Snack foods

There are quite a few vegan friendly snacks in Japan, you just need to know what to look for. For example, Soy Joy bars, 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). Note however that Oreo Thin Crisps are vegan – see below.

800px-Oreo-Two-Cookies - wikimedia commons public domain pic - with crossRaisin soy joy - cross (from their website)





So which snacks are vegan?

Some of the best vegan snacks are the simple ones. In addition to the usual dried fruit 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







7-11 Dried Sweet Potato. Ingredients: Sweet potato.

711 dried sweet potato711 dried sweet potato - back






Dried Sweet Potato Sticks/Slices. Ingredients: Sweet potato.

Dried sweet potato sticks and slicesDried sweet potato sticks/slices - back






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







These date bars are also vegan (available in some supermarkets and online). There are three varieties: chocolate, almond and fig.

Happy Dates Date Bars. Ingredients:
Chocolate: Dates, cocoa mass, muscovado sugar, peanuts, almonds, cocoa powder, concentrated date fruit juice, cocoa butter, white miso.
Almond: Dates, almonds, processed brown sugar, concentrated date fruit juice, cashews, cocoa powder, white miso, maple sugar.
Fig: Dates, processed brown sugar, almonds, figs, plum vinegar, concentrated passionfruit juice, rice flour, cocoa powder.

Happy Dates FrontHappy Dates Back







You may be able to find imported foods with English labels, like these cookies:

Gullon Butterfly Cookies. Ingredients: See photo below.

Butterfly cookiesButterfly cookies - back






These snacks also appear to be vegan.

Ritz Crackers. Ingredients: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, malt extract, leavening agent.

Ritz frontRitz ingredients






While regular Oreo cookies are not vegan in Japan, Oreo Thin Crisps appear to be vegan.

Oreo Thin Crisps. Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate {vitamin B1}, riboflavin, (vitamin B2), folic acid), sugar, high fructose corn syrup, high oleic canola oil, cocoa (processed with alkali), cornstarch, leavening (baking soda, calcium phosphate), artificial colour, salt, powdered sugar, artificial flavour. Photo and ingredients from Nabisco website.

Oreo thin crisps




Rice Crackers. 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







Rice Crackers. Ingredients: Rice (US, Thailand and domestic), vegetable oil, starch, sugar, protein hydrolyzate (contains soy), salt, dextrin, modified starch, seasoning (amino acid), plant lecithin (from soy). The seasoning may be animal derived.

Rice Crackers 2 - FrontRice Crackers 2 - Back






Rice Crackers. Ingredients: Rice (China, Japan and America), vegetable oil, starch, 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. Manufactured in a facility that also makes products containing milk.

Rice Crackers 3 - FrontRice Crackers 3 - Back






Turtle Crackers. Ingredients: Wheat flour, starch, vegetable oil, sugar, syrup, soy sauce, seasoning (amino acid etc), leavening agent, modified starch. The seasoning may be animal derived.

Turtle CrackersTurtle Crackers - back






Popcorn. Ingredients: Corn (non-genetically modified), sugar, starch syrup, salt, leavening agent. Does not contain milk, egg, shrimp or crab.

Popcorn FrontPopcorn Back






Brown Sugar Rice Snacks. Ingredients: 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. Ingredients: Rice (domestic), sugar, starch syrup, brown sugar, caramel.

Brown Sugar Rice Snacks 2 - FrontBrown Sugar Rice Snacks 2 - Back


4 thoughts on “Snack foods

  1. stardoggie

    If they have amino acid or flavoring which might be animal derived, then would it not be better to either clarify with the manufacturer, or consider them not vegan? I find it confusing when they are included. items with questionable ingredients that might be animal derived cannot yet be considered vegan and I thought all items listed on is it vegan Japan would be vegan. Nevertheless your site is very helpful, thank you for your efforts putting all this up to help other vegans!

  2. Pingback: The Vegan and Vegetarian Guide to Japan | The Dragon Trip

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