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Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan 1

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan? Or Should You Steer Clear From These Taffy Bites?

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Currently owned by The Hershey Company, Jolly Rancher is an American brand of tangy, taffy sweets and candies. Their products contain hard candy, gummies, fruit chews, lollipops, and jellybeans.

These sugary bites were originally made by the Jolly Rancher Company, founded by Bill Harmsen of Golden, Colorado. They also made various chocolates, candies, and ice-creams sold in Denver, Colorado.

These candies are popular amongst the Americans and are currently the best-selling hard candies in the stores. But are Jolly Ranchers vegan? Are they fit for consumption on a plant-based diet?

There is uncertainty relating to the fact whether the Jolly Rancher products are vegan or not. We bring a detailed vegan analysis of all their chews and candies, and you can decide if you want to indulge in Jolly Ranchers or steer clear from them.

Before we move to dissect the ingredient list of Jolly Rancher candies let’s look at some controversial vegan ingredients below.

Controversial Vegan Ingredients

Before every vegan analysis, a Vegan knowledge session is a great idea. We shall make a note of all controversial ingredients that can be assumed to be vegan. But if you’re one of those strict vegans you may want to avoid these in your menu.

We highlight these ingredients, so our readers are aware of them if they pop up in any ingredient list. These controversial ingredients include:

1. Sugar

The most found ingredient in all candy products. Sugar! Why do you think sugar is controversial amongst plant-eaters? Sugar is obtained from sugarcane, plant-based of course. Yes indeed, sugar isn’t derived from animals, but it is processed with bone char to get that refined pure white color.

There is no bone char in sugar but because of the processing methods aren’t considered vegan. Since the type of sugar is not mentioned on the labels, we assume it to be vegan.

People who choose to refrain from products having non-vegan sugar should not eat any Jolly Rancher products mentioned in this analysis.

2. Food Colors

Food coloring agents are made from different dyes (artificial colors) and tested on animals. This is not 100% cruelty-free and thus is a controversial ingredient in vegan diets. Many brands use natural colors that may be obtained from animals or insects, for example, carmine (obtained from crushed beetles). In this case, the candy is definitely not fit to be labeled as vegan.

3. Natural And Artificial Flavorings

Natural and artificial flavors can be derived from both animal or plant sources, but the natural flavors in candies are typically plant-based. It is obligatory for the companies to disclose if any major allergen is present in the natural and artificial flavors.

This information should be noted on the label. Apart from that any animal products used to create natural flavors may be highlighted if known. Thus, we assume natural flavors are vegan until unless notified against it.

Jolly Rancher Brand’s Stance On Vegan Products

Let’s look at the stance the parent company Hershey has on its vegan products. Concerning the statement on the Jolly Rancher website, “Jolly Rancher Candies are not vegan” in a FAQ, we may conclude that these candies are not plant-based. However, in our research, we found that most ingredients in Jolly Rancher products are vegan friendly. Because of this discrepancy we need to check why the company chooses this stance.

Here is the reason:

The natural flavors in this product cannot guarantee it suitable for vegan diets. The composition of these flavors is proprietary to a third company and the supplier only needs to provide knowledge about any major allergens in their product. Thus, the brand is unable to provide certification of Jolly Rancher Hard Candies to be vegan.

There are several other products listed by the parent company, Hershey to meet the internal standard for vegan.

This indicates that the products are free from ingredients and processing aids are derived from animal origin. These products are:

  • Hershey’s Cocoa Powder, Natural
  • Dagoba Cocoa Powder, Organic
  • Mounds Sweetened Coconut
  • Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Twizzlers and more

Therefore, Jolly Rancher Candies are not certified to be vegan by the Hershey’s brand because of a proprietary natural flavor ingredient supplied from a third party.

As discussed under the controversial ingredients section, we will assume that “natural and artificial flavorings” in Jolly Ranchers are vegan for the sake of this analysis. There is a likelihood that flavors in the candies can come from plant sources also.

Let’s break this down further

Which of the jolly rancher products are completely free from animal products? Are they all animal-free varieties? Let’s find out.

Also read: Are Skittles Vegan? Good News Or Concerns For Veganism

What Are The Ingredients In Jolly Ranchers?

