Haribo – Which Are Vegan or Vegetarian? 

You’ve surely heard of tasty Haribo candy. But which ones are vegan or vegetarian?

Well, the issue with most gummy candies is that they are generally made using one of three animal-based ingredients:

  • Gelatin – Animal protein sourced by boiling down hooves, bones, and skin
  • Beeswax – Naturally formed wax made by bees
  • Carmine – An ingredient used to dye food red, which comes from insects

To determine which Haribo candies are vegan and vegetarian, you need to look for packages without these ingredients.

Vegan candies are made using a plant-based thickener, like agar agar powder, or sustainably sourced palm oil.

Most Haribo candies are suitable for vegetarians, but only four are considered vegan.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn more about which Haribo candies are vegan or vegetarian and why. 

Haribo Gummy Ingredients

Most Haribo gummy candies share much of the same ingredient list. In non-vegetarian candy, the ingredients causing problems are gelatin and beeswax.

Haribo worms

Apart from these ingredients, most Haribo materials are plant-based, making them an acceptable treat for vegetarians. 

Haribo has built an empire on the classic gummy bear consistency and flavor. This is shared by other popular Haribo flavors.

Some favorite non-vegan Haribo gummies, like Haribo Worms include ingredients such as:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Sugar
  • Gelatine
  • Dextrose
  • Acidifier
  • Citric acid
  • Fruit concentrates
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax

In contrast, vegan Haribo products are harder to come by and have fewer animal-derived ingredients.

sour s'ghetti

In Sour S’ghetti, for example, Haribo uses the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Glucose syrup
  • Corn starch
  • Sorbitol
  • Wheat flour
  • Citric acid
  • Artificial and natural flavors
  • Carnauba wax
  • Blue 1
  • Yellow 5
  • Red 40

So, what do vegan Haribo candies use instead of beeswax? Carnauba wax, of course. Carnauba wax is sourced from the carnauba palm plant native to Brazil, unlike beeswax.

It is an edible wax used to coat many candy products to keep the candies from sticking together. 

Unfortunately, nearly all Haribo products include the warning of potential cross-contamination with wheat and dairy products. This could diminish the validity of the candy’s vegan quality.

Haribo has never promised a fully vegan candy (although some of their candy have vegan ingredients). This may be why. 

Carnauba wax

Which Haribo Are Vegan and Which Are Vegetarian?

As you explore Haribo candy to discover which ones are vegan or vegetarian, you’ll notice a pattern emerging. If the candy has no gelatine or beeswax, it’s almost always vegan.

If the candy has beeswax but no gelatin, it’s vegetarian. 

In Britain, vegetarian Haribo candies have a green seal on the bag, which states, “Suitable for vegetarians.”

However, this isn’t on all Haribo veggie-friendly products, so be sure to read the ingredients before buying.

It seems like new Haribo candies are emerging every day.

Currently, the list of the most popular vegetarian and vegan Haribo candies is as follows:

Haribo CandyVeganVegetarian
Sour S’ghettiYesYes
Sour StreamersYesYes
Sour BitesYesYes
Giant StrawbsNoYes
Jelly BeansNo Yes
Rainbow TwistsNoYes
Funny MixNoYes
Sour SparksNoYes
Giant TreesNoYes
Freaky FishNoYes

As you can see, vegetarian options include:

  • Starfish
  • Freaky Fish
  • Giant Trees
  • Starbeams
  • Sour Sparks
  • Funny Mix
  • Rainbow Twists
  • Jelly Beans
  • Rotella
  • Giant Strawbs
  • Berries

Vegan options include:

  • Sour Bites
  • Watermelon
  • Sour Streamers
  • Sour S’ghetti

The availability of vegan and vegetarian Haribo flavors differ from country to country. You may need to shop through an international vendor to find some animal-friendly candy varieties. 

Haribo gold bears

About Haribo

Haribo was founded in 1922 by Hans Riegal Sr. They produced the first-ever “gummy” in Bonn, Germany. Haribo officially moved into the American market in the 1980s, and into the British market in the 1990s.

Haribo makes gummy candies in uniquely designed molds manufactured just for Haribo products. The company has a strict code for quality standards and production. 

