Are Peeps Vegan and Cruelty-Free

October 4, 2023

It’s that age-old argument, back again. No, not if Peeps are delicious or not, but vegan or not! Identifying whether Peeps are vegan is a challenge many vegans face.

This difficulty arises when processed foods have long lists of unidentifiable — and unpronounceable — ingredients that the layperson couldn’t possibly translate.

Nonetheless, this article seeks to unveil the truth, guiding you, our young and compassionate reader, in your vegan journey.

Are Peeps Vegan?

No, Peeps are not vegan. The reason behind this is the presence of gelatin in the ingredients, which is derived from animal tissues, making it non-vegan.

Are Peeps Cruelty-Free?

No, Peeps are not cruelty-free. Corn syrup and sugar, both ingredients in Peeps, often come from GMO crops like corn and sugarcane or sugar beets. The problem is that genetically modified products are tested on animals, meaning Peeps are not cruelty-free.

Additionally, Peeps contain artificial colors. The actual color will vary depending on the flavor, but all artificial colors are tested on animals. Another reason Peeps are not cruelty-free.

What Are Peeps Made Of?

Peeps are made from a combination of ingredients that give them their unique taste and soft texture. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients in Peeps Classic Marshmallow Chicks:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Gelatin
  • Potassium sorbate 
  • Natural flavors
  • Blue #1
  • Carnauba wax


Sugar is a sweetening agent derived from sugarcane or sugar beets. While it adds sweetness to foods, some sugar, especially granulated sugar, might be processed with bone char, making it non-vegan. It’s also GMO unless it’s organic.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweet syrup made from cornstarch. It provides sweetness and moisture to foods. However, as mentioned earlier, corn syrup is often GMO, which is not cruelty-free.


Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling animal tissues. It’s used in marshmallow candies like Peeps to give them their characteristic soft texture. It’s derived from animals, making it non-vegan.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a preservative that prevents mold and yeast growth in foods. It’s synthetically produced and is considered vegan.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors can be derived from both plant and animal sources. Without specific details, it’s hard to determine if the natural flavors in Peeps are vegan.

Blue #1

Blue #1 is a synthetic food dye. It’s vegan because it’s made without animal ingredients, but it is tested on animals..

Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax is derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm. It’s used to give Peeps a shiny appearance. It’s plant based and vegan.

Product Variations

When it comes to different versions or flavors of Peeps, it’s essential to know that none of the variations are vegan or cruelty-free. Why? The main reason is gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal parts, and it’s found in all Peeps variations.

So, no matter which type or flavor of Peeps you pick up, it will have gelatin in it, making it not suitable for vegans or those looking for cruelty-free options.

Are Sour Watermelon Marshmallow Peeps Vegan?

No, Sour Watermelon Marshmallow Peeps contain gelatin. There are actually no vegan Peeps.

Are Peeps Marshmallow Pumpkins Vegan?

No, Peeps Marshmallow Pumpkins contain gelatin. There are actually no vegan Peeps.

Strawberry Flavored Delights Dipped in Milk Chocolate Vegan?

No, Strawberry Flavored Delights Dipped in Milk Chocolate contain gelatin and milk. These two animal-derived ingredients mean this product is not vegan. There are actually no vegan Peeps.

Are Peeps Classic Marshmallow Bunnies Vegan?

Sadly no. Despite their popularity during the Easter season, Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies are not vegan because they also contain gelatin. There are actually no vegan Peeps.

Vegan Alternatives to Peeps

For those who love the taste and texture of marshmallow candies but want to stick to vegan options, there are alternatives available.

Vegan marshmallows are made without pork gelatin and instead might use ingredients like soy protein or agar-agar. Some popular brands like Dandies offer multiple vegan marshmallow flavors. You can also try Know Brainer Max Mallow Vegan Marshmallows. Know Brainer even has caramel-filled varieties.

You can also make homemade vegan marshmallows using a food processor, powdered sugar, and vegan gelatin substitutes. With a piping bag, you can shape your own peeps and add sugar or colored sugar for that traditional peeps look.


In summary, traditional Peeps are neither vegan nor cruelty-free due to the inclusion of gelatin and the potential GMO nature of corn syrup, as well as animal testing on food coloring.

However, the growing demand for vegan food has led to the emergence of vegan marshmallow alternatives.

By choosing these alternatives, you can enjoy the soft texture and sweetness of marshmallow candies without compromising your commitment to a vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle.