Mountain Dew can be called vegan since it does not include any animal-based ingredients. However, it contains elements that might be considered non-vegan by straight vegans.

Here is a detailed analysis of this beverage.

Mountain Dew Ingredients

Mountain Dew comes in a variety of different flavors, but let’s focus on the original flavor for now.

  • Carbonated water 
  • High fructose corn syrup 
  • Concentrated orange juice 
  • Citric acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Caffeine 
  • Sodium citrate 
  • Erythorbic acid (preserves freshness) 
  • Ester gum
  • Calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor) 
  • Brominated vegetable oil
  • Artificial colors (yellow 5)

Source: official Mountain Dew website

As you can see it does not contain any animal components so we may see that it is technically vegan. However, a few of the ingredients’ production processes are problematic. Let’s have a deeper dive into this matter!

Artificial Colors

The colors used in the drink are tested on animals. While some people believe that animal testing is necessary to demonstrate the safety of a component, others consider it non-vegan.

Ester Gum

Ester gum is also known as Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin (GEWR). It’s very often added to many soda drinks because it improves their color.

The problem is that unless a product is expressly labeled as vegan friendly, the presence of glycerol (or glycerine or glycerin) in the list of ingredients might suggest that it is not suitable for vegans. Glycerol can be produced from either animal or plant sources but Pepsico never specified the source of their ester Gum

BTW did you know that Ester Gum also makes chewing gum chewy? Have a look at this video to learn more:

Cane Sugar

While cane sugar itself is vegan, it’s produced using bone char.

Bone char is made from the bones of animals. It is a type of charcoal that is used in the sugar refining process. When cane sugar is refined, it is filtered through bone char to remove any impurities.

Bone char can be made from the bones of cows, pigs, or sheep. The bones are heated until they turn into charcoal.

While bone char is not an animal product, its use of it in the sugar refining process means that strict vegans may not consider Mountain Dew to be a vegan drink.

5 Best Mountain Dew Vegan Alternatives:

So, as you can see, although Mountain Dew is vegan friendly on paper, digging a little deeper into its ingredients reveals that it isn’t so obvious, especially for strict vegans. It’s also not healthy and isn’t cruelty-free. Let’s now take a look at some vegan-friendly Mountain Dew alternatives.

#1: Guru Energy Drink

GURU is an energy drink that gives you a boost from Green Tea. GURU is crafted with organic Echinacea & Ginseng which are known to provide antioxidants, immune support, and enhanced physical and mental energy. All GURU drinks are certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free & Vegan.

Buy Here

#2: Riot Original Energy

100% Plant-Powered Caffeinated Energy Drink. It’s simple, natural, and organic. It has the same energy as a traditional energy drink and really delicious taste.

Buy here

#3: Zevia

Each Zevia Energy can is always: zero-calorie, sugar-free, clear in color, gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and vegan; While drinking Zevia you may rest assured that you only boost up with clean ingredients and 120mg of caffeine to kickstart your day

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#4: Celsius

Celsius drinks are low in sodium, contain zero sugar, and no aspartame. Each can is packed with 200mg of caffeine and that’s why you can easily use it as a pre-workout drink.

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#5: Aspire

Aspire drink contains only natural caffeine and obviously no sugar (and no calories). It’s enhanced with Vitamins B & C. 100% Vegan-friendly and has a very intense, refreshing flavor.

Buy here

Some questions you may still have

Is Diet Mountain Dew Vegan?

Yes, Diet Mountain Dew is vegan. It has the same ingredients as the regular one, but instead of fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice and citric acid were used as a sweetener.

Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Vegan?

Yes, Mountain Dew Kickstart is considered vegan by most. It has ingredients that may be sourced from animals (such as Ester Gum) however it’s not avoided by most vegans for this reason.

Is Mountain Dew Baja Blast Vegan?

Yes, Mountain Dew Baja Blast is vegan. It contains no dairy products or animal-derived ingredients. That’s good news for all vegans as the tropical taste is quite delicious.

Is Blue Mountain Dew Vegan?

Yes, Blue Mountain Dew is vegan. This popular soft drink is made with a few simple ingredients: water, sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, and sodium benzoate (to preserve freshness). None of these ingredients are derived from animals, so vegans can safely enjoy Blue Mountain Dew. 

Is Code Red Mountain Dew Vegan?

Code Red Mountain Dew is vegan. Many people are surprised to learn that this popular soft drink is actually vegan-friendly, but it’s true! The main ingredient in Blue Mountain Dew is high fructose corn syrup, which although not healthy is completely vegan. Other ingredients include carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors, and sodium benzoate (a preservative).

Does Mountain Dew Have Pork In It?

No, Mountain Dew does not have pork in it! That would be a really weird thing to put in a soft drink, don’t you think? So, mountain dew is completely pork-free. You can rest assured that when you’re enjoying a nice cold bottle of this refreshing beverage, there’s no pig meat floating around in it! 😉

Final thoughts

Mountain dew is a vegan-friendly drink, but it’s not exactly healthy. If you’re looking for a more sustainable and ethically responsible energy drink, there are plenty of great options available that are both vegan and organic. GURU, Zevia, Celsius, Aspire, and Riot Original are all excellent choices, so be sure to check them out!

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