Are Bugles Vegan? (All Flavors)

Bugles are a famous corn snack made by Tom’s Snacks. General Mills also manufactures them under Toms’s Snacks’ license.

This is to be noted, while General Mills Bugles can be easily found in the States; Tom’s snacks make more complex flavors that are vegan.

Many vegans have grown up eating these tasty snacks and need to know if they should continue doing so after switching to a 100% plant-based diet.

Are they vegan? The Original Bugles are vegan, like several other flavors, including both the BBQ varieties. The Bugles are always 100% vegan, as they’re using just corn, oils, sugar, salt, and preservatives.

Here we will simply mention vegan and non-vegan flavors and an analysis of their ingredients.

Vegan Bugles Flavors

Original Bugles

These contain

  • Degerminated Yellow Cornmeal
  • Vegetable Oil (Coconut and Palm Kernel Oils)
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • BHT (for freshness)

This variety has very few ingredients for a highly processed food product.

You may have seen the usage of coconut oil mentioned in the list. Bugles are fried in this oil with saturated fatty acid(SFA), so they have quite high controversial fat sources compared to other snack foods, which are mostly fried in vegetable oils (soybean, etc.).

Tom’s variety contains vegetable oils like canola, corn, and sunflower, which make them a little healthier. But, they’re difficult to come by in the US.

Fresh or less healthy, the ingredients as mentioned above are 100% vegan-friendly.

Hot Buffalo Bugles

Ingredients include

  • Degerminated Yellow Cornmeal
  • Vegetable Oil (Coconut and Palm Kernel)
  • Sugar, Salt
  • Sodium Diacetate
  • Natural Flavor
  • Spice, Paprika Extract (for Color), Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch
  • BHT for Freshness*

We sometimes get queries about BHT. It is entirely vegan-friendly.

It’s manufactured synthetically without being derived from animals and is prepared by green algae and certain cyanobacteria.


These contain

  • Degerminated Yellow Cornmeal
  • Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel and Coconut Oils)
  • Sugar, Fructose, Salt, and Spices
  • Distilled Monoglycerides*
  • Baking Soda
  • Natural Flavor (I’m assuming cinnamon)
  • BHT

*Distilled Monoglycerides is made by reacting glycerol and triglycerides, both may come from plants and animals.

But these ingredients don’t make a food product non-vegan, because they are mostly derived from vegetable fats.

Bold BBQ

These contain

  • Degerminated Yellow Cornmeal
  • Vegetable Oil (Coconut and Palm Kernel)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Spices, Salt
  • Distilled Monoglycerides
  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar, Fructose, Molasses, Brown Sugar
  • Paprika (for Color)
  • Tomato Powder
  • Maltodextrin, Onion Powder
  • Mustard Powder (Dried Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric)
  • Natural Smoke Flavor
  • BHT for freshness

No problems here.

Ketchup Flavor

This is an obscure flavor, so it may be challenging to find it.

It contains

  • Yellow Degerminated Corn Meal
  • Palm Oil
  • Sugar, Salt
  • Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Diacetate
  • Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Wheat Flour
  • Dried Tomato
  • Spices (Allspices, Clove, Cinnamon)
  • Dried Onion and Garlic
  • Paprika Extract

With paprika extract and dried tomato, we should not worry about the usage of any non-vegan food coloring agents like carmine.

Hot and Spicy BBQ

This is also a unique flavor only coming from Tom’s.

These contain

  • Degermed Yellow Corn Meal
  • Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following Vegetable Oils: Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Rice Bran, Safflower)
  • Sugar, Salt, Maltodextrin, Brown Sugar, Molasses
  • Spices, Monosodium Glutamate
  • Tomato Powder, Onion Powder, Extractives of Paprika
  • Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Yeast Extract
  • Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate
  • Citric Acid, Malic Acid
  • Natural Flavors

Again, no problems here.

Other Potentially Vegan Flavors

There is a rumor that a few other flavors are also there. Some of them are no longer available.

These include Salt & Vinegar, Salsa, and Smokin’ BBQ.

Anyway, they sound like a vegan. We will keep tracking them and will confirm if their ingredients are vegan.

