A Guide to Vegan Sweets (UK)

There are plenty of vegan sweets to choose from here in the UK!

Swizzels accidentally vegan sweets
Image Credit: Unsplash

It’s never been easier to satisfy your sweet tooth as a vegan. There are plenty of vegan chocolates and candies that contain zero animal-derived ingredients, so nobody needs to miss out on the fun.

If you’re wondering which sweets are vegan, we’ve done all the hard work for you!

Accidentally Vegan Sweets

There are heaps of candies that are vegan without you even realising. ‘Accidentally vegan’ sweets aren’t labelled vegan but a quick scan of the label tells us they are.

  • Skittles (all flavours)
  • Starburst
  • Millions (all flavours except Chocolate Strawberry)
  • Swizzels (even Drumstick lollies)
  • Rowntree’s (Fruit Pastilles, Dessert Pastilles, Jelly Tots and Fruit Gums)
  • Colin the Caterpillar (Veggie Fizzy Rainbows and Fruit Sours)
  • Bebeto (vegan range)
  • Most supermarkets also stock own-brand accidentally vegan treats, such as flying saucers, fizzy laces, boiled sweets and mints. Just be sure to check the label for any obvious non-vegan ingredients like gelatine, or other animal-based ingredients disguised in the form of E numbers.
Skittles vegan sweets
Image Credit: Unsplash

Vegan Sweets Brands

There are also several independent vegan brands available at supermarkets and health food shops:

  • Candy Kittens
  • Jealous Sweets
  • Biona Organic
  • Free From Fellows
  • Freedom Mallows
  • Dandies

What makes sweets non-vegan?

If you’re trying to figure out whether a product is vegan or not, there are a few things to look out for:

  • Gelatine – This substance is derived from boiled skin, ligaments, tendons and bones of animals (usually pigs or cows). It’s often present in jelly sweets.
  • Shellac – This resin secreted by the female lac bug is also known as E904. It’s often used as the shiny, hard coating on sweets.
  • Cochineal – Many red sweets use cochineal, which is a food colouring made from crushed female scale insects. It also goes by other names: carmine, natural red or E120.
  • Honey – Sometimes honey is used as flavouring or sweetener, which is unsuitable for vegans as it’s derived from bees.
  • Beeswax – Like honey, this is derived from bees and therefore not vegan-friendly. Beeswax is used as a glazing agent to give sweets a smooth, shiny appearance. It’s also labelled as E901.
  • Dairy – Milk is used in various sweets, but must be listed in bold on product labels in the UK, making it the easiest non-vegan ingredient to find.

For more information about accidentally vegan products, read our handy checklist.


Thinking of trying vegan?

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