Are Swedish Fish Vegan? All you need to know about this product – 2023

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Known for their bright colors, gummy texture, and fish-shaped form, Swedish Fish are a little treat popular in Sweden and North America. The Swedish company Malaco, developed this fish-shaped candy in the 1950s specifically for the American market. 

Initially, Swedish Fish were available in a single flavor, lingonberry, a berry exclusively found in the Northern Hemisphere. As the brand gained popularity, more and more flavors and colors were produced. Today, Swedish Fish candy can be found in purple, orange, yellow, and green. Some of the flavors currently available are lemon-lime, orange, and pineapple.

But if you’re reading this post, it’s probably because you already know what Swedish Fish are, and you want to check whether, as a vegan, you can still enjoy this treat! So, let’s address the elephant in the room. Are Maynards  Swedish Fish vegan? 

Are All Swedish Fish Vegan?

Unfortunately, not. Not all Swedish Fish are vegan. However, some packages and flavors are, so this means that you can still enjoy this treat provided that you pay attention when choosing the package!

It may seem weird at first, but not all Swedish Fish are made with the same ingredients. The base igredients are the following: sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, modified corn starch, citric acid, mineral oil, natural and artificial flavor, red 40, carnauba wax

However, If you look at the peg bag packaging, you will notice beeswax among the products used in their manufacturing. This ingredient provides a protective coating covering each candy to make sure they do not stick to each other. Just like honey, beeswax is not vegan as it comes from bees. In fact, both honey and beeswax are considered responsible for the damage to bees’ health. 

are swedish fish vegan

But we have some good news for you! Both the assorted Swedish Fish package and the regular one contain carnauba wax instead of beeswax. This product is one hundred percent vegan approved, so before buying Swedish Fish just make sure whether beeswax or carnauba wax is listed among the ingredients! 

Despite this, if you’re extremely strict with your vegan diet, you may want to pay attention to a few extra ingredients. Let’s discuss each of them.

Controversial Ingredients in Swedish Fish

Even though these are not animal-derived ingredients, some vegans still avoid them as they are not fully cruelty-free. 


Sugar is contained in all Swedish Fish. Even though you may think this ingredient is vegan, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, unless the label clearly states that the sugar is organic, there’s a pretty good chance that bone char was used in its production. Bone char is made from the ground bone of cattle and is used to give sugar its candid white color.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors, such as red 40 or yellow 5, are another reason for concern for the vegan community. Even though they are not made from animal products, they are often tested on animals and are therefore not considered cruelty-free by the vegan community.

Natural and artificial flavors

It’s impossible to know whether natural and artificial flavors are manufactured using animal products or not. Fish or meat can sometimes be used in their production, so if you’re extremely strict with your diet, you should avoid them. 


Unlike many other candies containing gelatin, Swedish Fish uses corn syrup, modified corn starch, and carnauba wax to give their product their typical gummy texture. This means that Swedish Fish are vegan friendly, even though there are some exceptions. The peg bag packaging contains beeswax and should therefore be avoided by vegans. Moreover, all Swedish Fish contain controversial ingredients such as sugar as well as artificial colors and flavors that, depending on how strict you are with your diet, you may want to avoid. 

Now that we have established which Swedish Fish are vegan friendly and to what extent, let’s analyze a few extra products from this company. In fact, Swedish Fish are not the only gummy candies manufactured by Maynards! There are several other delicious treats that we would all love to keep in our diets! Let’s analyze them one by one. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! If you’re vegan, you can continue to enjoy this delicious treat! However, just like Swedish Fish, there are a few debatable ingredients that, depending on your level of strictness, you may want to avoid. These include sugar as well as artificial flavors and colors.

Unfortunately not. Swedish Fish Jelly Beans contain beeswax and are therefore not vegan-friendly.

You can enjoy Swedish Fish Oreos without worrying too much, they are vegan

This depends on the packaging. In fact, the peg bag contains beeswax, a non-vegan ingredient. All the other ones can be enjoyed by the vegan community. Keep in mind that Swedish Fish also contain ingredients such as sugar, artificial flavors, and artificial colors that some vegans may not include in their diet.

Swedish Fish Tails are made with carnauba wax and are suitable for vegans. However, they also contain sugar which may have been processed with bone char. This is a product made from ground cattle bones and is, therefore, non-vegan.

Swedish Fish are mostly vegan friendly. In fact, corn syrup, modified corn starch, and carnauba wax are used instead of gelatine to give Swedish Fish their typical gummy texture. But pay attention to the packaging! The peg bag package contains beeswax and is therefore not suitable for vegans.

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Cruelty Free Reviews

CrueltyFreeReviews serves as a digital guide and a handy manual for new vegans and experienced plant-based veterans alike. Founded back in 2018 by a group of plant-based enthusiasts, we are dedicated to a vegan lifestyle and animal rights. With our team having more than 10 years of plant-based guidance experience by now, we want to give back to the vegan community and support anyone on this journey.