What sweets are vegetarian?

What sweets are vegetarian?

Did you know that in the UK, people living vegetarian lifestyles make up 5.8% of the population? This is around 3.1 million people who don't eat meat. It would be easy to think this percentage of people could eat all of the sweets that they want - but that's not true. Many animal products we know and love contain products that come from animals.

If we look past the delicious fruit flavours, bright colours and fun fizzy textures, not all sweets are vegetarian friendly. When looking for sweet gifts for a loved on or family member, it's important to know which are vegetarian and vegan friendly sweets and the ingredients to look out for.

Through our range of specially designed vegetarian sweet hampers, sweet boxes and many other products, it allows you to not have to think about the ingredients in the sweets. As candy experts, we have all the insider knowledge about vegan sweets and vegetarian sweets, and in this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the top vegetarian sweets available in the UK.

All the sweets outlined here are available in most supermarkets or sweet shops, so you should be able to get your hands on them!

Vegetarian Friendly Sweets

Vegetarian sweets are made without using gelatine and other animal products. There are many sweets on the market that are just naturally vegetarian, and some that have changed their recipes in recent year to make them suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

However, not all vegetarian friendly sweets are vegan as they may contain animal by products such as milk or beeswax - this is used to coat sweets like jelly beans to give them their shiny outside.

Love Hearts 

Swizzel's Love Hearts

'All Mine' - is it a quote printed on Love Hearts or how we feel about these sweets? Since the 50's these sweet have been available in the UK, so they have a special place in our hearts. What makes them even sweeter is that they don't contain any animal derived products.



Vegetarians don't have to give up 'tasting the rainbow' because Skittles have no animal products in their ingredient list!


The whole Starburst range is veggie friendly, meaning you can enjoy every flavour from this delectable brand.

Rainbow Drops

These colourful puffs of sweetie goodness contain now animal products or by-products, making them completely vegetarian friendly.


100% veggie friendly and approved by the Vegetarian Society, these tiny, chewy sweets contain no animal derivatives.

Sherbet Dip Dab

This retro favourite with a liquorice centre is completely vegetarian.

Sherbet Lemons

These zesty boiled sweets are indeed suitable for vegetarians, so you can enjoy the tangy taste of the sherbet whatever diet you choose!

Jelly Vegetarian Sweets

Gummy sweets usually contain gelatine as this give them there jelly like texture. Some sweets are gelatine free and can be enjoyed by vegetarians who have a sweet tooth.

Candy Kittens

With a whole range of flavours like wild strawberry, candy kittens are a sweet brand that are selling sweets without any artificial colours, natural flavourings and with no animal derived products. With a jelly like texture, these sweets are the perfect replacement for gummy bears.

Gelatine Free Haribo Sweets

Many Haribo sweets contain gelatine, however there are a few varieties in the range which are suitable for vegetarians. These include:

Haribo Rainbow Strips

If you're a fan of sour fizzy sweets, you'll be delighted to know that Haribo Rainbow Strips are vegetarian and contain no animal derived ingredients.

Giant Strawbs

A firm favourite with Haribo lovers around the world - Giant Strawbs are an important member of the Haribo family, and they are suitable for vegetarians! As a much loved sharing treat, at your next get together be sure to take a packet of these and spread the joy...

Vegan Friendly Sweets

If you are living a vegan lifestyle, finding sweets may be a little bit harder and you may have to do more research on ingredients you can and can't eat. Some sweets may use products like beeswax and milk powder.

There are many sweets suitable for vegans, including parma violets and love hearts!

What Sweets Aren't Vegetarian Friendly?

 But if you’re going it alone, and want to discover vegetarian sweets for yourself, it's important to understand what ingredients contain animal derivatives or by-products, so you know exactly what to avoid when you’re getting your sweetie fix.

The sweet manufacturing process can include a number of different ingredients which contain animal products. Most notably is gelatine - a gelling agent which is typically made from animal bones as a by-product of the meat industry… definitely NOT vegetarian friendly! Traditionally, jelly like sweets contain gelatine, giving them a gummy-like texture. However, as more and more people turn to vegetarianism and plant-based diets, many sweet manufacturers are following suit. 

There are now plenty of alternatives to gelatine on the market and many sweet, candy and confectionary brands have started to use these in their recipes. Take M&S’s Percy Pigs for example. In recent years, M&S decided to remove all gelatine from their Percy Pigs range, making them completely suitable for vegetarians! 

Check out our full range of vegetarian friendly sweet hampers, vegetarian sweet boxes, vegetarian sweet bouquets and more.