Is Jelly Vegan? All that Vegans Need to Know

Published Categorized as Desserts, Vegetarian

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Ever wondered what ingredients were used in making this bouncy, jiggly, and exciting dessert? Whether it is in candy form or made in hot water, to scoop up with a spoon, one can’t help the niggling curiosity, Especially if you’re following a vegan diet plan.

One of the most challenging aspects when looking to create a wonderful family dessert is being afraid that the ingredients might not be suitable for vegetarians. This is usually why so many of us pick up the packaged product, flip it over, and start reading the tiny print. Sometimes it’s impossible to figure out what is written which is why so many of us resort to typing in the brand name into Google, to answer our questions.

Well if you’re still wondering if jelly fruits are vegan, we can dive straight into this mystery, with the answers at your fingertips.

Table of Contents

Can Vegans Eat Jelly?

Essentially, most supermarket or store-bought jelly brands are certainly vegan, as they use an ingredient called pectin, rather than gelatine to give the jelly its firm and wobbly texture. Although it isn’t common practice for brands or recipes to use gelatine, it is indeed possible. The jelly is smooth and doesn’t contain any seeds or fruit chunks. Jelly consists of three basic ingredients: fruit juice, cane sugar, and pectin. Meaning that it is completely vegan jelly and vegetarian friendly.

Is Jelly Vegan_Alice's Kitchen

What is Pectin?

Pectin is a natural and commercially produced essential ingredient in preserves, like jelly and jam. Without pectin jellies and jams won’t achieve their gel-like texture. Pectin is a type of starch, that occurs naturally in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables, giving them structure. When combined with sugar and acid, it’s what causes the jams and jellies to develop an almost solid texture when they cool.

Are Jelly Fruits Vegan?

Jelly sweets like Haribo gummy bears or jelly candies, are mostly non-vegan food, or not suitable for vegetarians because they are loaded with gelatine. Some of these jelly candies contain traces of pork cartilage or beef gelatine. However, there are some vegan or vegetarian-friendly jelly fruits available for many to try. The main ingredients found in these vegan-friendly jelly fruits consist of fruit flavorings, pectin, sugar, citric acid, and water.

The Main Ingredients in Jams and Jellies?

Jam has similar, rather identical ingredients to jelly. While some jams use gelatine to set their fruit, most jams use natural fruit pectin. Pectin acts as a binder and is the key element in both jellies and jams. Let’s take a close look at the main ingredients of the wobbly, gel-like products:

  • Fruit (or fruit flavor)
  • Thickening Agent
  • Citric Acid
  • Sweetener


The main ingredient in all jams and jellies is fruit (or fruit flavor) and since fruits are all plant-based it automatically makes them vegan. It doesn’t matter what kind of fruit you choose, from apples, to passion fruit, they’re all suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Thickening Agent:

The most common thickening agents used in jam or jelly are commercial pectin, homemade pectin, corn starch, gelatine, jello, tapioca, apples, fruit pitch, and chia seeds. These are all plant-based products except for gelatine, which is also used as a thickener in jello – extracted from animal skin, connective tissue, and animal bones. So all thickening agents, apart from jello and gelatine are vegan.


The acids used in jams and jellies occur naturally in fruit. The fruits with low acid like blueberries, the addition of lime or lemon juice would increase the acid content. Lemon and lime are citrus fruits and are plant-based which makes them vegan.


The most commonly used sweeteners in jams and jellies are granulated sugar, unprocessed cane sugar, honey, maple, syrup, agave nectar, stevia, and Splenda. These are all plant-based and are acceptable to vegans, with the exceptions of sugar, which has been processed with all the nutrients removed, and honey which is a product of animals. However, the use of Splenda can be questionable, as it is derived from sugar but has been altered and is not in its natural state anymore.

To summarise, the inappropriate ingredients for a vegan diet would be:

  • Gelatine as it is extracted from animal
  • Jello has gelatine as the main ingredient, which is an animal by-product
  • Splenda is plant-based but not in its natural state
  • Honey which is an animal product

What Jelly Sweets are Vegan and Vegetarian?

There are many who appreciate the sticky sweetness attaching itself to their sweet tooth, easily satisfying their cravings. Unfortunately for those who are following a plant-based diet, trying to find vegan-friendly sweets can be a challenging task. So to eliminate the stress and time spent on reading the ingredients provided on the packaging at the supermarket, here are some popular brands of the tastiest jelly vegetarian and vegan-friendly sweets for you to enjoy in abundance:

  • Jelly Tots
  • Candy Kittens
  • Starburst
  • Sherbet Dip Dab
  • Skittles
  • Pimlico Fruit Jellies

Jelly Tots

Jelly Tots have hung about for a while, and have been scoffed down by kids of all ages, especially during those endless car journeys. They contain only vegan-friendly ingredients, but they are made in factories that also handle gelatine, so some vegans might choose to steer clear of them.

Candy Kittens

These jelly-like chewy sweets, come in a variety of flavors such as peach fizz, sour watermelon, and Eton mess. They are all vegan-friendly and gluten-free, as well as the fact that they are absolutely delicious. They contain natural flavorings and real fruit juice, so perhaps many might opt for these, due to their healthy ingredients.


These chewy starburst sweets, provide a burst of flavors, curling themselves around your teeth, these impeccable sweets do not contain any animal products but can contain palm fat, which could be problematic for some vegans.

Sherbet Dip Dab

This bag of sherbet combined with a sugary lollipop makes for a tasty candy treat. These are vegan-friendly and are essentially a childhood favorite amongst many who enjoy fruity, or sour sweets.


Despite being ever so colorful, skittles don’t contain any ingredients obtained from animals, so they’re perfectly okay for vegans to buy and snack on. They contain palm oil, which could be the reason that some vegans do not go near certain kinds of sweets.

Pimlico Fruit Jellies

Grab yourself a box of these mouth-watering sweets, with a mix of apple, blackberry, strawberry lemon, orange, and pineapple flavored jelly sweets – made with real fruit juice – are yummy and vegan friendly, so everyone can happily enjoy them!

So is Jelly Vegan

Unless the jelly contains elements of animal-based products like gelatine, jelly is normally completely suitable for vegans and vegetarians, due to the fact that they contain fruits and plant-based preserves, so that they can achieve their brilliant wobbly texture.

Is Jelly Vegan_Alice's Kitchen


Is Jelly Veg or Non-Veg?

Jelly is made from fruit juice. boiled down to thicken with added sugar and pectin on top of it.

Is Jam Vegan?

The core ingredients of jam are plant-based, so most supermarket jams are vegan. Some companies use gelling agents to mold the ingredients together. A common example is a gelatine, which is made using animal products.

Is Smucker’s Jam Vegan?

Smuckers uses fruit pectin instead of animal-based gelatine, to help its jelly and fruit spreads congeal. So Smuckers jellies and jams are vegan.