Snack Foods

There are quite a few vegan-friendly snacks in Japan; you just need to know what to look for. For example, SoyJoy bars (not SoyJoy Crispy), while sounding promising, are not vegan as they contain egg and butter. Also, Oreo cookies are not vegan in Japan as they contain dairy products (aside from the question of whether the sugar was processed using bone char).

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So which snacks are vegan?

Some of the best vegan snacks are the simple ones. In addition to the usual dried fruit (some containing sugar) and nuts, you can find roasted chestnuts and dried sweet potato in many supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan. Below are some examples of simple vegan snacks available in Japan.

Gourmet Roasted Peeled Chestnut. Ingredients: Organic chestnuts.

Gourmet Roasted Peeled ChestnutsGourmet Roasted Peeled Chestnut - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple of other examples of organic roasted chestnuts available in Japan:

Organic chestnutsOrganic chestnuts - 100 yen store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Sticks

Lawson and Natural Lawson convenience stores:

These sweet potato sticks with Natural Lawson branding on the package are very filling.

• Organically cultivated dried potato stick/有機栽培の干し芋スティック. Ingredients: Organically cultivated sweet potato (satsumaimo).

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Katsumata Dried Soy Beans. Ingredients: Soy beans (domestic)(non-genetically modified). Note: manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing egg, milk, shrimp and crab.

Dried soy beansDried soy beans - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also many other snacks available in Japanese stores that may be vegan. Some of the products below have ingredients where the source is not clear such as flavorings or emulsifiers. Let’s look at some examples of products you may be able to find.

• Ajigen Black Sesame Roasted Soybean Flour Snack/味原 黒ごまきな粉スナック.  Ingredients: Brown rice, white sesame, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, corn, black sesame, kinako roasted soybean flour (soybean: not genetically modified), salt/calcium carbonate, antioxidant (vitamin E).

Photo from website.

Ajigen Black Sesame Roasted Soybean Powder Snack

Banana Joe Banana Chips are sold in Daiso. The website states that they are vegan.

Photos from website.

•  Banana Joe Banana Chips Hickory BBQ.

Banana Joe Banana Chips Hickory BBQ

• Banana Joe Banana Chips Sea Salt.

Banana Joe Banana Chips Sea Salt

• Banana Joe Banana Chips Thai Sweet Chili.

Banana Joe Banana Chips Thai Sweet Chili

PUDDING

Ezaki Glico pudding, per the press release, is made without animal ingredients. Customer service has reported that the sugars are not bone char processed and that the product contains palm oil. Glico does not do animal experiments for its food products. They do animal testing when required by law for medical items. Their statement in Japanese regarding animal testing is:

グリコの動物実験 食品については行っていない。 同社にて取り扱いの業務用の医療用素材については 法律が必要とする場合に行っている。

Be sure to get the one marked “植物生まれの” on the top of the package as the others have non-vegan ingredients in them.

Ezaki Glico Born From Plants Pucchin Pudding, Family Pack/植物生まれのプッチンプリン ファミリーパック and Ezaki Glico Born From Plants Big Pucchin Pudding/植物生まれのBigプッチンプリン. Ingredients: Soymilk (domestically produced), sugar, starch syrup, vegetable oil, roasted sugar, almond paste, salt, agar/thickening agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring, emulsifier, pH adjusting agent, carotenoid pigment, caramel pigment.

Product contains soybeans and almonds.

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House Petit Fruiche instant dessert mix is a powder that’s meant to be mixed with cow’s milk to make a pudding, but it can be mixed with non-dairy milk instead. It’s sold in 100-yen shops nationwide.

House Petit Fruiche, Blueberry/プチフルーチェ <ブルーベリー>Ingredients: Sugar, blueberry, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, salt/gelling agent (pectin), pH adjusting agent, flavoring, calcium lactate.

Out of the 27 specified allergens, product includes apple.

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House Petit Fruiche, Mixed Orange/プチフルーチェ <ミックスオレンジ>. Ingredients: Mandarin flesh preserved in syrup, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, fructose, salt/gelling agent (pectin), pH adjusting agent, acidulant, flavoring, carotene pigment.

Out of the 27 specified allergens, product includes orange and apple.

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House Petit Fruiche, Peach/House プチフルーチェ <ピーチ>. Ingredients: White peaches preserved in syrup, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, salt/gelling agent (pectin), pH adjusting agent, acidulant, antioxidant (vitamin C), flavoring, calcium lactate, Monascus Purpureus pigment.

Out of the 27 specified allergens, product includes peach and apple.

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House Petit Fruiche, Strawberry/プチフルーチェ <イチゴ>. Ingredients: Strawberry (sweetened), sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, salt/gelling agent (pectin), pH adjusting agent, flavoring, coloring (gardenia, Monascus purpureus), calcium lactate.

