Trying to satiate a sweet tooth when adopting a vegan diet can be challenging. Many stores don’t offer a large selection of specialty treats free of animal products.
Worst yet, some seemingly harmless options can contain non-vegan-friendly ingredients like carmine, gelatin, or confectioner’s glaze.
Fortunately, plenty of “accidentally” vegan candies are readily available in your nearest candy aisle, including candy favorites like Skittles, Laffy Taffy, and Ring Pops.
We’ve rounded up a list of the 28 best vegan candy options, including specialty sweets and mainstream goodies free of animal-derived ingredients.
Check out some popular vegan candy, including popular candies you might not know are vegan!
With their slight tang and chalky texture, Smarties are a delightfully old-school wafer candy that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you haven’t unwrapped a pack since childhood, you’ll be delighted to know that they’ve rolled out new Tropical and X-Treme Sour versions.
Twizzlers skip out on the gelatin and swap in vegetable oil glycerin to give them that deliciously chewy texture in their Strawberry, Cherry, Cherry Bites, Cherry Nibs, Licorice, and Chocolate flavors.
This means vegans can twizzle to their heart’s content.
When it comes to the candy tournament bracket, Swedish Fish are the clear winner.
They have a whimsical shape, perfectly chewy texture, and just-right strawberry sweetness that I find mouthwateringly irresistible.
Best of all, you don’t have to worry about animal products despite the misleading shape.
Swedish Fish use mineral oil and cornstarch to achieve their gummy goodness.
Sour Patch Kids
In my ranking of the best vegan candy, Sour Patch Kids are a close runner-up to Swedish Fish only because the tart flavor tends to destroy my taste buds after a few handfuls.
That said, the mix of flavors keeps things interesting, making it well worth an occasional rotation into my snack mix.
Check out other sour candies if you love these.
Describing Airheads is a bit like trying to explain how water tastes.
It’s not precisely gummy, but it’s not exactly taffy-textured.
It’s a strange, enticing amalgamation of melt-in-your-mouth tangy sweetness in sixteen fun flavors, including my favorite, blue raspberry.
If you’re looking for the ultimate vegan indulgence, there’s nothing like dumping a literal tube of flavored sugar and citric acid into your mouth.
Eating Pixy Stix is all the fun of the “cinnamon challenge” without the inevitable coughing fit and mess all over your kitchen counters.
For folks who prefer their candy on the subtle side, Dots are the perfect solution.
These gumdrops come in four lightly-sweetened but scrumptious varieties: Original, Tropical, Sour, and Watermelon.
These vegan goodies are also allergen-conscious, making them the perfect treat for gluten-free and peanut-free diets.
Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
Jolly Ranchers aren’t your grandma’s hard candy.
They’re jam-packed with artificial fruit flavor and make for the perfect on-the-go treat when butterscotch or peppermints just won’t quell your craving.
I cannot recommend the peach flavor enough if you haven’t tried it.
It’s seriously addictive, and I squeal in delight when I find them in my local grocery store.
Have you ever wondered, “What if Dots were cylinders instead of gumdrops?”
Then, Jujubes are the best vegan candy to sate your curiosity.
These candies are hundreds of years old, initially consisting of jujube dates, gum arabic, and sugar.
Today, the standard box contains an exciting mix of cherry, lime, lemon, lilac, and violet.
Ah, Dum-Dums… I got one every time I went to the bank with my mom, crossing my fingers for a fun flavor like Pina Colada or Cotton Candy instead of the dreaded Cream Soda.
Fortunately, these vegan-friendly mini suckers come in two dozen varieties, so my chances of scoring a preferred pop were in my favor.
Never has a candy been more aptly named than the SweetTart.
These magical pucks start out delightfully sweet before transitioning to mouth-puckeringly sour.
They are also quite a bit larger than Smarties, so they last longer if you prefer sucking on the candy instead of crunching right in.
You don’t have to wait for the spooky season to treat yourself. Vegans can enjoy these fruity, chewy confections all year round.
For vegans who want a two-for-one delicacy, Blow Pops bring the long-lasting hard candy together with a bubble gum center.
They’re a nostalgic piece of childhood that comes in nine different flavors– which include the recently added Kiwi Berry Blast, Black Ice, What-a-Melon, and Blue Razz– so you’ll never get bored when you reach into your secret candy stash.
Bottle Caps have a similar texture to Smarties but come in fun pop flavors like Cola, Cherry Cola, Root Beer, Grape, and Orange Soda.
While these won’t scratch your itch for carbonation, the true-to-life soda flavors are surprisingly refreshing and won’t fizz over if you shake up the box.
Fun Dip is more than candy. It’s an interactive experience that makes your tongue funky colors and encourages you to eat the spoon once the powder’s all gone.
