Founded in 1898, the Jelly Belly Candy Company is notoriously known for its delicious jelly beans.
They offer a variety of 50 different flavors, ranging from lemon, lime, and strawberry, to more exotic ones such as chili-mango, earwax, and popcorn!
Due to their popularity, those who live by a vegan diet, or a gluten-free, one may be wondering if they are able to consume these sweet treats.
This article will be discussing this, as well as what vegan and gluten-free alternatives are available.
What Are Jelly Beans?
Jelly beans are bean-shaped candies that have a coated exterior with a soft, gel-like interior. Their outer shells are mainly made from sugar, and they are available in several different flavors.
Are Jelly Beans Vegan?
There are a few ingredients used to make jelly beans that make them unsuitable for vegans. Their shiny coating uses beeswax which is an animal-based product.
While no animals are killed in order to use it, many vegans would rather steer clear of it, as they believe that obtaining beeswax from hives is cruel and unethical.
The coating of jelly beans also uses shellac. This is made from beetle resin. Unfortunately, when we collect this beetle resin, many females die, so vegans may refuse to consume products that use shellac.
However, vegans should be aware that shellac is often labeled as ‘confectioner’s glaze’ on ingredient lists. Therefore, if these words appear on the ingredient list of a product, it is most likely shellac.
Do Jelly Bellys Contain Gelatin?
The jelly beans produced by the Jelly Belly company do not contain gelatin. However, there are other companies that use it in their jelly beans. Gelatin is a type of protein that has a jelly-like consistency.
It is used in many candies due to its consistency, and it is made by boiling up the ligaments, bones, skin, and cartilage of animals – mainly pigs and cows.
Many companies that produce jelly beans use gelatin, but luckily, Jelly Belly does not.
Are Jelly Bellys Gluten-Free?
Those who are gluten-intolerant will be happy to know that the jelly beans produced by Jelly Belly, are completely free of any gluten-containing ingredients.
Gluten is a protein found in several grains, such as rye, barley, and wheat. It acts as a binder for these products, giving them a ‘stretchy’ texture.
Because of this texture, it is often used in certain candies. Some individuals find it different to process gluten, as their bodies see it as a toxin, which can result in inflammation in the body.
This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and nausea. Therefore, those whose bodies cannot process it properly, choose to adopt a gluten-free diet, where they eliminate all products that contain gluten.
Fortunately, this is quite a common issue, so there are all kinds of bread, pasta, etc., that are gluten-free.
As mentioned before, the jelly beans produced by Jelly Belly are completely gluten-free, but when you are purchasing them from another company, you must ensure to read the label properly to make sure of this.
Vegan Alternatives To Jelly Bellys
While the jelly beans produced by Jelly Belly are gluten-free, they are not vegan-friendly. However, there are a number of brands out there that are completely vegan!
Jolly Rancher offers some delicious flavors with their jelly beans, and they’re completely vegan!
You can expect to find flavors such as Grape, Apple, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Orange, and Strawberry.
Their ingredients contain sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, malic acid, lactic acid, sodium lactate, natural and artificial flavors, carnauba wax, gum Arabic, mineral oil, and certain artificial colors.
None of these ingredients contain any animal-based products, making them the perfect option for vegans.
Like the previous option, Warhead jelly beans contain carnauba wax instead of beeswax or shellac (confectioner’s glaze). Carnauba wax is a vegetable-based wax, so it is perfectly vegan-friendly.
This company specializes in sour-tasting candies, so their jelly beans contain a fruity, chewy, sour taste that you won’t be able to get enough of!
There are 6 mouth-watering flavors available, such as Watermelon, Orange, Lemon, Blue Raspberry, Cherry, and Green Apple!
The ingredients used are sugar, corn syrup, microencapsulated malic acid, citric acid, hum acacia, soybean oil, ascorbic acid, artificial flavors, corn starch, and carnauba wax.
These delicious candies are completely vegan-friendly, gluten-free, non-GMO, USDA Organic, and allergy-free.
Therefore, they are the best option if you’re looking for candies that are less processed, and more organic.
You can experience some delicious flavors with these, such as Mango Tango, Awesome Apple, Perfectly Peach, and Pomegranate Pucker.
The ingredients used to make them are organic cane sugar, organic rice syrup, organic palm oil, organic natural flavors, citric acid, sodium citric, turmeric, organic sunflower lecithin, malic acid, organic carnauba spirulina concentrate, and pectin.
Non-Vegan Jelly Bean Brands
Now that you’re aware of the vegan-friendly jelly bean brands, it is important to be aware of what brands are not vegan-friendly.
This popular jelly bean brand is not vegan-friendly, as it contains beeswax and shellac labeled as ‘confectioner’s glaze.’
Another very popular candy brand is Haribo. Unfortunately, the jelly beans produced by this company also contain beeswax.
To conclude, the jelly beans produced by Jelly Belly, are not vegan, as they contain ingredients such as beeswax and shellac. Beeswax is extracted from bee hives, and many vegans feel that this is a cruel and unethical practice.
Aside from this, shellac is a substance that is extracted from the limbs of a beetle, and occasionally a female beetle will die after this happens. Due to this, shellac is often avoided by vegans, but it comes labeled as ‘confectioner’s glaze.’
However, while they are not vegan, they are completely gluten-free. While gluten is important for the human body, many individuals lose the ability to process it and need to switch to a gluten-free diet.
Those who follow this diet can enjoy these jelly beans, as they do not contain any gluten whatsoever.
While Jelly Belly jelly beans are not vegan, there are an array of other companies that produce vegan-friendly jelly beans. These include Warheads, Jolly Rancher, and Yum Earth.
Vegans are reminded to always read the ingredients list before purchasing a product, as some ingredients may not be easy to recognize as vegan or non-vegan.
We hope this article has helped you in understanding what kind of jelly beans are vegan or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Jelly Bellys Dairy Free?
The jelly beans produced by Jelly Belly contain no dairy-based ingredients, making them completely dairy-free! They also don’t contain any egg-based ingredients.
Are Jelly Bellys Kosher?
Those who eat by the kosher guidelines will be happy to know that the jelly beans from this company are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. You will notice a symbol on the jelly beans that states this.
Are Jelly Bellys vegetarian?
Jelly Bellys could be considered vegetarian, but it depends on the individual. Some may not consider beeswax or shellac as vegetarian, as it has come from animals.
However, others who are not too picky, may not mind consuming these products, as no animals have been killed in order to do so.
It all comes down to personal preference.
How Is Beeswax Used In Candy?
While many candies do not contain beeswax, it is sometimes used to give certain candies a nice smooth, shine on the exterior. It is also used for chewing gum.
What Are Some Vegan Alternatives To Beeswax?
Luckily, for those who do not feel comfortable purchasing products that have beeswax in them, there are many vegan alternatives out there, and many candy companies opt to use them instead of regular beeswax.
These include carnauba wax and candelilla wax. Both of these are extracted from plants, making them 100% vegan and cruelty-free.