What Are the Best Gelatin-Free Gummy Bears? Top Vegan Gummies & Fruit Snacks in 2019
Gummy bears are a fun, nostalgic treat that many people definitely have a soft spot for. Lots of people grew up snacking on gummy bears, and even as an adult, chowing down on them can remind you of childhood camping, school, movie theaters, and those days when it was exciting to load up on candy from the store. For many, gummy bears are associated with good memories, and it’s tough not to love the gummy texture and fun, fruity flavors.
This is true for vegans as well, who especially may be hit with sugary cravings or who miss their childhood candy snacks. Unfortunately, however, many gummy bears aren’t vegan. If you have food sensitivities or would like to maintain your values, you need to pay special attention to the ingredients that are in all of your foods–candy included. To continue selling their products as much as possible, some companies attempt to hide this information, and it can be difficult to tell which gummy bears truly are vegan, and which ones have those sneaky ingredients that can interfere with your diet.
Luckily, there are other brands out there that understand this difficulty and don’t wish to hide their ingredients. In fact, they developed candies specifically for vegans and those with sensitivities, so that everyone can enjoy candy and get back in touch with their childhood selves. You’ll find many of these brands below, as well as the top five gummy bear products that are indeed vegan. Each one is worth considering–after all, what would life be without delicious, cute gummy bears?
Top 5 Vegan Gummy Bears
|① Organic Candy Factory Vegan Gummy Cubs **TOP PICK**|
|② Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears|
|③ Tommy’s Bears Mixed Fruit Gummy Bears|
|④ J. Luehder’s Vegan Soft Gummi Candy|
|⑤ SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies|
What Makes Gummy Bears Not Vegan?
Once people hear that unfortunately, many of their favorite candy snacks aren’t necessarily good for their bodies or cruelty-free, they ask themselves this question. While there are several reasons that lots of candies aren’t vegan, the biggest culprit is the often-used ingredient of gelatin. Gelatin is used in many treats such as marshmallows and gummy bears because it’s a thickening agent that gives these foods their gelatinous, springy, chewy texture. Unfortunately, however, gelatin is animal-derived; it’s made from ground connective tissue, skin, and bones of animals such as horses and pigs.
Another reason why gummy bears and lots of other candies aren’t necessarily vegan is due to the ingredient of beeswax. Lots of big companies, such as Haribo, coat their candies (especially the gummy candies) in beeswax. This prevents the candy from sticking together. While it indeed works, this can be a concerning ingredient for vegans.
A third reason why many gummy bears you ate during your childhood aren’t vegan is due to the included red number 4 food coloring. If you don’t know where this food coloring comes from, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised–it’s derived from millions of bugs that are ground up together, and who wants that in their candy?
You’ve probably also heard of red food color 40, which many candy companies, such as Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish, use for their gummy candies. Luckily, this isn’t the same as red food color 4; it comes from petroleum, not ground bugs, so if these are your favorite brands you can rest assured that they do indeed include vegan ingredients. However, it’s important to be aware of the fact that certain food colors, including red color 40, are tested on animals. A lot of food dyes are not cruelty-free, because the purpose behind these experiments are to see whether the dyes are harmful, which means animals may be harmed in the process. Therefore, you need to be careful which food dyes are in your candy, where they come from, and how they are tested.
Going off of this, your best bet to find vegan gummies are to go for products that are naturally flavored and colored. Often, this is provided through real fruits and fruit juice, or juice from vegetables. While these might not be as flavorful, you can rest assured that the flavor is real, and that no animals were harmed in the making of the candy you’re enjoying.
The Best Gelatin-Free Vegan Gummy Bears List
① The Organic Candy Factory Vegan and Organic Gummy Cubs
These gummy bears from the Organic Candy Factory have been certified to be kosher, vegan, and organic, and they’re among the most original vegan gummies on the market; as a matter of fact, they were the first kosher, organic gummy bears introduced to the world. You can feel good as you snack on these gummy cubs, as they contain zero corn syrup, dyes, chemicals, toxins, pesticides, gelatin, GMOs, preservatives, gluten, or any artificial ingredients or flavors. You’ll get a four-pack of these delicious gummies in a Mixed Berry flavor that comes from real fruit juice. In fact, you’ll get 100% of your daily dose of vitamin C with each serving. The gummies are all natural, cruelty-free, and vegan, unlike many other gummies on the market that use processed animal skins and bones, so you can feel healthy and happy as you snack on your favorite candy. When it comes to the natural mixed berry flavors, you’ll have the ability to choose: you can select either the juicy Peach flavor, or the mix of Raspberry, Blackberry, and Boysenberry. Each one bursts with fruity and delicious flavors, and each is a favorite among consumers; sometimes they have a difficult time choosing. Additionally, these original vegan gummies come in a zip-lock pouch that’s very easy to reseal, which keeps your gummies fresh so no matter how long you have them.
