Candy is one of the sweetest parts of life. And it’s certainly a must for Halloween and the holiday season! There are a wide variety of delicious vegan candy options available, and the options just keep expanding. You can find them in almost every shop including grocery and convenience stories.
Many vegan candies will often say they are vegan on the packaging, but there are lots of additional candy options that happen to be “accidentally” vegan, too!
Is candy vegan? / What makes candy non-vegan?
For a food to be vegan, it cannot contain any animal products. This includes dairy and eggs, and other ingredients that you might not be aware of.
Not all candy is vegan. Many kinds of chocolate are unfortunately not vegan because the chocolate is made with milk—but often dark chocolate is actually vegan!
A candy is also not vegan if it contains honey, a popular sweetener. Some vegans are flexible on this and will be okay eating honey or beeswax, but any food that contains bee products is not technically vegan.
Some vegans also choose to consume Shellac/Confectioner’s Glaze and Carmine. If you are buying the candy as a gift for a friend, it’s great to check in with them to see what they choose to eat. But when in doubt, it’s best to avoid these following ingredients!
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Candy:
- Gelatin (collagen from animals, in many gummies)
- Casein (a protein derived from animal milk)
- Lactose (a sugar derived from animal milk)
- Shellac/Confectioner’s Glaze (made from the lac insect)
- Carmine (a red pigment made from insects)
- Whey (liquid derived from animal milk)
It’s helpful to look at the ingredient list on the candy packaging to see if any of the above animal products are in it if you are unsure, especially if you’re interested in a new flavor.
What kind of candies are vegan “accidentally”?
There are tons of very popular candies that just so happen to also be vegan!
- Air Heads
- Atomic Fireballs
- Blow Pops
- Dum Dums
- Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy
- Pixy Stix
- Red Vines
- Sour Patch Kids
- Swedish Fish
- SweetTarts (Original)
- Most Lollipops
- Many Dark Chocolates
- Most Candy Canes
Be sure to read this post for tons of vegan chocolate options.
Which candies are not vegan?
- Candies containing Milk Chocolate (such as Milk Duds, Reese’s, Kit Kats, etc)
- Some Dark Chocolates
- Caramels (including candies like Snickers, Twix, Pay Day, etc)
- Most Candy Corn
- Most Gummy Candies
- Mamba (unfortunately no longer vegan as of 2020)
- Mike and Ikes (contain Confectioner’s Glaze)
- Nerds (contain carmine)
Vegan Candy Companies
There are also a wide variety of incredible USA-based companies that sell ONLY vegan candy! They have many vegan imitations available of your classic favorites, and more and more vegan candies are created every year.
These are our favorite exclusively 100% vegan candy companies:
features organic, allergy-friendly, fruity candy that you can feel good about giving your family and sharing with friends. Their products do not contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, or GMOs.
- Where to buy: YumEarth, Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, major grocery stores, Vitacost, Vegan Essentials
is what every vegan has been looking for: a candy company that creates delicious (vegan) caramels, which are typically made with various dairy products! Their candies are also organic, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO.
- Where to buy: Cocomels Website, Amazon, Walmart, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Vitacost, Vegan Essentials
2. Go Max Go
creates all-natural vegan versions of candy bars you know and love from childhood, including 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, and Butterfinger! Their products contain no artificial ingredients, GMOs, or trans fats.
- Where to buy: Go Max Go Website, Whole Foods, local health foods stores
No Whey Foods
is the home of a large variety of premium all-vegan chocolates crafted in New Jersey. Their foods are free of the most common eight allergens (including gluten, soy, and nuts) and are kosher.
Free 2 B
makes a vegan version of the famous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that’s even better! Their Sun Cups are allergy-friendly and are made from Sunflower seed butter (instead of peanut butter), come in both dark and “milk” chocolate flavors, and are 100% vegan.
makes many vegan foods, including chocolate! Our favorite is their Ricemilk Crunch Chocolate bar, which is a perfect vegan duplicate of the popular (not vegan) Crunch bar. All of their tasty treats are free of 14 common allergens and are made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients.
creates organic, vegan, handmade candies in Blue Lake, California. These tasty treats are perfect for an extra special gift. They create stunning seasonal holiday candies, too!
Vegan Candy Options from non-vegan companies:
Vegan Halloween Candy
Candy is a MUST for Halloween! If you want to be able to offer vegan candies to your neighborhood trick-or-treaters, many of the popular mainstream candies listed above are available in mini versions around October, especially in major grocery stores.
Here are some additional Halloween candies made by vegan companies:
- Yum Earth: Halloween-themed vegan candy corn, lollipops, and gummies
- No Whey Foods: Halloween-themed chocolate mini candies, chocolate lollipops
- Free 2 Be: Treat bag filled with 18 individually packaged sun cups
- Enjoy Life: Halloween Chocolate Mini Candies
Vegan Christmas Candy
The holiday season is all about giving, and candy is the perfect gift for everyone in your life! You can’t go wrong with these vegan options:
- No Whey Foods: Vegan holiday truffle tins, candy canes, chocolate advent calendar, fudge, peppermint bark, etc
- Enjoy Life: Christmas chocolate candies
- Lake Champlain Chocolates: Gourmet vegan Christmas chocolate snowmen, bars and hot chocolate from Vermont
Vegan Easter Candy
Candy is the best way to celebrate any holiday, and Easter is no exception. It’s traditional to fill up baskets full of candy eggs—and of course, a chocolate Easter bunny.
While not all chocolate is vegan, you can rest assured when you buy your Easter goodies from one of these fully vegan options:
- No Whey Foods: A variety of beautiful vegan chocolate Easter bunnies, eggs, lollipops, and more
- Sjaak’s: Chocolate Easter eggs and other seasonal treats
- Lake Champlain Chocolates: Chocolate Easter bunnies, bars, etc
Vegan Mexican Candy
For those who enjoy traditional Mexican candies, you’ll be happy to know there are many options out there that also happen to be vegan.
You can typically find these candies in Latinx groceries across the U.S., as well as on Amazon.
Here are some of our favorites:
- De La Rosa Mazapan: peanut marzipan candies
- Pulparindo: sweet tamarind chews
- Rellerindos: tamarind hard candy
- Acirrico: sour hot chili powder candy
- Pelon Pelo Rico: tamarind candy gel
- Lucas Salsagheti watermelon hot candy strips
Vegan Candy Stores
Vegan Candy Gift Boxes/ Subscriptions
Gift baskets are the best way to say thank you or “I love” in a big way! A basket filled with tasty vegan candies will bring joy for days to whomever receives it.
- Sweet Pete’s Vegan Chocolate & Candy Gift Basket Supreme: This is definitely a “supreme” basket, which features a delicious variety of vegan candy in a beautiful presentation. The recipient will enjoy dark chocolate pretzels, lollipops, taffy, and more!
- Lake Champion Vegan Dark Chocolate Gift Basket: Send your loved ones a beautiful gift box of gourmet dark chocolates. It even includes vegan nonpareils covered in candy sprinkles and dark chocolate coins!
- Amore Di Mona Chocolate Assorted Mignardise 16 Piece Red Gift Box: It can be challenging to find gourmet chocolates as a vegan, and this beautiful gift collection includes chocolate-covered sweets with Caffe, Frutta, and Maple flavors.
What is your favorite vegan candy? Let me know in the comments below!