Product contains apple.  

Photo from website.

House Petit Fruche Strawberry

Imo kenpi is a traditional Japanese snack. According to Wikipedia, “They are strips of candied sweet potato, resembling french fries in appearance, but are hard and sugary sweet in taste. Now, in Japan, almost all super markets and convenience stores sell kenpi of their own brands.”

The following product was found in the 100 yen aisle of a supermarket.

• Imo kenpi/芋けんぴ. Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, vegetable oils and fats (rice oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil), sugar.

Uses domestically produced Kogane-sengan sweet potato, often used in sake brewing.

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Happy Dates bars have a product page here and can be ordered online here or found in selected stores (Natural Lawson convenience stores and some drugstores).

• Happy Dates Chocolate Brownie/HAPPY デーツ チョコブラウニー味. Ingredients: Dates, cacao mass, red sugar, roasted almonds, cocoa powder, concentrated date fruit juice, salt (salt from Miyakojima)

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

Chocolate brownie-flavored bars with dates as the main ingredient. Milk, egg, wheat, refined sugar-free. Sweet with the flavor of roasted almonds. Uses salt from an island in Okinawa. The taste is quite chocolatey.

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• Happy Dates Fruit Granola/HAPPY デーツ フルーツグラノーラ味. Ingredients: Dates, red sugar, cacao mass, granola (oats, brown rice puffs, rye flakes, isomaltooligosaccharide, malt extract, molasses), rice puffs, concentrated fruit juice (dates, raspberries), strawberries, chia seeds.

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

Chia seeds, strawberries, and granola are all included in this date-based bar.

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• Happy Dates Rum Raisin/HAPPY デーツ ラムレーズン味. Ingredients: Dates, red sugar, coconut, raisins, cacao mass, rum, concentrated date juice.

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

Rum is included in this date-based bar, making it a sweet treat for adults.

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Lotus Biscoff Biscuit Spread. Ingredients (from VeganEssentials.com): “Biscoff 57% (wheat flour, non-bone char sugar, vegetable oils [contains one or more of soybean, sunflower, canola or palm], soy flour, non-bone char brown sugar, leavening [sodium bicarbonate], salt, cinnamon), canola oil, non-bone char sugar, soy lecithin, citric acid.”

Made in Belgium.

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MD Crunchy Fried Beni Shōga snacks may be vegan. However, the source of the protein hydrolyzate is not specified as being of plant or animal origin, and the ingredient list also says その他/sono ta, other. It isn’t possible to confirm if it’s vegan or not without contacting the manufacturer.

MD サクサク紅しょうが揚げ/MD Crunchy Fried Beni Shōga. Ingredients: Wheat flour, corn starch, vegetable oil (contains soybeans), ginger seasoning (ginger powder, salt, protein hydrolyzate, other), sugar, salt, ginger powder/modified starch, leavening agent, coloring (red mold-Monascus purpureus), seasoning (amino acids, etc.), spice extract, sweetener (sucralose), tricalcium phosphate.

• Mujirushi Ryouhin Mixed Nuts Salt Flavor, 30 grams /無印良品ミックスナッツ 塩味. Ingredients: Giant corn (Peru), cashew nuts (India), almonds (U.S.A.), vegetable oil, salt, black pepper.

Processed on the same equipment as items contianing wheat, dairy, and peanuts.

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Also available in a larger, 340 gram package.

• Mujirushi Ryouhin Mixed Nuts Salt Flavor, 340 grams/無印良品ミックスナッツ 塩味. Ingredients: Cashew nuts (India), almonds (U.S.A.), giant corn (Peru), vegetable oil, salt, black pepper.

Product contains cashews.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts.

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Natural Taste Products make a number of products aimed at people with allergies. Some may be incidentally vegan.

Monaka are wafer cakes filled with bean jam. The package of Mixed Monaka states three flavors are included, adzuki bean paste, salted, and sesame.

Natural Taste Products Mixed Monaka/自然味良品 ミックス最中. Ingredients: Raw bean paste, starch syrup, sugar, glutinous rice flour, adzuki beans, starch, sesame paste, salt, sorbitol, processed starch, preservative (potassium sorbate).

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The following product is called an umebachi, which is a family crest of a stylized plum blossom from the top. However, plum doesn’t appear anywhere on the ingredient list.

The package states it’s a rustic confection that consists of karintō dough wrapped in candy. From Wikipedia: “Karintō is a traditional Japanese snack food. Sweet and deep-fried, it is made primarily of flour, yeast, and brown sugar. It has a deep brown and pitted appearance, and takes the form of a bite-sized pillow or short cylinder.”

Natural Taste Products Umebachi/自然味良品 梅鉢. Ingredients: Flour, sugar, vegetable oil (rice oil, rapeseed oil), starch syrup, yeast.

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Otsuka Soy Carat, Olive Oil and Garlic. Ingredients: Soy flour (non-genetically-modified), starch, powdered olive oil, brewed seasonings, garlic flakes, dietary fiber (inulin), protein hydrolysate, dextrin, yeast extract, powdered sesame oil, vegetable powder, sugar, salt, spices, lemon balm extract, processed starch, flavoring, antioxidant (vitamin C, vitamin E), acidulant, liquid smoke, sweetener (stevia). (May contain milk products.)

The “may contain milk products” line may be a cross-contamination warning that small particles of dairy may be present, but it isn’t clear.

As Otsuka is a pharmaceutical company, they surely do animal testing, but it isn’t clear if this product was developed using animal testing.

From the Otsuka website: “SoyCarat is a snack food made mainly of whole soy.*
Each packet of SoyCarat is made with approximately 50 soybeans.
SoyCarat provides the nutrition of soy with the enjoyment of a fun rattling sound when shaken. Calories have been kept down to approximately 120 kcal per bag as the snack is baked, not fried.

  • Excluding the thin peel.”

Otsuka SoyCarat Olive Oil and Garlic Flavor.jpg

SOYJOY crispy, according to the manufacturer’s website, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, are “nutritional foods made with whole soybean flour, fruits and nuts, containing no wheat. They offer a smart and delicious way to enjoy the nutritional goodness of soy, including vegetable protein, soy isoflavones, and dietary fiber.”

They can be found at many convenience stores and drugstores across Japan.

SOYJOY crispy contain sugar that is confirmed to have been whitened using the bone char processing method.

As Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company, they surely do animal testing, but we don’t have information on if this specific product was developed using animal testing.

SOYJOY crispy comes in five regular flavors, banana, mixed berry, peach, plain, and white macadamia (contains non-dairy white chocolate made of soy). There is also a seasonal, limited edition sakura/cherry blossom flavor.

Regular SOYJOY (not SOYJOY crispy) contain egg and butter. Be sure to check that the package says “crispy” in English, as otherwise the packaging is virtually identical.

SOYJOY crispy is manufactured on the same equipment as items containing egg, milk and peanuts.

More information can be found on the English-language Otsuka Pharmaceuticals website.

• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Banana/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー バナナ. Ingredients: Soy flour (non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), processed banana, banana puree, processed pineapple, non-digestible dextrin, sugar, agave syrup, salt/sorbitol, flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Mixed Berry/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ミックスベリー. Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed cranberry, processed raspberry, non-digestible dextrin, processed strawberry, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Peach/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ピーチ. Ingredients: Soy flour (non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), processed peach, sugar, non-digestible dextrin, processed papaya, processed orange peel/flavoring, sorbitol.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Plain/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー プレーン. Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed papaya, processed pineapple, non-digestible dextrin, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, White Macadamia/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ホワイトマカデミア. Ingredients: Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), soymilk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, soy powder, other), sugar, non-digestible dextrin, macadamia nut, soy protein, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Sakura/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー サクラ. Ingredients: Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, sweet white bean paste, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed cranberry, non-digestible dextrin, salt/sorbitol, flavoring.

More information about this product can be found here on the English-language Otsuka Pharmaceuticals website.

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Purabon protein balls can be found at some upscale stores, especially in large cities, and vegan festivals. The following photo was taken at Loft in Kyoto. The display says “Vegan, gluten & dairy free, no added sugar, 14% protein, all natural, source of fibre” in English.

• Purabon Protein Balls/Purabon プロテインボール, Hazelnut Cacao. Ingredients: Dates, hazelnuts, peanuts, organic rice protein, organic cacao, organic coconut, organic rice puffs and sea salt.

• Purabon Protein Balls/Purabon プロテインボール, Salted Caramel. Ingredients: Dates, cashews, organic rice protein, organic coconut, organic rice puffs, natural flavor and sea salt.

• Purabon Protein Balls/Purabon プロテインボール, Peanut Butter. Ingredients: Dates, peanuts, organic rice protein, organic coconut, and sea salt.

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Ritz crackers are reported to contain palm oil by the blog sushivoyage.net (Japanese).

Ritz Crackers. Ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, malt extract, salt, leavening agent, lecithin (contains soybeans), antioxidants (vitamin E, vitamin C). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Made in Indonesia.

The source of the vitamin E is not listed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ritz Chocolate Sandwich Crackers/リッツ チョコサンド. Ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, cocoa powder, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, corn starch, leavening agent, emulsifier, flavoring, antioxidant (vitamin E, vitamin C). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Made in Indonesia.

