Are any M&Ms Vegan?

M&Ms are one of the most popular and beloved candies, but for those following a vegan lifestyle, the question of whether any M&Ms are vegan-friendly arises. In this article, we will explore the different varieties of M&Ms and determine which ones are suitable for vegans.

The Ingredients of M&Ms

To determine the vegan-friendliness of M&Ms, we need to analyze their ingredients. M&Ms consist of several components, including:

  • Sugar
  • Cocoa mass
  • Cocoa butter
  • Milk solids
  • Lecithin
  • Artificial flavors
  • Colorings

While some ingredients are clearly non-vegan, such as milk solids, others may have hidden animal-derived products. Let’s explore each ingredient further to understand their vegan status.

1. Sugar

Sugar is an essential ingredient in M&Ms. The good news is that sugar itself is typically vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use bone char during the refining process, which is derived from animal bones. Therefore, it’s advisable to look for M&Ms made with organic or unrefined sugar to ensure vegan compatibility.

2. Cocoa Mass and Cocoa Butter

Cocoa mass and cocoa butter are derived from cocoa beans and form the chocolatey component of M&Ms. In their pure form, cocoa mass and cocoa butter are vegan. However, some manufacturers may add milk solids to enhance the flavor or texture. Vegan-friendly M&Ms will clearly label their products as dairy-free or vegan.

3. Milk Solids

Milk solids are the primary non-vegan ingredient in M&Ms. They are derived from milk and contribute to the creamy taste of chocolate. Unfortunately, this means that traditional M&Ms, such as milk chocolate or peanut butter variants, are not suitable for vegans.

4. Lecithin

Lecithin is a common ingredient in many processed foods, including M&Ms. It is typically derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Vegans can consume lecithin derived from plants without any issues. However, some manufacturers may use lecithin derived from eggs, making it non-vegan. Checking the label or contacting the manufacturer is crucial to ascertain the source of lecithin used in the M&Ms you are considering.

5. Artificial Flavors and Colorings

M&Ms contain artificial flavors and colorings to provide their distinct taste and vibrant appearance. While these components can vary, they are generally considered vegan-friendly. However, it’s worth noting that some vegans prefer to avoid artificial additives altogether.


To summarize, not all M&Ms are suitable for vegans. Traditional M&Ms containing milk chocolate or milk solids are not vegan-friendly. However, some M&M varieties are vegan or dairy-free. When searching for vegan M&Ms, look for those made with organic sugar, dairy-free labels, and plant-derived lecithin. By considering these factors, vegans can enjoy a delicious treat while sticking to their ethical dietary choices.