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Jolly Rancher candies are made in many variations and flavors. Other than the classic hard candy, you can also find Jolly Rancher gummies, lollipops, gum, and more.
But are any Jolly Rancher products vegan?
Jolly Ranchers are made by The Hershey Company. On their website, they specifically state that Jolly Rancher candies are not vegan.
However, the ingredients of concern are actually okay with some vegans who aren’t super strict.
Some vegans still indulge in certain Jolly Rancher products because they are fine with consuming the potentially non-vegan ingredients explained below.
Ingredients of concern for vegans
Below are potentially non-vegan ingredients that you will find in many Jolly Rancher products. The ingredients listed here may or may not be vegan and this is not disclosed by Jolly Rancher, but that is a risk that some vegans are okay with.
Every Jolly Rancher product contains at least three of the ingredients listed below.
The sugar in Jolly Rancher products may or may not be filtered through bone char. This means that the sugar comes in contact with charred animal bones during the refining process, but it does not actually contain any bone char.
Some vegans are okay with consuming sugar refined with bone char, but others are not. It is up to you.
Natural flavor is another tricky ingredient for vegans because it can be sourced from animal or plant ingredients. This is not disclosed on packaging and companies will usually not be able to answer when asked if the natural flavor in their products is plant-based or not.
Some vegans look past this, but there is a chance that some animal-derived ingredients are in the natural flavor in Jolly Rancher products.
The artificial colors in Jolly Rancher products do not contain any animal ingredients, so many vegans are okay with consuming them. However some vegans avoid products that contain artificial colors because they are sometimes tested on animals.
Glycerin can be derived from plants or animals and it is unclear what the source of glycerin is in Jolly Rancher products.
Lecithin can be derived from plants or animals. It seems as though the lecithin in Jolly Rancher products is from soy, but this is not confirmed.
Gum base is only found in one Jolly Rancher product: Bubble Yum Jolly Rancher – Blue Raspberry Bubble Gum.
Gum base is made with a variety of ingredients that are not disclosed on packaging. It is possible that some of the ingredients are not vegan.
Glyceryl monostearate can be sourced from plants or animals. Jolly Rancher does not disclose this.
Is Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Vegan?
Ingredients in the Original Flavors Jolly Rancher Hard Candy:
Corn syrup, Sugar, Malic acid, Natural flavor, Artificial flavor, Artificial color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), Mineral oil, Lecithin.
Nothing stands out in this list as being an animal product, but as explained above, some of these ingredients may no be vegan. The sugar may be filtered through bone char and the source of the natural flavor is unkown.
Some strict vegans also don’t consume artificial color due to animal testing. The source of the lecithin is also unclear, but is likely soy.
For vegans who aren’t super strict, Jolly Rancher Hard Candy would be considered vegan.
If you are okay with these uncertainties, you can have the Jolly Rancher Hard Candy in all flavors.
Which Jolly Rancher products are 100% NOT vegan?
Some Jolly Rancher products contain gelatin, confectioner’s glaze, or beeswax. These three ingredients are not vegan. Below, you can see which Jolly Rancher products contain these non-vegan ingredients.
Non-vegan ingredients in Jolly Rancher products
- Jolly Rancher Bites – Watermelon, Green Apple, and Cherry Filled Gummies
- Jolly Rancher Chews Original Flavors
- Jolly Rancher Jelly Hearts
- Jolly Rancher Jelly Hearts
So Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?
These products are certainly not vegan: Jolly Rancher Bites (Watermelon, Green Apple, and Cherry Filled Gummies), Jolly Rancher Chews Original Flavors, Jolly Rancher Jelly Hearts.
All other Jolly Rancher products would not be considered vegan to strict vegans, but some vegans will be comfortable eating them.
Keep in mind the company explicitly states that their products are not vegan, so if you are concerned with things like cross-contamination, bone char-filtered sugar, or unconfirmed sources of natural flavor, you should avoid Jolly Ranchers.
Jolly Rancher FAQs
Are Jolly Ranchers gluten-free?
Jolly Ranchers do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, but the company does state that the candies have not been evaluated to qualify as gluten-free by FDA standards.
If you have a serious allergy, I recommend reaching out to the company for more information.
Do Jolly Ranchers contain gelatin?
Most Jolly Rancher products do not contain gelatin. Only the following products do contain gelatin: Jolly Rancher Bites (Watermelon, Green Apple, and Cherry Filled Gummies) and Jolly Rancher Chews Original Flavors.
Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans vegan?
For those who are not strict vegans, you would likely consider Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans to be vegan. They do however contain some ingredients that may be of concern for some vegans, such as sugar, natural flavors of unknown sources, and artificial colors.