Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?
The vegan market is becoming stronger and stronger every day, and there are so many people nowadays that are making a conscious decision to become one (a dedicated vegan), or at least are on their way to becoming one because they have so many reasons to do so – from humanistic reasons to the environmental.
There is no wrong reason to become vegan, it is the decision that is inside of every individual, and there cannot be any judgment among people. You cannot judge someone else because he or she is not vegan, but in the same way, you must not be judged for your life or diet choices.
For those who are at the start of this “vegan” journey this may be a difficult task, they are stepping on a stage that is unfamiliar to them (and there are so many steps to pass on that road); but we must say that if you look online, many vegans (who have been vegans for a long time) have problem in finding food (stores or restaurants) that suits their vegan diet, and this may be even worse when it comes to eating candy, especially store-bought. Such thing is very hard, having in mind that we are used to this and these are candies that we can find in every corner, but when we are on a vegan diet, this is so hard to resist.
This comes from the fact that even when you read all that is to read all on the label, you can never be 100 hundred per cent sure that the product you want to eat is, in fact, vegan.
All you can do is to trust the production company of that product, candy in this case – but you can never be sure, that is what we are trying to say.
Now, Sour Patch Kids candy is one very popular type of candy that is beloved in many countries but are they vegan is the question we would want to answer right now.
We will try to do this by investigating whatever we can find about this product and what is most important about the ingredients.
Sour Patch Kids – chewy and fruity
The Sour Patch Kids is a famous label of chewy, tangy candies that come in an extensive assortment of fruit flavorings – since the moment they come to the market till this day there has been numerous flavorings that occupy the attention of people around the world.
There are so many flavors of this type of fruity candy – you have Tropical, Mango, Watermelon, Berries and Original, and all of them are loved around the world. Original is the one that came to the market first, and maybe, till this day it is the most popular one.
They are one of the favorite snacks in movies because they have such an amazing texture that is made for enjoyment in theatres around the world – they are not too sweet, and they are not too sour.
They have originated from Canada, back in the late 70s, when they have spread in America and became wildly popular and this remain till this day, even in the times of modern idea of eating healthy, this is the sweet snack that remains beloved.
The name of the person who invented them is Frank Galatolie from Canada (the logo for this candy is based Franks son, Scott, later on, there were some additions to the logo, like a baseball hat, but it did not change a lot, and there was not any major re-branding), and he made them as aliens, because of the interested in UFO and other related topics. Such interest was in particularly notable in the late 70s when the interest in the pop culture about these and similar topics was on the rise.
First tastes of this candy were lime and lemon, cherry and orange, later on (much later in 2014) on the scene came blue raspberry, apple, and grape, strawberry, along with the special flavors of Sour Patch Kids. All of these flavors remain liked until this day.
On the market, you can find a lot of sweets, like ice creams that have a topping made out of these candies; always remember ice-cream stands that offer toppings from chocolate sprinkles to the of course Sour Patch Candy.
On Halloween, in the United Kingdom, you can find a special edition of this candy, alongside a bag in which all Sour Patch Kids have their heads detached. Such an interesting marketing move, would not you agree?
There is even a videogame based on this theme Sour Patch Kids (this is the game that is made to promote this brand, and it is called the World Gone Sour).
As far as the taste of this candy goes, it is both sweet and sour at the same time, and the reason why so many people around the world enjoy its taste – there is a sugar coat that is produced with tartaric acid and citric acid. Both of them react strongly in your mouth and make an amazing taste, so there is a reason why you feel both tastes at the same time.
First, we must say one thing – every socially responsible company and those who are primarily responsible to their customers will clearly indicate all the ingredients in the composition of their products, contact between manufacturers and importers, a clear sign when it comes to gluten-free or vegan products or other specifics.
Now, the first thing that comes to your mind whether this candy is vegan or not is gelatin (this is the byproduct that comes from animal source), but it does not exist in the Sour Patch Kids candy.
What does exist here is most likely like in every other chewy fruity candy – there are sugar and corn syrup, citric and tartaric acid; also there can be found modified corn starch, and both natural and artificial flavorings, and color also. All of this applies for the Original kind, but on the market, there are many other kinds that have similar ingredients that seem to be vegan or plant-based, whatever you like to call it.
