Which Candies Have Gelatin? A Comprehensive List

Which Candies Have Gelatin? A Comprehensive List

Are you a candy lover who is looking for gelatin-free options? It can be difficult to know which candies contain gelatin, especially if you are a vegetarian or have religious dietary restrictions. In this article, we will explore which candies have gelatin and provide you with some alternatives to enjoy.

Gelatin is a protein obtained from the collagen of animal bones, skin, and connective tissues. It is commonly used in candies to provide a chewy texture and to help them keep their shape. However, gelatin is not suitable for everyone, and some people may want to avoid it for various reasons. If you are one of them, keep reading to find out which candies to avoid and which ones to choose instead.

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a protein that is derived from collagen, which is a natural protein found in animal skin, bones, and connective tissues. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food products, such as candies, desserts, and marshmallows, to give them a chewy texture.

Gelatin is a translucent, flavorless substance that is soluble in hot water and forms a gel-like substance when cooled. It is often used in food products as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier, and it can also be used to clarify beverages.

There are different types of gelatin available in the market, including pork gelatin, beef gelatin, and fish gelatin. Pork gelatin is the most commonly used type in food products, while beef gelatin is often used in pharmaceuticals and supplements. Fish gelatin is a popular alternative for those who do not consume meat products.

Why is Gelatin Used in Candies?

Gelatin is a common ingredient in many types of candies, including gummy bears, marshmallows, and jelly beans. It is used to give these treats their signature texture and shape. Gelatin is a protein that is derived from animal collagen, which is found in connective tissues, bones, and cartilage. It is a versatile ingredient that is used in many different types of food products, including desserts, soups, and sauces.

One of the main reasons why gelatin is used in candies is because it has gelling properties. When gelatin is mixed with water and heated, it dissolves and forms a solution. As the solution cools, it solidifies and forms a gel-like substance. This property allows candy manufacturers to create a wide variety of shapes and textures, from soft and chewy gummies to firm and bouncy jelly beans.

In addition to its gelling properties, gelatin also has a neutral flavor and odor, which makes it an ideal ingredient for candies. It does not interfere with the taste or aroma of other ingredients, allowing candy manufacturers to create a wide variety of flavors and colors. Gelatin is also a natural ingredient that is safe for consumption, making it a popular choice for candy manufacturers who want to create products that are both tasty and healthy.

List of Candies That Contain Gelatin

Gummy Candies

Gummy candies are a popular treat, but many contain gelatin. Here are some examples:

  • Haribo Goldbears
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Skittles (Original and Wild Berry)

It’s important to note that not all gummy candies contain gelatin. Some brands, such as Surf Sweets and YumEarth, use alternative ingredients like pectin instead.


Marshmallows are a staple in many desserts, but they typically contain gelatin. Here are some popular brands that use gelatin:

  • Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
  • Campfire Marshmallows
  • Peeps Marshmallow Chicks

For those looking for gelatin-free options, Dandies and Trader Joe’s offer vegan marshmallows that are made without animal products.

Jelly Beans

Jelly beans are a colorful and sweet snack, but they often contain gelatin. Here are some well-known brands that use gelatin:

  • Brach’s Jelly Beans
  • Starburst Jelly Beans
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

For those who prefer gelatin-free options, Surf Sweets and YumEarth offer vegan jelly beans that are made without animal products.


Licorice is a chewy and flavorful candy, but it often contains gelatin. Here are some brands that use gelatin:

  • Twizzlers
  • Red Vines
  • Good & Plenty

For those who want to avoid gelatin, Panda Licorice and Newman’s Own offer licorice that is made without animal products.

Fruit Snacks

Fruit snacks are a popular snack for kids and adults alike, but many contain gelatin. Here are some examples:

  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks
  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
  • Mott’s Medleys Fruit Snacks

For those who prefer gelatin-free options, Stretch Island and YumEarth offer vegan fruit snacks that are made without animal products.

List of Candies That Do Not Contain Gelatin

Chocolate Candies

Many chocolate candies do not contain gelatin. Here are some popular brands:

  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
  • M&Ms (except for pretzel-flavored)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Kit Kat Bars

These candies are great options for those who are looking for gelatin-free treats.

Hard Candies

Hard candies are typically free of gelatin. Here are some examples:

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Life Savers
  • Werther’s Originals

These candies are perfect for those who enjoy a long-lasting, sweet treat.

Sour Candies

Sour candies can be a bit trickier, as some brands do contain gelatin. However, there are still plenty of options:

  • Warheads
  • Nerds
  • Sour Patch Kids

These candies provide a tangy and sweet flavor without the addition of gelatin.

Candy Bars

Many candy bars are also free of gelatin. Here are some popular options:

  • Snickers
  • Twix
  • Butterfinger
  • 100 Grand

These candy bars offer a variety of flavors and textures, making them a great choice for those who want a satisfying treat.


After extensive research, it is clear that many popular candies contain gelatin as an ingredient. Gelatin is often used as a binding agent or to add texture to the candy. It is derived from animal collagen, making it unsuitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

It is important to read the ingredient labels carefully before purchasing any candy, especially if you have dietary restrictions or preferences. Some candies may contain alternative ingredients, such as agar agar or pectin, which can provide a similar texture without the use of gelatin.

While gelatin may not be harmful to most people, it is important to be aware of its presence in candy and other food products. By making informed choices and reading labels, we can ensure that we are consuming food that aligns with our values and dietary needs.

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