The company voluntarily issued a recall for the Ritz Chocolate Sandwich Crackers in December, 2018 as some Ritz Cheese Sandwich Crackers accidentally got mixed up in some of the packages. Affected products are only in the series of packages that have an expiration date 2019.06 and a code 0406 printed on the box. There’s a picture of the box here in the PDF the company issued explaining the recall (Japanese).

Photo from website.

Ritz Chocolate Sandwich crackers

Ritz Vanilla Sandwich Crackers/リッツ バニラサンド. Ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, corn starch/leavening agent, emulsifier, flavoring, antioxidant (vitamin E, vitamin C). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Photo from website.

Ritz Vanilla Sandwich crackers

Ritz Lemon Sandwich crackers/リッツレモンサンド are not vegan as they contain whole milk powder/全粉乳 as an ingredient. Ritz Cheese Sandwich crackers/リッツチーズサンド are not vegan either as they contain whey, cheese and butter.

Tom & Luke Snackaballs occasionally turn up in nicer stores or can be ordered online. They are marked gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan in English on the package.

Tom & Luke Snackaballs Chocolate Original Dark. Ingredients: Dates (58%), Cocoa Solids (25%) (Cacoa Mass, Cocoa Powder), Almonds (10%), Desiccated Coconut (7.4%), Natural Vanilla Flavour, Sea Salt (.8%)

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Tom & Luke Snackaballs Chocolate Dark Mint. Ingredients: Dates (57%), Cocoa Solids (25%) (Cacoa Mass, Cocoa Powder), Almonds (10%), Desiccated Coconut, Peppermint Oil (.2%), Sea Salt.

tom & luke snackaballs chocolate dark mint

Tom & Luke Snackaballs Chocolate Dark Orange. Ingredients: Dates (51%), Cocoa Solids (25%) (Cacoa Mass, Cocoa Powder), Almonds (10%), Desiccated Coconut (7.4%), Concentrated Orange Juice (3.6%), Orange Zest (2.4%), Natural Orange Flavour (.3%), Sea Salt.

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Although not clearly apparent from the label and ingredient list, the Yaokin Umaibou Salad Flavor contains various animal ingredients per the company. It is not vegan, or even vegetarian. Only a warning that “product includes dairy” is given on the label but per the company it contains various types of meat, etc. as raw materials.

Yaokin Umaibou Salad Flavor/やおきん うまい棒 やさいサラダ味. Ingredients: Corn (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, sugar (glucose, sugar), garlic seasoning, spice, bread crumbs, cabbage extract powder, potato, salt, protein hydrolyzate, parsley, seasoning (amino acids etc.), acidulant, paprika color, caramel color, flavor. (Product includes wheat, milk, soy.)

Yaokin Umaibo

COOKIES

You may be able to find imported foods with English labels, like these Gullon Butterfly Cookies:

Gullon Butterfly Cookies. Ingredients: See photo below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Made-in-Malaysia Chocolate chip cookies can be found at Daiso, a 100 yen shop.

Chocolate Chip Cookies/チョコチップ クッキー. Ingredients: Flour, vegetable oil, sugar, chocolate chips, tapioca starch, glucose syrup, cocoa powder, salt/leavening agent, flavoring, emulsifier, caramel coloring (product contains wheat and soy).

Products containing egg, peanuts, dairy, and sesame are made in the same factory.

Vegano No Japao has contacted the manufacturer to confirm that no animal ingredients are included in this product. Photos courtesy of Vegano No Japao.

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These Oat Crisp cookies, found in a Co-op grocery store, are also made in Malaysia and may also be free of animal ingredients. What specifically is in the chocolate chips is not listed, but there is no warning that the product contains dairy allergens anywhere on the package. It’s also not clear what the polysorbate/ソルビタンエステル is made out of.

•  Stars Seven Oat Crisp, Dark Chocolate/Stars Seven オーツクリスプ ダークチョコレート. Ingredients: Wheat flour, oats, chocolate chips, sugar, vegetable oil, starch syrup, cocoa powder, salt, hazelnuts/leavening agent, emulsifier (contains soy), flavoring, polysorbate.

Seven Stars Oat Crisps (2)

Seven Stars Oat Crisps ingredient list (2)

Imported Kookie Cat vegan cookies in various flavors can be found in some branches of Bio C’ Bon and Seijo Ishii grocery stores.

The display stated “vegan,” “gluten-free,” “soy-free,” “wheat-free,” and “low GI.”

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Kookie Cat Chia Lemon. Ingredients: Gluten free oat flakes*, coconut blossom nectar*, cashew*, desiccated coconut*, coconut oil*, coconut chips*, chia*(4,2%), lemon oil*(0,1%), salt.*

* Ingredient from organic agriculture.
For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Marked “vegan, gluten free, soy free, wheat free, palm oil free, peanut free” on package.

