One frequently asked question is whether or not candy canes are vegan.  The answer depends on the type of candy cane.  If you want to be absolutely sure you need to read the ingredients or check that it is candy cane labeled vegan.

Here are the ingredients to watch out for:

  • Gelatin – Used in things like gummy bears to create a thick gooey substance.  Horribly enough, this comes from boiling the skin, bones and tendons of sheep and cows.
  • Carmine – A red dye that comes from crushed beetles.
  • Shellac – Aka ‘beetlejuice’ is a material used to give candy a glaze and shiny look.  It comes from the juice and crushed corpses of Kerria lacca insects in southeast Asia.

Candy Canes With Gelatin!


Start by searching on amazon for vegan candy canes.  One brand that I have used is TrueJoy Candy Canes.  Instead of carmine you should be looking for ‘organic fruit juice’ used as a die, or something similar.

Usually vegan and organic candy canes have alot less ingredients.  About 5-7 compared to 15+ used on non-vegan food products.

Trujoy Candy Cane Ingredients

Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Natural Peppermint Flavor, Color Added (Organic Fruit Juice).

Instead of crushed beetles for the red dye they use organic fruit juice!