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Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
- Best gummy bears: Wholesome Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
- Best jelly beans: YumEarth Organic Sour Beans
- Best gummies: SmartSweets Sweet Fish
- Best chocolate candy pieces: Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems
- Best chocolate bar: Hu Chocolate Bars Variety Pack
- Best chocolate candy bars: Nelly’s Organics Chunky Almond Butter Bars, Organic OCHO Chocolate Coconut Bars
- Best peanut butter cups: Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Best caramels: Original Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels
- Best lollipops: YumEarth Organic Pops
- Best hard candy: Lovely Organic Hard Candies
- Best ginger chews: The Ginger People Gin Gins Spicy Turmeric Ginger Chews
If you follow a vegan diet, you’re likely aware of how difficult it can be to find vegan-friendly candy options.
Many candies include animal-derived ingredients like gelatin or milk. Plus, those that are vegan are often high in artificial additives like preservatives, colors, and flavorings.
The candies on this list are 100% vegan and chosen based on the quality of their ingredients, nutritional profile, and taste.
Still, keep in mind that just because these options may be less processed or contain less sugar than alternatives on the market, vegan candies are not considered health foods by any means. Instead, they should be enjoyed as a sweet treat from time to time.
We focused on four main criteria to choose the best vegan candy options:
- Vegan-friendly: The candies on this list are vegan-friendly, meaning they are 100% free of all animal products, including dairy, gelatin, and honey.
- Ingredient quality: We selected candies that don’t have unnecessary ingredients like artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors. We included organic and environmentally responsible products whenever possible.
- Nutrition: We tried to include products that are lower in sugar and calories compared with traditional candies. However, keep in mind that most candies are inherently high in added sugar, so you may want to enjoy sparingly.
- Price: We included options within a price range so that you can find something that suits your budget.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.
Generally, prices range from $0.85–$3.34 per ounce (oz.), or $5.99–$84.23 per pack or multipack, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
Note that the selection of products in this roundup is highly diverse, and it’s difficult to make direct price comparisons.
- $ = under $1 per oz.
- $$ = $1–$2 per oz.
- $$$ = over $2 per oz.
Best gummy bears
Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears are naturally flavored vegan gummy bears that are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
In addition to being vegan, these gummy bears are certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), verified free of genetically modified organisms (non-GMO), and certified gluten-free.
They’re also made in a facility that’s free of the top 10 major allergens, making them a good option for individuals with multiple food allergies.
To get that gummy texture, many gummy bear options on the market contain gelatin, which is derived from animal products. Furthermore, as food colorings like Red 40 are often tested on animals, many vegans prefer to avoid products that are artificially colored (
Surf Sweets Organic Fruit Bears are a good choice, as they’re free of gelatin and colored using fruit and vegetable extracts, including carrot, black currant, turmeric, blueberry, and annatto extracts.
What’s more, these gummies are free of more processed forms of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup. Instead, they’re sweetened with organic tapioca syrup, cane sugar, and pear juice.
In addition to these fruit bears, their Surf Sweets Sour Worms are vegan.
One serving of 11 pieces (30 grams, or g) provides 100 calories, 0 g of fat, 24 g of carbs, 0 g of fiber, 16 g of sugar (including 16 g of added sugar), and 0 g of protein (2).
Best jelly beans
YumEarth’s Organic Sour Beans are vegan-friendly as coated using a plant-based wax called carnauba wax. They’re also free of artificial colorings, using fruit and apple extracts instead.
YumEarth is a food company that specializes in producing candies that are free from the top eight allergens and made from high quality, organic ingredients.
While not all of the company’s products are vegan, YumEarth offers a large variety of vegan-friendly options in addition to their sour beans, including licorice, sour twists, and fruit snacks.
These sour jelly beans are made with just a handful of organic ingredients and free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and flavorings.
YumEarth Sour Beans come in individual-sized snack packs, with each pack containing a variety of flavors, including Pomegranate Pucker, Mango Tango, Perfectly Peach, and Awesome Apple.
One snack pack (19.8 g) provides 70 calories, 0 g of fat, 18 g of carbs, 0 g of fiber, 15 g of sugar (including 15 g of added sugars), and 0 g of protein (5).
SmartSweets is a good option for those looking for a lower sugar way to satisfy their sweet tooth.
SmartSweets Sweet Fish is a healthier version of Swedish fish candy with just 3 g of sugar and 13 g of fiber per bag (50 g) (6).
Free of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, SmartSweets Sweet Fish are sweetened using allulose and monk fruit extract.
Allulose is a natural sweetener whose taste and texture are similar to those of table sugar. However, as allulose can’t be fully processed by your body, it only provides approximately 0.2–0.4 calories per g, about 1/10 the calories of table sugar (
In addition to being low in sugar and high in fiber, these berry-flavored gummies are vegan, gluten-free, free of major allergens, and made with non-GMO verified ingredients.