Kookie Cat Vanilla Choc chip. Ingredients: Gluten free oat flakes*, cashew*, coconut blossom nectar*, desiccated coconut*, chocolate chip*(cacao mass*, coconut sugar*, cacao butter*)(8%), coconut oil*, coconut chips*, Bourbon vanilla*(0,1%), salt.

* Ingredient from organic agriculture.
For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Kookie Cat Cacao Nibs Walnut. Ingredients: Gluten free oats flakes*, cashew*, coconut blossom nectar*, coconut oil*, cacao butter*, walnuts*(4,5%), cacao powder*, cacao nibs*(1,5%), Bourbon vanilla*, salt.

* Ingredient from organic agriculture.
For allergens see ingredients in bold.

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Lotus Biscoff/ロータス ビスコフ オリジナルカラメルビスケット. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oils, candy sugar syrup, raising agent (sodium hydrogen carbonate), soya flour (not genetically modified), salt, cinnamon. (Product contains soy).

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McVitie’s Original Digestives, now without dairy, are being sold nationwide in Japan as of April 2020. They are imported from England. They are available for purchase online from Ito Yokado (Japanese).

•  McVitie’s Original Digestives/モントワールダイジェスティブビスケット.Ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, whole wheat flour, sugar, inverted sugar syrup, salt, leavening agent, pH adjusting agent.

Items containing dairy are handled in the same factory.

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Morinaga, the largest confectionary company in Japan with over a 100-year history, has a line of macrobiotic biscuits and cakes called Macrobiha. The biscuits are currently available in three flavors, Cocoa & Nuts, Fruit & Granola, and Nuts & Salt, and the cakes are available in two flavors, Banana and Cocoa. The first two flavors of the biscuits are carried in many of the major convenience store chains as well as some drugstores and grocery stores. The cakes are occasionally spotted in some 7-11s.

The biscuit packages are marked “Margarine and white sugar not used.” The cake packages are marked “White sugar not used. Sugar from sugar beets used. No margarine or shortening. No animal ingredients used/動物性素材不使用.”

Per an article in LiveKindly in November 2018, Morinaga has agreed to cease all animal testing not required by law.

The portion of the website showing the Macrobiha biscuits is here.

• Morinaga Macrobiha Almond and Cranberry/マクロビ派アーモンドとクランベリー.Ingredients: Oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, sugar (sugar beet sugar), flour, whole wheat flour, dried cranberry with juice (cranberry, concentrated apple juice, edible sunflower oil), almonds, brown rice flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, salt.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

Macrobiha almond and cranberry    macrobiha almond and cranberry back of package almond and cranberry macrobiha biscuit large package

• Morinaga Macrobiha Three Kinds of Nuts and Cacao/マクロビ派3種のナッツと香りばさしカカオ. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, flour, whole wheat flour, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder, salt. 

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

macrobiha 3 nuts and cacao front of package    Macrobiha 3 nuts and cacao back of package    3 Kinds of Nuts & Savory Cacao Macrobiha biscuit large

The previous biscuit flavors are shown below and as of March 2020, are still available for purchase online.

• Morinaga Macrobiha Cocoa and Nuts/マクロビ派カカオナッツ. Ingredients: Sugar (made from sugar beets), flour, oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, almonds, brown rice flakes, cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, salt/vanilla flavor.

Product contains wheat.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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• Morinaga Macrobiha Fruit & Granola/マクロビ派 フルーツグラノーラ. Ingredients: Oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, sugar (made from sugar beets), wheat flour, whole grain wheat flour, dried cranberry with juice added (cranberry, concentrated apple juice, edible sunflower oil), brown rice flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, salt/vanilla flavor.

Product contains wheat and apples.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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• Morinaga Macrobiha Cake Banana/マクロビ派 バナナ. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), wheat, edible rapeseed oil, barley flour, concentrated banana juice, banana puree, almonds, starch syrup/vanilla flavoring. (Product contains wheat and banana.)

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

macrobiha cake banana front of package    macrobiha cake banana back of package

• Morinaga Macrobiha Cake Cocoa/マクロビ派 ココア. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), edible rapeseed oil, wheat, starch syrup, cocoa powder, almonds, barley flour, hazelnut paste/vanilla flavoring. (Product includes wheat.)

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

macrobiha cake chocolate front of package    macrobiha cake chocolate back of package

Natural Taste Products Vanilla Cream Cracker/自然味良品 バニラクリームクラッカー.  Ingredients: Wheat, sugar, vegetable oil, starch, salt, malt extract, leavening agent, flavoring, emulsifier (derived from soy), enzymes, antioxidants (BHT, vitamin E, vitamin C, citric acid).

Processed on the same factory line as items containing egg and milk.

The source of the vitamin E is not known.