We want to come closer to the citric and tartaric acid that is also the parts in this candy. First, citric acid is a broad natural material, a transparent mixture.
Mostly you can find it in citruses – like lime or lemon. There is nothing artificial in it, and it is natural, and it is extracted from pineapple or lemon. It is used so much in the food industry, not just in candy production.
Another acid that is found in Sour Patch Candy is Tartaric acid.
Such acid is also organic, natural acid, and it is found in plants, so it does not come from an animal source, and it is not harming to your vegan diet. It is used in the food industry so that it can give a sour taste to a certain product, like candy in this case.
It is not harmful to use it, and it is natural and safe to use.
Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?
So, as you were able to see in this type of candy, there are no apparent animal elements like gelatin that would enable it to be vegan.
In the case of colorings and flavoring that is natural, it means that it comes from nature, and there is no guarantee that it is not an animal source.
Some claim that the problem here is sugar, that is not vegan even if this is something that not many vegan consumers know (its production is not vegan; this is the problem).
Also, what else is found in this candy is the corn starch that is used instead of gelatin so that it can bond all other elements together.
Having said all of this – the Sour Patch Kids are suitable for all those who follow a vegan lifestyle, but once again no one can guarantee you that there is somewhere something hidden that is not vegan, or that the product itself was made thanks to an un-cruel method.
Are Sour Patch Kids Healthy?
Now when you have made a decision to go vegan, and you know that this candy is or is not on your list of allowed products, then let us raise one more question – is it healthy?
Experts point out that we should be consuming five per cent of our calories through sugar. However, recent research has confirmed that children consume 12 to 16 per cent of their calories through sugar, which can have a very negative effect on their body.
When too much sugar is added to the body, it would also mean that they are consuming significantly more calories than they should and that obesity is a problem. Large variations in weight in children can later have a negative effect on their health at puberty when children are more difficult to lose weight.
Popular and many favorite sweets are made from the skin and other wastes that remain after the processing of meat, most often pigs but also cattle. This waste is transformed into gelatin by a special process, which is used in addition to rubber candy to prepare many other sweets, fruit yoghurts, salad dressings and much more.
Here, there are no such elements, so it is a good thing, but from the other side here we can find sugar (that is not healthy in large quantities, just like the concern about the artificial colors and flavorings).
As we all know, food companies use a number of preservatives to extend their shelf life and reduce their cost. Add artificial colors and consumers will crave for any product.
Corn starch that is used instead of gelatin is a food additive used to thicken the mass. As a result, the dishes come out softer and gentler.
Tartaric acid is, and this may come as a surprise to you, is a well-known antioxidant; it is not bad for your health, it is not alcohol, and there cannot be any harm if you use it.
Maybe we have convinced you that this candy is vegan, but in the end, we must warn you on some other potential issues – the manufacturer may hide that he is using some product that is not animal-based, like gelatin (Gelatin is also obtained by cooking animal tendons, bones, lard and body parts and all that is considered waste in meat processing).
Also, we have pointed out that the sugar, as some like to say, is not vegan, just like the artificial colors.
In the end, maybe the example that all of us should look for is this if you do not have any confidence in the production of candy that you would like to eat when you are vegan, maybe you should make your own yourself.
For homemade chewy candy, you don’t need much sugar or additives. If your kids adore them, offer them a healthier version. You can use a vegetable (agar-derived agar, which is derived from algae with a neutral taste), which you can find in health food stores.
Instead of high-sugar flakes, use healthy cereals, toast, or serve breakfast fruit yoghurt for breakfast, for example.
Also, instead of eating too many chocolates, lollipops, candies and other sweets every day, make chocolate cookies without sugar or fruit and vegetable snacks – here you can find a large variety of vegan and healthy snacks.
Replace shopping juices with squeezed fruits and vegetables, so you know your kids have brought in healthy sugar and vitamins.
In this way, you can make your own candy that is not the same as a store-bought and popular one but is the one that is for sure vegan.
It is up to you to make that choice, and we must say to you that there is no right or wrong answer you do whatever feels natural to you, your family and the diet and lifestyle you are leading.