Most famous for their Gold Bears candy, Haribo has created more than 1,000 different varieties of candy.

In the U.S., there are 27 flavors widely available, including:

  • Sour Streamers
  • Dinosaurs
  • Pico-Balla
  • Smurfs
  • Starmix
  • Sour Smurfs
  • Alphabet Letters
  • Sour S’ghetti
  • Mini Rainbow Frogs
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Berries
  • Fizzy Cola
  • Twin Snakes
  • Peaches
  • Fruit Salad
  • Watermelon
  • Frogs
  • Rainbow Worms
  • Happy Cherries
  • Ginger Lemon
  • Funtastic Mix
  • Sour Kicks
  • Happy Cola
  • Gold Bears
  • Sour Gold Bears
  • Roulette 
  • Sour Bites

Of these products, only four are vegetarian or vegan. These are Sour Bites, Sour Streamers, Berries, and Sour S’Ghetti.

Gold Bears, being the signature candy of Haribo, is not available without gelatin at this time. 

Choosing the Best Haribo Vegetarian Gummy Candy

While the signature Haribo gummy is the Gold Bear, vegans and vegetarians need to find their own Haribo mascot.

Haribo Giant Strawbs

Candy preference is a personal choice, but with most Haribo options coated in sour sugar, it almost seems like vegans and vegetarians don’t get much of a choice. 

If you’re a vegetarian and don’t mind shopping online for Haribo candy, the Giant Strawbs are pretty popular.

Sour Streamers are a fan favorite for vegans, although if you’re looking for a bit more chew, the Sour Bites are more toothsome.

Where Can I Shop for Vegan Haribo Candy?

Now that you know which Haribo gummy candy is vegan and vegetarian, you might be wondering where to get them.

In the United States, you can pick up a bag of Haribo gummies at many grocery stores and convenience stores. They’re also available at Walmart, Target, and Kroger.

Check with small local retailers to see what their stock is like as well. You never know when you’ll find a hidden gem with vegan Haribo candy for sale. 

Many gummy enthusiasts turn to online-only retailers, like Amazon, to satisfy their Haribo cravings. This opens doors for various international flavors not available at local shops.

If you want to try some of the vegetarian and vegan offerings like Freaky Fish, Giant Trees, and Watermelon, you’ll have to go online as they aren’t found easily in American stores. 

Currently, consumers can’t order directly from Haribo, and there are no options for customizable candy creations through Haribo yet.

Large corporations and retailers can order Haribo candies through the manufacturers, but consumers must shop with Haribo retailers. 

Haribo Watermelon

Haribo FAQs

Being a vegan or vegetarian means asking lots of questions about the ingredients in the foods you eat.

It’s common to have questions about other things related to your favorite foods as well. Here are some of the top FAQs about Haribo candy. 

Can I Get all the Vegan and Vegetarian Haribo Candies in the US?

Yes and no. Not all vegan and vegetarian Haribo options are available in US candy stores. You may still be able to purchase many of these international flavors through online retailers.

Does Haribo Specify Which Products Are Vegan or Vegetarian on Packaging?

No. Although there is a green label in Britain signifying the product as safe for vegetarians. Packaging and labels vary by country.

It’s always best to read the ingredients rather than assuming anything is or isn’t vegan or vegetarian. 

Is it Ethical to Consume Carnauba Wax in Haribo Candy?

While it’s normal to feel concerned about the ethical sourcing of carnauba from Brazil, Haribo promises only sustainable carnauba harvesting. They are part of the Initiative for Responsible Carnauba (IRC)

What Are the Vegan Alternatives for Gelatin?

Gelatin contains animal fats, which is why it isn’t suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Safe and animal-friendly alternatives include:

  • Pectin: Pectin is a fruit extract often used as a thickening agent in jams and preserves. 
  • Agar agar: This natural gelatin comes from seaweed or red algae. 
  • Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is caused by fermenting sugar with a special kind of bacteria. The result is a thickening agent and preservative. 
  • Carrageenan: Like agar agar, carrageenan is extracted from green seaweed or thicken foods. 
  • Guar Gum: Produce from the seeds of the guar plant, guar gum. The seeds are ground down and used as a binding agent.

