Candy and other sweet treats are a historical staple for an awesome Halloween celebration. Fortunately we live in a time when there are plenty of cruelty-free sweets are available, so vegans do not have to miss out on the Halloween festivities. Here are a few examples of yummy treats that happen to be cruelty-free.
Cocomels offers a variety of flavors for its coconut milk caramels. And if you are looking for a darker flavor try their dark-chocolate-coated caramels.
Unreal offers a delicious line of vegan candies including almond butter cups, peanut butter cups, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, crispy gems, peanut crispy gems, and dark chocolate coconut bars. These vegan treats are a great subsitution for their non-vegan counterparts Reeses Cups, M&M’s, and Almond Joy.
Justin’s is an organic candy company that offers all the flavor of a delicious, dark chocolate peanut butter cup without any of the cruelty.
ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN TREATS
Smarties are 100% vegan. They are also gluten-free and allergy friendly.
Every flavor of Nerds is vegan-friendly and yummy.
This crunchy combination of peanut butter and coconut has always been accidentally vegan.
Before 2013, Skittles were not a vegan candy because they contained gelatin derived from animal ingredients. After a recipe change removing the gelatin, however, Skittles are now a delicious, vegan option.
Almost every flavor of Hubba Bubba bubble gum is vegan. The Bubble Blast Gum flavor is the one to avoid.
Swedish Fish are vegan because they do not contain gelatin, egg albumin, or beeswax that many non-vegan gummy candies contain.
Jolly Ranchers come in a variety of delicious flavors, all vegan-friendly. There are also Jolly Rancher lollipops if you prefer eating candy on a stick.
Have a fun time after the trick-or-treating is done by dipping an edible candy stick into a packet of flavored sugar with this all-vegan treat.
Most flavors of this chewy, taffy candy are suitable for vegans. Try Original Airheads, Airheads Bars, Airheads Gum – White Mystery, or Airheads Xtremes. Flavors to avoid are Airheads Bites, Airheads Xtremes Sourfuls, Airheads Gum (except White Mystery), Airheads Gummies, and Airheads Soft-Filled Bites, as their core ingredient is gelatin.
Dots Original and Tropical Flavored gumdrops are gelatin-free and, therefore, vegan-friendly.
Fruit-flavored Jujyfruits are another gumdrop option containing no animal products.
Now & Later
The traditional flavors of Now & Later candies are all vegan. The chewy flavors and new varieties, however, are often non-vegan.
At first glance Cracker Jacks may seem to be filled with dairy but instead of caramel this yummy popcorn treat is coated with vegan-friendly molasses. It’s not only delicious but molasses also contains several trace minerals that are good for you, too.
Sour Patch Kids
These tasty sour gummy candies are a great vegan treat. They contain no animal ingredients so they are a great addition to any trick-or-treat haul.
Twizzlers licorice whips are vegan friendly, containing no animal-derived products. And since they come in a variety of flavors they are a good addition to any Halloween celebration.
Charm’s Blow Pops
Charm’s famous bubblegum-filled lollipops are a great cruelty-free Halloween treat.
Dum Dums suckers are vegan and allergy friendly.
This vegan candy has a sour, fizzy center, perfect for Halloween fun.
Brach’s Lemon Drops
Lemon Drops are a classic that also happens to be vegan.
These famous candies may be super sour to the taste, but they are still vegan and cruelty-free.
Atomic Fireballs are tasty, cinnamon jawbreakers. They do not have animal ingredients and are considered vegan.
A few ingredients in Halloween candies are questionable as they may or may not come from vegan methods. These ingredients appear in quite a few sweets that would otherwise be considered vegan. More strict vegans often avoid these non-vegan ingredients just in case.
Refined sugar is questionable because determining the refinery method is not always possible. Some companies use bone char to refine their sugar, meaning that ingredient can no longer technically be considered vegan. Ingredient labels will not specify the company’s preferred refining method, and it may be challenging to determine which refining method a company uses in your candy of choice. For this reason, many vegans avoid any form of refined sugar.
Palm oil is vegan on its own, but many vegans avoid it due to the methods used to obtain it. Acquiring palm oil can damage natural environments, and the animals who reside there suffer and lose their homes.
CHECK YOUR LABELS
As with any food, it is essential to read labels to confirm that they do not contain animal-based products. Some ingredients vegans should be on the lookout for are gelatin, Carmine color, and confectioner’s glaze.
Gelatin is an ingredient in many bright-colored candies, but it comes from discarded animal skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and bones.
Carmine color is a red dye derived from crushed cochineal bugs.
Confectioners Glaze / Shellac
Confectioners’ glaze or Shellac is a shiny product that can be found in a number of hard candies that is made from insect excretions.
Even though Halloween is meant to be spooky and scary that doesn’t mean your treats should be. There are plenty of vegan options available to keep your Halloween festivities fun and cruelty-free. Sometimes it takes a little effort to read labels and do your research, but the more you learn, the easier it becomes.