triangles are made only with corn, vegetable oil, and salt, so they’re vegetarian by default. Top tip: They taste delicious with this easy vegan cheesy queso.
Got a movie night in the cards? Then, of course, you need popcorn. While most of this brand’s flavors are not vegan, as they contain various milk-derived ingredients, Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn is completely animal-free.
If you prefer a lighter snack, give Stacey’s Baked Pita Chips a try. The Simply Naked option is vegan, or try cinnamon sugar for a little sweetness. There’s also the Garden Veggie Medley, and, if bagel chips are more your thing, you can also try Stacy’s Simply Naked Bagel Chips.