When you think of Jolly Ranchers, you probably think of the fruity rectangular hard candy. However, Jolly Ranchers also come in gummies, soft chews, lollipops and more. But are Jolly Ranchers vegan? Some varieties of Jolly Ranchers are vegan while others are not. Let's look at the different varieties and ingredients. Hersheyland.com lists all of the ingredients for the Jolly Rancher products.
Jolly Ranchers Hard Candies
Jolly Ranchers, made by the Hershey Company, may come in many varieties but it's the classic hard candy that's most popular. Let's look at the ingredient list of the original flavors which include green apple, cherry, watermelon, grape and blue raspberry.
Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, Artificial Color Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Yellow 6
The good news is that those ingredients do not contain any animal products are therefor vegan! There are other fruity flavors of hard candies including Fruity Bash (lemon, peach, strawberry, pineapple and orange), Cinnamon Fire, Tropical (fruit punch, golden pineapple, lime and mango), Fruit N Sour and more.
NOTE: There is also a Zero Sugar variety of the hard candies containing some controversial ingredients including: Isomalt, Polyglycitol Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Malic Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Artificial Color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), Mineral Oil, Soy Lecithin. I would stay away from these extremely artificial candies.
Jolly Rancher Bites
Jolly Rancher Bites are gummy soft candies that have flavored fillings. But are they vegan? Let's check out the ingredients list.
Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Gelatin Or K-Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% or Less of: Malic Acid, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Coconut Oil, Sodium Citrate, Carnauba Wax, and Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)
Unfortunately, the Bites contain gelatin which is made from animal bones. What exactly is gelatin? According to Peta.org, "Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. Gelatin is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics; as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (such as Jell-O); in candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts; on photographic film; and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules, and it is sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines. Gelatin is not vegan."
Jolly Rancher Gummies
Surprisingly, these gummies do not contain gelatin like the majority of gummy candies do...including Jolly Rancher Bites. Let's look at the ingredients.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Cornstarch, Contains 2% or Less of: Malic Acid, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Mineral Oil, Carnauba Wax, Limonene, Artificial Color (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Yellow 6)
These Jolly Rancher Gummies do not contain any animal products and can fit in with a vegan diet.
Jolly Rancher Lollipops
These lollipops come in cherry, watermelon, green apple and pink lemonade flavors. Like the majority of lollipops, they do not contain ingredients from animal sources. They are considered vegan.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Malic Acid, Contains 2% or Less of: Sodium Lactate, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Artificial Color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), Lecithin, BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
Jolly Rancher Misfits
These gummies have two flavors combined in one fun-shaped candy. Flavors include green apple/cherry, blue raspberry/watermelon, and strawberry/lemon. But like the regular gummies, they do not contain gelatin and can be considered vegan.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Cornstarch, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Malic Acid, Natural Flavor And Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Mineral Oil, Carnauba Wax, Limonene, Artificial Color [Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6].
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans
Many kinds of jelly beans are not vegan as they contain an ingredient called confectioner’s glaze. While it sounds like a variety of sugar, it's actually made from beetles. You may want to stay away from it. But what is confectioner's glaze and why isn't it vegan?
According to tasteforlife.com, "Confectioner's glaze, also known as pharmaceutical glaze, is used by numerous candy companies to add a shiny, smooth finish on their products. It's made using shellac, but shellac is made of bug secretions" from the lac bug. It's a lot more appetizing for a company to list confectioner's glaze instead of lac bug secretions.
Want to learn more about confectioner's glaze? Click HERE to read more about it. Luckily, Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans do not contain confectioner's glaze or gelatin and are actually vegan.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cornstarch, Contains 2% or Less of: Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Gum Acacia, Limonene, Mineral Oil, Carnauba Wax, Artificial Color (Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Yellow 5)
Jolly Rancher Chews
Sadly, like the gummies, these fruit chews contain gelatin which means they contain animal ingredients.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Contains 2% or Less of: Malic Acid, Gelatin Or K-Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Glyceryl Monostearate, Artificial Color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), Cornstarch, Lecithin
Jolly Rancher Products Vegan List
There are several varieties of Jolly Ranchers products that are vegan including the following:
- Jolly Rancher Hard Candies
- Jolly Rancher Gummies
- Jolly Rancher Lollipops
- Jolly Rancher Misfits
- Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans
Recipes Using Jolly Ranchers
Sure they're fun to snack on. But can you do more with Jolly Ranchers? Check out the following vegan recipes that use Jolly Ranchers.
- Jolly Rancher Lemonade
- Easy Sparkly Candy Apples
- Jolly Rancher Candied Grapes
- You can also find a lot of recipes online for adult beverages that have Jolly Ranchers in them.
Making Your Own Jolly Ranchers
Believe it or not, you can make your own Jolly Ranchers and you only need a few ingredients. You only need sugar, corn syrup, water, food colors, and flavoring to make them. For instructions, check out How to Make Jolly Ranchers.
Vegans and White Sugar
Do vegans consume white sugar? The answer is that some do and some don't. We all know that sugar isn't healthy. But there's a different reason that strict vegans may choose to avoid it. While sugar comes from sugar cane, which is a natural plant, the production process of some brands of white sugar uses bone char.
According to Peta.org, "Bone char—often referred to as natural carbon—is widely used by the sugar industry as a decolorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve its desirable white color." So cane sugar doesn't technically contain any animal products. But, the desire for sugar to have a pure white color makes some companies use animals bones in the production of it. There are vegan varieties of sugar out there that you can buy if you are concerned about it. It's up to each person whether or not there's an issue with white sugar.
Jolly Rancher candies come in a variety of flavors and forms to satisfy your sweet tooth. The majority of them are vegan while the Bites and the Chews are not. If you are looking for a fruity candy for a sweet treat, Jolly Ranchers can be a good choice. You can find them in the candy aisle of any grocery store.
Wondering if other kinds of fruity candies are vegan? Check out: