From the well-loved hiking and gym bag essential Clif Bar comes LUNA. Although chock-full of nutrients for any active individual, Luna bars are designed specifically to meet women’s nutritional needs. For those of us who pick up an energy bar expecting it to be healthy, who cringe every time we see dairy, or who think, “S’mores? Sounds too good to be true…”, there’s still hope. To find out the ultimate nutritional truth, we’ll need to dig a little deeper to answer the question, are Luna bars vegan?

Sadly (don’t be bitter), Canada only sells three flavours of LUNA Bars: Lemonzest, Caramel Walnut Brownie, and S’mores. Each one is gluten-free, made without GMOs, and 70% organic ingredients. The original wrapper used to showcase four main vitamins—iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin D—but these were kicked off the new wrappers. Not to worry! These key ingredients are still in the bar, but with the rise of the gluten-free craze and the need for a “fresh look,” Clif didn’t incorporate them into the new packaging. 

Bethany Scholfield

After spotting the sweet new design and skimming over the wrapper, it’s time to buy it, right? With 19 more vitamins and minerals still to read through, that’s a no. Standing in an aisle squinting at the finely-printed ingredients list and saying 'sorry' about 100 times as people pass by isn’t for everyone, so I'll get straight to the point about whether or not LUNA bars are vegan.

In short, LUNA bars are vegan. They're made with a protein grain blend that contains soybeans, milled flaxseeds, and other ingredients that show how vegans get their protein. The bars also contain rice syrup, dried cane syrup, vanilla extract, and other natural sweeteners that help to make them taste SO GOOD. That being said, not everything that’s vegan is necessarily good for you, so enjoy in moderation. 

candy, chocolate
Aoife Leogue

While milk and other dairy products aren’t listed in the ingredients, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t traces of them (as explained on the label). Many factories process food that also contains animal products, so they can’t guarantee that the food made there is 100% free of them. The bars may have come in contact with a surface that still has particles of milk, or are stored beside other dairy products. The same goes for nuts (and “nutshell fragments”).

Some vegans believe that even a trace amount of dairy doesn't qualify as vegan. However, labels that refer to trace amounts of certain ingredients are there to warn people with severe allergies. Milk isn’t an added ingredient to any of the LUNA Bars, so depending on your personal beliefs and dietary restrictions, they’re vegan. They just can’t be branded that way for legal reasons. 

As it turns out, most Clif Bar & Company products, including their LUNA Bars, are accidentally vegan. The animal activist group, PETA, has an article dedicated to this cool manufacturing coincidence and shares many other products that are also accidentally vegan.