Are skittles vegan? We answer this question and more so you can taste the rainbow.

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The ultimate question for any vegan with a sweet tooth — are Skittles vegan?! With these colourful candies a favourite among sweet lovers worldwide, some vegans may be wondering if they can still partake!

At The Goodness Project, we’re experts in the world of vegan sweet treats and snacks, so we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Skittles (and their vegan status) to help any new vegan better navigate it. Keep reading to find out more!

Are Skittles Vegan? The Answers You Need

Skittles Vegan Status

What makes something vegan? In addition to cutting out meat, vegans diets also exclude dairy products, eggs and honey from their diet, as well as any other byproducts of animal agriculture like tallow, whey, or gelatin. 

With that in mind, the simple answer is: yes. Skittles Classic Fruits are suitable for vegans.

Though the bag only brands them as ‘Suitable For Vegetarians’, classic Skittles do have a vegan friendly status as they contain no animal products. But could there be more to consider? We think so.

 image of skittles

Are All Skittles Vegan?

Most types of Skittles are considered vegan, but not all. While Skittles Classic Fruits, Skittles Sour, Skittles Tropical and Wild Berry Skittles are all currently suitable for vegans, some special editions such as the Once in a Blue Moon Skittles are not, as the blue skittles contain animal product derivatives.

As limited edition packs can differ with their ingredients, we recommend always checking the ingredients list of any past or future limited edition packs to double check for animal derived products if you want to be really safe!

Skittles Ingredients

Though like many other sweets the main ingredients of Skittles are coloured sugars and artificial additives, none of which contain animal products. However, the ingredients haven’t always looked like this.

Although gelatin was (thankfully) removed from Skittles over a decade ago, another ingredient called Carmine (AKA Cochineal Extract, E120) was only scrapped from the ingredients list in around 2015, so some older bags of Skittles that are floating around might still contain this product.

image of skittles on table

E120 is a natural red food colour taken from a species of insects called Cochineal that live on different succulents, making it an animal byproduct unsuitable for vegans. 

We admit that it’s unlikely that you’ll happen upon a pre-2015 bag of Skittles anytime soon, but we think it’s always best to check the ingredients list just in case!

Vegan Considerations

Although Skittles no longer contain animal products, there are still some considerations to make as a vegan before tasting the rainbow! You may want to consider the wider company you are funding and their overall vegan status.

As Skittles are owned by parent company Mars, who have been known to test on animals in the past, you need to make some decisions about how strict your vegan diet should be. If you were to cut out all companies that have ever tested on animals you might not have much left to eat! But that choice is yours.

Another consideration to make is how you feel about palm oil. Palm oil production is widely known to be disastrous for the environment and for the animals within it. The production of palm oil has leveled forests, destroyed habitats and caused animal extinction, amongst other things. By destroying forests to make room for plantation development, wildlife lose their homes and their lives.

Though more companies are making efforts to get rid of palm oil from their products, it is still rife in the sweet industry. As Skittles contain palm oil as one of their ingredients, you should make an informed decision about whether or not you feel comfortable buying their products. 

The Verdict

So we have established that most Skittles are suitable for vegans, with some considerations, but at the end of the day only you can make the choice when it comes to the suitability of Skittles in your vegan diet.

That might all depend on the reason you are vegan. If strict vegan ethics and sustainability are a core value to you, then we recommend steering clear of Skittles and maybe finding something minus the palm oil to satisfy that sweet tooth in the future!

Find Delicious Vegan Snack Hampers and Other Free-From Sweet Treats Today at The Goodness Project!

At The Goodness Project, we provide delicious free-from snacks to satisfy your cravings completely ethically. Find a sweet treat in one of our vegan treat boxes or boost morale in the office with some tasty vegan treats for colleagues

Not only do we offer the best vegan snacks and gifts, but we have years of knowledge and experience to back us up. Find vegan recipes, ideas and more on our expert blog, or contact us today to find out more!


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My name is Anna and I'm the co-founder of The Goodness Project. This is a little place where we will be sharing some of the things that inspire us at The Goodness Project - the food, the brands, the people and the lifestyle. We hope you enjoy your stay! :)

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