- The original vegan gummy bear
- Two flavors to choose from
- Provide 100% daily dose of vitamin C from natural fruits
- Expensive investment
- Many users felt that these are too soft and mushy, and don’t have a chewy texture
② Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
With a purchase, you’ll get 12 of these fruity, delicious, organic bear gummies from Surf Sweets. Made with natural flavors and colors, these gummies are completely vegan, free of the top 10 allergens, certified to be non-GMO, and made in a facility that’s nut-free. They utilize only organic sweeteners and organic fruit juice for its flavors, and due to the fruit juice, you’ll get 100% of your daily dosage needs for vitamin C with each serving. The company is committed to offering consumers products that are free of allergies, so anyone can enjoy them, and is located in California with a mission of supporting a healthier planet as well as healthier living by using high quality ingredients to produce delicious candies. On top of all this, Surf Sweets is proudly a member of 1% For The Planet, and since it’s a member of this, 1% of all sales from its products to to organizations that focus on environmental causes. Ingredients include natural flavors, colors from annatto and black carrot, citric and absorbic acid, organic grape juice concentrate, tapioca syrup, and cane sugar. Whether you need a healthy, vegan snack for your family, to share at work, or just to snack on, Surf Sweets is here for you.
- Company is a member of 1% For The Planet
- Free of the top 10 allergens
- Flavors and colors from natural fruit juice, providing you with essential vitamin C
- Are coated with sugar and were too sweet for many users
- Consistency is odd and off
③ Tommy’s Bears Mixed Fruit Gummy Bears
This gummy bears from Tommy’s feature natural colors and flavors from mixed fruit that’s completely real. These fruits include lemon, apple, pineapple, orange, blackberry, and strawberry. The gummies are fat free, nut free, gluten free, vegan, and have zero preservatives. On top of this, they uniquely offer you some of the essential vitamins that your body needs: vitamins E, D, C, and A. At zero grams of saturated fat, they contain 19 grams of sugar and 20mg of sodium per serving. Made with real fruit flavor, many users enjoy these vegan gummies for their unique taste, especially the red ones and the green ones. It’s difficult to find vegan gummy bears that are still tasty, and even children liked this brand. They’re delicious, flavorful, and not as chewy as many other gummies on the market, so you don’t need to worry about them ruining your teeth. With absolutely zero gelatin, Tommy’s is one of the best options for vegan gummies.
- Made with real fruits and have natural colors and flavors
- Offer vitamins A, C, D, and E
- Taste delicious
- Have an odd grainy texture
- Some users felt that they tasted too much like sugar-laden candy
④ J. Luehder’s Vegan Soft Gummi Candy
Leuhder’s gummies are very soft, vegan, and taste just like candy. Their flavors feature exotic fruits, fruity flowers, and red berries, so you’ll get a unique taste that you won’t find with any other vegan gummies. They also come in three different varieties, so you can try out each kind and discover your favorite, and many people like the fact that they have options (another feature that’s unique within the vegan gummy market). This product is made in Germany from J. Leuhder’s, which has been famous for its high quality candies and other products and has been in operation for over 100 years–it started in 1909. Currently, J. Leuhder’s is a family owned and operated business that’s in its third generation. The family is an expert on crafting and offering delightful, delicious soft candies that taste great. All of their candies also don’t contain any artificial colors, artificial flavors, or gelatin whatsoever–so they’re completely plant-based, to the celebration of many vegans around the world. On top of this, their gummies are made using sustainable palm oil.
- Feature unique, exotic flavors you won’t find anywhere else
- Family owned company that has been in operation since 1909
- Three different varieties, so you can pick and choose
- Some users disliked the texture
- Expensive investment
⑤ SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies
These gummies from SmartSweets are sour yet sweet, and the Blast Buddies are meant to be a vegan-friendly alternative to the popular Sour Patch Kids. They’re also much healthier; they’re low in calories (80 per whole bag), high in fiber (28 grams per bag) and low in sugar (three grams for the entire bag). These Buddies are also sweetened with Stevia, free of artificial sweeteners, and contain zero sugar alcohols. If you’re trying to cut out sugar yet love candy, you can feel good about consuming these gummies. They’re fruity, chewy, and sour–fulfilling all of your sugary, candy cravings in a healthier way. They have 85% less sugar than most other chewy sour candies on the market, and have a delicious chew that’s bursting with natural fruit flavor and nothing artificial. On top of all of this, the Buddies are certified Vegan and are completely plant-based, so you get a tangy treat that you can feel good about. Each ingredient used is also 100% real and non-GMO. There’s no comparison–especially when it comes to the level of calories and sugar in these vegan gummies, which are tangy, sour, and awesome. The juicy Buddies are sweetened and colored with natural juices from vegetables and fruits, which produces its flavors, including orange, lemon, lime, blue raspberry, and berry. Ingredients include stevia leaf extract, coconut oil, fruit and vegetable juice, and rice flour. You can kick your sugar cravings, yet keep candy in your life with these Blast Buddies from SmartSweets.
- Much healthier than other gummies on the market; low in calories and sugar, high in fiber
- Colored and flavored naturally from fruit and vegetable juices
- Non-GMO and vegan
- Include carrageenan as an ingredient
- Many users thought they were not actually sour at all
Conclusion & What are the Best Vegan Gummy Bears
While you’re reaching for a gummy bear snack to indulge in some nostalgic, tasty cravings, make sure you keep an eye on the list of ingredients. Many gummies are not vegan, for several reasons. Watch out for certain food dyes and gelatin, and try to invest in products that use only natural flavoring and coloring from fruits and vegetables. You can have gummy bears as a vegan, just be careful in your selection.
Check out our favorite, Organic Candy Factory (CHECK BEST PRICE HERE).