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Nomura Mire Biscuits are available in a variety of flavors. The shortening is made of rapeseed oil and palm oil. It’s available in a round variety in lots of shops, but Sanrio lovers can get a whole box of a Hello Kitty-shaped variety by mail-order here (foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp, sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory).

This long shelf-life version in a tin can that can even be kept in your emergency kit in case of a disaster is good for five years from the date of manufacture (processed in a factory that also handles products using eggs, milk ingredients and bananas).

Nomura Mire Biscuits/のむら ミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (derived from soy). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp, sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

The blog sushivoyage.net (Japanese) reports that this version of the biscuit uses palm oil and the sugar is filtered with beef bone char. It isn’t clear if this information is applicable to all the versions and flavors, but it may be.

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The same product appears to be available in various different packaging.

Nomura Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (derived from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soy.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp, sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Bullet Train Mire Biscuits/のむら 駅鉄新幹線ミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (derived from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soy.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp, sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Mire Biscuits 4-Pack, Blue Package/のむら ミレービスケット 4連ミレービスケット 青. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (derived from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soy.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp, sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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The following version of Mini Mire Biscuits was found in a health food store, and the ingredient list is a bit different.

• Nomura Mini Mire Biscuits/のむら ミニミレービスケット. Ingredients: Wheat (100% domestically produced), vegetable oil (palm oil, rice oil), sugar (brown sugar), shortening (palm oil), glucose, salt, leavening agent.

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There are various other flavors of this product available.

Black Pepper Mire Biscuits may be vegan, but the label doesn’t say the source of the hydrolyzed protein (both animal-sourced and plant-sourced hydrolyzed protein are commonly used in Japan).

Nomura Black Pepper Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめ午後のミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, black pepper-flavored seasoning (spice, salt, sugar, protein hydrolyzate)/leavening agent, emulsifier (from soybeans), flavor, acidulant. (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Caramel Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめミレービスケットキャラメル風味. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, caramel sugar (granulated sugar, salt), salt/leavening agent, flavor, emulsifier (from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Coffee Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめミレービスケットコーヒー風味. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt) vegetable oil, salt/flavoring, leavening agent, emulsifier (from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Garlic Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめ真夜中のミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, garlic powder, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soy.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Ginger Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめ昼のミレービスケット. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, dried ginger, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Lemon Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめミレービスケットレモン風味. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, lemon-flavored seasoning (dextrin, glucose, lemon powder (from Hiroshima Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture), citrus extract), salt/leavening agent, acidulant, flavor, emulsifier (from soy). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

Uses Setouchi lemon from Hiroshima and Ehime prefectures.

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Nomura Non-Fried Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめノンフライミレービスケット. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier (from soybeans). (Product contains wheat and soy.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Wasabi Mire Biscuits may be vegan, but the label doesn’t say the source of the hydrolyzed protein (both animal-sourced and plant-sourced hydrolyzed protein are commonly used in Japan).

Nomura Wasabi Mire Biscuits/のむら やっぱりまじめミレービスケットわさび風味. Ingredients: Biscuit dough (flour, sugar, shortening, glucose, salt), vegetable oil, wasabi flavor seasoning (starch, glucose, salt, protein hydrolyzate, kelp extract, yeast extract, horseradish stem powder)/leavening agent, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), spice, acidulant, emulsifier (from soybeans), spice extract. (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Foods containing peanut, eggs, dairy, buckwheat, shrimp sesame, and cashew nuts are made in the same factory.

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Nomura Corn Potage Mire Biscuits/のむら 朝のミレービスケットコーンポタージュ味 are not vegan because they contain dairy as an ingredient.

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The following cookies were found at Daiso, a popular chain of 100 yen stores. They have also been spotted in Lawson 100 stores and Ito Yokado. Note that the Berry & Nuts flavor is not vegan because it contains whole milk powder, 全粉乳/zen fun’nyū.

Oat krunch with Hazelnut, Choco chip & Nuts/オーツクランチ チョコチップ&ナッツ. Ingredients: Wheat flour, oat flakes, chocolate chips (sugar, vegetable oil, cocoa powder), sugar, vegetable oil, starch syrup, cocoa powder, salt, hazelnuts, leavening agent, emulsifier, flavoring. (Product contains soy.)

Product is manufactured in the same factory as items containing eggs, milk, and peanuts.

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These Onisi cookies do not contain the 27 allergens. They will last five years if unopened so can be placed in emergency kits.

Onisi Foods Rice Cookie, Coconut/尾西のライスクッキー ココナッツ風味. Ingredients: Rice flour (from Niigata), rice shortening (rice oil), sugar, sweetened coconut puree, almond powder, fermented seasoning (rice, salt), coarsely ground coconut.

Photo from website.

Onisi Foods Rice Cookie

These Onisi Foods cookies do not contain the 28 allergens. They also do not use nuts. The product page of the Onisi foods website lists the source of the margarine as rapeseed oil. They will last five years if unopened so can be put in emergency kits.

