Here's how to pick the best vegan candy and a list of some go-to dairy-free candy options.

By Renee Cherry
October 19, 2019

Vegan desserts have come a long way. It's no longer surprising to hear about a vegan café or ice cream shop beloved by dairy fans and actual vegans alike. And when it comes to candy, there are more options than you might expect given the role that milk plays in conventional candy. At this point, vegan candy is well worth dabbling in even if you're not following a vegan diet because Beyonce told you to. Ready to expand your candy palate? Here's your guide to finding all the best vegan candy out there. (Related: These Vegan Dessert Recipes Will Make You Forget All About Dairy and Eggs)

Credit: Larry Washburn/Getty Images

What Candy Is Vegan-Friendly?

Even if you avoid animal by-products, you can still find just about any type of candy that will fit your dietary prefeences. There are some exceptions–e.g. if you're can't live without candy corn, you'll probably have to make your own–but, in general, vegan candy is pretty easy to track down. Even imitation milk chocolate is a thing.

How you should determine whether a candy is vegan will depend on your personal 'no' list. An ingredient list can tell you if a candy contains an animal product–watch out for common non-vegan candy ingredients such as shellac, confectioner's glaze, gelatin, and some food dyes. If you're a stricter vegan or have a severe dairy allergy, you might also want to contact a company directly about its manufacturing process. Sometimes, companies will alternate between producing vegan candy and non-vegan candy on the same line. (Related: Three Vegan Recipes You Can Make In Less Than 20 Minutes, from Beyonce's Nutritionist)

Another factor to keep in mind: Some common candy ingredients inhabit a gray area with the vegan community. For example, sometimes sugar is processed using bone char, but since the sugar itself doesn't contain animal products, some vegans are still okay eating it. Honey can be considered permissible since some vegans approve of the treatment of bees. Bottom line, there are degrees of veganism, so your personal choices will factor into figuring out if you're cool with a candy.

What Kind of Candy Can Vegans Eat, Specifically?

When you're ready to find your new favorite vegan candy, draw from this list of vegan candy bars and other sweets. (Related: What Vegan Bodybuilding Diets Are Really Like)

  • Alter Eco super dark truffles*
  • Alter Eco Chocolate Bars in dark sea salt, dark salted almonds, dark blackout, dark super blackout, dark quinoa, 90% super dark crisp mint*
  • Alter Eco Coconut Clusters in double chocolate coconut, original, cherry and almond butter, and seeds and salt.*
  • Cocomels*
  • Enjoy Life chocolate bars and dark chocolate bars
  • Goldenberg's peanut chews*
  • Hu Kitchen chocolate bars, hunks, and gems*
  • Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups*
  • Smarties
  • SweeTARTS originals*
  • Theo dark chocolate bars in turmeric spice, salted almond, 85%, sea salt, coconut, orange, cherry almond, 70%, black rice quinoa crunch, ginger, raspberry, mint, coconut almond, salted black licorice, grapefruit ginger, root beer barrel, and ghost chili*
  • Theo peanut butter cups, salted almond butter cups, coconut bites, and double chocolate peanut butter cups*
  • UnReal dark chocolate coconut bars, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, dark chocolate almond butter cups, dark chocolate crispy peanut butter cups, dark chocolate peanut gems, dark chocolate crispy gems*
  • Wholesome Organic delish fish, fruity bears, watermelon rings, cinnamon bears, fruity bears, sour worms*
  • Wholesome Organic bunny lollipops and candy canes
  • Yumearth lollipops in strawberry, hot chili mango, and assorted flavors, and sour jelly beans and hard candies

*made with vegan ingredients, but produced on a line also used for non-vegan candy


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