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5 Vegan Gummy Bear Brands – and Ones That Are Not

which gummy bears are vegan and which are not
Photo: Pixabay/ CC0/ Alexas_fotos

Vegan gummy bear brands are surging in popularity. Here are five brands that are just as tasty as Haribo or Trolli but come without gelatin.

Are gummy bears vegan or even vegetarian? Unfortunately, most brands are not – because of gelatin. Gelatin is an ingredient derived from animals and is found in most gummy bears. For those looking to transition to a plant-based diet or consume more consciously and ethically, have a read of the list we have compiled about the next best thing – vegan gummy bears.

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is made from collagen found in the skin, bones, and nails of animals and is most commonly sourced as a by-product of the animal slaughtering industry. Although mainly pigs and cows are used, the substance can also be sourced from the remains of poultry or fish. It goes without saying then that if you have adopted a vegan diet, you should stay well clear of any food products with gelatin – including most gummy bears. Better check out the vegan alternatives we’ve listed below.

Read on: What is Gelatin Made of? 5 Vegan and Vegetarian Substitutes

Why Do We Use Gelatin?

Gelatin is used throughout the food industry, as it enables liquid to thicken and become creamier, without losing its shape or flavor. You’ll find it in products such as sweets, cakes, marshmallows, sauces, and even wines and juices. Because gelatin is “only” used as a production aid, it normally isn’t listed on the ingredients label. If you want to avoid it, look for products labeled as “vegan”.

Gelatin vegan vegetarian alternatives what is in gelatin
Most gummy bears contain gelatin – so they are not vegan. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Jonathan J. Castellon)

Major brands like Haribo and Trolli have been dominating the candy industry for years. Most of us will have fond memories of picking bits of chewy bears out of our teeth as children. But they should be avoided at all costs if you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet. The likes of Haribo Gummy Bears, Black Forest Gummy Bears, and Trolli Gummy Worms all use gelatin in their products and are therefore not vegan.

Other animal-based ingredients to look out for include: carmine, bone char, and shellac, which all derive in some form from animals. Vegan gummy bears can therefore not include any of these in their ingredients list.

Vegan Gummy Bear Brands to Try

No need to give up hope of ever enjoying your favorite chewy bears again. Thankfully a number of brands have stepped up to the challenge and have created vegan gummy bears that are just as sweet and delicious. Here is a list of our top 5 vegan gummy bear and candy brands that really deliver on taste and texture.

1. Surf Sweets Organic Vegan Fruity Bears

  • Price: around $0.91 per ounce
  • Made in California
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Available online at Amazon**

Made using all-natural and organic fruit juices, these vegan gummy bears pack a huge punch on flavor. What’s more, they are completely cruelty-free and non-GMO verified. And if that still isn’t enough to convince you, the team behind Surf Sweets has ensured that 1 percent of all sales of these sweets goes to helping environmental charities across the world.

2. Annie’s Organic Gummy Bunny Fruit Snacks

annies organic bunny fruit snack vegan gummy bears
Vegan gummy bears by Annie’s are based on natural fruit juices. (Photo: Annie's)
  • Price: 24 pouches variety pack for $15.25
  • USDA certified organic
  • No artificial flavors or synthetic coloring
  • Natural fruit juices
  • Available online at Amazon**

Although they may not be bears, these bunnies will leave you hopping for more. Annie’s vegan gummies use all-natural, homegrown products, and are packed with real fruit flavors. So you can chew away knowing no animals were harmed. They also contain your daily dose of vitamin C.

3. Vegan Gummy Bears By The Organic Candy Factory

  • Price: around $20.70 for six packs of 2.5 ounces
  • USDA certified organic
  • Real fruit juices
  • Free of preservatives and pesticides
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Available online at The Organic Candy Factory.

According to the manufacturer, these “Gummy Cubs” are the first organic kosher and vegan gummy bears in the world. Their ingredients are naturally and organically sourced and free of pesticides or artificial flavors.

4. Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers Candy

  • Price: around $13.76 for 14 ounces
  • Vegan and kosher
  • 100 percent organic, available as sour or plain
  • Includes real fruit juices and vegetable extracts for color
  • Buy in-store or online at Amazon**

Although these candies are not in the shape of bears, it doesn’t mean they’re not a great vegan alternative to gummy bears. Opting for a sea life theme, these gummies are gluten-free and delicious.

5. Vegobears

  • Price: $5.99 for 3.5 ounces
  • No artificial additives

These ‘foamy’ vegan gummy bears are delicious and organic. Flavors include cherry, raspberry, banana, and pineapple. All ingredients are sourced from organic farms without any added artificial flavors or colorings. The brand behind Vegobears was originally founded in Sweden – now their candy is sold in more than 40 countries, including the US.

Available online at Amazon** or at CandyPeople

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** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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