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What Candies are Vegan?

It’s no secret that vegans enjoy eating, and we enjoy desserts just as much as everyone else. Fortunately, many candies are vegan, so we may (mostly) satisfy our appetites guilt-free. Popular sweet delicacies such as Smarties (also known as Rockets in Canada), Oreos, Airheads, Jujubes, and Swedish Fish are all vegan (some Swedish Fish contain beeswax, so be sure to check the label). A complete list, including candies, cookies, and ice cream, can be found on PETA’s database of accidently vegan goods. The PETA Treat Shop also has a unique collection of vegan chocolates, confectionery, and snacks.

While we update the list regularly, firms do occasionally change their ingredients. Carmine, a red pigment obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of cows and pigs; gelatin, obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of cows and pigs; and shellac (also known as confectioner’s glaze), which gives candies a glossy coating and is made from the resinous excretions of certain insects, are the main ingredients to avoid in candy. Some sugar can also be refined by bone char; for more information, read PETA’s position on bone char.

The most important thing to remember is that being vegan alleviates animal suffering, not personal purity. We send the message to firms that there is no market for more animal-friendly items if we shun things that are 99.9% vegan but contain trace amounts of animal products, and we’ve harmed more animals than we’ve helped. It also gives the impression that being vegan is difficult and time-consuming for those around us. PETA advises people to do their best to live a vegan lifestyle but not be concerned about trace levels of animal-derived components.

Different Types of Candies

1. Airheads

Not only are Airheads vegan, but they’re also gluten-free! Airheads Bites, which contain beeswax, gelatin, and shellac, are exceptions.

2. Atomic Fireballs

If you’re a vegan who enjoys sweets with a kick, try Atomic Fireballs, which are gluten-free and contain no animal products. Just be careful not to pop too many at once!

3. Big League Chew

Big League Chew is 100 percent vegan and does not contain lanolin, which is found in various non-vegan gums.

4. Bottle Caps

Bottle Caps candy has a bubbly flavour that I adore, and the fact that they’re vegan is an added bonus. I’m excited to include these in this year’s trick-or-treat bag.

5. Jujyfruits

Because of their unique fruit shapes, Jujyfruits are the slightly cooler cousin of Jujubes, and they’re also vegan. They’re not a perfect substitute for real fruit, but they’ll suffice for Halloween.

6. Mambas

Mambas are similar to smoothies in candy form, although they aren’t as healthful. At the very least, they’re vegan!

What is Veganism?

For ethical, health, or environmental grounds, a vegan diet, or veganism, excludes animal products.

Veganism has gone mainstream, so much so that, according to studies from the United Kingdom, the number of persons following a vegan diet has surged by 350 percent in the previous decade.

Veganism is defined as a style of life in which people avoid all sorts of animal exploitation and cruelty as much as possible.

A vegan diet may appear difficult or unduly restrictive at first glance. Many of my customers thinking about moving to a vegan diet are concerned about finding adequate vegan substitutes for their favourite foods.

However, most people discover that after mastering a few fundamentals, the adjustment is easier than anticipated.

As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I’ve witnessed increased vegan alternatives on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus in recent years.

I’ve discovered a vegan version of one of my all-time favorite treats, pastel de nata.

This article explains what veganism is and provides some basic information on which foods to eat and which to avoid on a vegan diet.

What are Candies with a Wide Range of Animal Products?

Some of the most obvious non-vegan treats are traditional dairy-based chocolates. Vegans should examine labels for several sneakier animal ingredients (like the infamous pork gelatin! ), frequently included in sweet delicacies. The most frequent are listed below:

Gelatin is a protein derived from animal bones and tendons.

Casein or fat from milk


Cane sugar that has been refined and may have been treated with burned bone bits

Carmine is derived from beetles E 904, E 120, 901, 904, and 542, all sourced from animals, and is utilized in various artificial colors and confectioners’ glaze.

We understand that this list appears daunting, but we assure you that vegan chocolates are available that adhere to vegan dietary ideals. To locate them, keep in mind that you must be cautious in reviewing ingredient lists since these chemicals can easily be smuggled into places you wouldn’t anticipate them!

You might be wondering if Jolly Ranchers are vegan. What about Gummy Bears and Nerds? Are Starburst products vegan? Regrettably, not all of our favorites are guilt-free… To learn more, scroll down.

Are Skittles Vegan?

A vegan diet excludes animal-derived goods such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs to minimize animal suffering as much as possible.

Vegan diets may include manufactured or packaged items such as confectionery, though they are often based on whole plant foods.

