Are Candy Canes Vegan?

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There are some sweet treats that you immediately associate with the festive season, and candy canes are one of them.

These cane shaped sweets scream Christmas, and they are a staple that most people look forward to enjoying every time the holiday season comes around. 

Candy canes come in a variety of flavors and colors, but one of the most memorable will always be the classic red and white peppermint candy canes.

They really are a holiday staple, and it isn’t Christmas without enjoying one of these treats. 

But are candy canes suitable for those following a vegan diet? Well, most of the time, yes they are. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at why, so keep on reading to find out more!

What Are Candy Canes?

First things first, let’s take a quick look at what candy canes are. Candy canes are a type of sweet treat that are almost exclusively associated with Christmas and the holidays all over the world.

They are cane-shaped treats that would traditionally come decorated with red and white stripes, and would often be peppermint flavored. 

In the years since candy canes were invented, these treats have evolved.

While you will still find that the red and white peppermint candies are the most popular flavor, you can now get candy canes in a variety of other colors and flavors.

You might get peppermint candy canes decorated with different color stripes, or candy canes that come in a totally different flavor. 

In particular, fruit-flavored candy canes have become popular in recent years, especially among those that do not like the strong flavor of traditional peppermint candy canes.

Candy canes were first invented in Germany, but they have since become a holiday tradition across the Globe. But are they vegan? Let’s find out. 

Are Candy Canes Vegan?

Well, as we established earlier, yes, most of the time candy canes are vegan. Across the majority of different types of candy canes that exist, a large portion of them will be suitable for vegans.

However there are some outliers to this rule, so you should always check the ingredients list before eating a candy cane. 

Most of the time, the only candy canes that will not be vegan-friendly are candy canes that come in new and exciting flavors.

There aren’t many ingredients needed for peppermint candy canes, but for some flavors, dairy might be necessary. For example, you can buy chocolate-flavored candy canes, and it is likely that these will include dairy. 

If you are following a vegan diet, it is always best to be cautious when it comes to eating new things. So, while candy canes will more than likely be vegan, you should always check the ingredients list just in case. 

What Ingredients Are Used in Candy Canes?

Whether, or not, a candy cane is suitable for those following a vegan diet will depend on the ingredients that are used to make it.

Generally speaking, most candy canes are made using the same handful of ingredients. So, let’s take a look at what they are. 


Candy canes are famous for their sweet flavor, and this is achieved because one of the key ingredients in these treats is sugar. While sugar might not be the healthiest thing out there, it is suitable for vegans. 

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is commonly used as a binding ingredient in the creation of candy canes. As the name suggests, this type of syrup is sourced from corn which makes it suitable for those following a vegan diet. 

Natural Flavorings

One of the ingredients that can prevent candy canes from being vegan is the flavorings that are used.

Some flavorings may use animal-based ingredients to create the flavor (such as chocolate-flavored candy canes), so it is best to be cautious when it comes to the flavorings. 

However, most of the time, the flavorings used in candy canes will not come from animal-based ingredients, and this is particularly true of peppermint flavored candy canes. 


Some candy canes will achieve their color through the use of natural colorings, others will use artificial colorings to achieve the bright colors that we know and love.

This is another area of the ingredients list to look out for when it comes to animal-based ingredients.


In short, yes, most of the time candy canes will be suitable for those following a vegan diet. However, it is always best to check the ingredients list just to be sure. 

Thanks for reading!

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