Everyone loves a tasty treat accompanied by the sweetness of nostalgia and cherished childhood memories triggered by some of our favorite candies. But it can be challenging to find yummy vegan candy.
You know, candy you can feel good about – free from animal products and loaded with ingredients you can actually pronounce.
So whether you’re planning a movie night, preparing for Halloween, or looking for candy to stash in the pantry for your daily sugar fix – the team at Vegancuts has compiled a list of 25 delicious vegan candies sure to satisfy any craving.
And don’t worry, we’ve included some all-time favorite candies you’ll be surprised to learn are entirely vegan-friendly!
Non-Vegan Candy Ingredients to Look Out For
Before you embark on your vegan candy journey, you should be aware of a few sneaky animal-derived ingredients. Identifying these ingredients on the candy label will help you make more informed decisions and feel confident about the candy you’re buying.
Gelatin – Gelatin is one of the most common animal byproducts found in most gummy candy. It’s a jelly-like substance that can be extracted by boiling animals’ skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Therefore, it’s not suitable for vegans.
Honey – Honey is a thick golden liquid made and stored by bees to be used in times of scarcity. Many vegans don’t include honey in their diet because the honey production process can be extremely harmful and cruel to bees. In candy, honey is often used as a sweetener or additional flavor.
Confectioner’s Glaze – Candy companies often use confectioner’s glaze to create a shiny, smooth coating to their products. The glaze is derived from the female lac bug. And much like with honey, those living a vegan lifestyle feel that the production process can be harmful to the bugs.
Carmine or Natural Red 4 – Carmine produces a bright red pigment and is used as a dying agent in candy production, food, cosmetics, textiles, and more. It’s derived from harvesting, drying, and crushing thousands of female cochineal bugs.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at some guilt-free candy you can really enjoy.
Top 25 Vegan Candies
Are you ready to indulge in a sugary sweet vegan treat right about now? Well look no further! These 25 vegan candies are our top picks of 2023.
So what’s all the hype about? Well, these scrumptious bites are not only tasty but good for you. Yes, you heard that right. They’re packed with your daily dose of B12 which is good for improving energy levels, clarity, focus, and promoting a healthy nervous system. They’re so good you won’t even know you’re taking a vitamin!
If you’re looking to indulge your chocolate craving guilt-free – look no further. Endangered Species Chocolate comes in various flavors, is made from real cacao, and free from additives and fillers. They’re also doing some incredible work for the environment.
These vegan candy bars are an adult candy-lovers dream come true. They’re made with organic ingredients and have just the right amount of sweetness. You can find them in our market in the flavors hazelnut cafe and salted peanut.
It can be challenging to find a chocolate bar that’s similar to that of milk chocolate. But look no further with Chomp! These vegan candy bars deliver that milk chocolate goodness minus the cow’s milk. You can use them in baking, put them on s’mores, or enjoy them just the way they are!
Are you looking for a natural candy that’s good for you? These delectable vegan chocolate bars are full of good-for-you herbs and made from cacao. They’re also naturally sweetened with coconuts. Oh, and did we mention that they happen to be an aphrodisiac?
Finding a gelatin-free candy replacement for chewy candy can be challenging. But these Pink Panda Treasure Chews don’t disappoint. They’re soft and chewy while being low in sugar and in calories. They’re the perfect vegan gummy replacement.
If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth and fill you up when you’re in a hurry, Whoa Dough bars are a fantastic alternative to candy. They’re packed with healthy ingredients like whole grains and chickpeas and contain 4g of protein.
Prince of Peace ginger chews are a sweet and spicy vegan treat packed with powerful health benefits like anti-inflammatory and digestion support along with stress reduction. They’re made with four simple, natural ingredients and easy to throw into your purse or pocket for when the craving strikes!
Good To Go keto blondies are another great alternative to candy. They’re high in calories and in protein. And they can easily be swapped out as a healthier alternative to your regular dessert. Pro-tip: try warming them up for an ooey-gooey treat.
These birthday cake blondies by Rule Breaker will have you celebrating year round. Made from chickpeas, they taste similar to a soft and chewy cookie. They’re also free from common allergens like nuts, wheat, gluten, and soy.
With Lekkco’s Belgian dark chocolate spread you can turn any snack into a vegan dessert. Made from natural ingredients you’re free to indulge and try this spread with your favorite fruits, toast, and more.
Most caramel contains milk so we were ecstatic to find Cocomels. They’re made with ingredients you can pronounce and there’s various other vegan candy options like bite-sized chocolate covered caramels, sea salt chocolates, and more.
Go Max Go vegan candy bars are made without corn syrup, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, and are cholesterol free. They come in various unique flavors and are the perfect substitute for chocolate lovers everywhere.