Haribo uses corn starch, agar agar, and wheat starch to thicken and bind vegetarian and vegan candy options. 

guar seeds

Is Haribo Dairy-Free?

While milk isn’t an ingredient in most gummy candy, Haribo has a warning that all candies may contain what or dairy.

This is because they use wheat and dairy in other products, and cross-contamination could occur. 

Why Are None of the Vegan Gummies Chewy?

The bouncy, or chewy, consistency of Gold Bears and Rainbow Worms is hard to achieve without gelatin. Vegan and vegetarian gummies tend to be softer.

The agar agar and other gelatin substitutes set with a softer consistency but are still delicious! 

Haribo Sour Streamers

Do Haribo Vegetarian and Vegan Gummies Taste Different?

With more than 1,000 unique Haribo products, there are plenty of flavors to choose from for those without dietary restrictions.

For vegans and vegetarians, the flavor options are limited but not unsatisfactory. Most reviews on the flavor of Sour Bites, Sour S’Ghetti, Berries, and Sour Streamers are positive.

The taste is not out of place compared to the non-vegetarian candies. If nobody told you they were vegan, you likely wouldn’t know!

Are Any Haribo Vegan or Vegetarian Candy Certified Organic?

No. While Haribo promises sustainable sourcing for its ingredients, the company doesn’t offer any certified organic gummy candy yet. 

Does Haribo Have Any Holiday Themed Vegan Candy?

Unfortunately, no. Haribo has just one animal-friendly holiday candy called Giant Trees. These contain beeswax and so can’t be designated as vegan.

Haribo Giant Trees

However, they count as vegetarian as they don’t include gelatin.

Giant Tree ingredients include:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Sugar
  • Starch
  • Acid
  • Citric acid
  • Fruit and plant concentrate
  • Caramelized sugar syrup
  • Glazing agents
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Elderberry extract

In Britain, Haribo produces gummy advent calendars, holiday packs, and other Christmas-themed products. Sadly, of this mix, only the Giant Trees are vegetarian. 

Haribo Christmas collection

Are Vegan and Vegetarian Haribo Candies Good for You?

No. No candy is really good for you. These are made (mostly) of sugar. In small quantities, they’re pretty harmless and fun treats.

In large quantities, Haribo candies could be bad for your teeth and tummy, vegan or not. 

Are Haribo Gummy Ingredients All Natural?

No, but Haribo uses natural flavorings like fruit and vegetable extracts for color and flavor.

Sour S’Ghetti, for example, is one of the vegan Haribo candies, and it lists artificial and natural flavors as ingredients. 

What Common Allergens Are in Haribo Vegan and Vegetarian Gummy Candy?

The most common allergens in Haribo vegetarian gummies are wheat and certain food dyes. The gummies also contain a warning that there may be trace amounts of dairy. 

Haribo claims its products are made in nut-free facilities. Individuals with tree-nut and peanut allergies can safely consume Haribo vegan candies. 

What Makes Sour Vegan Haribo Candy So Sour?

Compared to other sour foods, Haribo sour candy products are more sweet than sour. The sour flavor comes from the addition of citric acid, fruit extract, and other natural and artificial flavor components.

Citric acid isn’t as tart as Fumaric acid, but offers a punch of flavor as you bite down. It’s just right for those who like a little tang but not too much. 

Citric acid can be found naturally in foods like lemons and grapefruits, but it’s also manufactured in bulk by food companies by fermenting sugar. 

grapefruits citric acid

Wrap Up

With so many decades on the candy scene, it’s unsurprising that Haribo has evolved with society to include vegan and vegetarian candy options.

Using plant extract flavoring, plant-based gelatin alternatives, and animal-friendly glazing agents, Haribo lets vegans and vegetarians join in the candy fun.

If you’re looking for something to satisfy a sweet tooth, Haribo gummies are a good choice. While the current lineup for vegetarian and vegan flavors is limited, the brand constantly produces new candy.

Consumers can support the need for more flavors and less gelatin-based products by reaching out to Haribo through their many international locations. 

If you’re interested in Haribo, you can learn more about them, their company policies, product lineup, and ingredients by visiting the Haribo official website for your country.