Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?

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Are you looking for some candies to enjoy as a vegan? Perhaps you used to love Jolly Ranchers and want to know if you can eat them as a vegan? Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

Finding a candy you can eat as a vegan can be tricky. Often, they contain animal-based ingredients that leave vegans out in the cold, munching on a banana, wishing it was a sugary sweet treat.

You spend hours searching, but continuously come up empty-handed and start to wonder if you will ever find a delicious vegan hard candy to enjoy. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers for you. Keep reading to find out the answer to the question: are Jolly Ranchers vegan? 

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?

Let’s dive straight into it! There is some debate around this, but some Jolly Ranchers candies are vegan! Some of their candies are sadly unsuitable for a vegan diet, so you need to take care and make sure you purchase vegan-friendly options! 

So what candies are vegan? Most Jolly Ranchers’ hard candies are vegan, while their soft candies are not. You can enjoy their hard candies, lollipops, and jelly beans as part of a vegan diet! 

However, not all of their bites, chews, and gummies are vegan. The vegan-friendly soft candies you can enjoy are their: 

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

That is a lot of delicious candy for you to enjoy! Seeing as vegan candy is hard to come by, now you know you can pop into a grocery or candy store and enjoy a wide variety of options! 

What Jolly Ranchers Aren’t Vegan? 

Some of Jolly Ranchers’ soft candies are not vegan. The following three candies are not suitable for anyone on a vegan diet: 

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

All of these flavors contain gelatin or K-Gelatin, which is made with the marrow and bones of animals, usually pigs. This ingredient often helps to give candies their texture and consistency, but as it is derived from animals, is not suitable for any vegans or vegetarians. 

You can spot gelatin or K-Gelatin (Kosher Gelatin) on the ingredients list easily, so it won’t take you long when shopping to work out if the candy is vegan or not! Make sure you avoid these three soft candies as a vegan so you don’t eat any animal-based products. 

Why Do Some People Think Jolly Ranchers Aren’t Vegan?

We mentioned earlier that there is some debate about whether Jolly Ranchers can be considered vegan. This is down to some controversial ingredients used in their candies.

While these ingredients can sometimes be vegan, they aren’t always vegan. Usually, the manufacturer will confirm whether they are vegan or not, allowing us to buy our candies with ease! 

Jolly Ranchers (and their parent company Hershey’s) cannot offer us this confirmation, as these more controversial ingredients are made by a third party.

This means they are unable to perform the usual tests manufacturers can perform to check if the ingredient is 100% vegan or not. 

For this reason, some vegans consider none of their candies to be vegan. Others will consider this as more of a cross-contamination risk than the product actually containing non-vegan ingredients. We think you should decide for yourself whether you are comfortable eating them. 

The ingredients which have sparked the debate are as follows: 

  • Soy Lecithin – sometimes the emulsifiers used aren’t vegan and Jolly Rancher does not specify if they are or not. 
  • Natural flavors – can often come from animals unless stated clearly on the packaging.
  • Refined sugar – is avoided by strict vegans as bone char is used to process the sugar. Jolly Ranchers have not started what sugar they use. 
  • Food coloring – some food colorings are made with crushed insects and are therefore not vegan. They are often hidden behind generic terms like food coloring unless the manufacturer has confirmed the process. 

There is a good deal of ambiguity here as to whether these ingredients are vegan or not. As they are third-party ingredients, Jolly Rancher and Hershey’s cannot confirm whether their candies are 100% vegan or not. Consider this carefully before deciding whether or not to purchase them. 


And there you have it! Some Jolly Ranchers hard candies, lollipops, and chews are considered vegan-friendly. However, there is some ambiguity surrounding a few of their ingredients which means some strict vegans avoid the candies entirely. Be sure to carefully consider this before deciding whether you want to purchase them or not.

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