Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 25, 2023

Identifying whether or not Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are vegan can be quite a challenge. 

The difficulty lies in the intricate puzzle of ingredients, some of which have their nature and source cloaked by manufacturers. 

This article is here to illuminate the truth, to support you, our young activist, in your noble vegan lifestyle.

Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Vegan?

No, most Jolly Rancher products, including their jelly beans, are not considered vegan. The reason for this verdict lies within the ingredients list. Some of these ingredients, such as natural and artificial flavors, confectioner’s glaze, and mineral oil, may not align with a strict vegan diet.

Confectioner’s glaze is a common ingredient in many sweets, including Jolly Rancher candies, lollipops, hard candies, bites, chews, and their jelly beans. This glaze is made from a substance secreted by the lac bug and therefore is not vegan. 

Moreover, natural and artificial flavors can be derived from both plant and animal sources. Without specific disclosure from the Jolly Rancher company, we can’t say for sure whether the flavors used are vegan friendly.

Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans cannot be classified as cruelty-free. The use of confectioner’s glaze, derived from the secretions of the lac bug, is a form of animal exploitation. Hence, while these jelly beans might be a sweet treat for your taste buds, they may not satisfy the ethics of a caring heart.

What Are Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans Made Of?

Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are a delightful treat that carries the signature bold fruit flavor that the Jolly Rancher brand is known for. These jelly beans are made from a mix of both natural and artificial ingredients that combine to provide the distinctive taste and texture of this candy. Below is a list of the primary ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified food starch (corn)
  • Contains 2% or less of: citric acid
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Mineral oil
  • Carnauba wax
  • Artificial colors (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6)


Sugar, a common ingredient in candies, is typically derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. It is the primary source of sweetness in Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans. Sugar from both sources is considered vegan because it is plant derived. 

However, some sugar, particularly in the US, may be processed using bone char, which is an animal product, making it controversial among vegans.

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from cornstarch. It is used to provide additional sweetness and to create the right texture in the jelly beans. Corn syrup is derived from corn, a plant, and is therefore considered vegan.

Modified food starch (corn)

Modified food starch from corn is a derivative of corn used as a thickener, stabilizer, or emulsifier. It helps to give Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans their unique chewy texture. Because it is derived from corn, it is considered vegan.

Citric acid

Citric acid naturally occurs in citrus fruits and is used as a preservative and to provide a sour taste in Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans. It is usually derived from the fermentation of certain strains of mold or bacteria and is considered vegan.

Natural and artificial flavor

The term “Natural and Artificial Flavor” is a broad term for various flavoring substances. These flavors could come from various sources, and it’s difficult to determine their origin without detailed information from the manufacturer. While they can be from vegan-friendly sources, they can also be derived from animal products.

Mineral oil

Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil that’s made from petroleum. It is used in Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans to provide a smooth and shiny texture. Although it is a petroleum product, it’s not derived from animals and is typically considered vegan.

Carnauba wax

Carnauba wax is a wax derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm. It is used to give the candies a shiny appearance and prevent them from sticking together. Carnauba wax is plant derived, and thus considered vegan.

Artificial colors (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6)

Artificial colors are synthetically produced dyes used to give candies like Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans their vibrant colors. These dyes are not derived from animals, but their testing often involves animals, which can be an issue for some vegans.

Vegan Alternatives to Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans

Fortunately for your sweet tooth, there are several vegan alternatives to Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans:

These brands offer vegan-friendly candies, providing you with the sweet treat you crave without compromising your ethical stance.


Navigating the world of sweets while adhering to a vegan diet can be challenging, but you’re not alone in this journey. 

While Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, like most Jolly Rancher candies, are not vegan or cruelty-free food options due to the presence of controversial ingredients, such as confectioner’s glaze and undisclosed natural and artificial flavors, there are vegan-friendly alternatives out there. 

Remember, every choice you make impacts our planet, and your dedication to choosing ethically produced sweets contributes to a kinder world.