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Gummy bears look as adorable as they taste delicious and why should going vegan mean you can't eat bear?
Well, those that are also gummy candies at least and honestly who has ever said “mmm gelatin, such a lovely flavor”? But we’ll get stuck into that particular gelatinous mess a little later.
Gummy bears are a chewy, fruity, sweet that take you back to your childhood. Whether you want it as a treat for yourself or your kids, here's our pick of the tastiest vegan gummies on the market.
Our Top Vegan Gummy Bears
1 - Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snack -
Okay let's clear this up straight away, yes they're bunnies, not bears, but bear with us, pun intended. This all vegan and gluten-free organic candy is easily one of the tastiest we've ever tried.
Each portion contains 100% of your daily dose of vitamin C, is made with real fruit juice, all organic, no artificial flavoring… you get the picture.
Annie's Organic is one of few brands that are committed to these values across all their products, so it makes it an easy pick for the number 1 spot.
The gummy candies come in individually wrapped portions so that you and your kids can limit your craving a little easier, although you can indulge once in a while right?
2 - The Organic Gummy Factory Organic Gummy Cubs
They might only be cubs, but they've got the bite of an adult bear. These are the first all-vegan gummy bear to also be classified as kosher, how that changes their preparation, I don't know. But I'm sure it's a relief to any vegan Hebrews with a sweet tooth.
They are not quite as chewy as your regular gummy bear. It's a softer, more smooshy texture, but the taste is incredible. I'm a fan of the peach flavor; it's very refreshing and clearly all-natural.
Just a quick glance at the ingredients list confirms that. The mixed berry bag seems to be a fan favorite, too.
Best of all, they give a percentage of all sales to Camp Hope a charity in Uganda that helps orphans and ex-soldiers. So you can snack guilt-free and feel good about a little extra hope in the world too.
3 - Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
Now, these little bears are the exact same thing as that fond memory you have of gummy bears as a kid.
The texture, color, and taste are all spot on. They've got an all organic and simple ingredient list and also give 1% of all sales towards eco-friendly charities and organisations.
As well as their regular fruity bears, they also make a sour variety which I, for one, cannot get enough of.
However, it must be noted that they offer a lot of different products and there are an unfortunately large amount of people complaining that they were sent the wrong one in their orders.
4 - Trader Joe's Scandinavian Swimmers Gummy
Another entry on the list that is not bear, even worse than that, they're bear food. Trader Joe's Scandinavian Swimmers feature a selection of brightly colored nautical animals like lobsters and sharks.
They have the great taste and chewy texture that you would expect for a gummy candy, only better because it’s from all-natural sources.
If you have a Trader Joe's near you, go and try them for yourself, but buy them in-store. Unfortunately, the price is a lot more expensive to order them online.
However, if you're not blessed with having the store near you, this is the only way to try this delicious vegan candy.
5 - L. Luehders Vegan Soft Gummi Candy
If you spend time researching vegan gummy sweets as I have, you'll find a lot of reviews and comments talking about German gummy sweets and how good they are. Well, I had to try them for myself, and I have to admit they're right.
L. Luehders is an old company that has been doing this for a while; they're not jumping on a vegan bandwagon.
This is just the best recipe for the best gummy candy. They might not be bear-shaped, but they are very juicy with a great flavor.
There are a few varieties to try, but I started with the exotic fruit and will be going back for more.
6 - SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies
If you're a sucker for pulling some strange faces while sucking on something sour like I am, then this might be the vegan buddy for you.
They also claim and seem to achieve being one of the lowest sugar candies on the market with only 3g of sugar and 80 calories a bag which is around 75% less than the average gummy bear.
However, the way they achieve such low sugar content and maintain their sweet taste is with stevia, which comes with its own set of drawbacks.
Other than that it's another plant-based vegan-friendly candy treat that serves big on flavor.
7 - Nommy Bears
Okay, so these are more of a multivitamin than they are a snack or tasty treat, I wouldn't recommend that you get too carried away as the recommended portion is only 2 a day.
That doesn't stop them from being completely adorable and utterly delicious though.
With 11 essential vitamins and 5 different flavors to choose from, these bears are a treat you can't afford to miss.
You can appease the kid in you and the adult at the same time.