Unreal’s dark chocolate peanut gems make a great vegan chocolate candy alternative to peanut M&M’s. And not only are they incredibly delicious and crunchy but they are colored using all-natural veggies like spirulina and beets. You can also find other impressive candies like peanut butter cups and coconut bars.
These vegan candy bars come in various flavors and are made with all natural ingredients. The company is also committed to creating clean food, conducting fair business practices, and protecting the planet with various initiatives and non-profit work.
Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups are a satisfying vegan replacement for Reese’s peanut butter cups. You can find them in other various flavors like almond butter and quinoa crisp. They also have a strong company mission that’s easy to get behind making their ingredients non-gmo, organic, and environmentally friendly.
Smart Sweets gummies are a vegan candy you didn’t know you needed – until now. Free from gelatin, added sugar, and artificial ingredients – these gummies are low in sugar and high in flavor. Whether you’re in the mood for sour or sweet they’ve got something for everyone. Try them in sourmelon bites, peach rings, sour blast buddies, and sweet fish.
Vego is a 100% vegan company. Their vegan candy bars are made with high-quality raw ingredients like hazelnut paste, cocoa butter, almond cream, and ground vanilla. They’re free from palm oil and soy, and are fair-trade certified.
Nelly’s candy bars are made with nutrient-dense whole foods. They’re free from additives, preservatives, soy, gluten, GMO’s, palm oil, and animal ingredients. Caramel nougat, chunky almond butter, and peanut butter quinoa are just a few of their incredible options.
Surf Sweets fruity rings are a refreshing vegan snack made with real fruit juice concentrate. They contain no artificial colors and are free from corn syrup. You can enjoy them in the flavors of watermelon, apple, and peach.
Red vines are the perfect vegan candy for a night at the movies and if you’re like us, they bring about a sense of nostalgia. With a rich history dating back to the 1920’s, the company has made strides with the release of their Red Vines made simple product line offering more simple ingredients than the original. However, all red vines licorice is 100% vegan-friendly.
While their ingredients aren’t entirely clean and simple, Jolly Ranchers are a delicious and vegan hard candy option. And with a plethora of flavors like blue raspberry, watermelon, green apple, and cherry to name a few – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
A candy connoisseur’s favorite, Sour Patch Kids are a sour vegan candy with a versatile flavor profile. And since they’re so chewy, many are surprised to find out that they’re free from gelatin making them entirely vegan.
Skittles may arguably be one of the most popular candies on the market. And since their ingredients are made synthetically or derived from plants they are in fact vegan. Try them in various fun flavors like original, tropical, sour, and wild berry.
Don’t let the name fool you – no fish were harmed in the making of this candy. Swedish Fish are another great vegan gummy option. They’ve swapped gelatin for animal-free ingredients like corn starch and mineral oil. They’re a delicious treat for someone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with a candy that has a simple flavor.
What Other Candies Are Vegan?
Q: Are Nerds vegan?
Unfortunately, not all Nerds are vegan. Most Nerds contain carmine which is used for coloring and is made from boiling and grinding up cochineal beetles. However, you may be happy to know that there is one flavor of Nerds that is vegan-friendly – grape.
Q: Are Smarties vegan?
Yes, Smarties are a vegan-friendly and cruelty-free candy.
Q: Are Lemonheads vegan?
Unfortunately, Lemonheads may not be a good option for some vegans since they contain confectioner’s glaze which is a secretion from the lac beetle. But if you’re looking for something sweet, Pink Panda Treasure Chews could be an excellent alternative to Lemonheads.
Q: Is Fun Dip vegan?
Yes, this sweet and sour candy is an excellent choice for vegan’s looking for a sugar rush. And the best part is that you can eat the stick afterward!
Q: Are Gobstoppers vegan?
Yes, Gobstoppers are entirely vegan. They do not contain any animal-derived ingredients such as carmine or gelatin.
Q: Are Pez vegan?
Yes, Pez are entirely vegan and don’t contain any animal ingredients.
Q: Are Pop Rocks vegan?
Unfortunately, Pop Rocks are not vegan because they contain lactose which is milk sugar. They also contain artificial flavors and colors which can be derived from animals.
Q: Are Paydays vegan?
No, Paydays are not vegan because they contain skim milk. Gigantic! Salted Peanut Sortasweet candy bars are a great alternative to Paydays.
Q: Are Werthers vegan?
Unfortunately, Werthers are not vegan because they contain cream, whey, and butter.
Q: Are CBD Gummies vegan?
Not all CBD Gummies are made vegan. However, many are and you can find these buy shopping vegan CBD Gummies from brands who offer vegan-specific gummies.
Interested in vegan and cruelty-free candy?
Vegancuts curates monthly premium-quality Discovery Snack Boxes so you can explore the best of vegan food every month from your home.