Best Vegan Microwave Popcorn Brands & Flavors (2023)

By Jerrica Mah

There are more vegan microwave popcorn brands and flavors than you might think! Even butter-flavored…

Popcorn, in its simplest forms, is vegan, but many popcorn flavors have non-vegan ingredients. The good news is there are lots of vegan options available, and you can usually find at least a couple vegan popcorn options in your local grocery store.

So, we will quickly take you through what to look for when shopping for vegan-friendly popcorn. Then, we’ll list the vegan and non-vegan popcorn brands with vegan flavors. 

That way, you can enjoy a delicious snack that suits your vegan diet perfectly!

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Easiest Way to Tell If Popcorn is Vegan

finger and light bulb vegan popcorn

The easiest way to tell if popcorn is vegan is to look for an allergen warning at the bottom of the ingredients list. If it says “contains milk” then the popcorn contains dairy and is thus not vegan-friendly. You can quickly replace that box on the shelf and look at the next option.

Important Note: Some allergen warnings state “MAY contain milk,” and the vegan community widely regards this as vegan-friendly. The “may” simply means that the product is made in a facility that uses dairy products, and there’s the slight possibility of cross-contamination. However, dairy ingredients are not used intentionally to make that popcorn.

Popcorn flavored with sea salt is always a great place to start. They rarely contain animal products and rely simply on the natural flavors of regular popcorn and salt to satisfy your craving. 

Are All Butter Popcorn Flavors Non-Vegan?

butter popcorn question mark

No! Some butter-flavored popcorn ARE vegan because they do not contain any animal ingredients. Some achieve the buttery flavor with artificial flavoring or vegan butter instead of real butter. I think you’ll be pleased to find that there are many buttery popcorn options on our lists below.

Other Considerations for Strict Vegans

Person with thinking bubble thinking about oil sucralose and artificial color

While many vegans are satisfied with products that don’t contain any animal products, some popcorn products present concerns for strict vegans. By this, we mean there are some gray areas regarding sustainability issues and animal testing. 

There are 3 main ingredients that raise concern: palm oil, sucralose, and artificial colors.

1. Palm Oil

There is some controversy over palm oil due to sustainability issues. Some palm oil is responsibly sourced; however, some is not. So, vegans are often torn on this subject, but there are still microwave options without palm oil. 

BUT, many vegan options do not use palm oil. Some use coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, or avocado oil. Unfortunately, ingredient lists often don’t show the type of oil used, so you may have to google the brand and flavor to find out.  

2. Sucralose

Sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) is typically considered vegan, but it does have a history of animal testing before being approved by the FDA. Sweet popcorn flavors, like kettle corn, sometimes contain this controversial ingredient.

3. Artificial Colors

Some vegans do not consider products with artificial colors as vegan because of ongoing animal testing concerns. If you share those concerns, know that some popcorn flavors use artificial coloring to get a deeper yellow color. The most common artificial popcorn colors are yellow 5 and yellow 6.

Vegan Microwave Popcorn Brands & Flavors

vegan popcorn

We used the basic definition of vegan microwave popcorn to compile the following list of store-bought brands. That means they do not contain any animal or milk ingredients, including milk powder. 

However, the following may contain some of the “gray area” ingredients described above. So, if you’re a stricter vegan, please take a closer look at your selections to ensure they meet your personal standards.

Is Nature’s Crush Microwave Popcorn Vegan?

Yes, all Nature’s Crush popcorn flavors are “proudly vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, PFOA-free, all-natural and RSPO-certified.” They do use palm oil, but it’s RSPO-certified palm oil that’s responsibly sourced.

We’ve put Nature’s Crush at the top of the list because of their vegan-mindedness as well as for their creative flavors. Their 3 tasty, vegan, and flavorful options include:

  • Tex Mex (Chili Lime Sea Salt)
  • Original Blend 23 (Secret Recipe of 23 Herbs & Spices)
  • Light & Zesty Blend (Lemon Pepper Garlic)

Nature’s Crush isn’t easily found in stores, but you can order from their website or order on Amazon.

Is Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Vegan?

As one of our favorite brands at Poptions Popcorn, we’re happy to say that Orville Redenbacher offers several vegan varieties. They are:

  • Kettle Corn
  • SmartPop! Kettle Corn
  • Naturals: Simply Salted
  • Naturals Light: Simply Salted
  • Avocado Oil Popcorn
  • Skinnygirl Lim & Salt

Is Pop Secret Vegan?

Pop Secret has several kettle corn options that fit the vegan lifestyle, as well as a few other fun flavors. And, of course, their sea salt option is a great healthy snack on movie night. 

  • Kettle Corn
  • 94% Fat Free Kettle Corn
  • Sweet ‘n Crunchy Kettle Corn
  • Sweet ‘n Crunchy Caramel
  • Kidz First Order Kettle Corn
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Popfetti
  • Sea Salt
  • Sea Salt

Is Jolly Time Popcorn Vegan?

Jolly Time offers a few different flavors that are vegan. Those flavors are:

  • Simply Popped Sea Salt
  • KettleMania
  • Healthy Pop Kettle Corn

Is Skinny Pop Popcorn Vegan?

Yes, BOTH flavors of Skinny Pop are vegan. Skinny Pop Butter is certified vegan, and their sea salt flavor is simply salted traditional popcorn. 

  • Butter
  • Sea Salt

Is Movie Theater Popcorn Vegan?

Most movie theater popcorn is vegan! Instead of butter, most movie theaters use plant oil (typically coconut oil). However, NOT ALL movie theater popcorn is vegan. 

Some theaters do use real butter, butter powder, or other ingredients that don’t suit a plant-based diet. So, be sure to always double-check with your specific movie theater!

Accidentally Burn Your Microwave Popcorn?

burned popcorn and oops sign

Did you find your perfect vegan microwave popcorn only to burn it?! Don’t worry, we can help you get rid of that awful burnt popcorn smell. Then you can pop yourself another bag and enjoy your movie popcorn vegan style!

It should come as no surprise that here at POPtions Popcorn, we love yummy buttery popcorn! But our passion for these salty, tasty morsels does not extend so far as to tolerate that gross burnt popcorn smell.

But it’s happened to all of us. We pop the bag in the microwave, hit the popcorn setting, and start getting our drinks and candy ready. We forget to listen for the 2 to 3-second intervals between pops, and then it’s too late! The microwave dings on its own, and the smell hits shortly after.


Darn that high-powered microwave! Darn the “estimated time” on the instructions! Darn my gold-fish attention span!

Thankfully, you can get rid of that smell! Continue reading for tips and 4 easy concoctions to get rid of that burnt popcorn smell…

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