Many people want to know if Annie's products that contain cheese are vegetarian. The short answer is that many of their cheese flavored products are indeed vegetarian, but not all of them are.
This comes down to what type of enzymes they use in their cheese. Not all cheeses are vegetarian. Nearly all cheese is made using enzymes. If the enzymes are from an animal source, then the cheese is not vegetarian, but if it is made from a microbial source then it is vegetarian. Animal enzymes come from the stomach of a slaughtered cow, so it is not a vegetarian product. In order to know for sure if a cheese product is vegetarian or not, you would need to see if the ingredient list lets you know if they use animal or microbial enzymes. If it doesn't state either way, and list lists enzymes, then you would need to contact the company to ask them about the source of the enzymes.
Annie's makes numerous types of cheese flavored products. These are the ones that are currently vegetarian:
- Mac and Cheese
- Cheese crackers (cheese squares, bunny crackers)
- Cheese puffs (cheddar cheese smiles)
- Canned pastas
- One pot pastas
- and more!
When it comes to Annie's products, they are open in letting you know if the product uses a vegetarian cheese source or one that is not. How you can tell is to look at the ingredient list. If it just lists "enzymes" then you can assume that it is animal-derived enzymes. From the FAQ section on their website:
Our enzymes are sourced from both animal sources and vegetarian sources.
If the ingredient statement on the package lists “enzymes,” it is likely derived from an animal source.
If the ingredient statement lists “non-animal enzymes” or “microbial enzymes,” then the enzymes are from a vegetarian source.
On the ingredient list, look for the products that say they are using non-animal enzymes or microbial enzymes. It seems that most of their cheese flavored products are vegetarian. Be sure to check the ingredient list to ensure that it says non-animal enzymes or microbial enzymes. If it does, then it's vegetarian. If it does not, then according to the company you can assume that it is using animal-derived enzymes and it is not vegetarian.
Annie's does also have numerous vegan products, including mac and cheese, fruit snacks, dressings, etc.