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Are Jolly Ranchers Vegetarian?

are jolly ranchers vegetarian
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If you live in the U.S., then you’ve most likely heard of Jolly Ranchers. While I’m sure they’re popular in other places, I remember their delicious taste from very early on in my childhood!

But, are these hard candy Jolly Ranchers vegetarian? We look at whether they are and what ingredients make them up.

Are Jolly Ranchers Vegetarian?

Yes, Jolly Ranchers contain no animal ingredients and are therefore vegetarian. In fact, Jolly Ranchers are also vegan as the ingredients are also vegan friendly. 

What Ingredients are in Jolly Ranchers?

There aren’t many ingredients that make up Jolly Ranchers, so it’s not hard to see why they’re vegetarian. The ingredients include Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Artificial Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), Mineral Oil, and Lecithin (Source).

Jolly Ranchers are primarily sugar and don’t contain any animal fats are parts, making them perfectly safe for vegetarians! 

Other Jolly Rancher Candies


Jolly Rancher Lollipops are a weird, because their vegetarian/vegan status depends on one of their ingredients, Lecithin. This is a controversial ingredient because it can be derived from plant based sources, or egg yolks. So the status of this candy depends entirely on where they source they lecithin from. 

That being said, Jolly Rancher hasn’t specifically labeled these as vegan-friendly, so I would be cautious. 

Jelly Beans

Surprisingly, these don’t contain gelatin, and are made with vegan friendly ingredients. So they would be safe for a vegetarian to eat despite the company not specifically claiming they are vegetarian/vegan. 

The decision is up to you though, as it may also depend on where you live. Sometimes ingredients change slightly depending on the country, so be sure to check the ingredients listed. 


Jolly Rancher Misfits and Jolly Rancher Bites are the only vegetarian/vegan friendly chew. All other gummies produced by Jolly Rancher contain some gelatin, lecithin, or other ingredient that can be derived from an animal source. 

Do Jolly Ranchers Have Gelatin? 

While the topic of gelatin in candy might not matter much for some vegetarians, it does for vegans. If you’re a vegan looking for a dairy free product, gelatin is not something you want to see.

Thankfully, the hard candies don’t have any gelatin, making them vegan friendly. However, some of their other candies including their gummies, do contain gelatin. 

Jolly Rancher Alternatives

Let’s say you stumbled on this article and you’re vegan, not vegetarian. Well since some Jolly Rancher products can use ingredients that were used on animal testing or contain animal products themselves, then what are some alternative treats?

GoOrganic Hard Candies

GoOrganic make candies similar to what a Jolly Rancher hard candy is. All ingredients are organic and contain a variety of flavorings that are plant based. They are made in a variety of flavors including, Strawberry, Cherry, Pomegranate, Blood Orange, Honey, Ginger, Mint, Honey Lemon, and Assorted flavors.


While they aren’t a hard candy, airheads are a great sweet alternative to Jolly Ranchers that have a similar tart flavor. One of the great aspects of this is that airheads are vegan. They do however contain a slight amount of trans fat. 

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