Sour Patch Kids are sweets that have been enjoyed by many for years, but with a spotlight being shone on the ethicality of the ingredients in what we eat, many may now choose to avoid these classic favourites.

So, are Sour Patch Kids vegan? Keep reading to find out.

Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?

Sour Patch Kids UK Vegan Status

The simple answer to the question ‘Are sour patch kids vegan?’ is no.

Sour Patch Kids are not vegan in the UK as the ingredients still contain gelatine.

However, in the US, Sour Patch Kids do not contain gelatine, so keep an eye on the ingredients list of every pack just to be sure. 

Though there are many vegan sweets around that do contain ethically sourced ingredients, be aware that it’s not just the gelatine that makes Sour Patch Kids non-vegan.

Some of the other ingredients in Sour Patch Kids are also not considered suitable for vegans for a variety of reasons.

Sour Patch Kids Non-Vegan Ingredients UK


Used as an additive in many chewy sweets to create a jelly-like and chewy texture, gelatine is (unfortunately) one of the ingredients in Sour Patch Kids. Produced from cow hides, pig skins, animal bones and sometimes other animal parts, gelatin is truly grim and best to avoid if you’re sticking to a vegan lifestyle.

Palm Oil

Though palm oil itself is a vegetable product and so contains no animal products, the palm oil industry has some devastating practices that should not be taken lightly when it comes to the (ab)use of animals.

Some vegans will eat products that contain palm oil, as it is technically free of animal byproducts, but many vegans tend to avoid it. This is because it does not really fit with vegan ethics and morals. The choice is yours.

Cane Sugar

Cane sugar and vegan ethics can be a fiery topic. Some vegans may be inclined to avoid cane sugar due to the unethical treatment of workers and environmental concerns, whereas others may use it as an example of not letting "perfect be the enemy of good." Can we strive for absolute perfection in our lives or will that cause us to not be able to achieve anything?

Although cane sugar comes from a source that is not necessarily vegan friendly, the vegan lifestyle tends to promote avoiding products that come from sources that exploit or take advantage of their workers.

Animal Testing

Again, though gelatin is the only animal byproduct that makes it into the final Sour Patch Kids sweets, some of the dyes that are used have actually been tested on animals. This includes dyes like Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Blue 1. Though none of these dyes contain animal products, they are sometimes tested on animals. For many vegans, the lifestyle is about reducing the overall harm and exploitation of animals, not just avoiding animal byproducts.

This is why many vegans will not use beauty products that are tested on animals. Should the same apply to food?


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Plant-Based Considerations

If you manage to get hold of the US recipe Sour Patch Kids and are okay with eating them simply because they do not contain gelatin (so do not contain any animal byproducts) then you could be considered plant-based.

Though ideally we should try to avoid any ingredients that add to the exploitation and (ab)use of animals, being plant-based is still great for the planet, better for the animals and great for your health, so good for you! Your diet and lifestyle are strictly your choice, so eat as you see fit. 

Vegan Sweets UK

Don’t worry, there are still plenty of options if you decide against the Sour Patch Kids and want to opt for a tasty vegan option. If you’re wondering which sweets you can eat, here are a few:

  • Vegan Gummies: Fizzy Carrot vegan gummies are 100% vegan and 100% tasty.
  • Skittles: As cochineal extract has now been removed from Skittles in the UK, most packs are now vegan-friendly.
  • Rowntrees Jelly Tots: Surprisingly are not made with gelatin and contain no animal products.
  • Millions: The Strawberry, Bubblegum, Cola and Blueberry flavours are all vegan-certified.
  • Haribos Rainbow Laces:  Most Haribos sweets contain gelatin, but these Rainbow Laces don’t! They are completely vegan-friendly.
  • Love Hearts: All of the love and none of the animal products.

You can find a more in-depth breakdown of the best vegan sweets here

Looking For 100% Vegan Snacks?

At the Goodness Project, we specialise in tasty 100% vegan snacks and gifts. Whether you’re searching for something to soothe that sweet tooth, a midday office treat or a vegan-friendly corporate gift basket, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!

Read More Vegan Expertise Over On The Goodness Blog!


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