Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?

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Jolly Ranchers are a very popular brand of candy in America, with many different types of candy to choose from under the brand.

Chances are you have tried one or a few of the Jolly Rancher candies, whether it is the classic hard candy, the gummies, jelly beans, lollipop, or sours.

If you follow a vegan diet, you might not want to just assume that these candies fit into your way of eating.

Are Jolly Ranchers vegan? If Jolly Ranchers are vegan isn’t straightforward. The company states that Jolly Ranchers aren’t vegan, but if you review the ingredients list, some vegans may feel comfortable eating them. If you lead a strict vegan diet, you may want to avoid them to be on the safe side.

Jolly Ranchers are owned by The Hershey Company, who do outsource some coloring and ingredients for their candies and not knowing each ingredient that goes into these products, it is difficult to classify the Jolly Ranchers as fully vegan.

Keep reading to find out more about whether or not these candies are suitable for a vegan diet, and how you might go determining it for yourself.

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?

The Jolly Ranchers brand states quite clearly that their candies are not vegan-friendly. However, if you take a look at the different ingredients used for each candy, some seem to be suitable for a vegan diet. 

This can be seen as Jolly Ranchers taking a safer approach to respecting the vegan diet and being careful not to label something as vegan where there is a chance it isn’t.

However, it does also limit what is available for vegans to enjoy, especially as some of the Jolly Rancher candies do actually appear to be vegan.

The reason that Jolly Rancher gives for this “not vegan-friendly” label is because they get some of their flavors from another private company.

This company does not give Jolly Ranchers the ingredients that go into making the flavors, and therefore they cannot be sure that these are all vegan.

This company will only let Jolly Ranchers know if the naturally-derived flavors include one of the main allergens, and not whether they have animal-derived components.

So, not knowing what exactly is in these naturally derived flavors sent from their suppliers, Jolly Ranchers have decided to play it safe and rather blanket all of their products as non-vegan. 

Even though most of their candies might be vegan, they have been ruled off the vegan-friendly list, so whether or not the risk is worth it would be a personal decision that you would need to make!

Ingredients To Look Out For

There are some ingredients included in Jolly Ranchers that are worth looking into a little more.

These all are controversial ingredients that might not be as vegan as they first appear, and might include some animal byproducts or components in the processing of the ingredients.

Jolly Ranchers contain all three of the below ingredients, so it is something to consider when deciding whether to try one out or not.

Natural Flavorings

Natural flavorings, while they sound great, can be sourced from both animal and plant sources.

When it comes to candies such as Jolly Ranchers, it seems safe to assume that most of the flavors would be plant-derived, as they are mostly fruity flavors.

While most of these flavors are typically plant-based, it is difficult to know for sure, as the company who makes and supplies these natural flavors will only release ingredients in the flavors that might be potential allergens.

They are not required to release any information about if there are animal components or not.


Many vegans are against the use, or consumption, of certain food colors, as these food colorings are sometimes tested on animals.

There is a lot of information out there on which type of food colors are safe for vegans to consume, so if this is something that worries you, it is worth looking into.

Even if the food coloring is labeled as natural, there is a chance that it could contain animal by-products and is worth finding out more on, just to make sure that what you are consuming is truly vegan-friendly.


Candy really isn’t candy without sugar, but sugar, or more specifically refined cane sugar, is another problematic ingredient for vegans.

Refined cane sugar has a bright white color, and quite often, the sugar is processed with bone char in order to obtain this pure, bright white color.

While the sugar will not contain any of this bone char, using the animal product in processing might put many off of consuming cane sugar.

It is worth looking at the type of sugar used in the candy you are eating, to make sure that it is either vegan-friendly or not. Not all sugars use animal products in their processing, so there are some options out there.


Gelatin is an ingredient that you should definitely keep an eye out for if you follow a vegan diet. Gelatin is used to make a whole host of gummy sweets, including Jolly Ranchers.

Considered non-vegan, Gelatin is produced by boiling down animal products to form a type of jelly-setting agent.

However, there are some plant-derived forms of gelatin that many candy companies are using, and some of the Jolly Rancher gummies do make use of these.

You will need to look deeper into the ingredients list to determine what type is used.


Lecithin is used as an emulsifier in different food products, and it is an ingredient that can be derived from animals.

The good news is that Jolly Rancher state that the lecithin they use in their candy production is derived from soy, so it should technically be suitable for a vegan diet.

This soy-derived lecithin works much the same as the one made from animal byproducts but is just better for a range of different diets.

Jolly Rancher Products

Jolly Rancher put a blanket non-vegan statement across all of their products, even though some of their gummies, candies, and lollypops may actually be suitable for a vegan diet.

If you are really wanting to try out some Jolly Ranchers, but do not want to do so blindly, maybe pick a candy that might have been made with non-vegan ingredients.

We have listed all of the different Jolly Rancher products, and whether or not they are vegan-friendly.

We have also included the ingredient list so that you can clearly see any controversial ingredients and make your own call as to whether the candy is suitable for you or not.

Jolly Rancher Hard Candy

Jolly Rancher Hard Candy is a classic and is what most people associate with the name Jolly Rancher.

The hard candies are made using a few of the controversial ingredients, including sugar, natural flavors, and artificial colors, but once again these are most probably vegan.


  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Malic Acid
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Mineral Oil
  • Soy Lecithin

Are They Vegan?

