Is Candy Corn Vegan – or Full of Scary Stuff?

Mmmm, striped wax triangles. What a treat.

Photo: mphillips007 / Getty Images

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Ah, Halloween. Time to pick out costumes and stock up on candy for Trick or Treaters. And, of course, time for the weirdest, plastic-test, in-n0-way-corn-like candy corn to make its annual return. Which may have you asking: is candy corn vegan? Is it even something humans should ingest under any circumstances? Well, we cannot really address the latter query, but the first one we can answer. And to that, the answer is usually no.

Is Candy Corn Vegan? 

Different companies use different combinations of ingredients, so there is no one universal answer. Many mainstream brands use gelatin, which may be animal-derived, in their candy corn. Brach’s, the leading candy corn brand you’re likely to see, confirmed to Cooking Light that their gelatin is indeed the type made from tendons and bones. It is possible to find products made with non-animal gelatin, but if it’s not specified, you might want to assume it’s animal-based. And gelatin isn’t the only thing making candy corn not vegan. Companies sometimes use or glazes that have been processed using animal-derived ingredients or containing insect secretions. Even Jelly Belly, which purports to use none of those components in their candy corn (and other products) still falls short of being vegan; they coat the outside of the candy corn kernels in beeswax. Don’t assume brands marketed as “natural” or “healthier” are going to be vegan safe, as many packages we checked that use those labels are sweetened with honey, which many vegans do not eat.

Vegan Candy Corn Options

Vegan candy corn does exist – you just might have to work a bit harder (or spend a bit more) to get it.  If you feel like going the DIY route, Vegetarian Baker and Tablespoon have vegan candy corn recipes to try.


RELATED: Are Figs Vegan?

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