Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?

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Key Takeaways

  • Sour Patch Kids distributed in the U.S. are vegan, but the sugar is often processed using bone char. The brand uses a recipe that does not include gelatin or any other ingredients derived from animals. Except for the Sour Patch Kids yogurt and ice cream, all other candies are entirely plant-based and, therefore, vegan-friendly to most people. 
  • The U.K.’s Sour Patch Kids include gelatine which is essentially hydrolyzed collagen extracted from the carcasses of cattle, pigs, or fish by means of acid dipping and slow boiling. In the case of U.K. Sour Patch Kids gummies, it’s porcine gelatine. 
  • Sour Patch Kids feature very different recipes based on a similar core formula depending on where in the world they’re being distributed. If you’re uncertain about the origin of your candy, always check the ingredients for the inclusion of gelatine, and if it’s there, they’re not vegan. 
  • Out of the USA, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom, only U.K. Sour Patch Kids include gelatine and should be avoided by vegans. We suggest hunting down an online retailer from another country if you’re craving the real thing really bad. 

The intense but short-lived mouth-pinching reaction triggered by Sour Patch Kids candies is a powerful sensation that oh-so-many brands have tried to replicate. Sour gummy candies don’t get better than Mondelēz International’s square-headed gelatinous cuties. Given the go-to ingredient, gelatin, present in most gummies, most immediately wonder if sour patch kids are vegan. Unfortunately, the world’s favorite sour gummy isn’t completely plant-based everywhere. It all depends on what country you’re shopping in. Let’s take a closer look. 

So, Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?


Some Sour Patch Kids are mostly vegan, depending on the individual’s view over sugar processing using bone char. Other regional varieties of Sour Patch Kids are most definitely not vegan due to the inclusion of pork gelatine. All Sour Patch Kids manufactured and distributed in the United States of America omit gelatine in their basic recipe completely, which makes them totally plant-based other than the synthetic colorings, and are therefore vegan. Adversely, with a basic composition built around hydrolyzed collagen (gelatine), Sour Patch Kids distributed in the U.K. and many parts of Europe and isolated other countries are not.

What Are Sour Patch Kids Made Of?

Even though all Sour Patch Kids share similar ingredients in order to achieve their sour-then-sweet flavor and sugary texture, there’s one glaring difference for vegans to be aware of – gelatine. Here is the exact composition of each variety of Sour Patch Kids commonly distributed in various regions. 

Sour Patch Kids In The USA – Vegan

As one can clearly see by the ingredient breakdown, Mondelez Global LLC operating in the U.K., resorts to the following ingredients, which do not cite gelatine:

Sugar, Invert Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Natural, And Artificial Flavoring, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, And Blue 1. 

Sour Patch Kids In Canada – Vegan

Canada distributes vegan Maynards Sour Patch Kids that are nearly identical to the packaging found in the U.S., but the ingredients are still slightly different:

Sugars (Sugar, Glucose Syrup), Modified Corn Starch, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, Allura Red, Tartrazine, Brilliant Blue FCF

Sour Patch Kids Mexico – Not Vegan

Sour Patch Kids sold in Mexico are made in New Jersey and, just like the U.S. brand, they don’t include any animal products:

Sugar, Invert Sugar, Corn Syrup Modified Corn Starch, Contains Less Than 2% Of Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Natural, And Artificial Flavor, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow, Blue 1

Sour Patch Kids In The U.K. – Not Vegan

The nutrient breakdown of Sour Patch Kids in the U.K. reflects a very different selection of ingredients built around gelatine, like most jelly and gummy-based sweets:

Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Water, Starch, Gelatine, Acid (Malic Acid), Concentrated Apple Juice, Colors (Anthocyanins, Vegetable Carbon, Paprika Extract, Lutein, Curcumin), Acidity Regulator (Calcium Citrates), Palm Oil, Flavourings

Sour Patch Kids In France – Vegan

Sour Patch Kids sold in France appear to be manufactured and distributed using the same facilities as the United States, and they include the same ingredients:

Sugar, Invert Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Tartaric Acid Citric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavoring, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1

Sour Patch Kids In Australia – Vegan

Australian Sour Patch Kids are manufactured and distributed by Mondelez International’s facility in Victoria, Australia. They do not include any gelatine and are, therefore, vegan. The ingredients are listed as follows:

Cane Sugar, Glucose Syrup (From Wheat And Corn), Invert Sugar, Thickener (Acid Modified Wheat Starch), Food Acids (Fumaric Tartaric, Citric), Colors (Grape Skin Extract, Anthocyanins, Spirulina, Paprika Oleoresin, Turmeric), Flavors

The Entire Vegan Sour Patch Kids Line In The USA

Only Yoplait Sour Patch Kids Go-Gurt, which contains dairy and gelatine, and Sour Patch Kids Light Ice Cream & Sorbet, inclusive of skim milk, is not vegan. Vegan Sour Patch Kids products in the U.S. include all the seasonal varieties and the rest of the flavors as follows:

