Are Starburst Vegan?

Whether or not you’ve grown up in the West, it can be safely assumed that you must’ve tasted Starburst sometime, someplace. For, these square-shaped fruit-flavored chewy candies are extremely popular all over the world like sour patch kids candies and twizzlers.

People of all age groups are equally crazy about it in any part of the world. This is exactly why vegans are now getting skeptical over the vegan status of their favorite childhood candies they so fondly grew up relishing. Hence, we have evaluated sour patch kids, Licorice candies, Swedish Fish and many more for their vegan status and now, this post intends to answer all your doubts on Starburst Candies.

Starburst Candies – Vegan or Not?

About Starburst Candies – A brand with a box-shaped, fruit-flavored candies has a unique soft and chewy taste in all its flavors. Produced by The Wingley Company, Starbursts have several flavors in its bucket like the tropical, FaveReds, Summer Blast, Sour and many more.

Is Starburst Vegan?


Yes and a No, Starburst candies in the US are not vegan-friendly whereas the ones in the UK, are gelatin-free and vegan. The US-version of these candies have gelatin in it that makes it non vegan-friendly.

Starburst Ingredients List

To determine precisely whether Starburst is vegan or not, it’s important to take a closer look at how are starbursts made. Here’s a list of its ingredients:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Sugar
  • Palm fat
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Citric acid
  • Malic acid
  • Modified starch

Now, these ingredients don’t instantly speak anything non-vegan, they’re not completely vegan-friendly either. Take sugar for example. Most vegans opine that refined sugar is generally processed with bone char to get the perfect white color. Therefore, they avoid consuming store-bought stuff with sugar in them. Similarly, palm oil fat also doesn’t go down too well with vegans, considering that production of oil involves harm to the environment and animals therein.

But that’s not the only issue with Starburst, unfortunately. A lot of vegans are “ok” with taking sugar or palm oil as well, counting them as vegan products. The real problem is discussed in the following section.

does starburst have pork

Does Starburst Have Pork? – Starburst is currently manufactured in two different versions – one meant exclusively for sale in the UK and the other, nearly identical variety sold in the USA. Why? Well, here’s the catch! One of them contains a non-vegan ingredient – gelatin. This is what we gathered from the US-sold label of Starburst pack. After all the ingredients listed in the section above, the one at the end mentions gelatin. Interestingly, it’s not mentioned on any of the packs sold in the UK.

Now, gelatin is used in several candies as a binding agent to lend the soft chewy form to the gum. Why is it non-vegan? It’s derived from several body parts of animals, such as the carcasses and skin of pigs. This makes it clear that the company’s manufacturing two different products for two different audiences in the world. And by including a non-vegan ingredient in one of them, well sadly enough, Starburst is out of our vegan list of candies.

That said, there’s one bit of good news though for the US. Vegans in the country can always count on buying their favorite childhood candy 100% vegan from imported candy stores in the US (which import Starburst from the UK) or online stores like Amazon UK. This way, they can happily continue to enjoy their candy guilt-free.

Likewise, there’s a small hitch too. Since some stores in the UK may also be importing the candy from the US to meet deficit in supply, you can never be sure of getting the vegan version. Perhaps it’d be better to always thoroughly check the label before buying Starburst.

Vegan Alternatives to Starburst

Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers and vegan gummy bears are suitable alternatives to Starburst for vegans. They don’t contain gelatin and are therefore absolutely safe and vegan-friendly. We have compiled a number of vegan gummy brands that have yummy tasting gummy bears.

If you wish to have chewy candies that are rich in vitamins you can try our MegaFoods and Mary Ruth Organics vegetarian tablets. It is considered vegans do not get enough vitamin B12 in plant-based food, which is a myth. Vegans do get vitamin B12 without supplements through proper vegan food.

Wrapping Up

So make the switch to these candies until Starburst removes gelatine from its US version. Or, import one from the UK or maybe get it online. There are ways of course if you really want to continue enjoying your highly preferred childhood candy in vegan form. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Tully Zander

My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

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