Is Diet Coke Vegan? Unbottling The Truth

 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

is diet coke vegan

Numerous businesses have started making “sugar-free” versions of beverages in response to the worrying spike in obesity and diabetes linked to sugar intake. Consequently, Diet Coke was made by the Coca-Cola company. The soft drink has zero calories or sugar content. Instead, it is made using sugar substitutes. 

Veganism is more widespread than ever and is constantly gaining ground due to growing knowledge of animal rights and welfare concerns, climate change, and the environment. Similar to how many wonder what sodas are caffeine free even seasoned vegans may sometimes wonder what can vegans drink or do vegans drink alcohol.  

Diet Coke being a sort after sugar-free solution raises an interesting question: Is diet coke vegan? Diet Coke is vegan because it doesn’t contain animal products or derivatives, according to its ingredient list.

On the surface, some foods might not appear to contain ingredients derived from animals, but they very well could contain beeswax, bee honey, or even gelatin, which is made from the collagen of animals. Let’s discuss what soft drinks are vegan, can vegetarians drink coke, do vegans drink alcohol, and so much more below. 

Diet Coke Ingredients

What is diet coke made of? Coca-Cola is manufactured primarily as a concentrate before being shipped to authorized bottlers worldwide. They include water and a variety of sweeteners, the latter of which varies by region. Other ingredients include: 

  • Natural flavors
  • Carbonated water 
  • Sugar (Sucrose may be used)
  • Phosphoric acid (to add taste)
  • A specific type of caramel color 
  • Caffeine (to give a touch of bitterness) 

From a vegan stance, none of those items should raise too many red flags. Vegans who enjoy Coca-Cola can indulge as long as it’s vegan-friendly, and coke has been confirmed to meet both criteria.

soda can

Varieties of Diet Coke that are Vegan-Friendly

All varieties of Diet Coke are vegan. This can be confirmed by looking at the website’s ingredient labeling. Examples of vegan-friendly diet coke include: 

  • Diet Coke Sublime Lime
  • Caffeine-Free Diet Coke
  • Diet Coke Twisted Strawberry

Most Common Ingredients Found on Non-Vegan Sodas

A few of the most popular non-vegan substances used in the production of sodas include the following:

Vitamin D3

This ingredient is most frequently seen in energy drinks and sports drinks. While it can be obtained from lichen, most vitamin D3 comes from lanolin, the oil in sheep’s wool.

Given that so many vegans refrain from using, consuming, or wearing anything made from animals, many vegans are still unlikely to consider shaving sheep for their wool to be non-vegan-friendly. 


Red food coloring called cochineal is made from bugs. Some people in the vegan community consider bugs and other insects vegan, although others disagree. It’s still crucial to remember that cochineal is an insect product, even if it appears on an ingredient list.


Certain specialty sodas commercially available contain honey, although this is relatively uncommon. The use of honey is another contentious issue among vegans. Some people consume honey produced nearby by bee breeders they trust implicitly, while others do not.

Ester Gum

Glycerol, which doubles as a sweetener, is used to make ester gum. Most businesses use an animal-derived kind of glycerol. Glycerol is a sugar substitute that may be produced in a lab, although most manufacturers don’t prefer this alternative. Ester gum and items containing glycerol are frequently dismissed as vegan-friendly.

Fish Gelatin

Fish gelatin can be found in certain non-vegan items in “trace quantities.” Fish scales are first bathed in hot water, after which the substance is removed from the collagen. 

Fish gelatin is mainly used as a stabilizing agent in the food industry and as a thickening and gelling agent. For Coca-Cola, gelatin provides the beta-carotene color in several of its products. 

Although fish gelatin can be used to provide the orange hue, beta-carotene is a naturally occurring compound found in many plants, including carrots. It can also be derived from algae. However, it is frequently copied, duplicated, and manufactured in the food sector. 

What Other Sodas Are Vegan?

Fortunately, there are several vegan sodas available besides Diet Coke. In addition to the vegan Coca-Cola choices already stated in the section above, numerous additional producers also produce drinks without using any components that come from animals.

3 canned soda

If you’re in desire something sweet, consider adding these bottles of effervescent or fruity tastes to your upcoming shopping list:

  • 7 Up
  • Oasis
  • Sprite
  • Fanta
  • Rose’s
  • Fuze tea
  • Red Bull 
  • Diet Coke
  • Powerade
  • Pepsi Max
  • Pepsi Cola
  • Schweppes
  • Lipton iced teas
  • Coca-Cola Classic
  • Coca-Cola Energy
  • Diet Mountain Dew
  • Glaceau Smartwater
  • Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
  • Glaceau Vitaminwater
  • Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
  • Regular Mountain Dew

Is Diet Coke Animal Tested?

You’ll be glad to learn that Coca-Cola doesn’t use animal testing. The corporation informed PETA in a letter that it had ceased this practice and was not supporting animal research on its beverages.

2019 saw the implementation of a policy banning all animal testing by Ingredion Incorporated, a prominent worldwide ingredients distributor with net yearly revenue of $6 billion and one of Coca-largest Cola’s corn syrup suppliers. This was the outcome of their discussions with PETA and anything that lessens the suffering of animals can only be positive.

Is Coca-Cola Vegan?

Yes. The soft drink Coca-Cola can be considered strictly vegetarian since no variant includes animal ingredients. Most Coca-Cola drinks, including all its soft drinks, are considered vegan. Products that are suitable for vegans: 

  • Lift
  • Sprite
  • Powerade
  • Diet Coke
  • Coke Zero
  • Coke Vanilla
  • Coke Classic
  • Fanta Orange
  • Powerade Zero
  • Coke No Sugar
  • Fanta Jelly Fizz
  • Coke Raspberry
  • Appletiser & Grapetiser
  • Fanta Passionfruit Cream.
soda in a cup

Is Diet Pepsi Vegan?

Pepsi Cola’s regular flavor is appropriate for vegans. Diet Pepsi isn’t vegan, which is odd considering Pepsi Max is also vegan-friendly.

Pepsi said that because it contains amounts of substances that are inappropriate for persons practicing a vegan dietary pattern, diet Pepsi is only suited for vegetarians.

What Soft Drinks Are Not Vegan?

Several other soft drinks are vegan in addition to Diet Coke and its variations. Coca-Cola also admits that quantities of fish gelatine are present in several of its beverages. The following soft drinks may not be acceptable for vegans since they contain animal products:

  • Schweppes Indian Tonic Water
  • Kia-Ora Orange Squash No Added Sugar 


Diet Coke is vegan, and the business neither conducts nor supports any animal testing in any way. As a result, you no longer have to be concerned about the contents of Diet Coke or the company’s stance on animal testing to enjoy a cold Diet Coke with ice.

Despite being vegan, Diet Coke is not exceptionally nutritious. As you compare soda vs. sweet tea, remember that while soda is a standard beverage, that doesn’t imply it’s the best option for you. Although it won’t always result in weight gain, the various negative consequences it could have over time do not make the risk worthwhile. 

You can avoid drinking soda and choose a new option that will better correspond to your requirements if you have hypertension, a threat of a stroke, or a history of heart attacks.

If you must drink it, do so sparingly because numerous healthier alternatives are available, such as fruit juice or coconut water. Many choices have extra advantages for your digestive system and general wellness. To have a healthy lifestyle, eat a well-balanced diet and combine it with regular exercise.

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