vegan sweets skittles

Vegan sweets: What sweets can a vegan eat?

23 Nov 2022 • 1 min read

What’s the deal with Haribo? Other than being everyone’s (children and grown-ups included) favourite sweet, can vegans tuck into them? In fact, what’s the deal with vegan sweets full stop? Are there any vegan sweets out there and, if there are, what are they? Keep reading for the lowdown on all you need to know about vegan sweets.

What sweets can a vegan eat?

They can eat a fair few, actually, more than you may actually realise. Believe it or not, a lot of vegan sweets are known to us and have most probably been enjoyed by us all at some point, yet not everybody realises they’re vegan!1
  1. Polo mints (original flavour).
  2. Starburst.
  3. Hubba Bubba bubble gum.
  4. Skittles.
  5. Rowntree’s Jelly Tots.
  6. Tootie Frooties.
  7. Sherbet Dip Dabs.
  8. Love Hearts.
  9. Sherbet Fountains.
  10. Parma Violets.
  11. Candy Kittens2
….They’re all on the vegan-friendly sweet list, which includes some real ‘classics’ that take us right back to our childhood and the days of pick n’ mix!

What are vegan sweets made of?

A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants.3 Vegan sweets are made by using plant-based alternatives to gelatine, such as agar agar, carrageenan and vega gel, as well as fruit, sugars and syrups. Gelatine, beeswax and dairy milk powder can be found in most mainstream sweets and are on the list of ingredients to swerve if you’re vegan. The biggie is gelatine, which happens to be used to make most sweets because it acts as a gelling agent to help ingredients bond together, keep their shape and have a longer overall shelf life. However, gelatine’s typically made from animal (pig and cow) skin and bone and is on the list of ingredients to avoid if you’re looking for vegan sweets.4

Which Haribo is vegan?

We started with Haribo, so it’s only right we clarify something about Haribo’s vegan status. Haribo Funny Mix, Giant Strawbs, Jelly Beans, Sour Rainbow Twists, Sour Rainbow Spaghetti and Sour Rainbow Strips are suitable for vegetarians, but they aren’t suitable for vegans. Of all the different Haribo ranges, there’s only one at the moment that’s suitable for vegans to eat, and that’s the Haribo Soft Jelly Bear.5 These vegan-approved sweets come in a bear-shaped container and have all been individually wrapped. These sweets are made from: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Gelling Agent: Pectin, Humectant: Sorbitol, Acid: Citric Acid, Acidity Regulator: Trisodium Citrate, Fruit Juice Concentrates: Lemon, Orange, Strawberry, Apple, Fruit and Plant Concentrates: Black Carrot, Spirulina, Safflower, Radish, Apple, Flavouring and Invert Sugar Syrup. As you’ll see from the ingredients list, these sweets don’t contain any gelatine. They contain pectin instead, which is a naturally occurring substance that’s found in apples, berries and other fruits. It’s also worth noting a glazing agent, which isn’t vegan friendly, isn’t used to make these sweets either.

Why eat vegan sweets?

Well, if you’re vegan, then you’ll want to eat vegan sweets, that’s an obvious one. Another reason why you may want to switch to vegan sweets and desserts, is because they’re made from ‘nature’s candy’, a healthy alternative to refined sugar that can be found in most mainstream sweets. Maple syrup, agave nectar, stevia and fruit, they’re all key ingredients in making vegan sweet treats, and helping people cut down on their refined sugar consumption, and calories, at the same time!6 Enjoying reading about vegan sweets? Have a read of this article, ‘7 of the best vegan chocolates.’ Buy Vegan Sweets Last updated: 27 November 2020 Sources 1 2 3 4 5 6

Author: Donia HilalNutritionist

Joined Holland & Barrett: Jan 2018

Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition

Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018.

Donia has over 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.

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