Are Nerds Gummy Clusters Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 6, 2023

Identifying whether or not Nerds Gummy Clusters are vegan is a difficult task.

The difficulty arises because manufacturers often hide the nature and source of their ingredients.

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

Are Nerds Gummy Clusters Vegan?

No, Nerds Gummy Clusters are not vegan.

The ingredients that specifically make this product non-vegan are gelatin, carmine color, and sugar. Gelatin is derived from animal bones, and carmine color is made from crushed cochineal insects.

Sugar is vegan on its own, but it’s sometimes filtered through animal bone char, which strict vegans will avoid. We want to be honest and transparent so even the strictest of vegans can trust our advice, and we’re not comfortable calling anything with sugar vegan unless we know for sure it’s not processed with bone char.

Usually, when a manufacturer chooses to use sugar not processed with bone char, it makes a point of publicizing the fact. A manufacturer that doesn’t disclose the source of its sugar gives strict vegans no choice but to avoid its products.

Are Nerds Gummy Clusters Cruelty-Free?

No, Nerds Gummy Clusters are not cruelty-free.

Nerds contain artificial colors, which are routinely tested on animals to ensure their safety for consumption by humans. Animal testing is a ghastly practice that prohibits this product from being cruelty-free.

What Are Nerds Gummy Clusters Made Of?

Before diving into vegan-friendly alternatives, let’s take a closer look at what Nerds Gummy Clusters are actually made of:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Gelatin
  • Modified cornstarch
  • Malic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium citrate
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Apple juice concentrate
  • Acacia (gum arabic)
  • Carnauba wax
  • Carmine color
  • Various artificial colors

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn. It’s vegan friendly but often considered a questionable ingredient due to health concerns.


Gelatin is made from animal bones and is not vegan.

Malic Acid

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

Carmine Color

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

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors like Red 40 and Yellow 5 are synthetically produced. While they are technically vegan, they are often tested on animals, making their cruelty-free status questionable.

Vegan Alternatives to Nerds Gummy Clusters

If you’re looking for vegan candy that aligns with your ethical food preferences, you’re in luck! There are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives out there:

  • Organic Gummy Bears from Yupik: Find them here.
  • Smart Sweets Sour Blast Buddies: Find them here.
  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: Find them here.


Navigating the candy aisle can be a minefield for vegan candy lovers with a sweet tooth.

Nerds Gummy Clusters, a favorite among many candies, unfortunately, do not meet the vegan or cruelty-free criteria due to the use of gelatin, carmine color, and refined sugar.

However, there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternative brands available to satisfy your cravings while adhering to a vegan lifestyle. Stay informed, and happy snacking!