It can be assumed that these hard candies are vegan, as long as there are no hidden animal by-products in the sugar, flavors, or colorings, which is unlikely.

As most of the different hard candy flavors have very similar ingredients, it should be safe to enjoy all of the flavors, including some of the favorites such as Blue Raspberry, Awesome Reds, Fruit ‘n Sour, Cinnamon Fire, and Cherry.

The sugar-free flavors are also a great option, as there is less of a chance of the hard candies containing cane sugar which would have gone through intensive processing.

Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans

Who doesn’t love a handful of fruit flavor jelly beans?

You will be happy to know that the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans contain much of the same ingredients as the hard candies, and therefore can tentatively be considered vegan.

They also contain additional plant-based ingredients.

The Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are one of the few leading brands of jelly beans that do not contain gelatin, which is known to contain animal products.


  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Sodium Lactate
  • Lactic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Gum Acacia
  • Limonene
  • Mineral Oil
  • Caruba Wax
  • Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Soy Lecithin
  • BHT

Are They Vegan?

It is fairly safe to say that the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are vegan, assuming that the natural flavors and colors are not derived from animals, which is very unlikely.

If you are going to enjoy Jolly Rancher Hard Candies, then there is no reason you cannot enjoy the jelly beans too!

Jolly Rancher Lollipops

Jolly Rancher Lollipops contain some of the controversial ingredients, such as sugar, natural flavors, and artificial colors.

There is the likelihood that these do not contain animal products, so the lollipops are okay to include in a vegan diet.

Much like the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, the lollipops contain similar ingredients to the hard candies.


  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Malic Acid
  • Sodium Lactate
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)
  • Soy Lecithin
  • BHT

Are They Vegan?

If you are going to dive in and enjoy Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, then there is no reason you could not enjoy the Jolly Rancher Lollipops too!

They contain pretty much the same ingredients, and are considerably vegan-friendly, as long as there are no hidden animal products.

Jolly Rancher Soft Candies

The Jolly Rancher Sot Candies, including the gummies, chews and bites, stand out in their own category when it comes to determining the vegan-friendliness of the candy.

These soft candies are made with different ingredients compared to the hard candies such as the lollipops and the jelly beans, and some of them happen to not be vegan friendly.

This is because they are made using gelatin, which is a known non-vegan product, as it is made from animal products.

Some of the Jolly Rancher soft candies are made using this gelatin, or K-gelatin (which is kosher gelatin)

These non-vegan candies include:

  • Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘n Chew
  • Jolly Rancher Gummies Bites
  • Jolly Rancher Chews Original

The good news is that there are also some of these soft candies that are in fact vegan-friendly, so you do not have to write off soft gummies completely!

Here are some of the vegan soft candies offered by Jolly Rancher:

  • Misfits 2 in 1 Gummy Candies
  • Awesome Twosome Chews
  • Sour Bites
  • Gummies Original and Sours

When looking at soft candies, you need to look at the gelatin used. There are some alternatives to gelatin, and there are some forms of gelatin that are derived from plants.

You wouldn’t think that soft candies and chews might not be vegan, but they are possibly the biggest worry of all candies.

Which Jolly Rancher Candies Can I Eat?

If you are vegan, it can be difficult finding the right foods and candies that are suitable for your diet. It is not so simple as looking at the ingredient list and seeing an animal product on there.

Some ingredients that one might consider safe could have been processed using animal products.

It really is a full commitment to working out which ingredients are safe or not and then making a decision from there.

However, when it comes to Jolly Rancher, you should be fine if you stick to the Jolly Rancher Hard Candies, the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, the Jolly Rancher Lollipops, and a few of the Jolly Rancher Soft Chews which are free from gelatin.

It is a case of deciding what you are okay with, and what you are not.

Ingredients such as sugar, coloring, and natural flavors have the possibility to be non-vegan, whether they have been tested on animals or have animal products, but this isn’t always easy to find out.

The likelihood is that they are safe to consume with a vegan diet, but this is a decision that you will need to make and is a line that you need to draw for yourself.

If you are not comfortable with taking this risk when it comes to Jolly Ranchers, there are some great vegan candy alternatives on the market.

Look for brands who are completely open and honest about the ingredients they use and where they come from – and make their products from 100% plant-based ingredients.

There is no reason you cannot enjoy some good, classic candy on a vegan diet, you just have to find the right brand, whether that is Jolly Rancher or not!

Related Questions

Keep reading to learn if Jolly Ranchers are a no or a go for other dietary circumstances.

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegetarian?

Most Jolly Rancher products can be considered vegetarian, but you do need to be wary of the products that contain gelatin.

As gelatin is made by boiling down certain animal products, it is not considered to be a vegetarian product.

Are Jolly Ranchers Gluten-Free?

Jolly Rancher candies have not been certified gluten-free by the FDA, but they do not contain any gluten-containing products or ingredients.

In saying this, it is safer to avoid the candies until they have been fully certified to be free from any gluten.

There are some great candies out there that are fully gluten-free, and some of these are made by The Hershey’s Company, which is the parent company of Jolly Rancher.

Are Jolly Ranchers Kosher?

Jolly Rancher candies will have a kosher symbol on the label if the candy is kosher.

Jolly Rancher only lists the Bold Fruit Smoothie Candy Cane and the Awesome Twosome as kosher, but you can keep a check on labels to see if there are any more.

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