Onisi Foods Rice Cookie, Strawberry /尾西のライスクッキー いちご味. Ingredients: Rice flour (from Niigata Prefecture), margarine, corn flour, sugar, rice shortening (rice oil), strawberry paste, cornstarch/flavoring.

Photo from website.

onisi foods rice cookie, strawberry

Moving on to Oreos, unlike in some other countries, Oreos in Japan have dairy as an ingredient. As of June 2020, this also includes all the current Oreo Crispy flavors, Vanilla Mousse, Sakura Chiffon Cake, Matcha Roll Cake, and Chocolate Brownie, as well as all the current regular Oreo flavors, including Mint Cream. The very similar-sounding Oreo Crispy “Mint Ice Cream” flavor was previously-dairy free, but unfortunately appears to have been replaced with non-crispy “Mint Cream” Oreos containing whey powder/ホエイパウダー/hoei pauuda from dairy, leaving no dairy-free Oreos currently on the market in Japan.

Oreo Mint Creme

These Mr. Ito biscuits contain an animal ingredient per the manufacturer, although it’s not specifically noted in the ingredient list or in the listed allergens (only wheat and soybeans out of the 27 allergens). It may be so processed that there is no longer any legal requirement to list it as an allergen (if the allergenic substances themselves have been removed), however, that is only a guess. This is true of the Meiji Cake Margarine.

• Mr. Ito Pearl Barley Biscuits/ミスターイトウ もち麦ビスケット.

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JELLY

Mannan Life Konnyaku Batake (Devil’s Tongue) Jelly, Apple/マンナンライフ 蒟蒻畑 りんご味. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup (domestically produced), sugar, apple juice, dextrin, spirits, konjac powder/acidulant, pH adjuster, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavor.

The product has a warning on the front of the package stating it should not be given to young children or the elderly as it can present a choking hazard. This is because of the texture, which is firmer than regular jellies.

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Mannan Life Konnyaku Batake (Devil’s Tongue) Jelly, Pink Grapefruit (Limited Edition Flavor)/マンナンライフ 蒟蒻畑 ピンクグレープフルーツ. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup (domestically produced), sugar, fruit juice (apple, pink grapefruit), spirits, dextrin, konjac powder/acidulant, pH adjuster, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavor, tomato pigment.

The product has a warning on the front of the package stating it should not be given to young children or the elderly as it can present a choking hazard. This is because of the texture, which is firmer than regular jellies.

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Mannan Life Konnyaku Batake (Devil’s Tongue) Jelly, Grape/マンナンライフ 蒟蒻畑 ぶどう. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup (domestically produced), sugar, fruit juice (grapes, apples), spirits, dextrin, konjac powder/acidulant, pH adjuster, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavor.

The product has a warning on the front of the package stating it should not be given to young children or the elderly as it can present a choking hazard. This is because of the texture, which is firmer than regular jellies.

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Mannan Life Konnyaku Batake (Devil’s Tongue) Jelly, Satsuma Mandarin/マンナンライフ 蒟蒻畑 温州みかん. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup (domestically produced), sugar, fruit juice (Satsuma mandarins, apples), dextrin, spirits, konjac powder/acidulant, pH adjuster, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavor, carotene pigment.

The product has a warning on the front of the package stating it should not be given to young children or the elderly as it can present a choking hazard. This is because of the texture, which is firmer than regular jellies.

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Mannan Life Konnyaku Batake (Devil’s Tongue) Jelly, White Peach/マンナンライフ 蒟蒻畑 白桃味. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup (domestically produced), sugar, peach juice, spirits, dextrin, konjac powder/acidulant, pH adjuster, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavor.

The product has a warning on the front of the package stating it should not be given to young children or the elderly as it can present a choking hazard. This is because of the texture, which is firmer than regular jellies.

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POPCORN

Family Mart:

• Crispy Fluffy Popcorn with Two Kinds of Salt/ふんわりポープコーン2種のあっさりしお味. Ingredients: Corn (non-genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt.

Two kinds of salt are used, Shimamasu from Okinawa and Setouchi sea salt.

Not available in some parts of the Tokai region.

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Fukagawa Oil &Fat Company, Ltd. Lightly Salted Chemical Seasoning & Additive-free Popcorn/深川油脂工業 化学調味料無添加ポープコーンうす塩味. Ingredients: Corn (not genetically modified), vegetable oil (rice oil), salt.

No chemical seasonings or preservatives are used.

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• Mini Stop Everyday Treats Salted Popcorn/Mini Stop ポップコーンしお味. Ingredients: Corn (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt.

Products containing shrimp, crab, wheat, egg, and milk are also processed in the same factory.

