Are SweeTarts Vegan?

SweeTarts are small round candies that are both sweet and sour. They are produced by Willy Wonka Candy Company by Nestle. Originally only coming in a hard candy form, there are now plenty of new variations of SweeTarts on the market. 

They are powdery, brightly colored candies that were created to be a less messy form of Pixy Stix and Lik-M-Aid. These are also popular candies that are sweet and sour, but they are much harder to eat than the revolutionary SweeTarts. 

Today we will be answering the much-anticipated question: are SweeTarts vegan-friendly? 

Original SweeTarts

Original SweeTarts are shaped like hockey pucks and hard, powdery sweet and sour candies. They are brightly colored and a popular favorite among children and adults alike. 

Original SweeTarts Ingredients

Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Malic Acid, and Less Than 2% of Calcium Stearate, Natural Flavors, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake.

Are Original SweeTarts Vegan?

Yes, there are no animal-derived ingredients within this ingredients list and therefore Original SweeTarts are vegan. However, there are a few controversial ingredients within the formula that might be concerning to some vegans. We will be looking at these a little later on in the article. 

SweeTarts also have a seasonal option that is released to stores around Easter that are shaped like chicks, ducks, and bunnies. These are also vegan-friendly. 

Chewy SweeTarts

Chewy SweeTarts are also sweet and sour, but they are made up of a soft chewy candy center with a crunchy shell. They are likened to Skittles yet still maintain their powder-colored exteriors. 

There are five varieties of Chewy SweeTarts, which are listed below: 

  • Regular
  • Berries and Cherries
  • Extreme Sour Chewy
  • Giant Chewy
  • Mini Chewy

Chewy SweeTarts Ingredients

Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Maltodextrin, and Less than 2% of Malic Acid, Calcium Stearate, Egg Albumen, Natural Flavors, Mono- and Diglycerides, Carnauba Wax, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake.

Are Chewy SweeTarts Vegan?

Unfortunately, all of the varieties of Chewy SweeTarts contain an animal-derived product called Egg Albumen, which is otherwise known as Egg Whites. So, none of the Chewy SweeTarts on the market are vegan-friendly. 

SweeTarts Gummies

SweeTarts Gummies are the same as all of the other varieties that we have looked at but in a gummy form. They have clear gummy candy on the top with a foamy layer on the bottom. 

SweeTarts offers four varieties of SweeTarts Gummies, which we’ve listed below: 

  • Gummies
  • Sour Gummies
  • Soft Bites 
  • Whipped and Tangy

Unlike Chewy SweeTarts, most of these varieties come with different ingredient lists. So, we have to look at all of them to determine which, if any, are vegan-friendly. This is important to note because even if one is vegan-friendly, that does not mean that the other Gummies are.

SweeTarts Gummies Ingredients

Gummies and Sour Gummies: Glucose Syrup (from Corn or Wheat), Sugar, Gelatin, Potato Starch, Malic Acid, Less Than 2% of Tartaric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Ascorbate, Citric Acid, Spirulina Extract Color, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Color, Paprika Oleoresin Color, Beta-Carotene Color, Turmeric Oleoresin Color.

Soft Bites: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (from Corn or Wheat), Pectin, Sodium Citrate, Apple Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, and less Than 2% of Natural Flavors, Vegetable juice Color, Paprika Oleoresin Color, Beta-Carotene Color. 

Whipped and Tangy: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (from Corn, or Wheat), Gelatin, and Less than 2% of Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Natural Flavors, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Color, Spirulina Extract Color, Paprika Oleoresin Color, Turmeric Oleoresin Color, Beta-Carotene Color.

Are SweeTarts Gummies Vegan?

Three of the SweeTarts Gummies contain gelatin in the ingredients list - Gummies, Sour Gummies, and Whipped and Tangy. Gelatin is defined as: ‘a protein procured by boiling animal skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and/or bones in water. It’s usually obtained from cows, pigs, or fish’. This is defined by PETA. 

So, gelatin is an animal-derived product and therefore cannot be considered vegan-friendly. Therefore SweeTarts Gummies, Sour Gummies, and Whipped and Tangy are not vegan and should not be consumed when following a vegan diet. 

However, SweeTarts Soft BItes are not made with gelatin, but rather pectin. Pectin is a plant-based alternative to gelatin. So, SweeTarts Soft Bites are vegan-friendly.

SweeTarts Ropes

Lastly, SweeTarts Ropes are white chewy candy cables with a sour casing. They are small bitesize pieces with brightly colored exteriors.  

SweeTarts Ropes Ingredients

Sugar, Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Water, and Less Than 2% of Citric Acid, Sorbitol, Maltodextrin, Sodium Citrate, Glycerin, Malic Acid, Gelatin, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Juice Color, Confectioner’s Glaze (Lac-Resin), Salt, Spirulina Extract Color, Beta-Carotene Color, Turmeric Oleoresin Color.

Are SweeTarts Ropes Vegan?

SweeTart Ropes contain gelatin and confectioner’s glaze. The latter is made of secretions from female lac bugs that originate from India and Thailand. As confectioner’s glaze is an animal-derived product, much like gelatin that we mentioned earlier, SweeTart Ropes cannot be considered vegan-friendly. 

Controversial Ingredients

Now that we have discovered which SweeTarts are vegan-friendly and which are not, it’s worth noting that there are other controversial ingredients that we haven’t mentioned yet. While these are not considered not vegan-friendly per se, you should give them some thought before consuming them. 


Sugar is the most commonly found ingredient within candy, but many people don’t know that sugar is actually controversial for vegans. This is down to how refined cane sugar is processed. 

Bone char is used to bleach the sugar during the refining process to create a pure white color. All of the bone char is then removed before it is sold and used in foods. However, some vegans do not agree with the method as it uses animal-derived products. 

Whether you choose to steer clear of refined cane sugar or not while following a vegan diet is up to you. However, SweeTarts does not state which type of sugar they use, so it’s impossible to know whether it’s refined cane sugar or not. 

Palm Oil

Palm oil and fat is another controversial ingredient because the cultivation of the oil is causing deforestation and other devastating impacts on the environment. Many species are losing their homes and therefore becoming extinct because of how fast palm oil is being harvested. 

While not strictly considered not vegan, many choose to steer away from it in a bid to prevent aiding deforestation. 


Flavorings can be both artificially made and naturally sourced, both from plants and animals. Natural flavors in candy normally come from plant sources, but we cannot be sure due to SweeTarts not disclosing this information. 


Many vegans tend to stay away from food colorings because they are commonly tested on animals. However, there are newer colorings that are not tested on animals. Above, we have assumed that SweeTarts uses vegan-friendly food coloring. 


To sum up, Original SweeTarts and SweeTarts Soft Bites are the only vegan-friendly candies from this brand. Chewy SweeTarts, SweeTart Gummies, Sour Gummies, and Whipped and Tangy, and SweeTart Ropes are not considered vegan. 

There are also a number of controversial ingredients within the ingredients lists that vegans should be wary of. Palm oil, sugar, and food colorings are among those that need to be considered before consuming due to their potential not to be vegan-friendly.  

Adam Smith
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