Coke Products Vegetarian?

I actually don’t remember what I was viewing online that made me question if Coke products are vegetarian or not but I had a moment of concern.  I have to admit while working towards a healthier diet with less and less processed ingredients Caffeine Free Diet Coke is still a guilty pleasure.  I’ve greatly reduced the quantity of this product that I consume but can’t seem to abstain completely.  Being that I have been caffeine free for several years my consumption of carbonated beverages has been greatly reduced due to lack of availability in the form of diet beverages.  I am down to about 5 cans per week versus a few years ago when I enjoyed my first diet coke at 7am and things went downhill from there.

I wrote to the Coke Company and would like to share my response from them.  Please note the comment stating that I should be happy because their products that contain gelatin are derived from fish and are kosher.  Rest assured I’ve already responded to them on this regard.

Here’s their response:

Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company.  We certainly appreciate the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.

Except the products that contain cochineal (which is listed on the label) and the products that contain milk (which is also indicated on the label), brands of The Coca-Cola Company in the United States do not contain any ingredient derived from animals.

However, some of our juice products contain Vitamin D3, which is derived from lanolin.  Lanolin is a natural oil in the fiber of sheep’s wool.  It is separated from the wool after the sheep’s hair is cut (sheared).  Lanolin oil is obtainable without harming the sheep but may be an issue for strict vegetarians.

Additionally, some of our suppliers use a common industry practice for grape juice clarification that does involve animal by-products.  This practice is becoming increasingly less common as ultra-filtration systems are gradually replacing the gelatin used in this process.  However, you may be interested to know that because our juices are certified kosher, the gelatin used to clarify the juice is made from fish.

In the U.S., the only Coca-Cola brand products that are currently produced with cochineal are Minute Maid Juices To Go Ruby Red Grapefruit Drink, Jugos Del Valle Strawberry Banana Juice Nectar, and Jugos Del Valle Strawberry Juice Nectar.

The only currently manufactured Coca-Cola brand products that contain milk are Far Coast (World of Coca-Cola only), Caribou Iced Coffee, FUZE Refresh, and Minute Maid Fruit and Creme Swirls.

We hope this information is helpful.  Please feel free to contact us again.

Jennifer
Industry and Consumer Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company

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  1. Ew.

    • I sent a reply to Coke informing them that while I respect the fact that their products are kosher I do not appreciate their considering fish products to be vegetarian. Here is their lackluster response:

      Thank you for contacting our website again. We appreciate your interest in The Coca-Cola Company.
      Your comments are appreciated and will be shared with the appropriate management.
      If you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  2. One last comment about Coca Cola. I don’t drink the product but the myth about it being a great toilet bowl cleaner is true. I have no idea what chemical (ingredient) is in it that enables it to clean so well but I have used it on occasion and the results are always great!

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