Smarties have been around for over seventy years and they’re one of the most iconic tart candies in America. Some people love them, while others hate them.
They’re not anywhere near as sweet or sugary as most other candy, but that’s exactly why certain people prefer them over other sugar-laden candies.
However, are Smarties vegan?
Surprisingly, Smarties are 100% vegan! Not only are they free from any and all animal by-products but they also don’t contain palm oil or refined white sugar.
These two ingredients are commonly found in most candy and are somewhat questionable, as far as ethical vegans are concerned. This makes Smarties one of the few foolproof vegan candies.
Since Smarties don’t contain any refined sugar or palm oil, they’re suitable for both ethical vegans and your everyday dietary vegan alike! This makes them very different from most of the candy you’ll find on store shelves that are only suitable for dietary vegans.
Today, I’ll answer all the vegan-related questions about Smarties that I’ve been getting lately. Then, I’ll give you a complete breakdown of all of the ingredients in Smarties so you can see for yourself.
In the meantime, pop opens a roll of Smarties, so you have something to snack on while you finish reading…
Do Smarties Have Milk In Them?
If you’ve ever tried Smarties before, then you may remember that the small candies have this incredibly smooth texture on the surface. When it comes to candy, cereal, and even crackers, this smooth texture is often the result of milk by-products.
Powdered dairy, such as milk solids, whey, or sodium caseinate is often used to coat food products. Not only does this prevent them from sticking together in the packaging, but many consumers enjoy this buttery smooth texture.
Lucky for vegans, though, Smarties are 100% dairy-free! This means that they aren’t coated with milk by-products of any kind.
Don’t believe me? Just check out the clear disclaimer listed on Smarties’ website:
Instead, a sugary starch called dextrose keeps the tart-tasting pellets sweet and moisture-free.
Is There Gelatin In Smarties?
Gelatin is another common ingredient that’s often added to candy. For instance, it’s one of the main ingredients in gummy bears, which I just wrote a post on last week!
It’s used as an emulsifier in candy and helps hold the product together. It can also provide a chewy, gooey, gum-like texture to food.
The problem lies in the fact that gelatin is essentially pure animal fat. Slaughterhouses boil down their animal remains (tendons, ligaments, fatty tissues) that they can’t sell on the market. The resulting broth is then reduced down into a gel-like powder called gelatin.
Thankfully, Smarties DON’T contain any gelatin, animal fat, or other animal by-products!
Are Smarties Original Vegan?
The original Smarties are known for their pale pastel-like appearance and their slightly tart yet sweet flavor. From the first day they were released, Smarties Original candies have always been vegan.
Furthermore, the company is committed to its products remaining vegan. This means that Smarties Original should be vegan for the foreseeable future.
Are Tropical Smarties Vegan?
When it comes to vegan-friendly candy brands, additional flavors can be problematic. While the original may be vegan-friendly, the other varieties often contain non-vegan ingredients.
This is the case with AirHeads candy. The original is vegan-friendly, while most of the new varieties contain gelatin.
This isn’t the case with Smarties, though! Tropical Smarties are 100% vegan-friendly and are made using the same ingredients as the Original Smarties (which are vegan).
The only difference between Tropical Smarties and the Original Smarties is that different flavors and dyes are used. These are all vegan-friendly, though, so it’s not an issue.
Are X-Treme Sour Smarties Vegan?
For those who want a sour explosion in their mouth, X-Treme Sour Smarties is the perfect fix! They have far fewer calories than Sour Patch Kids and none of the other non-vegan ingredients.
That being said, X-Treme Sour Smarties, like the other varieties of candy, are 100% vegan.
They simply contain stronger, more sour flavor additives, all of which are vegan. Here’s a quick table outlining all of Smarties’ vegan-friendly flavors:
|X-Treme Sour Smarties||Yes!|
Are Smarties Gluten-Free?
I’ve found that some of my vegan readers also follow a gluten-free diet to reduce inflammation or because they suffer from gluten intolerance, which can be debilitating when gluten is consumed.
Gluten is a small protein that’s found in many grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and some varieties of oats. Dextrose, a starch found in Smarties, is often derived from grains, so it can be concerning for some individuals.
Thankfully, dextrose goes through a lot of processing, which removes any and all gluten. This means that Smarties are gluten-free and suitable for anybody with celiac disease or who has a gluten intolerance.
What Are Smarties Made Of? Ingredients Listed
So, by now, I’ve established that all flavors of Smarties are 100% vegan. One of the reasons why I really appreciate this candy is that all of the varieties use the same basic recipe, so there are never any questionable additives that you need to worry about.
Apart from Smarties’ statement saying that the candy is vegan, though, I always like to break down the ingredients in food, so you can see for yourself that the candy is 100% vegan.
Also, for those interested, here’s a cool video showing how they’re made in the factory:
A dextrose is a form of sugary starch that’s extracted from vegetables like corn and potatoes.
Sometimes, it can also be extracted from grains. Dextrose is pretty much pure sugar, and it has the same molecular construction as the blood sugar in our veins. It’s incredibly concentrated, so it isn’t necessary to use large amounts.
While dextrose is far from healthy, it is vegan-friendly.
Most candy uses refined white sugar, which is a no-no for ethical vegans. Unlike unprocessed cane sugar, refined sugar is filtered through animal bone char, which is how the natural coloring is removed. This makes what would otherwise be a vegan sweetener not-so-vegan.
Smarties don’t contain any refined sugar whatsoever. Instead, they only contain dextrose, which doesn’t involve the use of any animal products to make. The dextrose also gives the outer layer of the candies a smooth, powdery texture and prevents the candies from sticking together.
2) Citric Acid
Citric acid is a natural acid that’s derived from citrus plants like lemons, lime, and oranges. In this sense, citric acid is a plant-based ingredient that’s safe for vegans to consume.
That being said, most of the citric acid on the market is synthetic and comes from a lab. The chemical structure is the same, though.
So, no matter where it comes from, citric acid is always vegan!
3) Calcium Stearate
Calcium stearate is otherwise known as “calcium salt,” and at first looks like a questionable ingredient. This is because some cosmetics and food products are made from animal-derived stearate. However, calcium stearate is completely different.
It’s 100% dairy-free, meat-free, and vegan.
The calcium stearate used in Smarties is typically derived from corn extracts, so it’s considered a plant-based additive.
4) Natural & Artificial Flavors
Smarties assures us that all of the natural and artificial flavors used in their candy are 100% vegan. Artificial flavors are always vegan, and the natural flavors used by Smarties are plant-based and don’t involve any animals.
5) Artificial Colors
Artificial colors like red 40, yellow 5 and 6, as well as blue 2 are used to add color to the Smarties and differentiate between the flavors. Thankfully, these are all vegan-friendly.
Are UK Smarties Vegan?
Smarties in the US are made by a completely different company than Smarties candy in the UK. In short, it’s a completely different candy and the two aren’t associated. They just so happen to have the same name, which can be a bit confusing if you’re traveling!
According to Smarties’ UK website, Smarties in the UK are NOT vegan as they’re a milk chocolate-based candy, which contains dairy.
The Verdict – Smarties Are 100% Vegan!
Smarties (at least in the US) are 100% vegan and are a great-tasting, low-calorie treat that can help you satisfy your sugar cravings without going overboard with a full-on candy bar.
If you found this post helpful, then you’ll enjoy my last post answering whether or not Nutter Butters are vegan! It turns out that the sweet peanut butter-flavored treat is actually dietarily vegan.