Some people say that Skittles are vegan.
I’d argue that they’re misinformed.
While there’s no obvious animal products like gelatin, there’s a handful of questionable ingredients in them.
I’ll walk you through them, and then you can decide for yourself whether or not you think they’re vegan.
Ingredients in Skittles
As a side note before continuing, Skittles are not kosher certified, which is often a good sign that a product is vegan.
Now onto the ingredients of Skittles:
Sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil; less than 2% of: Citric Acid, Tapioca Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Colors (Red 40 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Red 40, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Blue 2 Lake, Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake), Sodium Citrate, Carnauba Wax.
None of the ingredients I’ve highlighted are clearly non-vegan.
However, they are controversial at the very least. Let me explain why:
- Sugar – Some sugar in the United States is filtered using bone char (not vegan). Big companies that make popular candy like Skittles usually have multiple sugar suppliers, and the odds that at least one uses bone char is pretty high.
- Palm kernel oil – Palm oil is from a tree, but the palm oil industry is rife with animal abuse and unethical work practices. Many vegans don’t think palm oil is vegan.
- Natural flavors – This is an umbrella term that can include both plant and animal ingredients, only the makers of Skittles knows for sure if these natural flavors are vegan or not.
- Artificial colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.) – I’ve written a detailed post about whether or not artificial colors are vegan. It’s a grey area for vegans, as a lot of animal testing surround them.
Verdict: Skittles May or May Not Be Vegan
The sugar is my big concern, there’s a good chance it’s not vegan.
On top of the sugar, you also need to decide where you stand on the other controversial ingredients.
Personally, I can live without Skittles, there’s plenty of other candy that is vegan for sure.