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Is Diet Pepsi Vegan-Friendly?

Are you a fan of Pepsi and would love to know if Diet Pepsi is really the healthier and vegan option?

Diet Pepsi is a variation of the popular Pepsi soft drink. It is similar to the regular Pepsi drink minus the sugar. Another variation is Pepsi Zero Sugar.

But how much healthier than the regular version is Diet Pepsi? Is it vegan-friendly? Continue reading to find out.

Is Diet Pepsi Vegan?

The answer is: No

Pepsi is very clear on its website that diet Pepsi is not vegan-friendly. In fact, they specifically state:

Our products are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets, apart from Diet Pepsi and Diet Pepsi Caffeine Free which aren’t suitable for vegans.


At this point, you may be asking yourself how Diet Pepsi is not vegan-friendly yet the other Pepsi products are. Let us first look at the ingredients in Diet Pepsi.

What is Diet Pepsi Made Of?

Diet Pepsi is made out of the following ingredients and consists of the following nutritional contents:

Diet Pepsi Ingredients:

Diet Pepsi
Diet Pepsi

Carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, citric acid, natural flavor, acesulfame potassium.

Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine.

Nutrition Facts

Diet Pepsi Nutrition Facts

Let us break down these ingredients.

  • Carbonated water is exactly as it sounds, water that has been carbonated.
  • Caramel color comes from plant sources and is vegan.
  • Aspartame is an artificial sweetener and is vegan.
  • Phosphoric acid is food flavoring and is also vegan.
  • Potassium benzoate is a food preservative and is vegan.
  • Caffeine is vegan.
  • Citric acid naturally occurs in citrus fruits.
  • Natural flavor may be sourced from either natural products or animal products. It is unclear where Pepsi sourced its natural flavoring from.
  • Acesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener. 
  • Phenylalanine is commonly sourced from animal products but may also be found in plants.

Why Diet Pepsi Is Non-Vegan?

The reason why Diet Pepsi is non-vegan may be due to the natural flavor and phenylalanine because we are uncertain if these two ingredients contain animal materials or plant products.

Interestingly, Pepsi has refused to specify which of its ingredients are non-vegan. They have stated that the reason for their refusal to be specific is due to commercial reasons. 

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Final Thoughts

Diet Pepsi contains a natural flavor and phenylalanine which may be non-vegan but we have no confirmation of this. The refusal of PepsiCo to state which of their ingredients is non-vegan may also potentially point to other ingredients that the company has not disclosed. Vegans should rather opt for other Pepsi drinks that have been confirmed to be vegan.

For more information please visit: www.pepsi.com.

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