Are Twizzlers Vegan? Uncovering the Facts

Twizzlers have long been a go-to sweet treat, especially for those who enjoy chewy, fruity snacks. But when it comes to determining whether Twizzlers are suitable for a vegan lifestyle, questions often arise. This article aims to investigate the vegan status of Twizzlers, including their ingredients and any ethical considerations that may come into play.

As many of us know, veganism goes beyond just avoiding animal-derived ingredients; it also encompasses making choices that minimize harm to animals and the environment. With that in mind, we’ll delve into the various types of Twizzlers available, shed light on common concerns like bone char and palm oil, and even offer some alternatives for those seeking fully vegan-friendly options.

Key Takeaways

  • Twizzlers are generally considered vegan, but some ingredients may be ethically questionable.
  • Environmental concerns and potential use of bone char in sugar processing should be considered.
  • There are vegan alternatives to Twizzlers for those seeking a more ethically sound option.

Are Twizzlers Vegan?

We have researched the ingredients and manufacturing process of Twizzlers, and we can confidently state that, technically, Twizzlers are vegan. They do not contain any animal ingredients typically found in candies of the same kind, such as gelatin. This means that every Twizzlers flavor, including the popular strawberry and caramel apple filled twists, is suitable for vegans.

However, it is important to note that Twizzlers are produced by Hershey, a company that sources sugar from both foreign and domestic sugar cane and sugar beet farms. Unfortunately, nutrition labels do not disclose the sourcing of these ingredients. This could be a concern for some ethical vegans, as they might find the sugar production process to be non-transparent or less environmentally friendly.

Another potential concern for ethical vegans is that Twizzlers contains artificial colors. These are sometimes tested on animals, which can make the product unsuitable for vegans who also avoid products that involve animal testing.

In summary, Twizzlers are suitable for dietary vegans as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, ethical vegans may want to consider the product’s artificial colors and potential sugar sourcing before consuming it.

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Ingredients in Twizzlers

In this section, we will discuss the ingredients commonly found in Twizzlers. We will break down the ingredients into three sub-categories: Sweeteners, Coloring and Flavoring Agents, and Binding and Texture Agents.


Twizzlers mainly use corn syrup as their primary sweetener for that sugary taste. Additionally, they contain refined sugar as another source of sweetness. It’s important to note that some strict vegans might take issue with the use of refined sugar, as it can sometimes be processed using bone char, an animal-derived product.

Related: Are Skittles Vegan?

Coloring and Flavoring Agents

To achieve the vibrant red color and the fruity flavor Twizzlers are known for, they use a combination of artificial flavoring and coloring agents. The primary coloring agent, Red 40, is synthetically derived and is not sourced from animals. However, some vegans might also avoid artificial colors due to potential ethical concerns. Artificial flavorings are used to give Twizzlers their signature taste, which involves the use of citric acid for tartness and arylides for the distinct flavor note.

Binding and Texture Agents

Twizzlers have their unique chewy texture due to several binding and texture agents. The main ingredient being wheat flour, which is enriched with essential nutrients like niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid. Cornstarch and salt also contribute to the texture and binding properties. To maintain the chewiness and prevent the candy from sticking together, Twizzlers use glycerin and soy lecithin. While glycerin can be animal-sourced, it’s not clear whether the glycerin used in Twizzlers is derived from plant-based sources. Additionally, mineral oil serves as a lubricant and potassium sorbate acts as a preservative to prolong the shelf life of these popular candies.

In summary, while Twizzlers don’t contain any overt animal products like meat, dairy, or eggs, they do use ingredients like refined sugar, artificial colors, and glycerin which might be considered questionable by some vegans.

Bone Char and Sugar

Sugar Production Process

When it comes to sugar production, there are two main sources: sugarcane and sugar beets. Both of these plants are used to produce different types of sugar, like white sugar, brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar. During the refining process, cane sugar might go through a stage where it is filtered using bone char, which is derived from animal bones. This process helps to whiten the sugar crystals, making them more visually appealing. However, not all cane sugar undergoes this treatment, and sugar from sugar beets is not processed with bone char at all.

