Is Peanut Butter Vegan?

Is Peanut Butter Vegan?

Peanut butter is a firm favorite in households across the country and with people of all ages. It’s a very versatile food item that can be used in many different ways, from the humble PB & J sandwich to a variety of cakes.

But can you still eat peanut butter if you’re vegan? Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal answer to this as some brands of peanut butter are vegan and some contain ingredients that aren’t compatible with a vegan diet.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why some peanut butter isn’t vegan and we will introduce brands that are.

What Is Peanut Butter?

You might frequently eat peanut butter but do you know exactly what it is and what it contains?

The US National Peanut Board considers three different inventors to be the creators of peanut butter as they all obtained different patents that relate to its creation. The first of these was obtained by Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884.

The first form of peanut butter to be sold to the public as a snack food was released in 1894. Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter had already been established by the time George Washington Carver made it famous in 1916. 

Traditionally, peanut butter is made from roasted ground peanuts that are ground down. To make them smoother, more spreadable, and taste better, various ingredients such as salt, vegetable oil, dextrose, corn syrup, or honey are added.

Why Are Some Brands Of Peanut Butter Not Vegan?

Although many brands of peanut butter are vegan, several of them aren’t. These are the ingredients and details you need to look out for.


One of the most common reasons why a brand of peanut butter isn’t vegan is because it contains honey.

This is one of the most commonly added ingredients to peanut butter but as it is produced by bees, it’s considered to be an animal product.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Some brands also supplement their peanut butter by adding omega-3 fatty acids.

These fats have a wide variety of health benefits as they’ve been shown to help prevent health diseases, strokes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may also help with cancer.

However, omega-3 fats are sourced from fish. The most common sources are sardines and anchovies so vegans need to avoid these fats.

Is Peanut Butter Vegan?

Cane Sugar

Although cane sugar itself is vegan, it is often prepared in ways that mean it is not. Cane sugar is made by chopping up sugar cane to extract the juice.

This juice is then boiled and crystallized. The crystals are usually further refined to remove any impurities.

In some cases, the refining process uses bone char to filter and bleach the crystals. Any cane sugar that uses this process won’t be suitable for vegans.


Some peanut butter may itself be vegan, but is processed in facilities that also process animal products.

In these cases, the peanut butter isn’t considered vegan because the manufacturers cannot guarantee that there will be no cross-contamination. 

For example, some kinds of peanut butter manufactured by Jif are made only from plant-based ingredients but aren’t labeled as vegan due to the possibility of cross-contamination.

Vegan Peanut Butter Brands

These are our recommendations for the best plant-based peanut butter. We would always recommend checking the label to ensure that they are certified vegan as you can be certain that these have no animal products at all.

Spread The Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter

This peanut butter is not only vegan, but it is also organic and features all-natural ingredients. There is no added salt or sugar and it doesn’t contain any palm oil either, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly product.

Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter

The Classic variety of Justin’s peanut butter is made with only two ingredients which are peanuts and palm oil. When buying Justin’s peanut butter, however, be careful that you do not purchase the variety that includes honey as this is not vegan.

365 Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

365 by Whole Foods Market offers several different types of vegan peanut butter so you can choose the right one for you. There are creamy and crunchy varieties, as well as unsweetened and unsalted versions.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we took a closer look at peanut butter and answered whether it is vegan or not. We learned that some types of peanut butter are, but others include animal products.

We also recommended some of our favorite peanut butter brands so you can be certain you’re making the right choice.
Brandon White
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