We have been looking at the controversial ingredients that are present in candies. Now, let’s look at all ingredients in Jolly Rancher products.

The famous chocolate company is sure to leave your drooling. The question is are Jolly Ranchers vegan? Delve into the ingredients and facts with us.

Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Natural and artificial flavors 
  • Artificial colors
  • Mineral oil
  • Lecithin
vegan hard candy Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Malic acid
  • Palm oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial color
  • Sodium lactate
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Gelatin
  • Glyceryl monostearate
  • Lecithin

Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Malic acid
  • Palm oil
  • Gelatin
  • Cornstarch
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial color
  • Glyceryl monostearate
  • Lecithin

Jolly Rancher Sour Bites Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified cornstarch
  • Lactic acid
  • Tartaric acid
  • Calcium lactate
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial color
  • Sodium lactate
  • Citric acid

Jolly Rancher Gummies Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Malic acid
  • Sorbitol
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial colors
  • Gelatin
  • Mineral oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Carnauba wax
jolly rancher gummies

Jolly Rancher Lollipops Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Malic acid
  • Sodium lactate
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial colors
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Lecithin
  • BHT

Jolly Rancher Jellybeans Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Gum acacia
  • Sodium lactate
  • Lactic acid
  • Malic acid
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Artificial colors
  • Limonene
  • Mineral oil
  • Carnauba wax​

All the above ingredients are vegan-friendly, except gelatin. We know that natural flavors need further scrutiny but for the analysis, we have assumed that the flavors are plant-based.

The following Jolly Rancher Soft Candies are NOT Vegan due to the presence of gelatin in them:

  • Crunch ‘n Chew
  • Chews – Original
  • Filled Gummies Bites 
  • Gummies – Original

As a thumb rule, remember Jolly Rancher hard candies are vegan while soft chews are not. People who are strict vegans and cannot ignore the said controversial ingredients should stay away from all Jolly Ranchers. I know they’re tempting!

Do let us know your opinion. Would you prefer eating these sugary treats?

 sugary treats

Also Read: Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan? Gummy Candies You Can Eat Safely!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do jolly ranchers have gelatin?

According to the ingredient list of various Jolly Rancher products, we conclude that only four contain gelatin (an animal-derived gelling agent). Other Jolly Rancher hard candies do not contain gelatin. The products that contain gelatin are Jolly Rancher Chews – Original, Filled Gummies Bites, Gummies – Original, and Crunch ‘n Chew.

What are Jolly Ranchers made of?

The ingredients for Jolly Rancher Hard Candies are:
• Corn syrup
• Sugar
• Contains 2% or less of: malic acid
• Natural and artificial flavor
• Artificial color Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6

Are Jolly Ranchers vegan?

The brand says that the candies are manufactured using artificial flavors and colors that come from other manufacturers. Due to the unavailability of sufficient information on those ingredients, the company states that their products are ‘not vegan’.

Are Jolly Ranchers halal?

The most popular American sweet may not be halal. Most of their taffy boxes are not halal-friendly, what a shame! However, there are some candies suitable for halal diets, namely, Jolly Rancher Original Hard Candy, and Watermelon Twist.

Do Jolly Ranchers have pork?

Sugar candies may contain gelatin as an ingredient. Gelatin is an animal-derived thickening agent that can be made from bovine cartilages, bones, and skin. Ewww! Thus, you may accidentally indulge in consuming pork or other animal-based products. A few varieties of Jolly Rancher do contain gelatin; hence they are not fit to be consumed on a plant-based or halal diet. Check the ingredient list before you buy your pack of these taffy bites.

Are Jolly Rancher Candies Gluten-Free?

We checked with the company website whether Jolly Rancher Candies are gluten-free or not. Their website states that the candies haven’t been fully evaluated to be termed as gluten-free by the FDA. Thus, people with gluten intolerance should avoid consuming these candies. Wait until Jolly Rancher gets its certification to be gluten-free.

Are Jolly Rancher Candies Kosher?

Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome and Bold Fruit Smoothie Candy Cane are listed to be Kosher. The company states that if any of their products claim to be Kosher, it will be indicated by the kosher symbol at the end of the ingredient list. Look for the label. Some Jolly Rancher products are Kosher while some are not.

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