Is Laffy Taffy Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

August 10, 2023

Identifying whether or not a product like Laffy Taffy is vegan can be challenging. 

This is often due to manufacturers obscuring the true nature and source of their ingredients. 

In this article, we’ll dissect the truth behind Laffy Taffy and support you in maintaining your compassionate and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Is Laffy Taffy Vegan?

The truth of the matter is, Laffy Taffy, whether it be stretchy and tangy, Laffy Taffy ropes, or the bite-sized Laffy Taffy minis, is not vegan friendly. Why, you ask? It’s primarily due to several ingredients including sugar, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, natural and artificial flavors, and mono- and diglycerides.

Sugar might sound harmless, but many sugars are processed using bone char, an animal-derived product, which means it’s not vegan. 

Hydrogenated cottonseed oil is often processed using tallow, an animal fat. 

And the ambiguous terms “natural flavors” and “artificial flavors” often hide animal-derived ingredients. For instance, the “natural flavor” in the green apple or banana flavor Laffy Taffy could be derived from animal sources. 

Mono- and diglycerides, as well, have unclear sources that are often from animals.

Even the mini Laffy Taffy squares and chewy candies could have these non-vegan elements.

Is Laffy Taffy Cruelty-Free?

While Laffy Taffy is peanut-free and gluten-free, it is not entirely cruelty-free. The use of sugar processed with bone char and potential animal-derived flavors places it in the not cruelty-free category.

What is Laffy Taffy Made Of?

Laffy Taffy, from the sour apple to the chocolate mousse flavor, is primarily composed of the following ingredients:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Palm oil
  • Hydrogenated cottonseed oil
  • Soy lecithin
  • Malic acid
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Mono- and diglycerides
  • Hydrogenated coconut oil

Below is a breakdown of the ingredients and their role in the chewy, fruit-flavored candies we call Laffy Taffy.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener derived from cornstarch. It’s the main ingredient that gives Laffy Taffy its sweetness. It is vegan, but it’s also highly processed and offers little nutritional value.


Sugar, as we discussed earlier, is often processed using bone char, making it non-vegan. It contributes to the sweetness of Laffy Taffy.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is a plant-based oil, but its production is often associated with deforestation and habitat destruction, which raises concerns within the vegan community about its ethical implications.

Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil

Used to improve the texture of Laffy Taffy, this oil is often processed using tallow (animal fat), making it non-vegan.

Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin is a plant-derived ingredient used as an emulsifier. It’s vegan friendly, but some people may have concerns about GMO soy.

Malic Acid

Malic acid provides the tangy taste in Laffy Taffy. It’s typically vegan because it’s synthetically produced or derived from apples.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

These can be a bit tricky as they can come from both plant and animal sources, and manufacturers aren’t required to specify which. So, they could potentially be non-vegan.

Mono- and Diglycerides

Mono and diglycerides are fats that can be derived from either plants or animals. Without a clear source, we have to assume they could be non-vegan.

Hydrogenated Coconut Oil

Used to improve the texture of the taffy, this is a plant-based ingredient and thus vegan-friendly.

Vegan Alternatives to Laffy Taffy

If you’re disappointed to discover that Laffy Taffy doesn’t align with your vegan values, don’t worry! There are several vegan-friendly, chewy candy options available:

  • Organic Fruit Chews: These are fruit-flavored candies similar to Laffy Taffy that are vegan and organic.
  • Sour Patch Kids: Believe it or not, these tangy, chewy candies are vegan-friendly!
  • Twizzlers: This classic licorice candy is free from animal-derived ingredients.
  • Airheads: Just like Laffy Taffy, Airheads are stretchy, tangy, and delicious. Plus, they’re vegan!


Sadly, many beloved food brands like Laffy Taffy, in all its variety, from Laffy Taffy ropes to Laffy Taffy bites and even the mini Laffy Taffy versions, is not vegan or cruelty-free. 

However, with a growing vegan community and increased demand for cruelty-free products, there are plenty of vegan alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your values. 

We can enjoy our favorite food treats and still protect the planet and all its inhabitants. That’s something to smile about!