Alternatives to Bone Char

Fortunately, there are alternatives to using bone char for sugar production. One option is to choose beet sugar, which is inherently vegan, as it does not involve the use of bone char during processing. Additionally, opting for organic sugar ensures that bone char is not used in production, as organic standards prohibit the use of this filtering agent. Other alternatives include sugar from different sources, such as coconut sugar, which is also bone char-free.

In summary, we can confidently say that while some cane sugar is processed using bone char, there are viable alternatives available for those seeking to avoid products made using this ingredient. By choosing beet sugar, organic sugar, or alternative sources like coconut sugar, consumers can satisfy their sweet cravings in a more compassionate and environmentally friendly way.

Related: Are Oreos Vegan?

Palm Oil and Environmental Concerns

Palm Oil Production

Palm oil is a commonly used vegetable oil found in many food products, including Twizzlers. It is derived from the fruit of oil palm trees, primarily grown in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. While palm oil is a plant-based ingredient, its production can have significant environmental impacts.

Palm oil is often criticized for its role in deforestation. As global demand for this versatile oil has grown, vast areas of rainforest have been cleared to make room for oil palm plantations. This rapid expansion has led to habitat destruction, especially for endangered species like the orangutan.


Deforestation, which results from the conversion of forests into agricultural land or plantations, is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. It contributes to climate change by releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide stored in trees and soil, and leads to loss of biodiversity as animal species lose their habitats.

In the case of palm oil production, expanding oil palm plantations are driving deforestation across regions like Southeast Asia. This deforestation is not only devastating to the environment but also affects local populations who rely on these ecosystems for their livelihoods and cultural practices.

To help mitigate the negative effects of palm oil production, consumers can look for products containing certified sustainable palm oil. Additionally, spreading awareness about the environmental impacts of palm oil can encourage more responsible practices in the industry.

In conclusion, while palm oil is a plant-based ingredient, its production can have significant environmental consequences. It is essential for consumers to be aware of these impacts and consciously choose products that support sustainable palm oil production.

Types of Twizzlers

Twizzlers come in various forms, flavors, and sizes, catering to different preferences and occasions. In this section, we will cover three main types of Twizzlers: Classic Twists, Pull-n-Peel, and Filled Twists.

Classic Twists

Classic Twists are the most iconic and familiar form of Twizzlers. They are long, twisted, and chewy. The primary flavor is Strawberry, which is what most people associate with Twizzlers. Strawberry Twizzlers are free of animal ingredients, making them vegan-friendly.

Other flavors in the Classic Twists lineup include:

  • Cherry
  • Nibs (bite-sized)
  • Bites (small, bite-sized pieces)
  • Rainbow (a colorful assortment)

However, some other flavors may contain non-vegan ingredients, such as carmine, derived from insects, or glycerin that could be sourced from animal by-products. Always check the ingredients list to ensure that the specific flavor is vegan.

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Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel are a fun variation of the classic twists, featuring thin, peelable strands that can be pulled apart for a more interactive snacking experience. They come in various fruity flavors, such as:

  • Cherry
  • Strawberry

Like the classic twists, most Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers are vegan, as they don’t contain any obvious animal-derived ingredients. However, it’s essential to verify the ingredients list to ensure they are suitable for a vegan diet.

Filled Twists

Filled Twists are a relatively newer addition to the Twizzlers family, featuring flavored fillings inside the twisted chewy candy. One popular Filled Twist flavor is the Sweet & Sour Cherry Kick Citrus Punch. In these twists, the red cherry flavored outer layer complements the sour lemon candy filling and offers a unique taste experience. However, Filled Twists may contain non-vegan ingredients such as glycerin, so it’s best to double-check the packaging to confirm if they are vegan-friendly.

In conclusion, Twizzlers are available in various forms and flavors to accommodate different tastes and preferences. While many Twizzlers options, such as the Strawberry Classic Twists and Pull-n-Peel varieties, are vegan friendly, always make sure to check the labels to ensure the product aligns with your dietary requirements.

Alternatives to Twizzlers

As vegans looking for licorice candy, we understand that it can be a bit challenging to find the perfect alternative to Twizzlers. In this section, we will explore some vegan licorice brands that offer delicious and cruelty-free options.

