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Are Trader Joes Golden Round Crackers Vegan? (Answered)

Are Trader Joes Golden Round Crackers Vegan

Eating fully vegan should be a simple choice, but it is surprisingly hard to tell what ingredients are actually derived from animal products – even when you carefully check the label. With that in mind, you might be wondering: are Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers vegan?

The Golden Round Crackers from Trader Joe’s are not explicitly labeled as vegan. Although it is possible that they do not contain any animal-derived products, there are a couple of ingredients on the label which could be sourced from animals and Trader Joe’s has not officially stated either way.

Read ahead to find out exactly what’s going on with this particular product so that you can decide whether you should look for something that is more definitively vegan-friendly to snack on.

What Can Vegans Eat?

Before we get into Golden Round Crackers specifically, we should first identify what veganism is really all about, and why it can be hard to stick to a vegan diet.

For most people, being vegan means not eating any foods that are derived from animals or involve animal testing in any way.

That can extend to non-consumable products as well, including things like cosmetics that are tested on animals or toilet paper that uses animal-based gelatin.

What to Look Out For

However, it’s not as simple as just avoiding those few things. A huge amount of the food we eat is highly processed and contains lots of ingredients – some of which originally come from animals. You would be surprised by how many seemingly cruelty-free products are actually not safe for strict vegans.

Some of the ones you might not be aware of include:

  • Confectioners glaze. Any kind of glaze on candy and sweets can come from a resinous material secreted by a specific kind of insect.
  • Whey. Found in a lot of bread and sweets, whey is actually a by-product of cheese making.
  • Gelatin. This gel-like substance is derived from animal collagen and is used in many different foods – particularly jelly candies, marshmallows, and fruit snacks.

Overview of Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers

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With all of that in mind, let’s talk about the Golden Round Crackers that Trader Joe’s sells. They might seem safe enough, as they are essentially very similar to the famous Ritz cracker.

They’re crispy, buttery, and lightly flavored – and they make a great accompaniment for a number of different toppings. They go nicely with vegan cheese, peanut butter, pickled vegetables, chutney, and all kinds of other things besides. These crackers have a good texture, and they’re great value too.

Most customers are pretty impressed with them, particularly when compared to the more expensive Ritz, so they’re a relatively popular staple in Trader Joe’s stores.

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Ingredients in Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers

If you’re a vegan, though, then the really important thing to look at is the ingredients. While nothing clearly animal-based is present (and why would it be?), they are not actually labeled as vegan, which should raise some eyebrows.

Specifically, the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers are:

  • Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Cane sugar
  • Salt
  • Leavening (ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate)
  • Invert sugar syrup
  • Barley malt extract
  • Natural flavor
  • Microbial enzymes

The only allergen listed is wheat and you might not see anything jumping out at you as non-vegan, but there are a couple of ingredients in there that have a bit of a question mark on them.

The “natural flavor” and “microbial enzymes” contained in Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers may well not come from vegan sources.

While these ingredients could be vegan-friendly, it is also possible that any or all of them could be derived from animal products instead.

Since Trader Joe’s has not been explicit that they are not, it might be safer to err on the side of caution and look for a different kind of cracker instead.  

What Other Brands Are Vegan?

You will find some tasty vegan snack options at Trader Joe’s (like their Cauliflower Crisps Snack and their Papadums Lentil ; Chickpea Crisps) or, if you’re looking for a delicious cracker in particular, there are many different options outside of their stores.

In fact, the original Ritz crackers that Trader Joe’s is directly competing with are considered vegan-friendly – and they are incredibly similar in shape, taste, and texture. Some of the other varieties of Ritz contain dairy products, but the majority are completely safe for vegans.

The one downside to Ritz crackers is that they are slightly less healthy than the Trader Joe’s version because they use palm oil and high fructose corn syrup, as opposed to the sunflower oil and cane sugar in the Golden Round crackers.

There are a wide variety of other vegan-friendly crackers that you could go for as well, like:

  • Doctor In The Kitchen – Organic Flax Seed Crackers
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers Herb
  • Simple Mills – Cracked Black Pepper Almond Flour Crackers
  • Real Food From The Ground Up -Cauliflower Crackers Sea Salt
  • Natural Nectar – Original Cracklebred

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Ingredients in Trader Joe’s Crackers?

Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers contain unbleached enriched flour, sunflower seed oil, cane sugar, salt, leavening, invert sugar syrup, barley malt extract, natural flavor, and microbial enzymes.

Are Crackers Vegan Friendly?

While some crackers are vegan-friendly, many contain ingredients that are derived from animals. It is always best to check the label carefully rather than assuming either way.

Final Thoughts

So, are Trader Joe’s Golden Round Crackers vegan? Unfortunately, it’s not possible to tell for sure. They are not officially labeled as vegan and contain two ingredients (natural flavor and microbial enzymes) that could derive from animal products.

Trader Joe’s has not stated whether they used vegan versions of these ingredients, so it is possibly safest to assume that they are not.

Ritz crackers, however, are vegan-friendly, and there are a lot of different vegan cracker options on the market.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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