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Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan 2022? All Flavors Analyzed


Today we will be taking a look the popular candy Jolly Ranchers. This have been a favorite candy of mine since I was a kid. With a variety of flavors to choose from, there is most likely one flavors that will suit your taste bud. Even tho you might like the taste, maybe it does not fit your lifestyle. More specifically, are Jolly Ranchers vegan?

Most flavors of Jolly Ranchers can be considered vegan looking at the ingredients. Jolly Rancher Bites Watermelon, Green Apple And Cherry Filled Gummies contains gelatin and Jolly Rancher Assorted Jelly Hearts contains Beeswax and Confectioner’s Glaze. However according to Hershey’s, Jolly Ranchers are not vegan.

It might be the fact that Hershey’s can’t verify that all the ingredients from third parties are vegan-friendly with that they can’t label Jolly Ranchers as vegan. However if we take a look at the ingredients, a lot of Jolly Ranchers could be vegan. All flavors contain artificial colors, which makes them unfit for ethical vegans.

Can Vegans Eat Jolly Ranchers?

Yes, vegans can eat Jolly Ranchers based on reading the ingredients list. PETA also lists Jolly Ranchers as vegan. Below is a table showing Jolly Ranchers flavors together with its vegan status based on the ingredients found.

FlavorVegan Status
Jolly Rancher Original Flavors Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Awesome Reds Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Cinnamon Fire Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Fruit ‘n Sour Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Fruity Bash Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Tropical Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Zero Sugar Original Flavors Hard CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Original Flavors Chewy CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Easter Original Flavors Jelly BeansVegan.
Jolly Rancher Gummies Holiday Original Flavors CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Gummies Very Berry CandyVegan.
Jolly Rancher Gummies SoursVegan.
Jolly Rancher Bites Watermelon, Green Apple And Cherry Filled GummiesNo, contains Gelatin.
Jolly Rancher Assorted Jelly HeartsNo, contains Beeswax & Confectioner’s Glaze.
Jolly Rancher Holiday Original Flavors Candy CanesVegan.
Bubble Yum Jolly Rancher Blue Raspberry Bubble GumVegan.

Jolly Rancher Ingredients

Below are ingredients collected from original and some extra highlighted ingredient throughout all the flavors.

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Modified Cornstarch
  • Cornstarch
  • Gelatin
  • Gum Acacia
  • Citric Acid
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Confectioner’s Glaze
  • Carnauba Wax
  • Mineral Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Soybean Oil
  • Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid
  • Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil)
  • Natural Flavor
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Artificial Color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6)

[source]

Non-Vegan Ingredients

Confectioner’s Glaze

Confectioner’s Glaze can also go under the name shellac.

This comes from a lady bug in east Asia and it’s not vegan-friendly.

Beeswax

Bees use beeswax are used to build their hive.

Bees needs to use a lot of nectar in order to produce beeswax and exploiting bees for this ingredient does not align with veganism.

Gelatin

Gelatin is made from cow skin and is not a vegan-friendly ingredient.

Questionable Ingredients

Sugar

The most common sugar used in candy and sweet is cane sugar, but not in it’s natural form. In order to use the cane sugar in the candy products, it needs to be refined.

Within the bleaches process, the sugar is also bleached and here lies the problem for vegans. Cane sugar is often bleached using bone char from dead cows.

This can make refined cane sugar a non-vegan, because exploiting animals in the production process does not align with veganism.

It’s impossible to know if this is the case for the sugar in Jolly Ranchers, unless it’s disclosed by Hershey’s.

Sometimes beet sugar is used in candy, which is 100% vegan.

Palm Oil

The palm oil industry is growing every day and so is the need for new palm oil farms.

This brings a big problem for vegans, because of the severe deforestation that takes place. When the forest disappears so does the homes for many animals.

The most exposed animals that are forced from their natural habitat are orangutans and rhinos.

A lot of vegans avoid palm oil for this reason.

Why is palm oil so popular?

