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Are Haribo Gummy Bears Vegan? A Gelatin-Free Guide

Posted by Aaron Seminoff on

So, Are Haribo Gummy Bears Vegan?

Gummy bears are a popular candy, and Haribo is one of the most well-known brands for this type of candy. However, just because a brand is a classic or is very well-known doesn't mean it's right for your diet. It's important to take a close look at all food labels to make sure they're vegan. Unfortunately if we take a look at the ingredients we can see that Haribo Gummy Bears are not vegan. But don't worry - here are is an organic vegan gummy bear alternative!

Are Haribo Gummy Bears Vegan

Haribo Gummy Bear Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Gelatin
  • Dextrose
  • Citric acid
  • Corn starch
  • Artificial and natural flavors
  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • Carnauba wax
  • Beeswax coating
  • Yellow 5
  • Red 40
  • Blue 1

As you can see, gelatin is the third ingredient on the list so this is definitely not a vegan product. On a secondary note, the product also contains another animal by-product, beeswax. Many vegans choose not to consume or use any product with beeswax. However, beeswax isn't an ingredient that almost all gummy bears share, unlike gelatin which is ubiquitous. Satisfy your gummy bear cravings with a good (healthier) vegan alternative that is beeswax-free and made with pectin instead.

Pre-packaged foods can slip a lot of ingredients (like animal by-products) into the ingredients list without most people noticing. This can apply to foods we wouldn't normally suspect of containing animal by-products, like candy. For example, even innocuous-seeming confections like sprinkles and Turkish delight can contain such ingredients. Gummy bears are another common, much-loved candy that can sneak non-vegan ingredients into your mouth.

What Makes Most Gummy Bears Non-Vegan?

non vegan haribo gummy bears

Most gummy bears are made with gelatin. Gelatin is not a vegan ingredient, as it is derived from collagen that comes from the bodies of various animals. Manufacturers often make gelatin from scraps and remnants of the meat and leather industries. Gelatin is non-nutritive, and its sole purpose is to add a gel-like texture to a food. In addition to gummy bears, gelatin is almost always present in other types of gummy candies, such as gummy worms and gummy fruit rings, as well as marshmallows and possibly other confections.

Is There an Alternative to Gelatin?

Although they can be hard to find, a few gummy bear brands do not use gelatin in their recipe. In order to get a gummy texture, pectin is used in place of gelatin. Pectin is a vegan gelling agent found in plants. Manufacturers choose to derive it mostly from citrus fruits. Arguably the most common products pectin is used in are jams and jellies, so there's a good chance you consume it on a regular basis. (Fun fact: The reason why apples and other fruits get mushy as they get too old is because the pectin in them is degrading.)

In order to make sure the gummy bears you're buying are vegan, check that they are made with pectin and not gelatin. The same principle of checking the label is good to apply to any other food, as well. If you want to follow a vegan diet strictly, don't consume a confection or other food that contains gelatin.

Vegan Gummy Bear Alternatives

Our Favorite: Surf Sweets Organic Gummy Bears

surf sweets vegan gummy bears

These gummy bears are not only vegan but they are made with all organic ingredients! If you are looking for a delicious healthy alternative to Haribo gummy bears look no further! You can purchase them on Amazon here.


The top pick for vegan gummy bears are the organic vegan gummy bears from Nuts.Com that have no artificial flavors or colors. You'll receive a blend of cherry, grape, grapefuit, lemon, orange, and strawberry flavors.

Surf Sweets

Surf Sweets Sour Berry Bears are made with organic fruit juice and provide you with 100% DV vitamin C per serving. They also are free of artificial colors and flavors. The same brand also makes other flavors of vegan gummy bears plus other vegan gummy candies like worms and rings.

Annie's Organic

Though fruit snacks are a bit different from gummy bears, they're still great for satisfying a gummy bear craving given their similar taste and texture. The Bunny Fruit Snacks from Annie's Organic give you 100$ DV vitamin C in each serving. The gummies are also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The Bunny Fruit Snacks are available in several flavors.


Seitenbacher offers various gelatin-free gummy snack options in several flavors (None that are bear-shaped, but what does that really matter?). They're made with real fruit juice.

Now You Know!

The majority of gummy bears you'll find will contain animal by-products. However, there are some good vegan options if you look, so if you're sticking to a vegan diet you won't have to deprive yourself of the candies you love. All vegans should be aware of what candies are suitable for their diet, so why not share this article with your friends?


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