  • Sour Patch Kids Candy, Holiday Giant Theater Box
  • Sour Patch Kids Candy, Holiday Theater Box
  • Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Soft And Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Just Blue Raspberry
  • Sour Patch Kids Strawberry Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch kids Original Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Bites Original Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Bites Watermelon Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Berries Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Candy, Crush Soda Fruit Mix Flavor
  • Sour Patch Kids Tropic Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Heads, 2 Flavors In One
  • Sour Patch Kids Extreme Soft & Chewy Candy
  • Sour Patch Kids Big Kids Soft & Chewy Candy

Overview of Potentially Questionable Ingredients

While all ingredients in US-based and most other Sour Patch Kids are vegan, with the obvious exception of gelatin in the U.K., some mostly-harmless components have been viewed in a negative light by certain consumers, and the sugar may undergo bone-char-based processing. Let’s take a closer look. 

Bone Char And Sugar

Cane sugar and, consequently, its derivatives aren’t consumed by all vegans due to the way that the raw sugar is filtered through bone char. The manufacturer of Sour Patch Kids, Mondelez International, openly states that certain sugar suppliers use animal-derived charcoal, known as bone char, as a part of their refining process, whereas others do not. Sugar suppliers are not vetted according to their processing type, so the sugar and sugar derivatives in use may have come in contact with bone char. Please note the final product doesn’t actually include bone char. It is merely filtered through it to reach its bright white coloring. Whether or not this makes each product vegan is at the discretion of each consumer. 

Corn Syrup

Made from the starch of corn, corn syrup is only detrimental to one’s health when consumed in copious quantities or repeatedly, recurrently over a prolonged duration. A couple of sweets or a glass or two of fizzy cola isn’t going to crash your body but binging or making a habit of daily overconsumption will. With this being said, overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup has been connected to metabolic dysfunction or rather an irregularly increased appetite put into hyperdrive by a stimulated reward response (altered dopamine signal) and, therefore, a greater chance of weight gain leading to obesity.  

Artificial Colorings

Even though there are slight concerns from scattered segments of the food and medical industries, most, if not all, artificial food colors are deemed safe for limited consumption. At the very, they aren’t derived from animals which makes them vegan. 

Yellow 5

Yellow 5 is an artificial food color and petroleum product (therefore vegan-friendly), also referred to as E102, FD&C Yellow No. 5, and Tartrazine. It is collected to several allergic reactions, particularly in those suffering from asthma and aspirin intolerance but remains safe enough to be allowed in food by global authorities. The only study proving a negative impact connects Yellow 5 to damaging a small concentration of white blood cells, which may make malignancies more likely.  

Yellow 6

Yellow 6, also known as Sunset Yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S, E110, FD&C Yellow 6, and C.I. 15985, is a petroleum-derived artificial food coloring that is safe to consume in limited quantities. Prolonged consumption has been connected to potential adverse behavioral outcomes in children, but limited studies state the conclusion of food dye exposure contributing towards delinquency, hyperactivity, and/or ADHD. Each individual needs further research to reason a subjective threat, but it’s largely safe.

Red 40

Red 40 is an artificial food coloring also known as Allura Red, Allura Red A.C., FD&C Red 40, E129, Feed Red 17, and C.I. 16035. It is made using a chemical reaction between two organic acids and is, therefore, vegan-friendly. Red 40 replaced both Red 2 (amaranth) and Red 3 (erythrosine) due to being a far safer alternative. The same study connecting increased hyperactivity in children to artificial coloring applies to Allura Red, but it also concluded that far more extensive testing is needed via the general populace instead of a small, closed group. 

Blue 1

Blue 1, Brilliant Blue FCF, Brilliant Blue, E133, Acid Blue 9, C.I. 42090, Blue #1 Lake, Eriosky Blue, and Erioglaucine as the oldest artificial food dye is known as one of the most stable pigments. The toxicity level is far lower than almost all other dyes. The body doesn’t absorb Blue 1 very well, expelling roughly 95% of all consumed dye. Biomedical research even confirms a potential inflammatory benefit of consuming controlled quantities of this food color derived from petroleum. 

Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan – Frequently Asked Questions?

Have you been left wondering anything about vegan Sour Patch Kids? Here are the concise answers you need to put your questions to rest. For those with a sweet tooth still puzzled about everyone’s favorite gummy candies, be sure to check out our look at whether gummy bears are vegan or not and the overview of their inventor, Haribo.

Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?

Sour Patch Kids in the U.S. and most other countries do not include gelatine but may include sugar and sugar derivatives that have come into contact with bone char during filtering. This means that all Sour Patch Kids, excluding the company’s yogurt and ice cream, are semi-vegan, with suitability being at the discretion of the consumer. Some countries like the United Kingdom do, however, distribute Sour Patch Kids that include gelatine instead, so we advise checking your ingredients before consumption. 

Do Sour Patch Kids Contain Gelatin?

Only Sour Patch Kids distributed in the United Kingdom list gelatine, derived from the collagen of animal carcasses, as an ingredient. All Sour Patch kids, with the exception of the brand’s yogurt and ice cream are vegan in the USA and most other countries. 

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