Are Lays Vegan: Baked Lays ‘Yes’ The Rest ‘No’

The potato chip is one of the most frustrating snacks as a vegan.

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Some flavors, such as roast chicken, are understandably not suitable for vegans due to certain flavorings, but there are so many companies that still use milk powder in their products for seemingly no reason. 

Baked Lays PotatoChips

It means that open, unlabeled bowls of chips and dips are best avoided (unless you know the host and they’ve made sure to cater to a vegan diet), and packets should always be checked to confirm the ingredients.

Seeing as Lays Potato Chips are such a popular choice of snack, we checked which, if any, of the three flavors they offer are vegan.

Original Flavor Baked Lays - VEGAN 

The ingredient list for this flavor includes dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil, sugar, sea salt, soy lecithin, dextrose, and annatto extracts. 

You can’t beat an original, and you can’t beat the original flavor Baked Lays if you’re a vegan because they’re the only option available to you.

They contain absolutely no dairy or animal byproducts.

Barbecue Flavor Baked Lays - NOT VEGAN

The ingredients list for this flavor includes dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil, sugar, salt, soy lecithin, onion powder, maltodextrin, dextrose, brown sugar, molasses, spices, fructose, tomato powder, garlic powder, yeast, soybean oil, natural flavors (contains milk), sunflower oil, paprika, acacia gum, paprika extracts, annatto extracts, and caramel color. 

As you can see, the barbecue flavor baked lays have more ingredients, and annoyingly, one of those is the animal-derivative milk.

Just like most regular barbecues, this one’s not suitable for vegans.  

Sour Cream and Onion Baked Lays - NOT VEGAN 

The ingredients list for this flavor includes dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil, sugar, skim milk, salt, dextrose, soil lecithin, cultured skim milk, whey, onion powder, sour cream (cultured cream, skim milk), natural flavor, parsley, citric acid, and annatto extracts. 

The biggest offender in terms of non-vegan ingredients is are the sour cream and onion flavor baked lays.

Both this and the barbecue flavor are considered vegetarian, but the inclusion of dairy in the form of milk or milk powder means they’re not suitable for vegans. 

Other Lay's Flavors

One is better than none, I suppose, but there are many brands that do offer a wider selection of vegan chips, so you don’t always end up stuck with the plainest flavor available.

In fact, the regular non-baked lays have far more to offer to vegans. This includes the following flavors: 

  • Classic
  • Bar-B-Que 
  • Deli Style 
  • Lightly Salted BBQ 
  • Dill Pickle
  • Limon
  • Kettle Cooked Lays Original 
  • Kettle Cooked Lays Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • Vinegar 

Are Baked Lays Vegan?

The original flavor of Baked Lays chips is suitable for vegans as it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

However, the same cannot be said for all of the other flavors of Baked Lays. Other flavors, like barbecue and sour cream and onion are not vegan, as they do contain animal-derived ingredients.

The full ingredients list for the original Baked Lays flavor is: Dried Potatoes, Corn Starch, Corn Oil, Sugar, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin, Dextrose, and Annatto Extracts. There is nothing within the ingredients that would make this product unsuitable for vegans.

However, the barbecue flavored Baked Lays are not vegan due to the fact that the flavoring contains milk-based products.

Additionally, the sour cream and onion flavored Baked Lays are not vegan because they contain milk-based ingredients, including milk and sour cream. So, of the three available choices when it comes to Baked Lays, only the original flavor is suitable for vegans.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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