What sweets are vegan?

With more and more people turning to a plant based diet and shunning products containing animal derivatives, the question on everyone’s lips is ‘what sweets are vegan?’

As candy connoisseurs, it's a question the team at the Sweet Hamper Company get asked time after time. And often, people don’t realise that not all sweets are vegan friendly. It would be easy to think that all sweets are suitable for vegans… after all with their fruity flavours, bright colours and sugary taste, candies it can be hard to believe that some of our favourite sweets in the UK contain animal products or by-products.

What sweet are vegan

As a result, if you’ve recently started a plant based diet, or have friends or family members who are vegan, its important that you do your research to ensure that any confectionary you serve up is truly vegan friendly.

Remember, vegan sweet gifts should not contain animal derivatives, by-products or be tested on animals.

In this blog post, we’ll help you discover what to look out for when it comes to vegan sweets and confectionary.

  • What ingredients do I need to avoid?
  • You may be surprised to learn that there are a variety of different animal derivatives which can go into the sweet and chocolate ingredient list and manufacturing process. 

    Gelatine is a gelling agent and used to create the jelly texture in many gummy sweets, such as jelly babies or fruit chews. Made using animal skin and bone, this ingredient is definitely not vegan friendly and should be completely avoided if you’re looking for vegan sweets. However, having said this, there are many gelatine alternatives that are now on the market, and many sweet manufacturers are now using these instead - for example, M&S’s Percy Pigs recently went completely vegan by cutting out gelatine altogether! 

    Did you know, the colouring used in the manufacturing of sweets could contain animal products too? In fact, red carmine, made from cochineal,which is ground up beetles, can be found in all manner of confectionery including candies, ice cream and yoghurt. 

    What do you think is used to make some sweets shiny? The answer is beeswax… again another ingredient which isn’t suitable for vegans.

    Not to mention milk and dairy products which frequently appear in chocolates and other sweet treats.

    If you’re on the lookout for vegan sweets, keep your eyes peeled for the below ingredients:

    • Gelatine (E441)
    • Milk and milk derivatives, like: butter, whey and sodium caseinate (E469)
    • Beeswax (E901)
    • Shellac (E904)
    • Carmine (E120)

  • Vegan labelling
  • After you’ve checked the ingredients list, we recommend looking for a vegan mark of label which usually appears on the packaging of vegan friendly products, including vegan sweets. This is because to be truly vegan, the product has to be cruelty free, or not tested on animals.

    If you can find sweets which have a ‘Vegan Certified’ or the ‘Vegan Society’ logo on them, you’re guaranteed to have found a treat which is vegan friendly from both an ingredients point of view and an ethical point of view.

  • What other ingredients are vegan friendly?
  • Any product which is created using purely plants, including fruit, nuts and seeds, is vegan friendly. 

     Check out the Sweet Hamper Company’s range of vegan friendly vegan sweet hampers, sweet gifts and more here.