Are Jolly Ranchers Products Vegan? A Full Vegan Analysis!

Pretty much everyone has heard of Jolly Ranchers, right? If you haven’t heard of them, no doubt you’ve definitely seen these bright and colorful candies in any store that you’ve been in.

The very popular American candies, previously owned by the Jolly Rancher Company, have now been taken over by The Hershey Company. 

Are Jolly Ranchers Products Vegan A Full Vegan Analysis!

And they produce many different varieties of sweets, from flavoursome hard candies, to soft fruity chews, to gummies, jelly beans, and even lollipops, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to Jolly Ranchers. 

But what about those with dietary requirements? Are the options still as plentiful then? Throughout this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the ingredients within all manner of Jolly Rancher products to see if they are suitable for vegans.

So let’s jump straight into it. 

What Is The Difference Between Vegetarian & Vegan? 

Typically, a vegetarian option is an item that does not contain meat. Vegetarians oppose eating meat as they value the life of animals and do not agree with the cruel treatment of animals.

And so a vegetarian will not eat anything that contains animal flesh, this includes not eating pigs, chickens, cows, sheep, and fish.

#This sometimes includes animal-derived ingredients such as gelatine and rennet. 

The main difference with veganism is that those who are vegan also choose not to eat any products that come from animals.

So for example, a vegan will not eat byproducts such as dairy products like cheese, milk, ice cream, yoghurts, or eggs.

Vegans belief system for animals runs much deeper than just being opposed to the cruelty of animals, but that animals deserve the rights to be treated with respect and should not be exploited for the personal gain of humans.

They believe animals should be left in peace to lead their own lives without having to produce items or benefit humans in anyway. 

Controversial Vegan Ingredients

Controversial Vegan Ingredients

First of all, I would like to point out some ingredients that will be classed as vegan throughout this article that perhaps not everyone will agree with.

Though they will be classed as vegan throughout this article, I will still highlight when they are used within the products so that you can make your own judgement. 


There can be some debate as to whether sugar is vegan or not. Sugar tends to be a common ingredient in pretty much all candies.

Refined cane sugar can sometimes be seen as non-vegan due to the fact bone char is used to achieve the sugars white color.

The sugar itself does not actually contain any of this bone char though. This issue can spark debate over whether or not sugar is vegan. For this analysis we will assume that sugar is in fact vegan.

If you stand firm in the belief that sugar is not vegan then you should avoid all candies mentioned throughout this article. 

Natural/Artificial Flavorings

Both flavorings can come from either animal-based or plant-baased sources. Typically, the flavorings used in these types of candies are plant-based.

It is required by companies to disclose important allergen information and so it should be noted within the ingredients list whether or not flavorings are animal or plant based.

Any animal-based flavorings will be highlighted throughout this analysis. 


Again, food coloring can be a controversial ingredient amoung the vegan community. This is due to the fact that food colors tend to be tested on animals.

However for the purpose of this article, we will be assuming that all food coloring is vegan unless it is stated that it is animal or insect based. 

Jolly Rancher Sweets

1. Hard Candies – Vegan


  • Corn Syrup 
  • Sugar
  • Malic Acid
  • Natural/Artificial Flavours
  • Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Mineral Oil
  • Lecithin

Are Hard Candies Vegan? 

Yes! There are only vegan products listed in their hard candies providing the controversial ingredients (in bold) are considered vegan. The following flavors of hard candies are all vegan:

  • Watermelon
  • Sour Surge
  • Green Apple
  • Fruity Bash
  • Cinnomon Fire
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Awesome Reds
  • Cherry
  • Fruit ‘N Sour
  • Grape
  • Lemon
  • Sugar Free Flavors 

2. Lollipops – Vegan


  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Malic Acid
  • Sodium Lactate
  • Natureal/Artificial Flavors
  • Artifical Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Lecithin
  • BHT

Are Lollipops Vegan? 

Yes! The lollipops contain pretty much all the ingredients in the Hard Candies, so providing you consider the controvesial ingredients vegan you’re fine to eat them. 

3. Jelly Beans – Vegan


  • Sugar 
  • Corn Syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Sodium Lactate
  • Lactic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Naureal/Artificial Flavors
  • Gum Acacia
  • Limonene
  • Mineral Oil
  • Carauba Wax
  • Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Lecithin
  • BHT

Are Jelly Beans Vegan? 

Surprisingly Yes! I must say I was pretty confident that the Jelly Beans wouldn’t be vegan since pretty much all jelly bean brands use some form of confectioner’s glaze or gelatin for these types of candies.

But Jolly Rancher’s do not. All ingredients are plant based (given you regard the controversial ingredients as vegan.)

4. Bites, Chews, & Gummies – Vegan/Non-Vegan

Jolly Rancher’s offer a wide selection of different bites, chews, and gummy candies.

However, listing all of the ingredients for these products is a little difficult considering that they vary so much from packet to packet.

Due to this reason, rather than list all the ingredients, I have separated the candies into two categories; Vegan and Non-Vegan. 

Are Bites, Chews, & Gummies Vegan? 

