Are Peanut Chews Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

October 4, 2023

Determining whether peanut chews are vegan is no simple feat.

Manufacturers have a knack for including ingredients that are nearly impossible to translate.

But fear not! This article is designed to uncover the truth and support you in your ethical, vegan journey.

Are Peanut Chews Vegan?

No, Peanut Chews are not definitely vegan.

It’s sugar that raises the alarm bells. I know, that’s weird, right? Sugar’s not vegan? Well, not always. Sugar is often processed with bone char, and because Just Born, the maker of Peanut Chews, does not disclose the nature of the sugar used, we cannot give Peanut Chews the vegan green flag.

Furthermore, this product contains glycerine. Glycerine can come from either plant or animal sources.

Because we can’t confirm where this glycerine comes from or if the sugar is processed with bone char, and the Peanut Chews brand makes no claim of being vegan, we’re not comfortable calling either the sugar or the glycerine in this product vegan.

Are Peanut Chews Cruelty-Free?

No, Peanut Chews are not cruelty-free.

Even though they don’t contain animal ingredients, the use of hydrogenated palm kernel oil is a cause for concern. The production of palm oil is often linked to deforestation and the loss of animal habitats, which is not in line with cruelty-free or environmentally sustainable practices.

Furthermore, the sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and soy lecithin included are all GMO. GMOs are tested on animals to ensure they’re safe for human consumption.

What Are Peanut Chews Made Of?

Before we explore vegan alternatives and other candies that align with your values, let’s dissect what exactly goes into these delicious, chewy morsels.

Here are the ingredients in the Original Dark Peanut Chews:

  • Peanuts
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Glycerine
  • Dextrose
  • Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
  • Salt
  • Cocoa powder and cocoa powder processed with alkali


Peanuts are legumes and are entirely plant based. They provide the main flavor and texture in peanut chews.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is derived from corn and is used as a sweetener. It’s plant-based but often criticized for its high sugar content. It’s also usually GMO.


Sugar is a plant-based ingredient, but unethical sourcing can sometimes be a concern. It’s also GMO, and sometimes processed with bone char.


Molasses is a by-product of sugar production and is plant based. It adds a rich, complex flavor to the candy.


Glycerine in this context is either plant based or animal based. When plant based, it’s often called “vegetable glycerine.” It’s used to maintain moisture in the candy. I can’t say for certain if it’s vegan in Peanut Chews.


Dextrose is a form of sugar derived from plants, used as a sweetener. It’s GMO.

Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil

This is a plant-based oil but is not considered cruelty-free due to the environmental impact of palm oil production.


Salt is a mineral and is vegan. It’s used to enhance the flavor of the candy.

Cocoa Powder and Cocoa Powder Processed With Alkali

Cocoa powder is derived from crushed cocoa beans, offering a rich chocolate flavor. Both regular and Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa powder are plant-based and vegan, with the latter undergoing a process to smooth its flavors.

Sorbitan Tristearate

Sorbitan tristearate is utilized as an emulsifier, ensuring a consistent texture by preventing separation. It is synthesized from sorbitol and stearic acid, and while it can be vegan, the source of stearic acid, often derived from animal fat, determines its vegan status.

Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin acts as another emulsifying agent, contributing to the candy’s texture. Extracted from soybeans, a heavily GMO crop, it is plant based and vegan, but only cruelty-free if it’s not GMO.

Vegan Alternatives to Peanut Chews

If you’re searching for vegan-friendly candies from specific brands, you’re in for a treat! Here’s a curated list of alternatives that are unquestionably vegan, along with the details that confirm their vegan status:

  • Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bars: Endangered Species uses plant-based ingredients and avoids milk solids or whey, opting instead for cocoa and natural sweeteners, making it a guilt-free choice.
  • Swedish Fish by Mondelez International: Unlike many gummy candies, Swedish Fish do not contain gelatin. They use cornstarch and other plant-based ingredients as thickeners, making them a vegan-friendly option.
  • UNREAL Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: UNREAL chocolate is completely vegan, gluten-free, and fair trade.

Now you can satisfy your sweet tooth without straying from your vegan principles!


Peanut Chews fall short of being vegan and cruelty-free due to the inclusion of sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and GMO food ingredients.

As someone who cares deeply about animals and the planet, you might want to consider vegan alternative brands that align more closely with your values.