Non-Vegan Bugles Flavors


These contain

  • Degermed Yellow Corn Meal
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil (Coconut, Palm, Palm Kernel, Canola and Soybean)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Salt, Baking Soda
  • Molasses
  • Distilled Monoglycerides
  • Natural Flavor
  • Milk
  • BHT and TBHQ (for freshness)

Real caramel is mostly milk-derived as the Maillard browning reaction is usually made on lactose. But, not all products with a caramel flavor use milk, because the same response may be seen in other simple sugars also. But this one contained real dairy.

Nacho Cheese

Ingredients include

  • Degermed Yellow Corn Meal
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sugar, Salt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Whey Powder
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Buttermilk Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Dried Garlic, Tomato Powder, Spices, Dried Onion
  • Dried Cheddar Cheese (Cheese Cultures, Milk, Salt, Enzymes)
  • Dextrose
  • Citric Acid
  • Dried Enzyme Modified Romano Cheese (Made from Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes)
  • Color (Paprika Extract, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Annatto Extract, and Turmeric Extract)
  • Enzyme Modified Butter
  • Disodium Phosphate
  • Natural and Artificial Flavor
  • Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate
  • Nonfat Dry Milk
  • Butter (Cream, Salt)
  • Freshness Preserved by BHT

Dairy derivatives and milk serve many useful functions in food processing. The milk is separated into its different components for use in food processing. These specific flavors are almost every possible milk derivative.

Moreover, not all snacks with cheese flavor contain actual cheese or some kind of milk product. Different yeast and bacterial cultures may be sufficient to give a cheesy flavor. But, this is not true for the character in the discussion.


These contain

  • Degermed Yellow Corn Meal
  • Vegetable Oil (Coconut Oil and Palm Kernel)
  • Sugar, Maltodextrin, Salt
  • Dried Buttermilk
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Monoglycerides
  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Whey Protein
  • Onion Powder, Parsley
  • Disodium Guanylate and Inosinate
  • Natural and Artificial Flavor
  • Freshness Preserved by BHT

Buttermilk is quite commonly used in ranch-flavored snacks. Like dried milk powder, it imparts a smooth mouthfeel but also leaves a tangy flavor. It’s a standard ingredient in any ranch dressing, so we are not surprised.

Whey is the second most abundant protein in milk. It is not available in the plant kingdom, so it’s always non-vegan.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

These contain

  • Degermed Yellow Corn Meal
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sugar
  • Peanut Butter (Peanuts, Sugar, Monoglycerides, Salt)
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Cocoa
  • Fructose
  • Cocoa Processed with Alkali
  • Distilled Monoglycerides
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Whole Milk Solids
  • Baking Soda
  • Soybean Oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Natural Flavor
  • Freshness Preserved by BHT, TBHQ, and Citric Acid

This flavor has only one ingredient to keep it away from the menu for vegans: whole milk solids.

‘Whole milk solids’ is just a different term for powdered whole milk.e. the whole milk left after the water is removed. It has full protein and fat, just like regular whole milk.

In this case, It’s used to give a milk chocolate flavor. While chocolate doesn’t necessarily need milk, chocolate-flavored snacks contain dairy in some form.

Other Non-Vegan Flavors

We have not seen them. But, but as per Wikipedia, they do exist. They did exist at one point and may resurface at any time.

These flavors include:

  • Sour Cream & Onion
  • Chile Cheese
  • Southwest Ranch
  • Sweet and Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Sweet and Salty Caramel
  • Cheddar
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Jalapeño Cheddar

Some of these flavors are exclusive to Tom’s, that is why they’re less common.

That was the fact file for the vegan status of Bugles.

Thanks for reading.

You may also want to check out the following related articles:


  1. Bugles.
  2. 50 Years For the Bugles Brand. Global Communications- General Mills –
  3. Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Snack Food Brands The Meal –
  5. Hot Buffalo Bugles.
  6. Bugles Bold BBQ.
  7. Bugles Ketchup Flavor.
  8. Hot and Spicy BBQ.
  9. Caramel Bugles Ingredients.
  10. Bugles Nacho Cheese Flavor Crispy Corn Snacks, 14.5 oz.
  11. Bugles Ranch Flavor Crispy Corn Snacks, 7.5 oz Bag.
  12. Anna Haug, et al. Bovine milk in human nutrition – a review. Lipids Health Dis. 2007; 6: 25.
  13. Bugles Ingredients, Chocolate Peanut Butter.


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