Some delicacies, such as milk chocolate, cream, and other dairy-based compounds, are clearly created using animal-derived substances. Others, such as Skittles, are less clear and may have you wondering if they’re vegan-friendly.

What are the Ingredients to Keep an Eye Out for?

Crushed insects are used to make carmine, a red pigment.

Gelatin is derived from cow or pigskin ligaments, tendons, and bones.

Confectioner’s Glaze (Shellac) is a popular confectionery covering produced from insect excrement.

Ingredients in Controversy

Palm Sugar Oil

Sugar and palm oil make you wonder how far you’re willing to go with your vegan lifestyle. Many vegans consider it sufficient if the ingredients list is free of animal products.

On the other hand, some of us may be more selective in our eating habits. The sugar issue is frequently used as a whitening agent, and the issue with palm oil is much more fraught with controversy.

Although palm oil is vegan, the industry leads to deforestation and damaging orangutan habitats. For some, this is enough to eliminate these things from their diet and mark them as non-vegan. As a result, what may be vegan to some of you may not be vegan to others.

To set the record straight, the majority of the candies on this list contain processed sugar.

This does not imply that the sugar in these goods has been treated with bone char. However, it’s probably hard to find out because this differs by manufacturer. This database of every vegan confectionery was first uploaded by PETA as a list of meals. There will be no animal products in any of the goods on the list.

What Causes Candy to be Non-Vegan?

Historically, animal products have been employed as a cheaper alternative to mass production. You might not recognize the names at first, and it’s nearly impossible to read all of the fine types on such a little label. If in doubt, go to the brand’s website for further information. Pay attention to the following:

Dairy products, such as milk, whey, butter, butterfat, and casein, can be found unexpectedly. Be aware that “lactose-free” does not always imply “dairy-free.”

Eggs, egg whites, or egg albumin: Egg byproducts are commonly employed to bind sugary items together and can be found in treats like meringue.

Gelatin: This is what gives old-fashioned gummies their crunch and marshmallows their springy texture. It’s made from pulverized hooves and bones.

Beeswax: There are plenty of other perfectly fine food-grade waxes that will keep candies from sticking together, but this one comes from bees who need it even more than we do.

Honey: Honey is occasionally used as a tactic to give sugary products a health halo, as a supposedly more natural alternative to white sugar. Unfortunately, it is fundamentally inhumane on a commercial scale and is not vegan.

Shellac or confectioner’s glaze: This sounds so harmless, and it’s only included for appearance. Thanks to this ingredient, many candies have a shiny outer shell; however, it’s made up of bug secretions.

Waiter, there’s a bug in my sweets!

Carmine or cochineal: This red coloration is derived from natural pigments found in various insects.

Charred bones: This is possibly the biggest offender on the list because, unlike the others, producers are not required to identify this as an ingredient, making it difficult to determine whether it has been used. It’s a step in bleaching sugar to a dazzling white color using cattle bones.

What is the Recipe for Candy?

Unsalted Butter – If you want to keep this vegan, use a baking stick rather than a soft-margarine substitute.

Light Corn Syrup is a type of corn syrup with a milder flavor and color than standard corn syrup.

Powdered Sugar – For a vegan option, look for a brand that doesn’t contain bone char in the manufacturing process.

Food coloring with peppermint extract

Variation: For an entirely different flavor profile, try using another type of extract, such as orange or almond.


When slightly chilled and kneaded, buttermint dough is easy to work with. You may need to knead the dough while working with it to get it back to a good, pliable consistency.

Small balls are the easiest to work with. Sites dedicated to baked clay give a plethora of options.

Create hearts and other forms with little cookie cutters.

Combine different colors or only partially add the food dye into the dough to make marbled eggs.

Roll into snakes and cut into little pieces using a knife.

Refrigerate for about a week if stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag.

When the dough is somewhat wet, it freezes the best.

Knead the dough after it has defrosted in the refrigerator until it reaches the required consistency.

Is it too wet? In batches, add very little powdered sugar and knead until stiff.

Is it too dry? Massage in a few drops of corn syrup until it holds together.


If you’re a vegan with a sweet tooth, look no further. Here is the definitive vegan candy list to address your candy-related questions. Your favourite candy will be on the list, and you’ll be overjoyed.

A vegan lifestyle surely extends to the arena of sugar, just as it does to any other aspect of life. To say the least, being a vegan is difficult.

Not to mention that what one person considers vegan may not be the same as what another considers vegan. Before digging into the sweets list, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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