Your Ultimate Vegan Halloween Candy List

Little girl holding pumpkin bucket for trick or treating

Wondering if there’s any Halloween candy that can fit on a plant-based diet? You’re in luck! Here are some options that can meet the requirements of being free of animal products and tasting delicious, sure to make Halloween as enjoyable as it’s always been. 

First, a confession: With children under five, most of their Halloween loot is probably going to be enjoyed by us after a few rounds of trick-or-treating. It’s just one of those perks of parenting small children. Anybody else?

Being predominantly plant-based, we do the best we can to raise our families on a plant-centric diet, and that sometimes means having a little more flexibility – especially around the holidays – when it comes to foods that may contain milk, eggs, or cheese. 

That being said, this approach is a personal choice for our families and may not reflect your family – and that’s okay! 

If you’re looking to go strictly vegan this Halloween – or you’re just curious as to how much of your child’s candy haul may actually be free of animal-derived ingredients – we’ve got you covered. 

6 Common Animal-Derived Ingredients in Halloween Candy

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients found in candy include:

Carmine, a red, purple, or brownish coloring derived from beetles, is used in some confectioner’s glaze and artificial colors in many candies. For instance, Junior Mints, Good n’ Plenty, Hot Tamales, Mike & Ike, Gobstoppers, Runts, and Nerds often contain carmine. 

Milk or milk fat, derived from dairy (unless the candy specifically states it uses non-dairy sources and doesn’t list milk on the ingredient list), is often used in traditional milk chocolate candies like Hershey’s, Reese’s, Crunch bars, Kit Kats, and Dove chocolates. 

Lard, or animal fat, is sometimes used in the manufacturing process of chocolate candies to make them smoother and more manageable. 

Gelatin, made from collagen found in animal tendons, tissues, and bones, is often found in candy corn, gummies, and any candy that has marshmallows on it (unless the candy specifically says that it uses vegan marshmallows). 

Beeswax is sometimes used to increase gumminess or chewiness of certain candies. It may be found in certain varieties of candy that may otherwise be vegan, like Swedish Fish made in certain countries, so check the label. 

Refined cane sugar, which may have been processed using bone char as a decoloring and deashing agent (note that certified USDA organic cane sugar cannot be processed with bone char). When it comes to candy, this one is admittedly going to be harder to avoid, if not impossible when it comes to traditional Halloween favorites. 

Of course, if you’re at all concerned about the ingredients used in a specific candy brand, you can always reach out directly to the manufacturer. 

They will be able to tell you whether their products contain animal-derived substances and answer questions about their manufacturing processes. 

trick or treating kids in costumes

25 Vegan Halloween Candies

Here are 25 Halloween candy options that are vegan, many of which may be your old trusty favorites! 

As brands may change their ingredients over time, and ingredient lists can sometimes vary between different flavors, we can’t guarantee that this list will hold the test of time. If there’s something you’re looking to avoid, always be sure to check the label to confirm. 

We’re also not claiming that just because these candies are vegan means they’re necessarily healthy (as many use artificial coloring and flavorings, hydrogenated oils, and modified corn starch) – but it IS Halloween, after all. 🙂 

  1. Airheads
  2. Lemonheads
  3. Cracker Jack Original
  4. Twizzlers
  5. Smarties
  6. Skittles
  7. Swedish Fish
  8. Sour Patch Kids 
  9. Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars
  10. Dots
  11. Dum Dums
  12. Jolly Ranchers
  13. Cocomel’s Coconut Milk Caramels
  14. Jujyfruits
  15. Charm’s Blow Pops
  16. Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
  17. Brach’s Hi-C Orange Slices
  18. Chocolove Dark Chocolate Bar
  19. Fruit by the Foot
  20. Ring Pops
  21. Unreal candies
  22. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  23. Wholesome candies
  24. YumEarth Organic candies
  25. Endangered Species chocolate

Happy trick-or-treating!

Chime in: What are some of your family’s favorite Halloween candies? 

2 Comments

  1. Ashley on September 24, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you for this! Just wondering how many of these are on the sustainable palm oil list as well, if you know?

  2. Melinda on September 24, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Endangered species chocolate is not entirely vegan, they have some flavors that contain dairy.

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