Alternative Licorice Brands

When searching for alternatives to Twizzlers, let’s consider the following options:

  • Panda Licorice: This brand is known for its all-natural ingredients and delicious licorice flavor. They offer both black and red licorice candies, making them a favorite among licorice enthusiasts. Panda Licorice is a great option for those who prefer a more natural taste and authentic licorice experience.
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  • Panda Natural Licorice Chews 7oz (Pack of 4)
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  • YumEarth: A well-renowned brand for its organic and vegan candies, YumEarth offers licorice candies in several flavors. Made with real fruit juice and natural ingredients, these vegan-friendly candies are a fantastic substitution to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your dietary choices.
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Red Vines: Comparatively similar to Twizzlers in presentation and taste, Red Vines cater to the vegan community with their plant-based red licorice. Their formula excludes ingredients like gelatin or other animal-derived products, making them a suitable option for vegans.

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Bear in mind, while exploring vegan licorice options, look out for ingredients such as gelatin or milk derivatives, which are common in many non-vegan candies. Moreover, always check the label and ensure it’s certified vegan to ensure you’re making the right choice.

In conclusion, we hope this list of vegan licorice brands helps you find the perfect cruelty-free alternative to Twizzlers. Enjoy your tasty licorice treats without any guilt!

Veganism and Twizzlers

As vegans, we care deeply about the ethical treatment of animals and the products we consume. It’s essential to ensure that the treats we enjoy align with our values. In this context, let’s discuss Twizzlers and their place in the world of veganism.

The Debate

Twizzlers is a brand of candy that many of us enjoy, but are they suitable for vegans? Generally, candies may contain animal products such as gelatin, made from animal tendons, bones, and skin. However, in the case of Twizzlers, gelatin is absent from the ingredients list, which is a plus for vegans.

Moreover, examining the ingredients of various Twizzlers’ flavors does not reveal any meat, eggs, dairy, or insect by-products that might make them unsuitable for those who follow a vegan lifestyle. So, it can be said that Twizzlers seem to be vegan-friendly with regards to these points.

However, we need to consider some factors that may affect the vegan status of this candy. Twizzlers contain refined sugar, which is sometimes processed using bone char – an animal-derived product. Additionally, they contain mono- and diglycerides and glycerin, which can be sourced from either plant or animal fat. Although it’s not clear whether these ingredients in Twizzlers come specifically from animal sources or plant-based sources, it’s important for vegans to be aware of these uncertainties.

In conclusion, while Twizzlers do not contain obvious animal ingredients like gelatin, there are some factors to consider when determining if they align with vegan values. We hope this information helps in making an informed choice about enjoying Twizzlers as part of a vegan diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Twizzlers contain gelatin?

No, Twizzlers do not contain gelatin. They use cornstarch as a thickening agent instead, which makes them suitable for vegans and those who abstain from consuming gelatin for religious reasons.

What are the ingredients of Twizzlers?

The main ingredients in Twizzlers include corn syrup, wheat flour, sugar, cornstarch, palm oil, salt, glycerin, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, artificial colors, and soy lecithin as an emulsifier. Since these ingredients do not contain any animal-derived products, Twizzlers are generally considered vegan.

Are Red Vines a vegan alternative to Twizzlers?

Yes, Red Vines are a vegan alternative to Twizzlers. The ingredients in Red Vines include corn syrup, wheat flour, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, and Red 40 coloring. Similar to Twizzlers, Red Vines do not contain any animal-derived products, making them suitable for vegans.

Is licorice a vegan-friendly snack?

Many types of licorice are vegan-friendly, including Twizzlers and Red Vines. However, it’s essential to read the ingredients carefully, as some licorice brands may contain non-vegan additives such as gelatin or beeswax. Always check the label when in doubt.

Are Twizzlers kosher-certified?

Yes, Twizzlers are kosher-certified. They have been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU), a globally recognized kosher certification agency. This means that Twizzlers adhere to the strict kosher production and ingredient requirements.

Which other candies are vegan?

In addition to Twizzlers and Red Vines, several other candies are vegan-friendly. Some popular options include Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, and Skittles. As with any food product, it’s crucial to check the ingredient list to ensure that the candy you’re consuming aligns with your dietary preferences.