My grandmother and I used to add Nesquik to warm soy milk and we would enjoy it as we watched the sunrise every morning. One time, we even filled our bathtub with Nesquik powder and then we both jumped right in and had a blast.
Now that both my grandmother and I lead a vegan lifestyle, we can’t help but wonder “is Nesquik vegan or not?”
To answer this rather important query, I found out that some Nesquik products are definately not, while others are questionable. If you’re wondering why, please allow me to reveal the truth about Nesquik.
For those who may not know what Nesquik is, it’s basically heaven in chocolate form! On a more serious note, Nesquik is a popular brand that now has a wide array of products on the market.
According to its official website, Nesquik was a chocolate flavored milk mix that first came out in 1948. It was a product made by Nestlé. Back then, Nesquik was known as Nestlé Quik.
When the product was launched in Europe in the 1950s, it was known as “Nesquik”. It wasn’t until the year 1999 when the brand name was changed to Nesquik worldwide.
Years before any of the brand name change happened, Nesquik’s product range grew. From a chocolate flavored milk mix, Nesquik syrup products were launched in 1981. This was followed by “Ready To Do” products three years later.
In 1999, the year that saw the global name change, Nesquik also introduced Nesquik Cereal to the market. Today, with its 70+ year history, Nesquik has certainly expanded its range of products.
So Is Nesquik Vegan?
Among all the Nesquik products out on the market, the one that screams “not vegan” is the Ready To Drink ones. This is due to the cow’s milk that’s in it.
As for the other varieties, when you first look at their ingredients list, you would probably think they are vegan-friendly. However, upon getting a closer look, you would think otherwise!
If you’re wondering why, take a look at the sugar and biotin in the ingredients list. To give you a better understanding of why this is so, allow me to explain.
As we all know, sugar is not something that comes from animals. However, the issue here lies with the process of sugar filtering and bleaching.
According to The Vegetarian Research Group, bone char is being used during the sugar refining process most especially in the United States. Bon Char is a product that comes from bovines like buffaloes and bisons.
Bone char is actually not found in the actual sugar itself but they do come in contact with each other. This and the process by which bone char is derived are what throws some vegans off.
Apart from sugar, there are some Nesquik variants that contain biotin. Biotin is actually found in all living organisms. However, we don’t know where the biotin in Nesquik products come from at all. They could possibly come from eggs, milk, and chicken.
Which Nesquik Products Have What Ingredients?
If you go to your favorite grocery store, you would probably see different Nesquik variants. To give you an idea of what these are, I’ll give you a breakdown of these products and their ingredients.
1. Nesquik Powder
Let’s face it, there would be no Nesquik without the original chocolate flavored mix! In 1960, the Strawberry version of the powder mix was introduced to the public. And of course, there were other different kinds of flavors, but they do not exist anymore.
Both the Chocolate and Strawberry varieties come in three sizes – small, medium and large. There is also a variant called Club Powder that comes in both flavors. The difference between this and the original ones is that the former has 45% less sugar. There is also “No Sugar Needed” kind, but this is only available in chocolate flavor.
Now let’s take a close look at the ingredients list of Nesquik Chocolate:
- Sugar, Less Than 2% of Soy Lecithin, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Salt, Spice, Carrageenan, Monk Fruit Extract, Natural Flavor
- Vitamins and Minerals: Copper Gluconate, Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Ferric Pyrophosphate (Iron), Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride
On the other hand, the Strawberry version contains the following ingredients:
- Sugar, Beet Juice Powder, Natural Flavor, Less than 2% of Carrageenan, Maltodextrin, Beta Carotene (for Color), Salt, Citric Acid
- Vitamins and Minerals: Thiamine Hydrochloride, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Ferric Pyrophosphate (Iron), Ferric Pyrophosphate (Iron)
The Chocolate and Strawberry Powder products are certified Kosher and have no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.
2. Nesquik Syrup
As for the syrup variety, it comes in two flavors namely: Chocolate and Strawberry. Both flavors are made without using high fructose corn syrup. They are made of the following instead:
- Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Water, Less than 2% of Salt, Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 6, Caramel color
- Sugar, Water, Salt, Less than 2% of Malic Acid, Corn Syrup, Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Propylene Glycol Alginate, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Blue 1
3. Ready To Drink
The Ready to Drink versions come in many different flavors like:
- Chocolate, Double Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, Strawberry Vanilla, Banana
The drinks also come in different versions like the following:
- Protein, Low Fat, Fat-Free, Super Breakfast
To give you an idea of what’s in a Nesquik Ready To Drink, I took the liberty of checking out the ingredients in one variety – the Nesquik Low Fat Chocolate. Upon closer inspection, I found out that it contains the following:
- Sugar, Less Than 2% of Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Calcium Carbonate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Gellan Gum, Salt, Carrageenan, low-fat MILK with Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3 Added
When I saw the word “milk” on the list, I screamed, ” No, can’t do!”. So if you’re a vegan, the Nesquik Ready To Go drinks are not for you!
4. Nesquik Cereal
Made with Whole Grain, Nesquik Cereals is packed with carefully selected ingredients such as:
- Sugar, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (5.7%), Glucose Syrup
- Vitamins and Minerals: Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin D, Folic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Iron
As much as we love Nesquik, the reality of the situation is that it is not as vegan-friendly as you think. It all depends on your stand on refined sugar processing and biotin content.
If you are craving for Nesquik, there are plenty of alternatives out there! Look for vegan-friendly choco drink alternatives!
If you know how to make your own choco drinks, share your brilliant ideas with everyone by leaving them on the comment section down below! Or if you know someone who needs this Nesquik info, please share this with them on social media!