Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan? The Answer Is Complicated

Camille Cabrera
·1 min read
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 21:  Two handfuls of Jolly Rancher hard candies are seen at the MTV Fandom Awards San Diego at PETCO Park on July 21, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Phil Faraone/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 21: Two handfuls of Jolly Rancher hard candies are seen at the MTV Fandom Awards San Diego at PETCO Park on July 21, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Phil Faraone/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)

Growing up, my favorite candy was Jolly Ranchers. My early memories are full of delicious tiny colored treats that I traded with my friends during recess, especially the day after Halloween. I guess old habits die hard, because those little guys are still top-tier for my sweet tooth, but I recently started wondering more about what's in them. Are my beloved Jolly Ranchers actually vegan? Unfortunately, Jolly Ranchers are not vegan, as stated on their FAQ page.

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The reason is more confusing than informational. The Hershey's website doesn't explain the exact reason Jolly Ranchers are not vegan, but there are several suggestions provided online. It may stem from the cane sugar, colors, and artificial flavors used in Jolly Ranchers. These items are somewhat disputed as being vegan because of the processes used to create them, which tend to include animals (think: animal testing and animal byproducts).