Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan 2023?

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When you have a sweet tooth and craving something sour then Sour Patch Kids might come to mind. But are Sour Patch Kids vegan? The answer is no.

You will find a lot of blogs saying that Sour Patch Kids are vegan but that is not the truth. We will give a detailed explanation to why Sour Patch Kids are not vegan.

But don’t worry we reveal the perfect vegan alternative to Sour Patch Kids.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Sour Patch Kids Ingredients

Open carton of Sour Patch Patch kids

There have been plenty of articles about Sour Patch Kids ingredients discussing whether the ingredients are Vegan or vegetarian. Not one of these sites likes to talk about Mondelēz International Inc.

If you want to know if this company produces Vegan-friendly products the answer is no! They work with dairy products, eggs, butter, and many other animal-based products. So do their production factories that are signed to produce their brands.

These brands are located all around the world and all stick to a strict recipe of ingredients. Each of these companies who are licensed to reproduce products for Mondelēz International Inc must stick to these rules.

The system is so well managed that even the testing facilities where their reproduced products are made must be approved by Mondelēz.

Here is a sample of testing companies that are allowed to test their products.

The Issue Of Sour Patch Kids Ingredients

There are over 40 different kinds of Sour Patch Kids candies that are produced all over the world. Any company that is signed and licensed to produce this brand uses the same exact recipe. This means that the suppliers who sell their raw products to Mondelēz International are also approved to be official suppliers. Aside from being a monopoly of sorts, this tells you a bit about the company and their mindset.

When it comes to ingredients for Sour Patch Kids, with so many flavors; the basic recipe is the same. These include:

  • Sugar
  • Inverted sugar (Trimoline) fructose and glucose mixture
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified corn starch
  • Tartaric acid
  • Citric acid
  • Natural and artificial flavoring
  • Red #40
  • Blue #1
  • Yellow #5 and #6

The Breakdown Of Non-Vegan Ingredients

Among these ingredients, there is a major halt to the argument here that starts with Sugar. Mondelēz International does not officially specify which type of sugar they use. Which the answer is almost certainly is refined sugar. The reason is simple in terms of the color of the Sour Patch Kids.

If they are creating a gelatin-like candy, the sugar needs to be near transparent. This is so the food coloring will be more brilliant and colorful. Unrefined sugar will make a gelatin-like product lean more on the amber-looking due to the natural sugar color. This is why refined sugar is always used in making candies.

But unfortunately, this refining process mixes-in bone char which helps make the sugar appear white. This also includes using active charcoal filters aid in removing natural amber pigmentation.

The main issue here is that bone char comes from cow bones and is not a vegan product. If you consider that the white ash that’s been cremated at incredible temperatures does not contain any cow bone DNA.

It could be considered a sterilized and inert non-Vegan additive that’s not acceptable because it was made from cow bone.

Other ingredients such as Corn syrup, inverted sugar, and modified corn starch, Tartaric acid are all vegan-friendly. But the rest of these on the list are most certainly not Vegan, Vegetarian, or Kosher at all!

Citric acid (E330)

Citric Acid is vegan-friendly but these are often made using GMO corn starch. Organic corn starch is GMO-free but no such information can be found in the Sour Patch Kids ingredients.

Natural flavors

Natural flavors that are used in Sour Patch Kids can also contain Castoreum. This is an essential oil that is used as a natural flavor and can be modified to taste like raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, and other modified fruity flavors.

If you didn’t know, Castoreum comes from beavers that have been killed for their marking gland. Although it comes from a gland that’s close to the beaver’s anus.

This additive is commonly used in candies and is not vegan-friendly.

Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5 and #6

All of these colors are routinely tested on animals and also colors used directly in Sour Patch Kids. For this reason alone, this is animal exploitation since the animals certainly die through these tests.

These colors are not vegan-friendly and should be avoided.

Are Sour Patch Kids healthy?

Sour Patch Kids on a kitchen table

As you can see by reading the ingredients, Sour Patch Kids candies are not considered to be healthy.

To begin with they’re high in calories and sugar aswell as artificial colors.

The high sugar content could put you at risk of diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity.

Vegan Alternatives to Sour Patch Kids

There many vegan alternatives but here are my favorites.


When we break down the ingredients there is no doubt that sour patch kids are not vegan. There are a lot of blogs out there that says otherwise but that is not the truth.

There are hard working companies that produce 100% vegan candy and they earn the vegan label they put on their products.

If you have a sweet tooth remember to look for the vegan label from either or

This will guarantee that the candy don’t contain any animal ingredients and most often than not the product will be organic, resulting in it beeing environmental friendly aswell.

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