Are Red Vines Vegan 2023? All Flavors Reviewed

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Today we’ll be talking about a classic movies theater chewy threat called Red Vines. This was one of my favorite candy growing up and with so many flavors to choice from, I never got bored. When I went vegan I become worried and I had to seek an answer to the question, are Red Vines Vegan?

Red Vines are vegan. There are no ingredients derived from animals, however there are several questionable ingredients such as sugar and natural flavors that could potentially be non-vegan. Red Vines also contains artificial colors making them unfit for ethical vegans.

Below is a table of all Red Vines flavors and its vegan status.

FlavorVegan Status
Red Vines Original RedVegan.
Red Vines Black LicoriceVegan.
Red Vines GrapeVegan.
Red Vines Sugar-Free LicoriceVegan.
Red Vines Sugar-Free Strawberry Vegan.
Red Vines Made Simple CherryVegan.
Red Vines Made Simple Mixed BerryVegan.
Red Vines Red RopesVegan.

What Are Red Vines?

Red Vines in a jar

Red Vines are these red twisted shapes american licorice sticks that has made it’s way through history.

They have been produced since the 1950s by the American Licorice Company and since then several flavors have been added.

Here is a list of all the Red Vines flavors:

  • Red Vines Original Red
  • Red Vines Grape
  • Red Vines Licorice
  • Red Vines Sugar-Free Strawberry
  • Red Vines Sugar-Free Licorice
  • Red Vines Made Simple Cherry
  • Red Vines Made Simple Mixed Berry
  • Red Vines Red Ropes

Red Vines Ingredients

Red Vines on a white background

Red Vines have several different recipes and below is all the ingredients that can be found across all recipes:

  • Corn Syrup
  • Wheat Flour
  • Citric Acid
  • Artifical Flavor
  • Red 40
  • Red 3
  • Blue 1
  • Blue 2
  • Yellow 6
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Cane Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Salt
  • Anise Flavor
  • Licorice Extract
  • Maltitol Syrup
  • Vinegar
  • Potassium Sourbate
  • Radish Extract
  • Natural Cherry Flavor with Other Natural Flavors


Questionable Ingredients

There are some questionable ingredients in Red Vines which we will cover in this section. Ingredients might look vegan at a first glance which can trick you.

That is why I went the extra mile and researched all the ingredients.

Let’s have a look.

Cane Sugar

Refined cane sugar is the most commonly used sugar in candy production.

The problem here is the fact that bleaching process involves using bone char from dead cows to make the sugar white.

This ingredient is not vegan.

Citric Acid

It’s becoming more apparent that citric acid can contain GMOs that are produced overseas. Red Vines are produced all over the world and will all have various citric acid formulas.

The citric acid used in the US was likely imported from China because it’s cheaper to produce. The ethical dilemma is more than enough reason to argue whether this is Vegan-friendly or not based on the presence of GMOs.

Natural and artificial flavors

Many of the natural flavors used in Red Vines contain natural cherry, berry flavor, anise flavor, and licorice extract. These are fine since these can be derived from real fruit or spices.

The element of artificial flavors including raspberry, strawberry, orange, root beer, and grape are derived from combinations of blended compounds.

Artificial flavors aren’t especially non-vegan but are questionable to some degree.


Has a warning outside the USA which will have a laxative effect if 100 grams are consumed. Most side effects can result in excessive gas or stomach bloating.

In rare cases, some people are allergic to this sweetener replacement.

Since it’s made from corn starch, it’s considered Vegan- friendly.

However, corn starch is often made from GMOs which have divided opinions among many Vegan and vegetarian opponents.

Potassium Sourbate

This is a natural preservative that comes from the berries on the Rowan tree. It helps prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and other pathogens that can grow.

This sounds questionable at first but in fact, is Vegan-friendly.

Artificial Colors

It’s been well researched that these artificial colors are all used in animal testing.

The exception to this is that Red Vines Made Simple contains radish food coloring which is natural but contains refined cane sugar.

Tartrazine (yellow #5) is banned in some European countries since it’s linked to child hyperactivity.

Red 3 has shown cancer growth in animal tests.

Artifical colors can’t be considered vegan.


Red Vines in a jar from above

I felt like I wanted to cover more questions in my article that is also important so I put together this Q&A section to help you out further.

Are Red Vines Vegetarian?

Red Vines are vegetarian. No ingredients derived from animals can be found in Red Vines. There are two ingredient that are questionable and that is sugar and natural flavors. The sugar could be bleached with bone char and natural flavors could potentially contain ingredients derived from animals.

FlavorVegetarian Status
Red Vines Original RedAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines Black LicoriceAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines GrapeAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines Sugar-Free LicoriceAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines Sugar-Free Strawberry All Vegetarians.
Red Vines Made Simple CherryAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines Made Simple Mixed BerryAll Vegetarians.
Red Vines Red RopesAll Vegetarians.

Are Red Vines Gluten-Free?

Contrary to many who say that Red Vines are gluten-free, these contain gluten.

This is not a dangerous ingredient but some vegans and vegetarians are gluten-intolerant. There isn’t an official source that says gluten is bad for you.

Many people suffer from celiac disease or intolerance to gluten in wheat, rye, and barley. Many new cases reveal that non-celiac gluten intolerance is a growing problem.

Red vines contain more sugar than they do gluten, so it’s very unlikely that stomach bloating will occur.

At least if you’re eating the suggested serving amount.

Are Red Vines GMO-Free?

The sad part of the truth is that Red Vines are not GMO-free.

Two ingredients have GMOs.

These include citric acid, and Maltitol that all of containing genetically modified materials.

Are Red Vines Healthy?

For the most part, there are no healthy attributes to any of the Red Vines at all.

They are mostly sugar that can be considered empty calories.

Too many of them will no doubt contribute to weight gain and early tooth decay. To their credit, they do tell you on each package what the serving size is supposed to be.

This is a total of 5 vines for the regular and 4 vines for the sugar-free.

The sugar-free version is less because you can get diarrhea very easily if you eat more than 10 at a time.

This isn’t considered healthy from anyone’s opinion.

Vegan Alternative To Red Vines

One of my favorite vegan alternative is Yum Earth Organic Licorice.


For everyone who grew up with Red Vines and looking to revive the experience as a vegan that is fully possible. If you would still have doubts about the questionable ingredients, you can try the vegan alternative, it tastes amazing.

Red Vines is not at good pick for ethical vegans, since it contains artificial colors.

Thanks for reading, take care.

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