Goldfish rank high in flavor, nostalgia, and… gluten content. Read on for details and gluten-free alternative snack ideas!
Goldfish crackers are a childhood favorite in many households, and an easy snack for all ages. But are Goldfish gluten-free?
Short Answer: No, Goldfish are not gluten-free, unfortunately. Wheat flour is the number one ingredient in all varieties of Goldfish. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish are not a fit for a gluten-free diet.
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Are Goldfish Gluten Free?
Margaret Rudkin, founder of Pepperidge Farm, discovered fish-shaped crackers in Switzerland in the 1960s and introduced Goldfish crackers to the U.S. in 1962. The bite-sized crackers have been a huge hit ever since!
Pepperidge Farm, now owned by Campbell Soup Company, makes many varieties of Goldfish, and every single one of them contains wheat flour. And the use of wheat flour means that gluten is present.
Gluten is a protein naturally occurring in wheat (as well as barley, rye, and triticale)–even the smallest amount could be dangerous to someone with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, with symptoms triggered by ingesting gluten. Immediate reactions to gluten include stomach pains and diarrhea, but even more distressing are the long-term effects of damage to the small intestine caused by autoimmune inflammation. For this reason, celiac patients are advised to strictly avoid gluten, even small amounts resulting from cross-contamination during manufacturing or in the kitchen.
As Goldfish crackers list wheat flour as their first ingredient, this classic snack is definitely not gluten-free. There are, however, some delicious gluten-free alternatives to Goldfish crackers. Read on for recommendations!
*Note: In the past, Pepperidge Farm made a certified gluten-free product called Goldfish Puffs. Puffs were made from corn meal rather than wheat flour. It appears that Goldfish Puffs have been discontinued as they are no longer listed on the Pepperidge Farm website or available from online retailers.
What Are Goldfish Made Of?
Cheddar Goldfish from Pepperidge Farm contain the following ingredients:
- Enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid)
- Cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes, and annatto)
- Vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, and/or soybean)
- Autolyzed yeast extract
- Onion powder
- Monocalcium phosphate
- Baking soda
There are many different flavors of Goldfish to choose from, from pretzels to grahams to Mickey Mouse to Old Bay, but every one of them lists wheat flour as the main ingredient.
For celiacs and others with gluten sensitivities, Goldfish are off limits. Fortunately, there are alternatives from other brands.
Gluten-Free Goldfish Alternatives
Although Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers do have gluten, there are lots of wonderful gluten-free crackers available at grocery stores and online! For cheddar crackers in fun shapes other than fish, try these:
- FreeYumm Cracker Bites in Cheezy or Pizza (smiley face shape)
- Qwackers in Cheddar Cheese or Cheese Pizza (duck shape)
- MadeGood Star Puffed Crackers in Cheddar, Pizza, or Sea Salt (star shape)
- Green Mustache Mustache Munchies in Cheddarish, Parmesan Rosemary, or Spicyish (mustache shape)
If you’re craving a crunchy, cheesy cracker but don’t care about cute shapes, these gluten-free brands are often available at the grocery store:
- Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers in Farmhouse Cheddar
- Glutino Gluten Free Crackers in Cheddar
- Mary’s Gone Cheezee Crackers in Plant-Based Cheddar or Plant-Based Cheese & Herb
- Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins in Cheddar Cheese
Of the products listed above, some contain real cheese while others are dairy-free, but all are free from gluten-containing ingredients. Foods that are labeled as certified gluten-free have met the FDA requirement for less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Cross-contamination at the manufacturing level is not a concern with these packaged foods.
Yes, Goldfish crackers from Pepperidge Farm do contain wheat. Because Goldfish have gluten in them, they are not a good choice for anyone with celiac disease or any non-celiac gluten intolerance. Fortunately, other brands do make gluten free snack alternatives. Check out FreeYumm, Qwackers, MadeGood, or Green Mustache brands for cheesy gluten-free crackers in fun shapes!
No, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers contain wheat, so they are not gluten-free. There are many different varieties of Goldfish, but all of them do contain gluten.
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, look for crackers that are certified gluten-free. A gluten-free certification indicates a food that has tested below 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, the FDA threshold for gluten-free.
No, celiacs cannot eat Goldfish crackers. All varieties of Goldfish contain wheat flour, so they have high gluten content and will be harmful to anyone with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
If you are living a gluten-free lifestyle, look for alternatives to Goldfish crackers that do not contain wheat.
Pepperidge Farm, the brand behind Goldfish crackers, does not make a gluten-free version of Goldfish. For a gluten-free option, try cheddar-flavored crackers from brands such as FreeYumm, Qwackers, MadeGood, and Green Mustache. No fish shapes, but you will find smiley faces, ducks, stars, and mustaches!
The Bottom Line
Goldfish crackers are a snack time favorite, but they are not celiac-friendly. All varieties of Goldfish by Pepperidge Farm are made with wheat flour. Whether that wheat flour is whole grain, organic, or enriched, it contains gluten.
While there is no gluten-free version of Goldfish, many other companies make gluten-free cheddar crackers, some of them in fun shapes. Turn to FreeYumm, Qwackers, MadeGood, or Green Mustache for cheddar crackers in the shape of smiley faces, ducks, stars, and mustaches!