Are Tic Tacs Vegan?
I was standing at the check-out the other day and saw that friendly small pill-sized “mints” that I used to eat like candy as a kid and naturally for nostalgia reasons, after not noticing them for years, wanted to try them.
But then came the creeping question: Are Tic Tacs vegan?
I always liked the orange variety, because, well, I liked orange as a kid. I liked orange tic tacs, I liked playing the orangiest looking charters in video games, I even liked a Nascar driver named Tony Stewart because his car was, you guessed it, orange.
Scanning the back of the label came up with the following ingredients: SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, TARTARIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, RICE STARCH, GUM ARABIC, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, ASCORBIC ACID, YELLOW 6, CARNAUBA WAX.
Carnauba wax? Whatever that is I had no clue, and it was my turn to check-out so I put them back and fled. I searched it up later that day and apparently Carnauba wax is 100% vegan, so my worries were gone. Everything checked out for my orange tic tacs: They are vegan.
But what about the other flavor of tic tacs? Are they vegan?
All tic tacs in the USA are “free of products derived from animals” according to the company that produces them. This is a bit deceiving however as I’ve encountered flavors not listed on the official US website that had Shellac, which isn’t vegan.
So in the US the following flavors are vegan: freshmints, orange, fruit adventure, wintergreen, spearmint mix, strawberry fields, mint evolution, and apple mix.
From the tic-tacs I’ve found (in the USA) the following are not vegan: Donut Flavor, blueberry flavor, and bubblegum flavor.
But what about Internationally? What Tic Tacs are vegan around the world?
As for other countries, unfortunately it depends. International companies don’t operate in sync with one another all the time…and unfortunately I can’t fly to every country in the world just to scour them for every last variety of tic tacs they have.
But here’s what I can and did do!
I contacted corporate (Ferrero, their parent company) for all us vegans out there and according to the representative they don’t do animal testing on any of their products, as well as the sugar they use is completely vegan. They said that the only non-vegan ingredients they use regardless of country is: Shellac, Milk, Carminic Acid, and Carmine.
Only a handful of flavors have contained milk in all of their history, and they’ve all been seasonal flavors, not the normal ones you find all year. So it’s highly unlikely you ever come across a flavor that has milk.
However, Carminic acid & Carmine is found in a large amount of tic tacs because many governments, well, care about their people. Because of them caring they banned certain artificial food colorings that have been proven to be toxic. Due to this rather than using artificial coloring they use equally as bad (and unethical) coloring made from beetles. Some Tic Tacs are made with Carmine. Thankfully it appears they’re phasing Carminic acid & carmine out of their products. Recently they’ve introduced natural colorings using vegetable and fruit powders and extracts, which I give two thumbs up. Hopefully they get that beetle juice out of their tic tacs in the coming years!
Shellac is primarily found in any tic-tacs that are “unique” in some way, such as having the Despicable Me branding on it, or Simpsons branding, or any sort of extra flair. So I’d double-check those if I was interested in those flavors.