Are Skittles Vegan?

Skittles are fun and colorful candy that tastes as good as they look. While people who adhere to a vegan diet are likely to be more interested in the nutritional content and know are skittles vegan, there is no denying the sweetness of skittles.

Whether you are just thinking about going vegan or you’re already on the meat-free way of life, learning what is in skittles will help you to enjoy them.

Are Skittles Vegan

Of course, we all know that they are packed full of sugar, but what else is in a skittle? This article is going to shine a light on and inside skittles to answer once and for all: Are they vegan?

Are Skittles Vegan?

Music to the ears of vegan eaters everywhere, yes, skittles are in fact vegan. That’s not to say skittles are healthy in any way, shape, or form, but at least they are vegan. However, it must be known, that while the majority of skittles’ varieties are vegan, not all of them are. 

Luckily, it is the rare and special edition skittles that aren’t vegan, not the classics. One flavor that is definitely not vegan is Once in a Blue Moon. Once in a Blue Moon is one of the few skittles varieties that still contain animal-derived ingredients. 

The skittles varieties that are categorically 100% vegan include Skittles Fruits, Skittles Tropical, Skittles Sour, and Skittles Wild Berry. This means that you are more than likely going to find vegan skittles than non-vegan ones down at your local store.

You should always have a quick scan of the ingredient list of limited edition skittles packs. Like Once in a Blue Moon, they could be packing animal-derived products. 

What Are Skittles?

If you have never tried a skittle before, we are both impressed and bewildered. Skittles are small and round pieces of chewy candy (You might also want to check Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan?) that come in every color of the rainbow.

Their slogan “Taste the Rainbow” is a testament to that. Every type of skittle has a distinctly unique fruity flavor for which its color represents.

For instance, purple-colored skittles are grape flavored, while red is strawberry. Another fun fact about strawberry skittle is that it is also America’s numero uno skittle flavor. Skittles may look a lot like M&M’s from afar, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Skittles are candy while M&M’s are chocolate. If the ingredients and company align with your moral compass and you are partial to fruit-flavored chewy candy. You really should give Skittles a try. Of course, candy should always be treated as exactly that “a treat”.

As delicious as they are, you really shouldn’t incorporate Skittles into your everyday diet. Once in a while is more than enough to savor their flavor and taste what all the hype is about. 

Are Skittles Vegan

What Ingredients Are in Skittles?

As previously hinted, skittles are not considered a beacon of health and should be eaten infrequently, to say the least. Skittles consist of sugar (surprise) as well as artificial additives like colorings and flavorings.

Albeit their mix of ingredients is delicious. You are wanting to eat a healthy and balanced diet, skittles should be consumed few and far between.

Thankfully, none of the ingredients in skittles contain animal products. In saying that, skittles haven’t always been so vegan-friendly. It wasn’t until 2010 that skittles and many other big-name candy (Check out Are Starburst Vegan?) brands moved away from the use of gelatin in their products.

However, in spite of this switch from gelatin, skittles still contained an animal-derived ingredient up until 2015 that went by the name of Carmine. 

Another pre-2015 ingredient in skittles that was not suitable for vegans is E120. This red food coloring was derived from an insect species called Cochineal.

So, count your lucky stars that skittles smartly chose to ditch their reliance on animal-derived products back then, so you can enjoy them with a clean conscious now. 

What Are Some Other Vegan Considerations for Skittles?

It is true that most Skittles varieties no longer feature animal-derived products. This doesn’t mean that eating them en masse is the right decision for you.

There are a few things that you should know about Skittles before you decide whether they are worth eating or not. This is about how aligned the ingredients of Skittles. The brand as a whole, are aligned with your morals and values. 

For instance, did you know that Skittles Brand is owned and operated by a parent company? Mars is the parent company in question, and, unfortunately, their vegan status isn’t exactly squeaky clean.

Mars as a corporation has previously tested products on animals. Of course, striking every brand and company from your record that has tested products on animals may leave you without much choice, but for strict vegans, there is no other way. 

One of the biggest faux pas of the last decade for companies trying to realign their values is the use of palm oil in their products. Palm oil production is a seriously destructive thing that sees countless native forests and wildlife destroyed to make room for palm tree plantations.

Something that plays on the heartstrings of everyone is the evident habitat loss of orangutans in Borneo as a result of palm tree plantations.

Though conscientious food brands now sell their products “proudly palm oil free”, many of the world’s big candy producers, unfortunately, are not. Mars and its subsidiary company Skittles both feature palm oil in the production of their candy.

It is, therefore, a question about how deep your vegan values run with not just the food you eat, but the moral compass of the company that produces it as well. 


Vegans everywhere can now breathe a sigh of relief as their favorite candy has officially passed the vegan test. However, while Skittles are (mostly) vegan, there are still some questionable aspects to the company that produces them.

For this reason, it really does come down to personal preference as to where each vegan person stands on Skittles.

Clara Howie
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