Sometimes. And what I mean by this is that certain types of these sweets can be vegan-friendly. However, you will need to take care to read the ingredients of these sweets as some are not vegan-friendly. 

The main offending ingredient that makes some of these sweers not suitable for vegans is Gelatin or K-Gelatin.

Gelatin is not a vegan product since it is made by boiling animal skin, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and sometimes animal bones in water.

It is primarily cow, pig, and fish products that are used. Since Gelatin is produced through animal-based ingredients it is classified as non-vegan and non-vegetarian. 

Which Bites, Chews, & Gummies ARE Vegan? 

  • Awesome Twosome Chews
  • Sour Bites
  • Gummies (Original & Sour Flavors)
  • Misfits – 2 in 1 Gummy Candies

Which Bites, Chews, & Gummies ARE NOT Vegan? The following all contain gelatin.

  • Filled Gummies Bites
  • Crunch ‘N Chew
  • Chews – Original 

Other Popular Vegan Candies

For those who have a real sweet tooth, finding vegan options can be a little difficult. So I thought I’d list a few options that you can enjoy guilt-free! Again, controversial ingredients are viewed as vegan for this analysis

  • Twizzlers – These popular treats get their texture from cornstarch as opposed to gelatin which is used as the staple ingredient in many other sweets. 
  • Sour Patch Kids – These sweets are made primarily of corn syrup, sugar, and food coloring. They may not be the epitome of health, but they are vegan-friendly. 
  • Swedish Fish – These chewy sweets are free on aminal-based ingredients. The chewiness of these sweets come from ingredients such as mineral oil and cornstarch instead of gelatin. 
  • Airheads – You’ll be happy to know that all airhead flavors, including the mystery flavor, contain only vegan ingredients. 
  • Dots – They may not be everybodies favorite sweet, but they are an available option for vegans as they do not contain any animal-based products.
  • Original Skittles – Enjoy tasting the rainbow completely guilt-free. Skittles did used to contain gelatin, but thankful the recipe has since been updated and the gelatin has been replaced with vegan-friendly products. 
  • Atomic Fireballs – All vegans can enjoy the fiery heat and sweetness of an atomic fireball because they do not contain any offending ingredients. 
  • Nerds – Who doesn’t love Nerds? Well, vegans don’t have to miss out on their deliciousness thanks to the use of only plant-based ingredients.
  • Cocomels Sea Salt Coconut Milk Caramels – Chewy caramel treats are usually a no-no for vegans due to the use of dairy. But these candies use coconut milk as a substitute so they are vegan-friendly. 
  • Pixy Stix – Don’t let anyone fool you, Pixy Stix are not just for children – they’re for vegans too!
  • Fun Dip – You’ll need to consider sugar vegan to eat these since you’re essentially dipping a sugar stick into even more sugar. Not exactly the healthiest sweet around, but certainly one of the tastiest – and it’s vegan too. 
  • Wonka SweeTARTS – Willy Wonka is the candy and chocolatier master so of course he ensured that his candies could be enjoyed by everyone – vegans included. 
  • Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum –  You’re never too old to blow bubbles with some Hubba Bubba, and since they are made with no animal based ingredients they are a perfectly great option for vegans. 
  • Dum Dums Lollipops – Sometimes you just need a lollipop – especially when you’ve been big and brave (regardless of age) and vegans can happily suckle away on these delicious lollipops. 
  • Jujubes – What a movie theater candy classic. Well, vegan movie goers can be sae in the knowledge that they too can enjoy this tasty treat. 

Jolly Rancher Frequently Asked Questions

Are Jolly Rancher Candies Gluten-Free? 

Jolly Rancher Candies are yet to be fully evaluated for traces of gluten to the standards of the FDA. The website does note that the sweets do not contain products with gluten.

But it has not been fully investigated as to whether there are traces of gluten throughout the sweets.

Therefore I would advise those with gluten intolerances to avoid these sweets for now. Should you wish to tuck into some gluten-free Hershey’s products you can find a list of suitable products here.

Are Jolly Rancher Candies Kosher? 

According to the Hershey’s website there are only two Kosher candies produced by Jolly Rancher and those are Awesome Twosome and Bold Fruit Smoothie Candy Cane.

The website does also state that kosher items are indicated on candy packets with a kosher symbol, so you can always look out for these. But ultimately the answer to this question is that a select amount of candies are kosher, but the majority are not

Do Jolly Rancher Candies Contain Gelatin? 

From this analysis provided, I found that only four Jolly Rancher products contain gelatin. Those four products are Crunch ‘N Chews, Original Chews, Filled Gummie Bites, Original Gummies. All of the Hard Candy products made by Jolly Rancher’s do not contain gelatin. 

Final Thoughts

So overall, it is safe to say that as long as you class controversial ingredients as vegan, all of the Jolly Rancher hard candies are suitable for vegans.

So you can be safe in the knowledge that you can satisfy that candy craving with a delicious tasting hard candy. 

However, if you fancy a candy that is a little bit softer, you’ll need to take the time to read in ingredients stated on the packaging as many of the candies are not vegan.

Eve Mason
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