Cherry Yum Diddly Dip is excellent, but the Razz Apple Magic Dip is the clear winner.
This sugary sorcerer changes colors from blue to green when you’re eating it.
Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum
Hubba Bubba stands out as one of the few vegan-friendly bubble gums on the market, but the animal-free ingredient list doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on flavor.
It’s also the perfect tool to win the Guinness World Record for Largest Bubblegum Bubble Blown, which currently stands at an impressive 20 inches (50.8 cm).
Mamba Fruit Chews
I know that I made some lofty statements about Swedish Fish being the best vegan candy, but that’s only because I somehow forgot about the ridiculously tasty Mamba Fruit Chews.
The Mamba Tropics triumph with their dual-flavored variety of Pineapple-Coconut, Peach-Passionfruit, Apple-Kiwiw, and Mango-Orange, but I’ll never turn down a pack of Originals.
Mary Janes are the brainchild of Necco. However, you shouldn’t judge them based on their association with the brand’s ho-hum sugar wafers.
Mary Janes are an oft-underappreciated peanut butter and molasses taffy that pack a lot of flavor into those unassuming brown rectangles.
Even if you weren’t a fan as a kid, you might be pleasantly surprised now that you have a more mature palate.
Nerds are most accurately described as a box full of happiness and sunshine in just-sour-enough candy form.
Perhaps it’s the gimmicky, dual-chambered box or the fun mascot, but these tangy little crunchies are a regular go-to when I’m restocking my sweet treat bin.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
Marshmallows are a campfire classic, but most are made with animal-derived gelatin.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows come through with a solution to your s’mores woes with a plant-based pillow of vanilla-flavored goodness.
Now, you’ll just need a vegan-friendly chocolate bar and a box of graham crackers to complete the ooey-gooey trifecta.
Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Fireballs. Eating one feels like less of a little midday pick-me-up and more like a test of my willpower as the fiery cinnamon flavor erupts in my mouth.
That said, I can understand the appeal. It’s for people who want the longevity of a jawbreaker but also want to prove they could easily win any pepper-eating contest.
Gobstoppers always put a smile on my face, thanks to the iconic scene from Gene Wilder’s version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when Violet transforms into a massive blueberry.
Unlike the cinematic version, these miniature jawbreakers won’t turn you into fruit but will fit right in with a vegan diet.
Traditional saltwater taffy is hit-or-miss in terms of flavor.
Too many variety bags come laden with the dreaded mint or black licorice treats rather than the much-preferred banana, green apple, and mango.
Laffy Taffy, on the other hand, is always a hit thanks to its vegan recipe and graciously licorice-free flavor variety.
If you’ve been searching for a reason to revisit your beloved childhood Pez dispenser collection, the fact that the candies are vegan might do the trick.
You can also buy the candies in bulk if you’re not interested in keeping a plastic donut or Disney Princess in your pocket, just in case you need a snack.
Now and Later
If I had one complaint about chewy candy, it would be that they’re gone too soon.
Now and Laters fill the void between gummies and bubble gum with a long-lasting texture and 13 different flavors that keep things interesting.
A word of warning: The chewy Now and Laters contain egg whites, so you’ll want to opt for the standard Original Mix, Berry Smash, and Tropic Rush to meet your dietary needs.
Do you have an embarrassing memory of proposing to your middle school “love interest” with a Ring Pop? Because I sure do.
Fortunately, these wearable lollipops are tasty enough to fight the cringe and enjoy a fruity treat.
It’s also convenient for gamers because you can sneak a lick between boss phases without getting your hands sticky.
YumEarth Gummy Bears
It seems ironic to make a vegan candy shaped like an animal, but YumEarth makes up for the snafu with seasonal gummy bear flavors crafted with the same recipe as their fan-favorite fruit snacks.
However, remember that the original, always-available version is not vegan.
You’ll have to keep an eye out for their Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter versions.
With a slogan like “It’s Where the Fizz Izz,” you know you’re in for a good time when you pick up a pack of Zotz.
These fruit-flavored goodies have a hard candy coating with a surprise inside: a fizzing center made from sweetened bicarbonate of soda.
- Swedish Fish
- Sour Patch Kids
- Pixy Stix
- Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
- Sweet Tarts
- Blow Pop
- Bottle Caps
- Fun Dip
- Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum
- Mamba Fruit Chews
- Mary Janes
- Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
- Laffy Taffy
- Now and Later
- Ring Pops
- YumEarth Gummy Bears
Did You Know These Candies Are Vegan?
Anyone following a vegan diet can enjoy these candy options! Check out Trader Joe’s for some more candy – vegan options included.
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