Well, that’s because it’s the most amount of vegetable oil that you can produce per square meter, which makes it the most profitable.

So is there a way to make palm oil vegan-friendly?

Yes, there is and it’s called RSPO.

It’s a non-for-profit organisation that helps companies produce sustainable palm oil and help others purchase sustainable palm oil.

Hershey’s is a RSPO member, which makes the palm oil in Jolly Ranchers indeed vegan-friendly.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors is another very controversial ingredient and it has different opinions in the vegan community. Artificial colors do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, it’s because of the animal testing that is still being conducted.

Testing on animals is an old way of performing tests, because with today’s modern technology you can perform tests using human tissue or computer simulation to gain the same results.

I see a lot of dietary vegans consumes artificial colors, while ethical vegans tends to stay away.

Avoiding artificial colors wont do much, to change the world to the better, when it comes to animal-cruelty. What will make the change is to stop eating meat, fish, chicken, eggs and milk.

The choice is yours, personally I stay away from artificial colors, but that’s because of the health issues connected to RED 40 and some of the other colors as well.

Natural Flavor

This ingredient can be a bit tricky, if you are new to veganism, but this an umbrella term, which means that companies that hide whatever ingredients they here without needing to disclose them.

Therefore there can be animal-derived ingredients in natural flavors and there is no way of knowing this unless you contact the company and ask.

There is a story on National Geographic, where they reveal that some vanilla flavors actually uses butt goo from beavers as an ingredient.

That is why I put this ingredients as highly questionable.

More often that not, this ingredient is vegan-friendly.

Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax is not something that a lot of vegan discuss, but this also has it’s issues.

This industry struggles with exploits of animals and people.

There is an Initiative for Responsible Carnauba that helps the workers, but that’s not enough to make this ingredient vegan-friendly.

The fatty alcohols that are used can be made from tallow and around 50% of the organic fatty alcohols are made from plants, animals and insects.

Corn

Not much to say about corn. One of the most common GMO crops in USA and it required a lot of herbicide for good yields. This can cause severe damage to surrounding ecosystems.

FAQ’s

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegetarian?

A lot of the Jolly Ranchers are vegetarian and below is a table showing Jolly Rancher flavors together with its vegetarian status.

FlavorVegetarian Status
Jolly Rancher Original Flavors Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Awesome Reds Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Cinnamon Fire Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Fruit ‘n Sour Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Fruity Bash Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Tropical Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Zero Sugar Original Flavors Hard CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Original Flavors Chewy CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Easter Original Flavors Jelly BeansAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Gummies Holiday Original Flavors CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Gummies Very Berry CandyAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Gummies SoursAll Vegetarians.
Jolly Rancher Bites Watermelon, Green Apple And Cherry Filled GummiesNo, contains Gelatin.
Jolly Rancher Assorted Jelly HeartsNo, contains Beeswax & Confectioner’s Glaze.
Jolly Rancher Holiday Original Flavors Candy CanesAll Vegetarians.
Bubble Yum Jolly Rancher Blue Raspberry Bubble GumAll Vegetarians.

Do Jolly Ranchers Have Dairy In Them?

Jolly Ranchers do not have any dairy ingredients in them.

Do Jolly Rancher Gummies Have Pork Gelatin?

Jolly Rancher Bites Watermelon, Green Apple And Cherry Filled Gummies has gelatin in them, but Jolly Rancher Gummies Holiday Original Flavors Candy, Jolly Rancher Gummies Very Berry Candy and Jolly Rancher Gummies Sours are free from gelatin. Just to be sure always read the ingredients.

Conclusion

The popularity of veganism is rising in the world and so is the need for good vegan products.

Companies has realized that they need a vegan option to keep a lot of customers.

This does not mean that the companies need to verify that product is vegan, but it’s recommended to get certified by big vegan organisations such as vegansociety and vegan.org.

The reason Hershey’s don’t want to say that Jolly Ranchers is vegan, is because they don’t have a vegan certificate.

Thanks for reading, stay vegan!

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