As with other candies on this list, SmartSweets Sweet Fish are free of artificial colors and flavors, using real berry flavoring and fruit and vegetable juices instead.
One individual-sized bag (50 g) provides 100 calories, 0 g of fat, 42 g of carbs, 13 g of fiber, 3 g of sugar (including 0 g of added sugars), and 0 g of protein (6).
In addition to their Sweet Fish, SmartSweets offers Sourmelon Bites, Sour Blast Buddies, Sweet Chews, and Peach Rings — all of which are vegan.
Best chocolate candy pieces
Unreal is a food company known for making candies that are vegan, certified gluten-free, made with organic ingredients, and free of artificial additives.
Made with fair-trade dark chocolate, Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems contain quality ingredients and are colored using real vegetable extracts.
In addition to having a rich chocolate flavor, these vegan chocolate pieces also have a satisfying crunch due to the addition of organic quinoa crisps.
One serving of 36 pieces (30 g) provides 140 calories, 8 g of fat, 5 g of saturated fat, 19 g of carbs, 2 g of fiber, 15 g of sugar (including 15 g of added sugar), and 2 g of protein (9).
Unreal also offers Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems. Note that the company’s Milk Chocolate Gems are not vegan.
Best chocolate bar
If you’re in the mood for a quality piece of chocolate, Hu is one of the best options, as the company offers a variety of chocolate bars .
Offering original flavor combinations like Vanilla Crunch Dark Chocolate and Cashew Butter with Vanilla, all of Hu Kitchen’s dark chocolate bars are vegan, gluten-free, certified USDA organic, paleo, and non-GMO verified.
They’re also free of refined sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial additives, and palm oil.
While palm oil is vegan, there are concerns about its impact on the environment and wildlife. The harvesting of palm oil has been found to cause deforestation in parts of Asia, Africa, and South America, removing the natural habitat of animals in these areas (
Various organizations are helping support more sustainable methods of palm oil harvesting, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). However, if you’re concerned about the use of palm oil, Hu is a good option, as the company avoids the ingredient completely.
Instead, their bars contain just a small number of quality ingredients.
For example, ingredients for the Crunchy Mint Dark Chocolate Bar include organic cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa butter, organic fair-trade cacao nibs, and organic peppermint oil.
What’s more, while a serving size is half of a bar (about 1 oz. or 28 g), these vegan-friendly chocolate bars have such rich, complex flavors that you’ll likely only need one or two squares to satisfy your chocolate craving.
One serving (1 oz. or 28 g) of the Crunchy Mint Dark Chocolate Bar provides 190 calories, 14 g of fat, 8 g of saturated fat, 14 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber, 6 g of sugar (including 6 g of added sugar), and 3 g of protein (13).
Best chocolate candy bars
If you’re looking for a variety of candy bar options, Nelly’s Organics is a good choice.
Nelly’s Organics currently offers eight flavors, all of which are vegan, including Chunky Almond Butter, Coconut, German Chocolate, and Caramel Nougat.
They’re also soy-free, gluten-free, palm-oil-free, and made with organic ingredients. Additionally, unlike other vegan bars on the market, they don’t contain any plant-based protein powders or other supplements.
The company’s Chunky Almond Bars are particularly popular thanks to their dark chocolate coating and crunchy-yet-creamy, almond-butter center.
They’re also one of the better options nutritionally, as they contain 6 g of fiber, 8 g of protein, and just 6 g of sugar per bar (45 g) (14).
Ingredient-wise, the Chunky Almond Bar’s filling contains just six ingredients, including organic almond butter, organic raw almonds, organic raw coconut oil, organic raw blue agave, and pink Himalayan salt
Plus, the organic chocolate coating has limited ingredients, including organic chocolate liquor, organic cacao butter, organic cane sugar, and organic vanilla.
One Chunky Almond Chocolate Bar (45 g) provides 260 calories, 21 g of fat, 6 g of saturated fat, 13 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, 6 g of sugar, and 8 g of protein (14).
As Nelly’s Organics bars don’t contain any preservatives or artificial additives, they only last for up to 1 week at room temperature. For longer storage, it’s recommended to keep these candy bars in your fridge, where they can last for up to 6 months.
OCHO is another candy company producing high quality treats made with organic ingredients and fair-trade chocolate.
While not all of their products are vegan, OCHO’s Chocolate Coconut Bars are free of animal-derived ingredients.
In addition to being certified vegan, these creamy coconut bars are certified gluten-free, USDA-certified organic, and non-GMO verified.
Covered in rich dark chocolate, OCHO’s coconut-filled candy bars are made with dark chocolate, tapioca syrup, organic coconut flakes, cane sugar, sea salt, soy lecithin, and vanilla extract.
