If you’re a vegan and love candies, you’re in a difficult position. Unfortunately, most candies available on the market are packed with many non-vegan and/or controversial ingredients. Are Jolly Ranchers among them too? Or Are they vegan?
Let’s find out!
Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?
As per the information that’s readily available on the internet, most Jolly Ranchers are vegan; only some are not.
However, when I dug deeper, it turned out that things are not as simple as they appear to be (will they ever be simple for us vegans?)
The parent company of Jolly Rancher – Hershey’s – does not classify Jolly Rancher candies as vegan. Yes, you read that right!
Hershey’s website clearly states that Jolly Rancher candies are not vegan. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:
Why are (Most) Jolly Ranchers Classified as Vegans, Then?
Many sources state that even though Jolly Ranchers are not labelled as vegans by the parent company, many varieties and flavors of Jolly Rancher candies do not contain any non-vegan ingredient, which makes them suitable for vegans.
However, there’s also a counter argument to this claim (as always). Those on the other end of the spectrum argue that if there are varieties of Jolly Ranchers that meet the vegan dietary guidelines, then why the company doesn’t classify them as vegans. Doing so will only increase their customer base, after all.
Both the arguments make sense, leaving many vegans confused if they can eat Jolly Ranchers or not.
To clear this air of confusion, let’s do what we always do at Vegan Calm – a quick analysis of Jolly Ranchers ingredients to figure out the vegan status of their different varieties.
Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy Ingredients
Most vegans can easily spot the controversial ingredients in this list. If you have been unable to do so, here they’re:
- Sugar – Sugar is considered a controversial ingredient in the vegan community because it is (most commonly) commercially refined using bone char.
- Natural and Artificial Flavors – Natural flavors are debated because of their unspecified sources; they could be derived from animal sources as they’re natural too. The controversy regarding artificial flavors, on the other hand, revolves around their testing on animals.
- Artificial Colors – There’s plenty of strong evidence that artificial colors are tested on vegans, which clashes with the vegan philosophy.
Refer to my article Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan for a more detailed discussion on these controversial ingredients that are present in a huge majority of commercial food products.
What about Lecithin? Is Lecithin Vegan?
The very last item mentioned in Jolly Rancher hard candy ingredients list – Lecithin – may be unfamiliar for many vegans. Therefore, I deem it necessary to provide a brief explanation for it.
Lecithin is a fatty substance that is naturally found in many food items. These include meat, egg yolk, sunflower seeds, rapeseeds, corn, and soybeans.
This means, lecithin can be vegan or non-vegan, depending on what it is derived from.
Is lecithin used in Jolly Rancher hard candy vegan or non-vegan?
Even though Hershey’s website doesn’t specify the source of lecithin used in Jolly Rancher hard candy, the packet of candies does. Here’s a screenshot taken from Amazon:
Soy lecithin is vegan-friendly.
So, Is Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Vegan?
There’s no universal answer; it varies from person to person. If you do not avoid controversial items highlighted above, then you can eat Jolly Rancher hardy candy. However, if you’re a very strict vegan and avoid these debatable ingredients, then these candies are not for you.
Jolly Rancher Lollipops Ingredients
Here’s what Jolly Rancher lollipops are made of:
There’s no animal-derived ingredient in Jolly Rancher lollipops, which is why they are classifies as vegan-friendly by many. However, (yet again) they have all the controversial ingredients that many vegans prefer to avoid.
Are Jolly Rancher Lollipops Vegan?
Depends on your definition and commitment to vegan lifestyle.
Are Jolly Rancher Gummies Vegan?
Let’s take a look at Jolly Rancher gummies ingredients to find out:
There’s no animal-derived ingredient in original Jolly Rancher gummies (for those who do not know, carnauba wax is a plant-based ingredient). Therefore, they can be deemed fit for vegans who are fine with consuming controversial ingredients. However, those who wish to avoid them cannot eat original Jolly Rancher gummies.
It’s important to note here that most other Jolly Rancher gummies flavors are non-vegan. Only Original and Sour gummies are considered vegan (if you overlook the controversial ingredients).
Are Jolly Rancher Bites Vegan?
The answer is the same – Jolly Rancher bites are suitable for consumption for vegans who do not avoid controversial ingredients (they also have palm oil in addition to the controversial ingredients discussed above).
Some varieties of Jolly Rancher bites may contain gelatin or K-gelatin, both of which are non-vegan. Therefore, make sure to always check the ingredients list.
Are Jolly Rancher Chews Vegan?
They have gelatin, hence, not vegan.
Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews, however, are classified as vegan.
Are Jolly Ranchers Misfits Vegan?
Jolly Rancher misfits are also soft chews. They do not contain gelatin, but the controversial ingredients are still there. Whether you want to eat them or not, the choice is yours!
Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Vegan?
The answer for Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans is also the same. They are vegan for some people and non-vegan for others
So, Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan-Friendly?
The answer depends on you!
If you do not avoid controversial ingredients – sugar, artificial and natural flavors, artificial colors, and palm oil – you may classify Jolly Ranchers as vegan-friendly. However, strict vegans may not consider them fit for their consumption.
In case, you haven’t tried Jolly Ranchers yet, and wondering which of their flavors are good and worth trying, check out this interesting video to see what different people think about Jolly Ranchers, as they try these candies for the first time.
Are Jolly Ranchers Vegetarian?
Most of them are!
All the varieties of Jolly Ranchers that do not contain gelatin are suitable for vegetarians.
Read my article Are M&M’s vegan to find out if these majority’s favorite chocolate candies are vegan or not!