Wondering if there’s any Halloween candy that can fit on a plant-based diet? You’re lucky! Here are some options that can meet the requirements of being free of animal products and tasting delicious, sure to make Halloween as enjoyable as it’s always been.
First, a confession: With children under five, most of their Halloween loot is probably going to be enjoyed by us after a few rounds of trick-or-treating. It’s just one of those perks of parenting small children. Anybody else?
Being mostly plant-based, we do the best we can to raise our families on a plant-centric diet, and that sometimes means having a little more flexibility – especially around the holidays – when it comes to foods that may contain milk, eggs, or cheese.
That being said, this approach is a personal choice for our families and may not reflect your family – and that’s okay!
If you’re looking to go strictly vegan this Halloween – or you’re just curious as to how much of your child’s candy haul may actually be free of animal-derived ingredients – we’ve got you covered.
6 Common Animal-Derived Ingredients in Halloween Candy
Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients found in candy include:
1. Carmine, a red, purple, or brownish coloring derived from beetles, is used in some confectioner’s glaze and artificial colors in many candies. For instance, Junior Mints, Good n’ Plenty, Hot Tamales, Mike & Ike, Gobstoppers, Runts, and Nerds often contain carmine.
2. Milk or milk fat, derived from dairy (unless the candy specifically states it uses non-dairy sources and doesn’t list milk on the ingredient list), is often used in traditional milk chocolate candies like Hershey’s, Reese’s, Crunch bars, Kit Kats, and Dove chocolates.
3. Lard, or animal fat, is sometimes used in the manufacturing process of chocolate candies to make them smoother and more manageable.
4. Gelatin, made from collagen found in animal tendons, tissues, and bones, is often found in candy corn, gummies, and any candy that has marshmallows on it (unless the candy specifically says that it uses vegan marshmallows).
5. Beeswax is sometimes used to increase gumminess or chewiness of certain candies. It may be found in certain varieties of candy that may otherwise be vegan, like Swedish Fish made in certain countries, so check the label.
6. Refined cane sugar, which may have been processed using bone char as a decoloring and deashing agent (note that certified USDA organic cane sugar cannot be processed with bone char). When it comes to candy, this one is admittedly going to be harder to avoid, if not impossible when it comes to traditional Halloween favorites.
Of course, if you’re at all worried about the ingredients used in a specific candy brand, you can always reach out directly to the manufacturer.
They will be able to tell you whether their products contain animal-derived substances and answer questions about their manufacturing processes.
25 Vegan Halloween Candies
Here are 25 Halloween candy options that are vegan, many of which may be your old trusty favorites!
As brands may change their ingredients over time, and ingredient lists can sometimes vary between different flavors, we can’t guarantee that this list will hold the test of time. If there’s something you’re looking to avoid, always be sure to check the label to confirm.
We’re also not claiming that just because these candies are vegan means they’re necessarily healthy (as many use artificial coloring and flavorings, hydrogenated oils, and modified corn starch) – but it IS Halloween, after all. 🙂
Airheads Lemonheads Cracker Jack Original Twizzlers Smarties Skittles Swedish Fish Sour Patch Kids Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars Dots Dum Dums Jolly Ranchers Cocomel’s Coconut Milk Caramels Jujyfruits Charm’s Blow Pops Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks Brach’s Hi-C Orange Slices Chocolove Dark Chocolate Bar Fruit by the Foot Ring Pops Unreal candies Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Wholesome candies YumEarth Organic candies Endangered Species chocolate