Are Junior Mints Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 18, 2023

Identifying whether or not a product like Junior Mints is vegan can be quite challenging. 

This difficulty often arises from manufacturers camouflaging the true nature and source of their ingredients. 

This article will help unravel this enigma and support you, dear reader, in maintaining your compassionate vegan lifestyle.

Are Junior Mints Vegan?

No, unfortunately, Junior Mints are not vegan. This conclusion is based on the analysis of the various ingredients used to make these sweet mints.

Junior Mints contain confectioner’s glaze, an ingredient known to be derived from insects. It also includes sugar, which could potentially have been processed using bone char, a product from animal bones. 

While the dark chocolate coating may seem vegan friendly, the semi-sweet chocolate sugar can often be obtained from non-vegan sources. Thus, these ingredients do not align with the vegan lifestyle.

Are Junior Mints Cruelty-Free?

Regrettably, Junior Mints cannot be considered cruelty-free. The use of confectioner’s glaze, which involves the exploitation of insects, makes this product fall short of being cruelty-free.

What Are Junior Mints Made Of?

Junior Mints, manufactured by Tootsie Roll Industries, are composed of several ingredients:

  • Sugar syrup
  • Semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate processed with alkali, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial flavor)
  • Corn syrup
  • Confectioner’s glaze
  • Modified food starch
  • Peppermint oil
  • Invert sugar

Let’s dive into each ingredient:

Sugar syrup

Sugar syrup is generally derived from cane sugar or raw cane sugar. It adds sweetness to the mints. However, the vegan status of sugar is debatable because it could be processed with bone char.

Semi-sweet chocolate

This is a form of dark chocolate with lower sugar content. The concern for vegans is that the sugar might be processed using bone char. Additionally, the soy lecithin used as an emulsifier might be sourced non-ethically.

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetening agent derived from cornstarch. It’s vegan friendly, but it’s worth noting that it’s a highly processed ingredient.

Confectioner’s glaze

Confectioner’s glaze is a shiny coating derived from secretions of certain insects. It is not vegan or cruelty-free.

Modified food starch

This ingredient is usually vegan. It’s derived from corn, wheat, potato, or tapioca and is used as a thickener.

Peppermint oil

Derived from peppermint plants, this oil gives Junior Mints their characteristic mint flavor. It’s vegan friendly.

Invert sugar

Invert sugar syrup is created by breaking down table sugar into its component molecules of glucose and fructose. It’s typically vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Junior Mints

If you’re craving that mint-chocolate flavor but want to stick to your vegan lifestyle, don’t worry! There are vegan alternatives to Junior Mints: 

  • Dark chocolate mint cups
  • Mint chocolates from vegan-friendly brands
  • DIY homemade mint chocolate candy using vegan cane sugar and natural flavors


Navigating the sweet tooth cravings in a vegan lifestyle can be challenging. Unfortunately, popular candies like Junior Mints are not vegan or cruelty-free, due to the inclusion of ingredients like confectioner’s glaze and potentially non-vegan sugar. 

However, with a little creativity and research, there are vegan alternatives available to satisfy your mint-chocolate cravings. Stay committed to your vegan journey and continue making choices for vegan-friendly foods that reflect kindness and respect for all beings.