Travel snacks are a great thing to have on hand, especially if you’re out for the day and tend to get a little hangry. Finding good vegan snacks can be really tough and is usually time-consuming.
Welch’s was recently rated the fourth most popular brand of fruit snacks in America. Although they are clearly popular, are they suitable for everyone? If you’ve grown up eating these little fruity treats then you may not have even questioned what is in them.
Discover the main ingredients in Welch’s Fruit Snacks with this article and identify whether they can be consumed by vegans.
Different Varieties Of Welch’s Fruit Snacks
There are many varieties and flavor combinations of these popular snacks available. These include:
- Summer fruits
- Mixed fruit
- Berries ‘n’ cherries
- Island fruits
- Superfruit mix
- Apple orchard medley
- Citrus medley
- Fruit punch
- Concord grape
What Are Welch’s Fruit Snacks Made Of?
As the mixed fruit variety of these snacks is the most common and widely used, we will be using these as a reference point for the ingredients. As stated on their website, Welch’s mixed fruit packets are made of:
- Fruit puree
- Corn syrup
- Modified corn starch
- Concord grape juice from concentrate
- Citric acid
- Lactic acid
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- Alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E)
- Vitamin A palmitate
- Sodium citrate
- Coconut oil
- Carnauba wax
- Annatto (color)
- Turmeric (color)
- Red 40
- Blue 1
Are Welch’s Fruit Snacks Vegan?
No, Welch’s Fruit Snacks are not vegan. Despite their name and branding insisting that the main ingredient for their product is fruit, they use gelatin which is an animal-derived product used to create the jelly texture. On their website, they state that the gelatin they use is derived from either pork or beef.
Red 40 and Blue 1 are synthetic food colorings that have been linked to various issues in children including migraines, mental disorders, and allergies.
Although Red 40 has been approved by the FDA, studies have found that Americans’ intake of Red 40 may be higher than the daily recommended dosage deemed safe, especially in children 2 years and above.
Red 40 and Blue 1, among other food colorings, are also routinely tested on animals which sparks further debate amongst vegans as to whether they should be consumed.
Companies that produce snacks such as these are not required to state where these flavors come from as they aren’t allergens. This means that they could hide the fact that there are animal products in the fruit snacks.
Large-scale manufacturing often used bone char to filter sugar. Bone char is essentially the charred bones of cows making it unsuitable for vegans.
As Welch’s website doesn’t delve into this, we cannot say whether or not they use this filtration process with their products.
Welch’s Fruit Snacks are not vegan, however, their Fruit Rolls are vegan as they do not contain gelatin. All the ingredients in these long and winding rolls are free-from animal products but palm oil is used in the production of the snack. Palm oil is used here; it is another ethically dubious ingredient that is often used in food manufacturing.
Growing palm oil requires a lot of lands and is often associated with the destruction of the rainforest and other diverse habitats that are important for many species’ survival. So, there are some products that can be consumed by vegans depending on how strict they are.
Vegan Fruit Snack Alternatives
Luckily for the vegan community, there are a number of alternatives that are delicious and vegan-friendly. These include:
- YumEarth Organic Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Stretch Island Fruit Leathers
- Annie’s Organics
- BEAR Real Fruit Yoyos
- Lily’s Gummy Bears Sweet Fruity Friends
Some of these brands may also use some ingredients that aren’t technically made of animal products but are ethically questionable.
Making Your Own Fruit Snacks
Did you know it’s super easy to make your own vegan fruit snacks? Jelly-textured snack foods can always feel a little overwhelming as you assume there are loads of fancy factory processes involved. However, this isn’t the case! Here we’ve included some easy and fun vegan fruit snack recipes for you to try:
- 3-Ingredient Vegan Gummy Bears
- Healthy Homemade Strawberry Fruit Snacks (swap for vegan gelatin)
- Homemade Vegan Fruit Snacks
Welch’s Fruit Snacks are not vegan. They contain a number of non-vegan products and include products that may have been tested on animals. However, there are many other on-the-go options out there that are suitable for vegans!