Now and Laters are one of the few candies on the market that can compete with Starburst in terms of their taste, texture, and popularity. They’ve also been around since 1962, which means that the brand is officially eighty years old at the time I’m writing this.
Are Now and Laters vegan, though?
Strictly speaking, Now and Laters are not vegan. Even though the majority of Now and Later products don’t contain animal by-products, all Now and Laters contain refined sugar and palm oil, which many vegans are boycotting due to ethical reasons.
Below, I’ll show you exactly what these chewy candies are made of and explain which flavors are somewhat vegan-friendly. Let’s take a look!
Does Now and Later Chewy Have Gelatin?
When it comes to chewy candies, gelatin is to be expected. For instance, it’s one of the main ingredients in both marshmallows and gummy bears. Without gelatin, both of these foods would be little more than sticky lumps of goo.
Surprisingly, none of the varieties of Now and Later candies contain any gelatin.
Instead, the candies use plant-based soy lecithin as an emulsifier and thickening agent to make the candies hard and chewy. However, Now and Later Chewy candies are made with egg white, which makes them non-vegan.
Here are the ingredients used to make Now and Later Chewy:
What are Now and Laters Made Of? Ingredients Listed
While the Now and Later Chewy variety may be off-limits for all vegans, some of the less strict vegans out there may not mind the original Now and Later chews. Here are the ingredients in the original chewy candy:
Now, I’ll give you a quick run-through, so you better understand what’s in this candy.
1) Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is the main ingredient and is an all-natural, plant-based syrup that’s extracted from sweet corn. It’s a vegan-friendly sweetener and is used in a variety of different vegan-friendly candies and snacks.
Sugar (in particularly refined sugar) tends to be a problem in the vegan community. Even though it technically comes from a plant-based source, raw cane sugar must go through a special refining process to turn it into the more concentrated and sweet white sugar.
To turn cane sugar into white sugar, the raw sugar must be passed through filters that contain animal bone char. The high carbon content in these filters removes all of the malt syrup and outer coating that surrounds the pure sugar granules.
Since sugar refining typically involves the use of bone char, many vegans are boycotting refined white sugar altogether. Instead, vegans look for candy that’s made with natural cane sugar.
3) Palm Oil
Like refined sugar, palm oil is another problematic ingredient.
Although it’s all-natural, the industry behind palm oil is responsible for burning down thousands of acres of rainforest every year and killing thousands upon thousands of endangered animals who call the rainforest their home.
For this reason, most vegans prefer sustainably sourced cooking oils, such as canola, sunflower, soybean, and other plant-based oils.
4) Citric Acid
Citric acid is a naturally-occurring acid found within citrus fruits. This ingredient is used as a flavor additive (to provide a sour flavor) and is also added as a mild preservative to extend the shelf life of the product.
Salt is used to thicken and toughen the chews. Thankfully, salt is 100% vegan, so there are no worries here!
6) Artificial Flavors
All Now and Later candies are artificially flavored. The good thing about artificial flavors is that they’re all vegan-friendly since they’re man-made and don’t require any animal by-products to manufacture.
7) Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is a natural plant-derived thickener, emulsifier, and preservative. It’s a vegan-friendly additive that you don’t need to be too concerned about.
8) Artificial Colors
Last but not least, all Now and Laters are artificially colored. The colors vary, depending on the variety and flavor of the candy. Like artificial flavors, these colors are all vegan since they’re artificial.
Which Now and Laters Are Vegan?
If you’re on a strict vegan diet and you’re avoiding all foods that have even the slightest ethical implications, then Now and Laters aren’t really vegan-friendly. The sugar and palm oil alone is enough to turn many vegans away.
That being said, refined sugar and palm oil are technically plant-based ingredients. So, if you’re a not-so-strict vegan, then you might be able to enjoy some of the egg-free varieties of Now and Later candies.
Here’s a complete list of the non-vegan and vegan Now and Later flavors:
|Vegan Now and Laters||Non-Vegan Now and Laters|
|Original Now and Laters||Now and Later Chewy|
|Now and Later Shell Shocked||Now and Later Splits|
|Now and Later Morphs||Now and Later Extreme Sour|
The Verdict – Are Now and Laters Vegan-Friendly?
Strict vegans should stay away from all Now and Laters. However, if you’re not as strict, then you may enjoy the Original, Shell Shocked, and Morphs varieties of Now and Laters.
If you’re looking for a healthier sweet treat, though, I definitely recommend checking out my post on the best vegan cookie brands!