Haribo

Are Haribo vegan or vegetarian?

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Manufacturers may change their ingredients at any time so please always double-check for yourself before purchasing anything.

Haribo is a german confectionary company which makes a whole host of different gummy sweets and candies including Starmix, Giant Strawbs and Tangfastics.

Most Haribo sweets are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians as they contain animal ingredients like gelatine (pig bones and skin), beeswax (from bees) or carmine (crushed insects). However, there are some varieties of Haribo sweets that are vegan and vegetarian.

Read on to find out which Haribos are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and what animal ingredients are in the others.

Why are most Haribo sweets not vegetarian or vegan?

There are several ingredients in Haribo which might make them unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans. Here’s what to look out for on the packaging.

Gelatine

One of the main non-vegetarian ingredients you’ll find in many chewy sweets is gelatine – a protein obtained by boiling animal bones, skins, ligaments and tendons. Unfortunately, despite alternatives being readily available, gelatine used in many varieties of gummy sweets to give them a chewy texture.

gelatine from pigs
The gelatine in Haribo comes from pigs

Beeswax

Beeswax in produced by bees to build the hexagon-shaped honeycombs where they live. Beeswax doesn’t contain any animal flesh so it is suitable for vegetarians. However, most vegans choose to avoid beeswax as its production disrupts the bees’ habitat and can cause them harm.

Beeswax

Carmine

Carmine is a natural red food dye which is made by crushing the bodies of cochineal insects. Another name for carmine is E120. Red food dye can be obtained from strawberries or vegetables but companies use insects as its cheaper

cochineal insect
Cochineal insect

Palm fat

Palm fat, also known as palm oil, does not contain any animal ingredients and is vegan. However, some vegans choose to avoid palm oil which has not been produced in a sustainable way because unsustainable palm oil production causes deforestation and the extinction of animal species.

Palm oil
It is not known whether the palm oil in Haribo is from sustainable sources

Sugar

All sugar used in food produced in the UK is vegan. However, in the USA, some sugar is not vegan because it is produced using bone char. This is something for US vegans to be aware of when buying candy.

sugarcane farm
Sugarcane farm

Cross-contamination

Vegetarian Haribo is labelled as vegetarian, but no Haribo sweets are labelled as vegan. This is because there is a risk of cross-contamination within the factories. Haribo may contain traces of animal ingredients, including milk.

Whilst most vegans accept that cross-contamination happens and that manufacturers avoid it where possible, strict vegans and people with severe food allergies may look to avoid any food that has been made in the same environment as ingredients like milk.

Which Haribo sweets are vegan and vegetarian?

The following table shows which Haribo sweets are vegan and vegetarian in the UK. Please note that ingredients may vary by country.

Haribo sweetsVegetarian?Vegan?Animal ingredients
Bear BuddiesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Bubblegum BottlesNoNoGelatine
ChamallowsNoNoGelatine, carmine
DummiesNoNoGelatine
FairylandNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Fizzy Cola Balla StixxNoNoGelatine
Freaky FishYESNoBeeswax
Friendship RingsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
FruitiliciousNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Fruity FrogsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Funny MixYESNoBeeswax
Giant Cola BottlesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Giant Cola Zing BottlesNoNoGelatine
Giant DummiesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Giant Dummies ZingNoNoGelatine
Giant StrawbsYESNoBeeswax
Giant Strawbs Zing/SourNoNoGelatine
Giant TreesYESNoBeeswax
Gold BearsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Gold Bears SourNoNoGelatine
Happy CherriesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Happy Cherries ZingNoNoGelatine
Happy Cola BottlesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Happy Cola ZingNoNoGelatine
Heart ThrobsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Jelly BabiesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Jelly BeansYESNoBeeswax
Jelly MenNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Pontefract CakesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Rainbow SpaghettiYESYES
Rainbow Strips ZingYESYES
Rainbow TwistsYESNoBeeswax
Rainbow Twists (Sour)YESYES
Rhubarb & CustardNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Rhubarb & Custard ZingNoNoGelatine
RotellaYESNoBeeswax
RouletteNoNoGelatine, beeswax
ScaremixNoNoGelatine, beeswax
SmurfsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Soft Jelly BearYESYES
SquidgletsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Squidgy StrawbsNoNoGelatine, beeswax
StarfishYESNoBeeswax
StarmixNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Strawberry Balla StixxNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Strawberry TwistYESNoBeeswax
SupermixNoNoGelatine, beeswax
TangfasticsNoNoGelatine
Tangfastics StixxNoNoGelatine
Terrific TurtlesNoNoGelatine, beeswax
Yellow BelliesNoNoGelatine, beeswax

Tips for finding vegan Haribo

Any Haribo sweets which do not contain gelatine are vegetarian. These are easy to spot becaus they have the round green vegetarain flash on the front of the packet.

To find out which vegetarian Haribo are also suitable for vegans, the general rule is that if the sweets are shiny, they are glazed with beeswax. If they are covered in sugar, then they are vegan. Most of the vegetarian sour Haribos are also vegan.

Of course, you should always check the ingredients list yourself to be 100% sure.

List of vegan Haribo

The following Haribo sweets are vegan:

  • Rainbow Spaghetti
  • Rainbow Strips Zing/Sour
  • Rainbow Twists Zing/Sour
  • Soft Jelly Bear

List of vegetarian Haribo

If you are a vegan but choose to consume bee products, then you can eat any of the sweets fromt the list of vegetarian Haribo…

The following Haribo sweets are vegetarian:

  • Freaky Fish
  • Funny Mix
  • Giant Strawbs
  • Giant Trees
  • Jelly Beans
  • Rainbow Spaghetti
  • Rainbow Strips Zing/Sour
  • Rainbow Twists
  • Rainbow Twists Zing/Sour
  • Rotella
  • Soft Jelly Bear
  • Starfish
  • Strawberry Twists

Popular Haribo sweets

Some Haribo sweets are really common and you’ll see them everywhere, yet there are other varieties that are only available in a handful of shops or online. Here’s the lowdown on the most popular Haribo varieties.

