Are Jolly Rancher Chews Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 25, 2023

Identifying whether Jolly Rancher Chews, a popular product from the Jolly Rancher candies line, is vegan can indeed be a daunting task. 

This difficulty largely arises from manufacturers often concealing the true nature and sources of their ingredients. 

But don’t fret! This article is here to uncover the truth and provide you with the support you need to adhere to your ethical vegan lifestyle.

Are Jolly Rancher Chews Vegan?

In a nutshell, Jolly Rancher Chews, along with most, if not all, Jolly Rancher products, are not vegan. 

The primary reason they don’t align with a vegan lifestyle is that they contain gelatin, a non-vegan ingredient. Gelatin is typically sourced from animal collagen, usually derived from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals like cows and pigs.

Are Jolly Rancher Chews Cruelty-Free?

Given that these Jolly Ranchers contain gelatin, which is an animal-derived ingredient, it is fair to conclude that Jolly Rancher Chews are not cruelty-free. In the production process of gelatin, animals are harmed, and this goes against the core principles of a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle.

What Are Jolly Rancher Chews Made Of?

Jolly Rancher Chews, like many Jolly Rancher candies, are composed of several ingredients. Here’s a concise list of what they contain:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Palm oil
  • Contains 2% or less of: malic acid
  • Gelatin
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Artificial color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6)
  • Soy lecithin

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener derived from corn starch. It contributes to the sweet taste of Jolly Rancher Chews. Because it’s completely plant based, it is considered vegan. However, it’s considered an ultra-processed food, so it’s best to consume it in moderation, if at all.


Sugar, sourced from sugar cane or beet, adds sweetness to the chews. While sugar is plant based, its vegan status can be controversial. Some sugar is processed using bone char (animal-derived), primarily in the United States, although this isn’t always the case. For example, most organic products do not contain sugar processed with bone char.

Palm oil

Palm oil is a vegetable oil sourced from the fruits of oil palm trees. It contributes to the texture of the candy. Although it is plant based and technically vegan, it is often associated with severe environmental concerns, including deforestation, habitat destruction, and the exploitation of migrant workers.


As previously mentioned, gelatin is derived from animal collagen. It is used in many chewy candies and gummies, including Jolly Rancher Chews, to give them their unique, chewy texture. It is not vegan or cruelty-free.

Natural and artificial flavors and colors

The natural and artificial flavors used in Jolly Rancher Chews give them their distinctive fruit flavors. The artificial colors give them their bright, attractive hues. While these can be derived from a variety of sources, they’re often synthetic or plant based.

Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a plant-based emulsifier derived from soybeans. It helps blend the ingredients in Jolly Ranchers together. It is vegan friendly.

Vegan Alternatives to Jolly Rancher Chews

There are several vegan-friendly alternatives to Jolly Rancher Chews. Here are a few examples:


To conclude, Jolly Rancher Chews, along with some other Jolly Rancher candies, including Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, Jolly Rancher Gummies, and Jolly Rancher Lollipops, are not suitable food brands for strict vegans or those seeking cruelty-free options due to the presence of gelatin, an animal-derived ingredient. 

If you follow a vegan diet, always remember to read labels carefully, since even seemingly vegan-friendly products may contain hidden animal ingredients. On the bright side, there are several tasty, ethical food brand alternatives available, so you can still satisfy your sweet tooth while caring for our planet and its inhabitants.