What To Look Out For When Buying Vegan Gummy Bears
If you're looking to find some vegan gummy bears of your own, there are a few common ingredients that make them definitely not vegan to watch out for.
This is the main reason a lot of gummies are animal-based. Gelatin is a binding agent and is what is usually used to give them that bouncy gummy texture. It's made from all the parts of animals that the rest of the industry throws away, like hooves, skin, ground bones, and even connective tissue. I know, yummy right?
Watch out for candy that has a gummy texture, as it often contains gelatin. Be sure to check the ingredients list on the label.
There are plenty of plant-based and animal-friendly alternatives to be found that still give that gelatinous texture and some of the most common are agar agar, carrageenan, and pectin, which are prepared from either seaweed or fruit peel.
Another common ingredient used in gummy bears and other candies that will make them not vegan is beeswax. It's not added for flavor, texture, or consistency at all.
Instead, it's used as a coating to stop the candy from sticking to each other.
This makes it either unnecessary or easily replaced.
Honey and beeswax are examples of an ingredient that some vegans disagree on. It's produced by melting down honeycomb with boiling water and then straining it. Some vegans think honey is okay, but realistically they can only back this up on a local level with farms or keepers they know and trust.
On large commercial farms, the queen bee often has her wings removed and is artificially inseminated against her will on a "rape rack", not too mention the countless bees that are crushed to death with haphazard collection technique.
This is the ingredient that can trip you up the easiest. It's also the one with a little bit of wiggle to it. Well, depending on if you're okay with munching on bugs or not.
A lot of candy and especially gummy bears may not contain gelatin, but you still won't find vegan labelling, and that might be because of red food color number 4.
The red dye is derived from thousands of crushed up beetles. I know, almost as yummy as gelatin right?
The majority of the gummies on our list are all organic and use natural food colorings. Some others in the market might still be vegan and use artificial colors, but don't be worried by all of them.
Red food color number 40 is a common alternative and completely vegan -- no beetles were harmed.
Are Vegan Gummy Bears Healthy?
It's true that vegan gummy bears are typically made from organic or all-natural ingredients, but it doesn't mean they are healthy. Obviously, they are a little better for your health than regular gummy bears might be, but they are still candy and should only be eaten in moderation.
The significant health risk they present is sugar content at varying levels.
I'm sure I don't need to lecture you on why sugar is something you want to avoid in high numbers on any health and wellbeing level. That doesn't mean to avoid it completely though. Gummy bears like these, when portion-controlled and eaten as part of a balanced diet, are fine.
Can Vegan Gummy Bears Make You Poop?
No, vegan gummy bears won't make you poop. This is likely confusion from a different viral gummy bear story. The story centers around some sugar-free gummy bears and the reviews that were left on their Amazon listing.
They are either comedy genius or a gross and graphic account of the gastronomic terror that can be wrought on a human body.
The likely reason for the problem was sugar alcohol found in the ingredient lycasin. It's less calorie-dense than sugar and doesn't affect blood sugar as much so is often used in products marketed to people with diabetes. It does have one major drawback though, and that is in some cases -- serious and uncontrollable diarrhea.
You don't have to worry about that with the vegan gummy bears, the ingredients are all-natural, and I've personally, painstakingly tried every delicious bag with no such problem.
Are Haribo gummy bears vegan?
No, Haribo gummy bears are not vegan -- they're made using gelatin. In Turkey where they make halal/kosher Haribo, they use bovine gelatin, but typically pork gelatin is used in their products. The company has recently made a vegan soft gummy without the use of gelatin, but as of the time of writing the gelatin alternative is still the most common.
What's Our Favorite Vegan Gummy?
That's our pick of the best vegan gummy bears available, and it's hard to pick a winner when they're all so delightfully delicious in their own special ways. But for me, you can't find finer gummies than Annie's Organic even if it is actually a gummy bunny.
The company has committed to producing only ethical products that they believe in, and that means that the taste has to be right too. It's all vegan and all organic, and I'm as happy to support that as I am to enjoy Annie’s tasty treats.
What's your favorite vegan gummy bear? Have I missed a contender for the top spot, I'll happily continue my research, just drop us a comment below.
Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snack
Best Vegan Gummy Bears
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