Which Candy Can Vegans Eat? What about Vegetarians?

Can Vegans Eat Candy

Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin

Candy may be empty calories and nothing more than sugar and sometimes carbs, but most of it is fat-free. Even if you try to avoid candy for the rest of the year, it will surely end up in your home around Halloween and Christmas. As a vegan or vegetarian, are you alright to sneak a piece of candy or two? If so, which candies?

The following candies are safe for vegans and vegetarians to eat:

  • Dum Dums
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Fun Dip
  • Skittles
  • DOTS
  • Airheads
  • Swedish Fish
  • Twizzlers

What about these eight candies makes them safe for vegans and vegetarians? In this article, that’s exactly what we’ll explain. We’ll also share a shortlist of candy that vegans especially should avoid.

These Candies Are Vegan-Safe

Dum Dums

Super tiny and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, Dum Dums lollipops are only 60 calories a pop. You can sample a variety of fruity and non-fruity flavors alike, including the coveted mystery flavor, and still adhere to your diet.

Jolly Ranchers

The hard, sour candy known as Jolly Ranchers is made without cochineal or gelatin. Jolly Ranchers have even earned PETA approval for being safe for vegans and vegetarians alike. Three Jolly Ranchers contain 70 calories.

Fun Dip

Although Fun Dip comes in a range of exciting colors, the Cherry variety gets its bright hue from red 40 lake, a synthetic color that’s free of animal byproducts like carmine. Fun Dip will sugar you up, and at 50 calories a pack, you might want a second or third bag.


Skittles produces all its sweeteners, thickeners, colorings, and artificial flavorings using plant-based ingredients. That makes this already sweet candy even sweeter, we’d say. Oh, and about Skittles having gelatin? This was once the case but is no longer. A ¼ cup serving of Skittles has 160 calories.


Yes, DOTS are sticky and tacky like they contain gelatin, but this chewy candy does not. Even better is that DOTS are kosher certified and peanut-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. A serving of eight DOTS has 100 calories.


Whether you like the classic Airheads or varieties such as Airheads Xtremes, this candy has no animal products or byproducts. That includes all flavors, from watermelon to cherry, blue raspberry to grape, and even the white mystery flavor. Each Airheads bar contains 60 calories.

Swedish Fish

Swedish Fish, the red fish-shaped candy, gets its chewy texture from mineral oil and cornstarch. If you consider beeswax an animal byproduct, then double-check the packaging to make sure your Swedish Fish don’t contain this ingredient. A serving of seven pieces has 150 calories.


A movie theater classic, Twizzlers include glycerin, which the Hershey Company says is an additive sourced from vegetable oil, not animal products or byproducts. If you’re wondering how Twizzlers are that distinct ruby red color, it’s from the insect-free red dye #40. Two Twizzlers are 90 calories.

These Candies Are Not Vegan-Safe

Although lots of candies are appropriate for vegans and vegetarians alike to eat, that’s not the case with every candy on the market. Here are a few you’ll have to avoid as a vegan.

Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids are non-vegan and non-vegetarian, unfortunately. This sour-then-sweet candy contains gelatine. The reason this is such a problematic ingredient is due to how gelatine is produced, as it’s sourced from animal collagen.


Although it’s alright for vegetarians, vegans will have to shy away from the small pieces of hard candy that are Nerds. The pink and red bite-sized candies are colored that way through insect-derived carmine. Since Nerds come in two flavors in a pack, even if some don’t use carmine, you’re not going to waste your time picking through all the pink or red ones. That’d take too long!

Tootsie Rolls

The classic candy Tootsie Rolls are sold in long bars, bite-sized pieces, and also in the center of beloved Tootsie Pops. Vegetarians need not worry about ingesting this chocolate-flavored candy, but vegans should take heed. The milk used in production is not okay for you to ingest.

Milky Way

A lot of chocolate bars are off-limits for vegans too, but not vegetarians. Milky Way is one such chocolate bar, as it’s made with egg whites, milkfat, and skim milk. Fortunately, you can whip up your own vegan Milky Ways at home following this recipe from Minimalist Baker.


It doesn’t matter if it’s the original M&Ms, peanut, minis, or the new flavors like brownie batter and peanut butter, vegans shouldn’t eat these bite-sized candies. The candy hues are all derived from artificial colors, and M&Ms have milkfat and skim milk too.


It’s the same story with Reese’s. These beloved peanut butter cups have milk fat and non-fat milk. Try a brand like Justin’s instead, which fulfills your craving for chocolate and peanut butter but in a dairy-free (and organic!) way.


You should see the theme here by now. Twix has skim milk and milkfat in it as well, which shouldn’t be surprising.

Hershey Chocolate

Be it Hershey Kisses, the original Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, or even Hershey’s with Almonds, they’re all made with milkfat, even the dark chocolate varieties. Vegans will have to skip this very popular candy brand.

Conclusion – Vegan friendly Candy

Lots of candy is vegan-friendly, but it’s mostly non-chocolate candy. Vegetarians can eat just about any candy, which is good news. If you’re a vegan looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate, we just wrote a great post highlighting vegan chocolate options! There’s plenty you can enjoy, you just have to do so carefully.

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