One bar (42 g) provides 210 calories, 13 g of fat, 9 g of saturated fat, 23 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber, 14 g of sugar (including 14 g of added sugars), and 2 g of protein (15).
For a smaller-sized portion, OCHO also offers Coconut Mini Pouches.
Best peanut butter cups
As mentioned above, Unreal is known for producing high quality vegan chocolate candies that are just as tasty as more highly processed brands on the market.
The company’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are no exception.
Coated in dark chocolate, these peanut butter cups have a creamy peanut butter center that’s sure to satisfy many a sweet tooth.
Plus, with just 80 calories and 5 g of sugar per peanut butter cup (15 g), they don’t contribute as many added sugars as many other candy options (16).
Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are certified vegan, non-GMO verified, and free of soy, gluten, and corn. They’re also made without any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
One peanut butter cup (15 g) provides 80 calories, 6 g of fat, 2.5 g of saturated fat, 8 g of carbs, 1 g of fiber, 5 g of sugar, and 1 g of protein (16).
Caramels are often made with butter and heavy cream, making them off-limits for those on a vegan diet.
Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels are a vegan option made with coconut milk for a creamy, chewy treat.
In addition to being vegan, these caramels are organic, gluten-free, and made with just five ingredients — organic coconut milk, organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, sea salt, and xanthan gum.
One serving (3 pieces or 19 g) provides 60 calories, 2 g of fat, 2 g of saturated fat, 9 g of carbs, 0 g of fiber, 7 g of sugar (including 7 g of added sugar), and 0 g of protein (17).
While one serving is considered 3 pieces (19 g), the texture is so rich and creamy that you’ll likely be satisfied after just 1 or 2 pieces.
If you do limit yourself to just 1 piece, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with just 20 calories and 2 g of sugar.
YumEarth Organic Pops are lollipops that vegans can feel good about eating.
While many lollipops or suckers are made without animal byproducts, they often contain artificial dyes that may have been tested on animals.
However, YumEarth Organic Pops are naturally colored using organic fruit and vegetable concentrates.
Other benefits of these organic lollipops over others on the market are that they contain an overall short ingredient list and are naturally flavored and free of high fructose corn syrup.
Each bag contains a variety of flavors, which can include Cherry, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Strawberry, Grape, Peach, Berry, or Mango.
One lollipop (6.2 g) provides 22.5 calories, 0 g of fat, 5.5 g of carbs, 4 g of sugar (including 4 g of added sugar), and 0 g of protein (18).
Best hard candy
Lovely Organic Hard Candies are naturally flavored, colored with fruit and vegetable juices, and free of high fructose corn syrup.
In addition to artificial dyes that may be tested on animals, the white sugar used in some candies may make them unsuitable for a strict vegan diet. During processing, sugar cane juice is sometimes bleached using bone char (
While the sugar doesn’t contain bone char, any use of animal products during processing is often avoided by individuals following a vegan lifestyle.
Lovely Organic Hard Candies are not only free of artificial dyes but also sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic brown rice syrup.
As bone char is not included on the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, USDA-certified organic cane sugar cannot be processed with bone char (21).
In addition to being vegan-friendly, these hard candies are gluten-free, soy-free, and certified USDA organic.
Each bag of Lovely Organic Original Hard Candies contains individually wrapped candies in flavors of Grape, Apple, and Cherry.
One serving of 3 hard candies (17 g) provides 60 calories, 0 g of fat, 16 g of carbs, 11 g of sugar (including 11 g of added sugars), and 0 g of protein (22).
Best ginger chews
If you’re longing for a sweet treat with a spicy kick, Gin Gins Spicy Turmeric Ginger Chews may be a good option.
These spicy ginger chews are made with just five ingredients, including locally grown ginger and turmeric. They’re also vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and free of artificial sweeteners, dyes, and flavorings.
Plus, as each chew is individually wrapped, you can easily put a few in your pocket or purse to take on the go.
One two-piece serving (12 g) provides 45 calories, 0 g of fat, 10 g of carbs, 0 g of fiber, 6 g of sugar (including 6 g of added sugars), and 0 g of protein (25).