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• Mujirushi Ryouhin Olive Oil Popcorn/素材を生かした オリーブオイルポップコーン 30g. Ingredients: Popcorn, olive oil, salt.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing shrimp, crab, wheat, soba, egg, dairy, peanuts.

Chemical seasonings not used.

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• Natural Taste Products Popcorn/自然味良品 ポップコーン. Ingredients: Corn (non-genetically modified), sugar, starch syrup, salt, leavening agent. Does not contain milk, egg, shrimp or crab.

Does not use artificial colors or preservatives.

Popcorn FrontPopcorn Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

RICE CRACKERS

There are many types of rice crackers that may be vegan, although some types do contain non-vegan ingredients such as gelatin. Following are some examples of rice crackers with no obvious animal ingredients in the ingredient list.

Amano-ya Kabuki-Age Rice Crackers/天乃屋 ひとくち歌舞伎揚. Ingredients: Non-glutinous rice (US and domestic), vegetable oil, sugar, soy sauce (contains soy and wheat), high fructose corn syrup, seasoning extract (contains soy), salt, modified starch (derived from wheat), seasoning (amino acid etc), caramel colouring. The seasoning may be animal-derived.

Rice Crackers 1 - FrontRice Crackers 1 - Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Turn Rice Crackers may be vegan, but it isn’t clear if all the hydrolyzed protein is from plants/soybeans, and the label does not state the source of the powdered fat and oil.

Happy Turn Rice Crackers/ハッピーターン. Ingredients: Rice (non-glutinous rice from America and Japan, glutinous rice from Thailand), vegetable oil, sugar, starch, hydrolyzed protein (contains soybeans), salt, powdered fat and oil, processed starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), vegetable lecithin (soybean derived). (Product contains soybeans.)

Produced in a factory along with products containing egg, dairy, wheat, shrimp, and peanuts.

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They are also available in small four-packs. The ingredients and allergen warnings are the same.

Happy Turn Rice Crackers, 4-pack/60gハッピーターンミニ4連.

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Sanko Seika Parinko Rice Crackers/三幸製菓 パリンコ. Ingredients: Rice (America and Japan), vegetable oil,  salt, sugar, soy sauce powder (contains soy and wheat), spice, modified starch, seasoning (amino acid etc), plant lecithin (from soy). The seasoning may be animal-derived. (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing milk and shrimp.

Rice Crackers 3 - Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yamato Kamesen (Turtle Crackers/やもとのかめせん. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sweet potato starch, vegetable oil, sugar, soy sauce (includes soybeans and wheat), salt, mirin, starch syrup, red pepper, leavening agent, seasoning (amino acids, etc.)

Photo from website.

yamoto no kamesen (2)

RICE SNACKS

Sanko Brown Sugar Rice Snacks/サンコー はとむぎおこし. Ingredients: Starch syrup, brown rice, brown sugar, maltose, sugar (non-centrifugal sugar beet sugar), adlay (Job’s tears), vegetable oil (palm oil), isomaltooligosaccharide, salt.

Brown Sugar Rice Snacks 1 FrontBrown Sugar Rice Snacks 1 - Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Sugar Rice Snacks/南国製菓 黒砂糖すなっく. Ingredients: Rice (domestic), sugar, starch syrup, brown sugar, caramel, vegetable oil, polysaccharide thickener.

Brown Sugar Rice Snacks 2 - Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAFFLES

The following product was spotted at a Bio C’ Bon grocery store in Yokohama.

Crossroads Coconut Waffles, Cocoa/クロスロード ココナッツワッフル ココア. Ingredients: Organic flour, organic coconut milk, organic sugar, organic coconut oil, organic coconut cream, organic cocoa powder, organic agave syrup, baker’s yeast, organic coconut sugar, organic coconut (fine), sun salt, stabilizer (guar gum).

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Crossroads Coconut Waffles, Plain/クロスロード ココナッツワッフル プレーン. Ingredients: Organic flour, organic coconut milk, organic sugar, organic coconut oil, organic coconut cream, organic agave syrup, baker’s yeast, organic coconut sugar, organic coconut (fine), sun salt, stabilizer (guar gum).

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There are some snacks that look as if they may be vegan from the ingredient list, but are not.

Glico Pretz, Salad and Glico Pretz, Tomato flavors both have a warning that they contain dairy, but it isn’t clear if it’s a cross-contamination warning or not, as reading the ingredients doesn’t make it apparent where the dairy might be. In 2019, customer service confirmed both have dairy in the ingredients, not from cross-contamination.

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Sanritsu Genji Pie/Sanritsu源氏パイ is another snack that looks vegan but isn’t. The ingredient list reads that it contains “margarine,” but in 2018, it was reported that the customer service center said that the margarine in the product was made out of fish, presumably fish oil.

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