Is Cool Whip Dairy-Free or Vegan?

is cool whip vegan

I recently purchased Cool Whip for a recipe a few weeks ago. I don’t usually eat the stuff but maybe once a year. However, as a kid it always seemed to be in the house because my sister loved it. I was kind of indifferent to it then and I guess I still am.  I always assumed it was a mediocre (at best) whipped cream, but I never really thought about what the actual ingredients were. I recently did a little research to find out the ingredients, if it is dairy-free, and if it is vegan. Here is what I found.

What Is In Cool Whip?

In order to answer “Is Cool Whip dairy-free?” and “Is Cool Whip vegan?” we have to first determine the ingredients. According to the Cool Whip website, there are six varieties of Cool Whip. Below we will list out the ingredients for each kind so you can get an idea of what is in Cool Whip. As you might expect, the ingredients are not just whipped up heavy cream and sugar like homemade whipped cream.

 

Original: WATER, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT & PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SKIM MILK, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF LIGHT CREAM, SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Extra Creamy: SKIM MILK, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SYRUP, WATER, CORN SYRUP, LIGHT CREAM, LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Lite: WATER, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Fat Free: WATER, CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL* (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, POLYSORBATE 65, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Season’s Delight French Vanilla: WATER, CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL* (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, POLYSORBATE 65, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Sugar Free: WATER, CORN SYRUP*, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM AND ASPARTAME** (SWEETENERS), BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

Is Cool Whip Dairy-Free?

In order for a product to be considered dairy-free, it cannot contain milk. All the Cool Whip products listed above contain a form of milk; therefore, Cool Whip is not dairy-free. Surprisingly (or maybe not to some), milk is the main ingredient in only one (extra creamy) of the six Cool Whip varieties. Remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that the ingredient that weighs the most be listed first, the second heaviest second, and so on. Most have water listed as the first ingredient.

Is Cool Whip Vegan?

In simple terms vegan means that a person does not consume or use animal products. A vegan will not eat anything animal-based like meat, eggs, or butter. They also will not purchase animal-based products like a leather couch, fur coat, or wool produced items. Cool whip is not vegan because it is made from milk or a product that is derived from milk called sodium caseinate.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart