Are Hi-Chews Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

August 30, 2023

Like many candy products, identifying whether or not this brand, Hi-Chews, is vegan can be a daunting task.

The difficulty arises primarily due to manufacturers concealing the true nature and source of their ingredients, often in opaque terminology.

Fear not, this article will unravel the mystery, shed light on the truth, and empower you in maintaining your admirable vegan lifestyle.

Are Hi-Chews Vegan?

Based on the extensive research we have conducted, it appears that Hi-Chews does offer some vegan products, but also has non-vegan options in its portfolio.

Are Hi-Chews Cruelty-Free?

Despite extensive searches, it’s challenging to definitively state whether Hi-Chews practices cruelty-free sourcing and manufacturing across the board. The lack of transparent and readily available information implies that the company might not be fully cruelty-free.

Remember, cruelty-free status is about more than just the absence of animal products; it also involves ensuring no harm to animals during the testing and manufacturing process.

The fact that these products contain palm oil leads us to conclude that this product is not cruelty-free. The harvesting of palm oil involves serious habitat destruction and the loss of wildlife in parts of Southeast Asia, to say nothing of the common exploitation of migrant workers in that region.

What Is Hi-Chew Candy Made Of?

Hi-Chew is a popular Japanese candy known for its fruity flavors and chewy texture. This confectionery delight is made from a combination of both natural and artificial ingredients. 

Here’s a detailed look at what goes into each piece of Hi-Chew in the Original Stand-Up Pouch:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil (hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm kernel oil)
  • Chia seeds
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Malic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Acai extract
  • Sucrose fatty acid esters
  • Sorbitan monostearate
  • Fruit juice concentrate (color)
  • Vegetable juice concentrate (color)
  • Soy lecithin

Glucose Syrup

Derived from plants like corn or wheat, glucose syrup sweetens and binds the candy. It’s typically vegan due to its plant origin.


Obtained from sugarcane or beets, sugar adds sweetness and flavor. It’s vegan unless processed with bone char.

Vegetable Oil

Extracted from palm fruits, these oils provide texture. While plant-based, palm oil’s environmental impact is a concern.

Chia Seeds

From the chia plant, they add texture and potential nutrition. Fully plant based, they align with vegan values.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

Enhancing taste, natural flavors are often vegan, but source scrutiny is vital. Artificial flavors are generally vegan.

Malic Acid

Derived from fruits, malic acid adds tanginess. Its plant origin makes it vegan friendly.

Citric Acid

Sourced from citrus fruits, citric acid enhances flavor. Vegan due to its plant-based nature.

Acai Extract

Derived from the acai berry, this extract contributes flavor and color to the candy. As a plant-based element, acai extract aligns harmoniously with vegan principles.

Sucrose Fatty Acid Esters

Often sourced from various plant oils, these compounds act as emulsifiers and stabilizers. Their vegan status depends on their specific plant source.

Sorbitan Monostearate

Derived from plant fats, sorbitan monostearate serves as an emulsifier. Its vegan status hinges on its plant origin.

Fruit Juice Concentrate (Color)

Obtained from fruits, this concentrate adds color naturally. As a vegan-friendly choice, it aligns with plant-based values.

Vegetable Juice Concentrate (Color)

Similar to fruit juice concentrate, this extract contributes natural color to the candy. With its plant origins, it’s a vegan-approved option.

Vegan Alternatives to Hi-Chews

While it can be disappointing to learn that some of your favorite sweets might not align with your vegan principles, don’t lose heart! There’s a wide array of vegan alternatives out there, packed with exciting flavors and chewy textures you’ll love:

  • Organic chewy candies: These sweets use plant-derived ingredients, making them a delightful vegan alternative to Hi-Chews. They’re flavored with organic concentrates and sweetened with beet sugar or coconut sugar, rather than bone char-processed sugar.
  • Fruit-flavored vegan gummies: Another viable option, these gummies replace non-vegan ingredients with fruit juice, glucose syrup, and citric and malic acids, providing a satisfying chew and burst of flavor.
  • Vegan bubble gums: Made without any animal-derived ingredients, these bubble gums offer a great substitute for those looking for a chewy, long-lasting flavor experience.


While Hi-Chews does have a variety of products, many contain ingredients that aren’t aligned with a vegan lifestyle.

Their sourcing and manufacturing processes are also unclear, making it difficult to ascertain if they’re cruelty-free. However, the world of vegan foods and confections is broad and filled with alternative brands that cater to a variety of preferences.

Choosing these alternatives not only supports your principles but also encourages manufacturers to consider vegan-friendly and cruelty-free practices in the future. Here’s to you and your commendable commitment to doing the right thing for our planet and its inhabitants!