Are Jelly Tots Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 20, 2023

Identifying whether Jelly Tots are vegan can be a bit of a challenge.

It’s hard for the layperson to understand — and even pronounce — some of the ingredients in processed food.

Don’t worry, this article is here to bring the truth to light and support you in maintaining your compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Are Jelly Tots Vegan?

Yes, Jelly Tots are vegan. Because they’re made in the UK, where no sugar companies use bone char to process and filter their sugar, no animal ingredients are used in the production or formula of this candy. Jelly Tots are completely free of animal ingredients.

Are Jelly Tots Cruelty-Free?

The term “cruelty-free” is often misunderstood, and many consumers believe it’s interchangeable with “vegan”. However, Jelly Tots, while being vegan, may not be considered cruelty-free.

Jelly Tots contain ingredients that are typically tested on animals. For example, sugar, glucose syrup, citric acid, and some concentrated fruit juices may all be products of GMO crops, which are tested on animals. However, use of GMO is less common in the UK than it is in the US, so this may not be an issue at all.

Furthermore, synthetically produced ingredients like artificial colors are also tested on animals.

Without word from Jelly Tots, we cannot definitely say this product is cruelty-free.

What Are Jelly Tots Made Of?

Before diving deep into vegan products and vegan sweets, it’s important to understand the composition of Jelly Tots. Here’s a list of the ingredients found in these fruity flavored dots:

  • Sugar
  • Glucose syrup
  • Citric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Malic acid
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Natural flavors
  • Natural colors
  • Artificial colors


Sugar, the sweetening agent in Jelly Tots, is a product of either sugarcane or sugar beet. While sugar itself is vegan, the bone char often used in its refining process is not. This brings a gray area into play when assessing Jelly Tots’ vegan status.

Glucose Syrup

Glucose syrup is a sweetener derived from corn. It’s generally vegan as it doesn’t involve animal products or byproducts in its production process.

Citric Acid

Citric acid, commonly sourced from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, is used as a natural preservative. It’s generally regarded as vegan.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid, which adds a tangy taste to the Jelly Tots, is associated with milk when in reality, most lactic acid in commercially produced foods is derived from carbohydrates, such as potatoes.

Malic Acid

Malic acid is a natural acid found in fruits. It’s used in Jelly Tots to enhance the fruity flavors and is generally considered vegan.

Concentrated Fruit Juices

Concentrated fruit juices bring natural, fruity flavors to Jelly Tots and are entirely plant based, making them vegan.

Natural Flavors and Colors

Natural flavors and colors in Jelly Tots come from plant-based sources, making them vegan.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors, used to enhance the appearance of Jelly Tots, are synthetically made and often tested on animals, making them non-cruelty-free.

Vegan Alternatives to Jelly Tots

Looking to enjoy more chewy sweets without compromising your vegan lifestyle? If you can’t get your hands on Jelly Tots, there are plenty of alternative brands. For example, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles have recently become fully vegan. Other options include YumEarth Gummy Bears.


The journey of finding vegan sweets like Jelly Tots can be difficult, especially when the manufacturers aren’t completely transparent about their ingredient sourcing and food processing methods.

While Jelly Tots are vegan but potentially not cruelty-free, there are plenty of chewy fruit snacks that align with a vegan diet.

As demand for vegan-friendly sweets grows, let’s hope we soon get to enjoy a truly vegan version of our beloved Jelly Tots.