Are Junior Mints Vegan? (Maybe, but Probably Not…)

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a package of junior mints

Can you still eat Junior Mints after going vegan?

It depends on how strict of a vegan you want to be, and what risks you’re willing to take.

Let me quickly explain why Tootsie’s chocolate-covered candy probably isn’t vegan, but there’s a chance that it is.

Ingredients in Junior Mints

There are 2 potential issues from the ingredients list:

Sugar, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Processed with Alkali, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin), Corn Syrup, Confectioner’s Glaze, Food Starch-Modified, Peppermint Oil, Invertase (An Enzyme).

Confectioner’s glaze is the most obvious problem, since confectioner’s glaze usually isn’t vegan. It typically contains shellac, a product of beetles. 

colors of shellac

But there’s a chance that it is, and some vegans don’t consider insects to be animals.

So if you are okay with that, the other issue is the sugar.

Like most American candy, it has white sugar in it (when you just see “sugar,” that’s what it is).

The Problem With Sugar in America for Vegans

White and brown sugar in the U.S. often isn’t vegan. It’s processed with bone char to make it as white as possible (brown sugar is then made from white sugar).

Most sugar brands are bone char free these days, but there are a few BIG manufacturers who still use it.

When it comes to candy companies like Tootsie who need a lot of sugar, they typically source their sugar from the largest, cheapest companies. Unfortunately, that increases the chance that the sugar in Junior Mints is not vegan.

Verdict: Junior Mints Are Likely Not Vegan-Friendly

From the confectioner’s glaze alone, Junior Mints are almost certainly not vegan (although not 100%).

However, you have to make your own call.

Ultimately, you only answer to yourself, so make the decision that makes you happiest.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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