Are Starburst Vegan (2022)

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starburst is not vegan

Unfortunately no, Starburst Fruit Chews Candy are not vegan. But don’t fret though, as plant-based options are rumoured to be coming soon! Although no certified vegan products are currently for sale in the USA, you can find vegan friendly Starburst products available abroad in the UK.

Rumor has it that Starburst will be coming out with Plant-Based Starburst Original Gummies, available soon in the USA! Although information on this new product is hush hush, it is exciting to hear of mainstream candy companies expanding their plant-based and vegan selections. Keep in mind that plant-based may mean that the Starburst manufacturer may not be considering ethical vegan practices, rather only the dietary requirements.

Starburst Fruit Chews Candy come in a variety of mouth watering flavours, including Tropical, Sour, FaveREDs, Watermelon, Very Berry, Superfruit, Summer Blast, and Original. Currently all Starburst candy varieties in the USA contain animal products, meaning they are not vegan. In the UK though you can find vegan Starburst Jelly Beans, Starburst Chewing Gum and Starburst Minis, none of which are currently available in the USA in a vegan variety. If you want to get your hands on the UK’s vegan versions of Starburst, check out the retailers available on Amazon.

What are the ingredients in the Starburst Original Fruit Chews Candy?

Although it is best practice to check product packing prior to consumption, the Official Starburst Website lists the ingredients as follows:
  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
Less than 2% of: Citric Acid, Tapioca Dextrin, Gelatin, Apple Juice From Concentrate, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1) * Keep in mind that bolded ingredients may not be vegan

What Starburst ingredients are not vegan?

Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil may not be vegan. Although no animal products are used in the production of palm oil, there are concerns about how its production has a negative effect on the environment. The growing expansion of the palm oil industry has led to deforestation, soil erosion, and animal habitat destruction. So although palm oil is a plant-based product, some vegans may still avoid it.


Gelatin is a protein that is obtained through the boiling of animal skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. Gelatin is not vegan and is unfortunately found in a variety of food and supplement products sold worldwide, including candies, jelly’s and medicines. Wringley Consumer Affairs (Producer of Starburst) has confirmed that the gelatin used in Starburst chews is derived from beef. Although Starburst Chews available in the USA contain gelatin made from animal products, the UK equivalent does not. This makes the UK version of Starburst Original Fruit Chews Candy vegan friendly.


Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1) are used to make food products more vibrant and appetizing. Although these food colorings do not contain animal products, they were originally created in a lab that utilized animal testing. To make sure that the colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1) were safe for human consumption, the scientific labs subjected animals to painful experiments. Due to ethical reasons, many vegans find it difficult to consume or use products that were produced in facilities that use animal testing. This has resulted in some ethical vegans to avoid artificial colors and additives altogether. Thankfully these tests were not done directly by the manufacturers of Starburst, but rather the creators of the food colorings themselves. This means that there is an opportunity for Starburst to change their ingredients in the future to be more vegan friendly.


Although not listed as an ingredient in Starburst Original Fruit Chews Candy, Confectioner’s Glaze is listed as an ingredient in Starburst Original Mini Fruit Chews Candy. Confectioner’s Glaze is also called “Shellac” and is used to give products a smooth and shiny finish. Shellac comes from bug secretions that are allowed to harden and then dissolved in ethanol prior to use. This ingredient not only contains a by-product created by bugs, but bugs may be harmed in the process of dissolving the secretions. This means that Confectioner’s Glaze is not vegan.

Most vegan-friendly Starburst product

The most vegan-friendly Starburst product currently is the Starburst Swirlers Chewy Sticks Candy. This product contains no gelatin or confectioneries glaze, making them one of the only USA Starburst products that may be vegan friendly.

What are the ingredients in the Starburst Swirlers Chewy Sticks Candy?

The Official Starburst Website lists the ingredients as follows:

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Palm Oil

Less Than 2% Of: Citric Acid, Pectin, Sodium Citrate, Apple Juice From Concentrate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Mono-And Diglycerides, Color Added.

Although the majority of Starburst products are not yet vegan-friendly in the USA, you can still find vegan dups, such as Yum Earth’s Organic Chewys Fruit Chews available locally and through Amazon. For now, keep your eyes out for the new plant-based Starburst products that may be coming soon to your local retailers.

Manufacturer's response

We got in touch with Starburst to ask about their products, and they replied to our inquiry:

“As of the moment, STARBURST doesn’t have a plant-based product except for the Candy Canes. Rest assured that your comments are important to us and will be shared with our Marketing Team who have an extensive market research program to track market trends and consumers preferences.”

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