Are Haribo Gummy Bears Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 25, 2023

Identifying whether or not Haribo, the company that makes Haribo gummy bears, is vegan can be a difficult task. 

This difficulty arises from the fact that manufacturers often obscure the nature and source of their ingredients. 

But fear not! This article will shine a light on these shadows and support you in your vegan lifestyle.

Are Haribo Gummy Bears Vegan?

No, Haribo Gummy Bears are not vegan. The company does produce a variety of gummy candies, but unfortunately, none of them fall under the category of vegan gummy bears.

Is Haribo’s Production of Gummy Bears Cruelty-Free?

It is also crucial to note that Haribo, as a company, does not practice cruelty-free sourcing and manufacturing. The primary reason for this is the inclusion of pork gelatin in most gummy bears, including Haribo gummies. Gelatin, derived from animal bones, is used to provide that familiar chewy texture we all love in our gummy candies.

What Are Haribo Gummy Bears Made Of?

Haribo Gummy Bears are a popular candy treat enjoyed by millions of people around the world. These small, bear-shaped gummies are known for their delicious taste and fun texture. But have you ever wondered what these sweets are actually made of? Let’s dive into the ingredients list.

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Gelatin
  • Dextrose
  • Fruit juice from concentrate (apple, strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon, pineapple)
  • Citric acid
  • Fruit and plant concentrates (carrot, safflower, spirulina, apple, elderberry, blackcurrant, orange, kiwi, lemon, mango, passion fruit, aronia, grape)
  • Glazing agents (beeswax, carnauba wax)
  • Elderberry extract
  • Natural flavor

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a sweet, viscous liquid derived from cornstarch through a process called hydrolysis. It adds sweetness and improves the texture of Haribo Gummy Bears. Corn syrup is a vegan ingredient as it is derived entirely from corn.


Sugar is a sweetening agent derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. It contributes to the overall sweetness of the gummies. While sugar itself comes from plant sources, some sugars are processed using bone char from animals, making it non-vegan. However, it’s difficult to determine whether the sugar used in Haribo Gummy Bears undergoes such processing.


Gelatin is a protein derived from the collagen in animal skin and bones, often from pigs or cows. It is used to give Haribo Gummy Bears their unique chewy texture. Because gelatin is animal derived, it is not a vegan-friendly ingredient.


Dextrose, also known as glucose, is a simple sugar derived from corn, wheat, or rice. It provides additional sweetness and helps with the candy’s texture. Since it’s plant derived, dextrose is considered vegan.

Fruit juice from concentrate

The fruit juice in Haribo Gummy Bears comes from various fruits such as apple, strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon, and pineapple. This ingredient adds natural flavor and some color to the candy. Since it comes from fruits, it’s completely vegan.

Citric acid

Citric acid is a natural acid found in citrus fruits. It gives Haribo Gummy Bears a slight tanginess to balance the sweetness and enhances the overall fruit flavors. Since citric acid is derived from fruits, it is vegan.

Fruit and plant concentrates

Fruit and plant concentrates in Haribo Gummy Bears come from a wide range of fruits and plants, like carrot, safflower, spirulina, and various fruits. These concentrates are used to provide color and additional flavors to the candy. They are all plant based, hence, vegan.

Glazing agents (beeswax, carnauba wax)

Glazing agents are used to give the gummy bears a shiny appearance. Beeswax is derived from the honeycomb of bees, while carnauba wax comes from the leaves of the carnauba palm. While carnauba wax is vegan, beeswax is not considered vegan as it is produced by bees.

Elderberry extract

Elderberry extract is derived from the berries of the elder tree. It contributes to the flavor profile of the gummy bears and may also add some color. Because it’s plant derived, elderberry extract is vegan.

Natural flavor

The term “natural flavor” can refer to a variety of flavorings derived from plant or animal sources. In the context of Haribo Gummy Bears, it’s difficult to determine the exact origin of these flavors without additional information from the manufacturer. As a result, whether this ingredient is vegan or not is uncertain.

Vegan Alternatives to Haribo Gummy Bears

Thankfully, the candy market is brimming with delicious vegan gummy bear alternatives. These are made with ingredients like organic cane sugar, organic fruit juice, and plant starch, not gelatin. Some of the best include:

  • Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears: These organic gummy bears are made with real fruit juice, free from artificial flavors, and colors.
  • YumEarth Organic Fruit Snacks: These organic fruit snacks are made with organic cane sugar and natural flavors, providing a similar taste to traditional gummy candies.
  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: Annie’s offers a fun twist to traditional gummy candies, and they are vegan friendly.


In conclusion, Haribo gummy bears, a popular food brand beloved by many, are unfortunately not suitable for those following a vegan diet strictly. Haribo’s production is also not cruelty-free, as it involves ingredients derived from animal products. 

This might be disheartening for some, but there is a silver lining! There are vegan gummy bear alternatives available that are just as delicious and satisfying as the originals, if not more so. By choosing these alternative foods, you’re making a stand for animals and our planet, one candy at a time!