Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan? (All You Need To Know)

Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?

Are sour patch kids vegan? Deciding on sour patch kids as vegan or not is dependent on how strict you are as a vegetarian. This is because it contains some ingredients that some vegans do not mind consuming.  

As a vegan, knowing the ingredient of what you are consuming is the most important thing. This is because you wouldn’t want to consume something contrary to you or your beliefs. There are some food, candy, biscuit, etc. that we enjoyed while growing up, they were our all-time favorite.

However, now that we are grown, you must have questioned some of the things you consumed in the past, especially if you just turned vegan. Recently, there have been so many questions raised about an all-time favorite candy that everyone enjoyed; sour patch kids.

Questions like “are sour patch kids vegans?” “do they contain ingredients that vegan cannot consume” and many more? We know that you are curious too and you want answers. This is why we have decided to answer all your questions on sour patch kids’ vegan status. 

What are sour patch kids? They are jelly sweets and they are covered in invert and sour sugar, which is a combination of citric acid, tartaric acid, and sugar. They were first created by Frank Galatolie in the early year 1970, while he was working for a company named Jaret international, they were then known as “mars men”.

However, later in the same year, the Smeera Blyton Licorice Company and Cadbury started the Allen Candy Company in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and in 1985, they re-branded to Sour Patch Kids. Now, sour patch kids are produced in many countries under different companies.

In knowing if sour patch kids are vegan friendly or not, it is important to go through the ingredients to find out what makes up our favorite candy. The following are the ingredients in sour patch kids;

  • Sugar
  • Glucose syrup
  • Water
  • Starch
  • Gelatin
  • Acid (Malic acid0
  • Concentrated apple juice
  • Colors (Anthocyanin, vegetable carbon, paprika extract, Lutein, Curcumin)
  • Palm oil
  • Flavoring

The following are the ingredients in sour patch kids that have been questioned by vegans.

Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?

1. Sugar

Sugar can sometimes be vegan and non-vegan, they are either made from sugar beets or sugar cane. Although these two sources are natural, the refining process is what makes them different, even though they taste and feel the same way. sugar made from beets is extracted with a diffuser and then mixed with additives to crystallize the sugar.

However, the sugar gotten from sugar cane is processed, bleached, and filtered with the use of bone char, although you can say it is not directly made from animals, it still matters to vegans.

2. Bone Char

What is Bone char? This is also referred to as carbon by some people, it is made from the bones of cattle and it is what gives sugar its white color. It is made through the process of heating animal bones at high heat until it turns to carbon.

This is not to say all sugar from sugar cane is turned white with the use of bone char, one other way to get your sugar color changed is with the use of granular carbon. Unlike bone char, the granular carbon is not from any animal product. However, many vegans fear that no company will indicate which process is used for their candy.  

3. Gelatin

This is the main ingredient that vegans look out for in candies or sweets. It is found on lots of jellies, marshmallows, etc. the work of the gelatin is to create a “jelly-like structure”. Gelatin is produced from boiling animals’ parts i.e. skin, bones, hides, ligaments, etc. majorly cows and pigs.

Although some of the companies producing sour patch kids do not list gelatin as part of their ingredients, a lot of people believe that there will be at least, a tiny amount of gelatin. This is also assumed because no other gelling agent is listed in their list.

Also bearing in mind that sour patch kids are produced in different parts of the world, in different ways, there are probably companies that make use of corn syrup and corn starch as gelling agents.

4. Artificial Colors And Flavor

Although these are artificial, they are made in labs and are usually tested on animals. An example is a red dye, it is made by crushing dried cochineal bugs into powder and mixed with water, although this is popular in the food industry and has been on for centuries, it is not ideal for a vegan.

Vegans are against animal cruelty, so though some colors are not made the same way as the red dye, they are usually first tested on animals. While some vegans do not mind or bother about animal testing, some do.

5. Palm Oil

Palm oil is also derived from plants, however, some vegans say that it is against their ethics. Many vegans view palm oil as a non-vegan because of the environmental implications which include the destruction of places animals live.

As stated earlier, some vegans are against animal cruelty, which encompasses everything that endangers the lives of animals. Although some vegans do not view palm oil as vegan and do not consume it, some do.


 Knowing all these, are sour Patch kids vegan? Although PETA has declared sour patch kids to be vegan friendly, it is still not certain which company makes use of beets or cane sugar as their source of sugar. Deciding on sour patch kids as vegan or not is vegan is dependent on how strict a person is.

If you find yourself opposing any of the ingredients listed above, then it is non-vegan-friendly to you. However, if you do not mind, then they are for you.

Do Sour Patch Kids Have Gelatin?

Although most companies that produce sour patch kids do not indicate whether gelatin is part of their ingredients, a lot of people think it is used as a stabilizing/thickening/gelling agent. This is because gelatin is a gelling agent and no other gelling agent is listed as part of their ingredient.

What Types Of Candy Is Vegan?

Although there are candies that are non-vegan friendly, there are also candies that are just perfect for vegan consumption. Vegan candies are candies without the following ingredients;

Diary, also known as milk fats or casein.
Gelatin
Shellac
Carmine
Eggs.

All other candies without these ingredients are ideal and safe for vegans. Some examples are Crackerjacks, Twizzlers, jolly ranchers, (all standard flavor), Swedish fish, etc.

What Sour Candy Is Vegan?

The following are vegan candies. These can serve as alternatives for sour patch kids.

  • Swedish berries
  • Fuzzy Peach
  • Twizzlers
  • Dots
  • Skittles
  • Red vines
  • Jujy fruits etc.

Final Thoughts 

We are aware that one of the hardest parts of being vegan is that you have to constantly check the ingredients of what you are about to consume. We know how hard it can be to want some candies and not get you desired one. Although sour patch kids may not be right for you, there are tons of vegan-friendly candies you can purchase and enjoy.

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