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Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan? Everything You Need To Know

Are Sour Patch Kids vegan? That’s the question on everyone’s lips! Keep reading to find out which versions are vegan-friendly and which ones you should avoid.

Vegan Sour Patch Kids Bag

Sour Patch Kids are a popular candy that come in a variety of flavours. They were first created in the USA in the 1970’s by Frank Galatolie and back then they were known as Mars Men. The sweets came to the UK in 2012 have since become a popular sweet snack here too. Variations of Sour Patch Kids include original, Sour Patch bites and fruit mix.

Because the sweets are chewy, many people automatically assume that they are not vegan as this is often the case with chewy candies. I’ve written this post to help clear things up for those who may be new to a vegan diet.

For those who are interested, I’ve also written a post that explains which UK sweets are vegan sweets. There are over 60 options to choose from!

Are Sour Patch Kids vegan?

In the UK, watermelon Sour Patch Kids are but the other flavours are not. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

Watermelon Sour Patch Kids ARE vegan

The ingredients in watermelon Sour Patch Kids are:

Sugar, Invert Sugar Syrup, Glucose Syrup, Starch, Acids (Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid), Colours (Anthocyanins, Curcumin, Vegetable Carbon), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Hydroxide), Flavouring.

As you can see, these do not contain any gelatine. And because they’re made in the UK, the sugar is vegan. There are no other ingredients in these sweets that would make them not vegan- they are even marked as vegan on the packaging for extra assurance!

Original Sour Patch Kids are NOT vegan (In the UK)

The original Sour Patch Kids in the UK are lemon, lime, orange, raspberry and blackcurrant flavoured sweets. They are not suited to a plant-based diet because they contain gelatine. They’re made with the following ingredients:

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

Sour Patch Kids fruit mix are NOT vegan in the UK

The fruit mix Sour Patch Kids contain cherry, apple, tropical and blackcurrant flavours. Sadly, these sweets also contain gelatine. The ingredients are quite similar to the original ones:

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

Sour Patch Kids in the USA are made without gelatine

In the USA, Sour Patch Kids are made without gelatine. You may automatically think that this means they’re vegan but this is a bit unclear. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in the original sweets:

  • Sugar. Sugar is sometimes processed using bone char in the US, which is made from animal bones. Mondelēz (the company that owns Sour Patch Kids) are known to use bone char but it’s not clear if the sugar in Sour Patch Kids is processed using bone char or not.
  • Invert sugar. Invert sugar can be made from cane or beet sugar, or it can be made from honey. It’s unclear where it is sourced for Sour Patch Kids.
  • Corn syrup. Almost all corn syrup is vegan-friendly.
  • Modified cornstarch. This is a plant-based ingredient and is suitable for vegans.
  • Tartaric acid & citric acid. These are both vegan ingredients.
  • Natural & artificial flavours. These are vegan most of the time.
  • Colours. All of the colours in Sour Patch Kids are vegan: Yellow 5 (E102), Yellow 6 (E110), Red 40 (E129), and Blue 1 (E133). You can find more information about these in my vegan e-numbers guide.

In summary, USA Sour Patch Kids are not for sure not vegan, but it’s hard to say for certain that they are vegan. Whether or not you choose to consume them depends on how much the risk of bone char being used bothers you. It’s a personal choice.

Person Holding Bag Of Sour Patch Kids

Is Sour Patch Gum vegan?

Trident’s Sour Patch Kids gum is not vegan because it contains gelatine. See the full list of ingredients below:

Xylitol, gum base, sorbitol, natural and artificial flavours, citric acid, acacia, acesulfame, potassium, aspartame, colours, gelatine, malic acid, maltitol, maltitol syrup, soy lecithin.

Are they gluten-free?

Yes, Sour Patch Kids are gluten-free. They do not contain any gluten-derived ingredients and are therefore suitable for a gluten-free diet. Those with allergies should always check the labels for any warnings of cross contamination risk because this can change at any time.


In the UK, Watermelon Sour Patch Kids are vegan but the other flavours are not. Sour Patch Kids in the USA are made without gelatine and therefore may be vegan-friendly. It’s unclear whether or not the sugar used in USA Sour Patch Kids is vegan so it’s up to each individual to decide if they wish to eat them or not.

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