Haribo Giant Strawbs

Haribo makes two varieties of Giant Strawbs – the regular ones and the sugar-coated ones, which are either called Gaint Strawbs Zing or Giant Sour Strawbs.

Giant Strawbs

Giant Sour Strawbs

Haribo Giant Strawbs do not contain any gelatine and they are suitable for vegetarians. However, they are glazed with beeswax so they are not strictly vegan. Haribo Giant Sour Strawbs do not contain beeswax but they do contain gelatine so are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Haribo Giant Strawbs ingredients (UK)

Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Starch, Acid: Citric Acid, Flavouring, Fruit and Plant Concentrates: Aronia, Blackcurrant, Elderberry, Grape, Lemon, Orange, Safflower, Spirulina, Caramelised Sugar Syrup, Glazing Agents: Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Elderberry Extract

Haribo Giant Strawbs Sour/Zing ingredients (UK)

Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Gelatine, Dextrose, Acid: Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Flavouring, Fruit and Plant Concentrates: Apple, Aronia, Blackcurrant, Elderberry, Grape, Kiwi, Safflower, Spirulina, Elderberry Extract,

Haribo Starmix

Haribo Starmix is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans because it contains gelatine and beeswax. Vegetarians avoid gelatine because it is made from animal bones, skin, tendons and ligaments. Vegans avoid beeswax because it is made by bees.

Haribo Starmix ingredients (UK)

Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Gelatine, Acid: Citric Acid, Flavouring, Fruit and Plant Concentrates: Safflower, Spirulina, Apple, Elderberry, Blackcurrant, Orange, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Passion Fruit, Aronia, Grape, Caramelised Sugar Syrup, Elderberry Extract, Glazing Agents: Beeswax, Carnauba Wax

Haribo Tangfastic

Haribo Tangfastics are sour and fizzy chewy sweets in the shapes of cherries, dummies, cola bottles and crocodiles.

Haribo Tangfastics sweets are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians because they contain gelatine which is derived from the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments of pigs. They are also not halal.

Haribo Tangfactics ingredients (UK)

Glucose syrup; sugar; gelatine; dextrose; acid: citric acid, malic acid; caramelised sugar syrup; fruit and plant concentrates: apple, aronia, blackcurrant, carrot, elderberry, grape, hibiscus, kiwi, lemon, mango, orange, passion fruit, safflower, spirulina; flavouring; elderberry extract.

Haribo Chamallows

Haribo Chamallows marshmallows are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans because they contain gelatine, which is made from the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments of pigs. They also contain carmine, which is a red food dye made from crushed insects.

Haribo Chamallows ingredients (UK)

Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Water, Humectant: Sorbitol Syrup, Gelatine, Natural Flavouring, Colour: Carmines

Haribo Soft Jelly Bear

The Haribo Soft Jelly Bear is an 11-inch tall yellow plastic bear filled with 1 KG of individually-wrapped soft candies. The sweets inside are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and Muslims.

Check price of the Haribo Gift Bear on Amazon

As you can see from the ingredients below, the vegan Haribo sweets use pectin rather than gelatine. Pectin is a naturally occurring substance which is found in apples, berries and other fruits. No glazing agent is used.

Vegan Haribo Soft Jelly Bear Ingredients (UK):

Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Gelling Agent: Pectin, Humectant: Sorbitol, Acid: Citric Acid, Acidity Regulator: Trisodium Citrate, Fruit Juice Concentrates: Lemon, Orange, Strawberry, Apple, Fruit and Plant Concentrates: Black Carrot, Spirulina, Safflower, Radish, Apple, Flavouring, Invert Sugar Syrup.

Vegan Haribo alternatives

The good news is that there are a large number of chewy sweets which are suitable for vegans. You might be lucky enough to find some of these in your loal supermarket, although they may not be where you expect. In my local Asda, the vegan sweets can be found hidden on a top shelf in the soft drinks aisle, nowhere near the rest of the sweets!

Some of my favourite vegan sweets which are available online are:

Candy Kittens

Candy Kittens are natural fruit sweets which come in lots of different flavours and this gift hamper is a great way to see which you like best. I’ve tried lots of the flavours and loved them all so far. This pack contains strawberry, watermelon, mengo and blueberry.

Super Sweets

This huge 1 KG bag of vegan sweets offers great value for money and all the different kinds are delicious – there were none I didn’t like! The fizzy jellies are really sour and fizzy but not so much that they hurt your mouth, which is ideal.

Swizzels Retro Sweets

As a kid in the 80s I grew up eating Swizzels drumsticks, dip dabs and love hearts. I had to stop eating them when I became vegetarian as a child as they did used to contain gelatine. However, I’m thrilled that Swizzels have gone to such efforts to adjust the ingredients and make 18 varieties of vegan sweets that everyone can enjoy. Refresher bars have only recently become vegan and I’m enjoying them very much.

Conclusion

Most Harbio sweets contain gelatine from pigs so they are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans or those following a Halal diet. However, there are some Haribo sweets which do not contain gelatine, makig them vegetarian and Halal. Of these, most contain beeswax, but some Haribo are suitable for vegans.

No Haribo sweets are certified as vegan as there is the potential for cross-contamination between vegan and non-vegan ingredients. However, some vegans will choose to eat the Haribo sweets that are free from animal ingredients.

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