|Candy||Price||Type||Key nutritional info (per serving)|
|Wholesome Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears||$$||gummy bears||calories: 100|
added sugar: 16 g
|YumEarth Organic Sour Beans||$$||jelly beans||calories: 70|
added sugar: 15 g
|SmartSweets Sweet Fish||$$||gummies||calories: 100|
added sugar: 0 g
|Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems||$$||chocolate candy pieces||calories: 140|
added sugar: 15 g
|Hu Chocolate Bars Variety Pack||$$||chocolate bar||calories: 190|
added sugar: 6 g
|Nelly’s Organics Chunky Almond Butter Bars||$$||chocolate candy bar||calories: 260|
added sugar: 6
|Organic OCHO Chocolate Coconut Bars||$$$||chocolate candy bar||calories: 210 |
added sugar: 14 g
|Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups||$$$||peanut butter cups||calories: 80|
added sugar: 5 g
|Original Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels||$$||caramels||calories: 60 |
added sugar: 7 g
|YumEarth Organic Pops||$||lollipops||calories: 22.5|
added sugar: 4 g
|Lovely Organic Hard Candies||$$$||hard candy||calories: 60|
added sugar: 11 g
|The Ginger People Gin Gins Spicy Turmeric Ginger Chews||$||ginger chews||calories: 45 |
added sugar: 6 g
When buying vegan candy, the most important consideration is whether a candy is actually vegan.
Common ingredients to watch out for include gelatin, shellac, resinous glaze, natural glaze, pure food glaze, casein, whey, milk, eggs, and cream, as they’re all derived from animals or insects.
Other ingredients found in candy that may be avoided by some on a vegan diet include beeswax, artificial food dyes, and white sugar.
If in doubt, look for candies that state that they’re certified vegan on the label.
In addition to checking for non-vegan ingredients, look for products with short ingredient lists that are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It’s also best to choose products that are lower in added sugars.
Keep in mind that serving sizes of candies can vary greatly. Therefore, you’ll want to consider whether you’d be satisfied with a smaller but more indulgent candy, or if you want a larger volume.
This will help you determine whether the number of calories and amount of sugar in a treat will fit within your daily nutritional goals.
Of course, it’s also important to pick a candy with a flavor and texture that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
If nothing on our list struck a chord with you, don’t fret. Other companies cater to people following vegan diets.
What’s more, many popular candies that you’ve likely seen at movie theater concession stands or on grocery store shelves are vegan-friendly. For example, AirHeads, Dots, Charms Blow Pops, Swedish Fish, and original Twizzlers are all vegan-friendly.
If you’d like to learn more about vegan-friendly candies, check out Peta’s Halloween Candy Guide.
Here are some other options for vegan-friendly sweets:
- Raaka: Raaka is a chocolate company that offers a vegan milk chocolate bar bundle perfect for milk chocolate lovers. Instead of dairy, their vegan milk chocolate is made with coconut and oat milk.
- Nib Mor: Nib Mor specializes in vegan chocolate products. Their chocolate is made without dairy and the company is certified vegan by the Vegan Awareness Foundation.
- Mary Ruth’s: Although this company is best know for their dietary supplements, they recently started selling vegan gummy candies. These gummies are certified vegan and contain contain zero added sugar. Instead, they’re sweetened with a blend of sugar alcohols and stevia.
- Chimes: Chimes makes a variety of vegan candies, including herbal chews, ginger chews, and hard toffee. In addition to being vegan, their candies are gluten-free, making them a safe choice for those following vegan, gluten-free diets.
- Dr. Bronner’s: Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Chocolate bars are not only vegan, but they’re made with cocoa from fairly treated cocoa farmers practicing regenerative organic agriculture. These chocolate bars are one of the best choices for vegans who want an environmentally friendly chocolate option.
What candy can a vegan eat?
People following a vegan diet can eat candies that are free of all animal products. When shopping for vegan-friendly candies, it’s important to scan labels for non-vegan ingredients like gelatin, honey, milk, and butter.
What candy has no gelatin?
Typically, gummy candies contain gelatin to give them a chewy texture, so many chewy candies like sour gummies aren’t vegan-friendly. Vegan-friendly gummy candies use vegan gelatin alternatives like pectin and agar agar to give vegan gummies that typical texture without animal by-products.
Candies like chocolate and caramel don’t usually contain gelatin, though they can contain non-vegan ingredients such as milk and butter. For this reason, it’s always best to check ingredient labels to make sure products are vegan-friendly.
Are chocolate candies vegan?
Many chocolates, especially milk chocolate products, are made with dairy products like milk and cream, so they’re not typically vegan-friendly. If you want a vegan milk chocolate, you’ll need to be particularly mindful of looking at product labels. However, it may be easier to find a vegan-friendly dark chocolate.
Vegan chocolates are usually made with plant-based milk alternatives, like coconut milk.
Are M&Ms vegan?
No, M&M’s aren’t vegan. They contain non-vegan ingredients, including skim milk, lactose, and milk fat.
For a vegan-friendly alternative, try Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems.
Many candy options contain ingredients that are unsuitable on a vegan diet. What’s more, some vegan candies are more highly processed than others.
When buying vegan candy, make sure to read the ingredient lists carefully to choose products that are free of animal-derived ingredients and made without large amounts of added sugar and artificial additives.
By choosing less processed options and limiting portion sizes, many candies can easily fit into an overall healthy, balanced vegan diet.