Are Twizzlers Vegan? Here’s What You Need To Know

are twizzlers vegan
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / WikimediaImages

Are Twizzlers vegan? Twizzlers might be a good vegan-friendly choice, in terms of ingredients, but there is a small mystery. Read on to learn more.

Twizzlers are one of the most well-known and popular licorice candy products in the US, made by the Hershey Company. Though the product is known as licorice, it is not derived from licorice root and doesn’t contain any licorice. But are Twizzlers vegan? To find out, we look at the original, and now many varied flavors.

The main issue with many chewy candies, in terms of them being vegan friendly, is whether or not they contain gelatin — an animal byproduct. Twizzlers do not contain any gelatin, yet only specific varieties are listed as vegan – which can be very confusing.

A close look at the ingredients on all the varieties suggests that they are all vegan. There are no ingredients such as meat, eggs, dairy, or insect by-products, which may be common in other candies. Thus we can only guess that maybe some of the sugars, or other ingredients, may infringe on the definition of veganism. So, really, it would come down to personal choice if these ingredients are an issue for someone living a vegan lifestyle.

Are Twizzlers Vegan? Let’s Look at the Ingredients.

Are Twizzlers vegan? You need to take a close look at the ingredients list.
Are Twizzlers vegan? You need to take a close look at the ingredients list.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Shirley810)

Twizzler ingredients vary from flavor to flavor, but let’s have a look at the most popular strawberry twists. You can find a detailed list of all the other flavors and products on the Hershey website. The good news is that all appear, although (as stated above) the company doesn’t list all Twizzlers as vegan, that they are indeed vegan-friendly.

Twizzlers Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Palm oil
  • Salt
  • Artificial flavor
  • Glycerin
  • Citric acid
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Artificial color (red 40)
  • Soy lecithin

The ingredient in question regarding the vegan label, we can only assume is the sugar, in certain flavors of the candy. Sugar comes from sugar beets or sugar cane, and sometimes processed white sugar is processed using bone char (from animal bones) meaning sugar isn’t always vegan. Nutrition labels do not have to list which sugars are used, or the processing, so there is no way to know if this is the case.

Some vegans steer away from palm oil, due to its effects on biodiversity loss due to palm oil plantations, and the demise of species whose local habitats are being cleared from palm oil production, such as the orangutan. Yet this doesn’t make the product non-vegan by vegan label standards.

The artificial coloring (red 40) is not derived from animals, but from petroleum. While it doesn’t sound like a desirable ingredient, it is vegan. 

Lecithin is a fat that can be derived from both animal and non-animal sources. Twizzlers list theirs as coming from soy, making it a plant-based ingredient.

      So What About the Other Flavors?

      Some sweets are completely vegan, even if they aren't advertized that way. Always check out the ingredients list!
      Some sweets are completely vegan, even if they aren’t advertized that way. Always check out the ingredients list!
      (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Fernanda Rodríguez )

      Twizzler flavors specifically listed as vegan are:

      • Strawberry
      • Licorice
      • Chocolate
      • Cherry
      • Nibs Cherry
      • Pull-n-Peel Cherry
      • Bites Cherry

      The remaining Twizzler flavors are likely still vegan-friendly, as they don’t appear to contain any non-vegan ingredients:

      • Orange Cream Pop
      • Rainbow
      • Mystery Flavor

      So are Twizzlers vegan? It would seem they all are, but, like the final flavor above, it is a mystery why they are not all listed as vegan by the Hershey company. You could always drop them a line to ask…

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