Are Nerd Ropes Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 5, 2023

Identifying whether or not Nerd Ropes are vegan can be a challenging endeavor.

The difficulty often arises from manufacturers who are less than transparent about the nature and source of their ingredients.

This article aims to uncover the truth and support you, our conscientious reader, in maintaining your vegan lifestyle.

Are Nerd Ropes Vegan?

No, Nerd Ropes are not vegan. The ingredients that specifically make it non-vegan are gelatin, confectioner’s glaze (lac-resin), carmine color, and sugar.

Are Nerd Ropes Cruelty-Free?

No, Nerd Ropes are not cruelty-free. They contain food coloring, which is routinely tested on animals.

What Are Nerd Ropes Made Of?

Before diving into vegan alternatives, let’s take a closer look at what Nerd Ropes are actually made of:

  • Dextrose
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • 2% or less of malic acid
  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Natural flavors
  • Confectioner’s glaze (Lac-Resin)
  • Citric acid
  • Carnauba wax
  • Carmine color
  • Color added: Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, and Yellow 6


Dextrose is a simple sugar derived from corn. It adds sweetness to the candy and is generally considered vegan.


Sugar can be derived from various sources, but it’s often processed using bone char. Therefore, it’s not always vegan friendly. If you follow a strict vegan diet, it’s best to avoid processed sugar unless you can confirm it’s vegan.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn and is vegan.

Malic Acid

Malic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in fruits. It’s vegan and adds tartness to the candy.


Gelatin is derived from animal collagen and is not vegan or cruelty-free.


Glycerin can be either plant-based or animal-based. In this context, it’s unclear, but it’s a point of concern for strict vegans.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors can be derived from both plant and animal sources, making them a gray area for vegans.

Confectioner’s Glaze (Lac-Resin)

This is derived from the secretions of the female lac bug and is not vegan.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is vegan and is used to add tartness to the candy.

Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax is plant-based and is used for texture and shine.

Carmine Color

Carmine color is made from crushed cochineal insects and is not vegan.

Color Added, Artificial Colors

These are generally synthetic and considered vegan, but some people in the vegan community prefer to avoid them due to the fact that they are routinely tested on animals.

Vegan Alternatives to Nerd Ropes

If you’re looking for vegan candy options that align with your vegan lifestyle, you’re in luck! There are many candies that are completely vegan. Here are some categories and specific examples:


Navigating the candy aisle can be a minefield for those committed to a vegan food and cruelty-free lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Nerd Ropes don’t make the cut. They contain several non-vegan and non-cruelty-free ingredients like gelatin and carmine color.

However, the good news is that there are plenty of delicious and ethical alternative brands out there for candy lovers. So, the next time your sweet tooth calls, you’ll know exactly what to reach for.