Are Skittles Vegan?

Skittles are a popular candy known for their vibrant colors and fruity flavors. If you are following a vegan lifestyle or have dietary restrictions, you may be wondering whether Skittles are suitable for you. In this article, we will delve into the ingredients and manufacturing process of Skittles to determine if they are indeed vegan-friendly.

1. Ingredients of Skittles

To determine if Skittles are vegan, it is crucial to examine the ingredients used in their production. Here are the main components found in a standard pack of Skittles:

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Apple Juice Concentrate
  • Citric Acid
  • Dextrin
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Colors (Includes Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1)
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

After analyzing the ingredients, we can identify potential non-vegan components, such as sugar and hydrogenated palm kernel oil. By digging deeper into the manufacturing process, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding.

2. Sugar in Skittles

One ingredient that often raises concerns for vegans is sugar. While most granulated sugar is plant-based, some refined sugar goes through a filtering process using animal bone char. However, Mars Wrigley, the company that produces Skittles, has confirmed that they do not use bone char in their sugar processing. Therefore, the sugar in Skittles is considered vegan-friendly.

3. Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil

Another ingredient to evaluate is hydrogenated palm kernel oil. Palm oil production can sometimes be associated with deforestation and habitat destruction, making it a concern for environmental-conscious individuals. From a vegan perspective, palm oil itself is plant-based. However, if you avoid products that use palm oil due to these ethical concerns, Skittles may not align with your principles.

4. Natural and Artificial Flavors

Skittles contain natural and artificial flavors to create their distinct taste. Unfortunately, the specific ingredients used to create these flavors are not disclosed, making it difficult to determine if they are vegan. It is worth noting that some artificial flavors can be derived from animal sources, but without further information from the manufacturer, it is impossible to conclude if Skittles’ flavors are vegan-friendly.

5. Use of Shellac

One ingredient that is not vegan is shellac. Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, which is commonly used as a glazing agent in candies. However, Skittles do not contain shellac, so they are safe for vegans in this regard.


In conclusion, while Skittles may not contain explicitly non-vegan ingredients, such as gelatin or carmine, their vegan-friendliness is not entirely certain. The undisclosed natural and artificial flavors pose some uncertainty, and the use of hydrogenated palm kernel oil may conflict with certain environmental and ethical beliefs. If you strictly adhere to a vegan lifestyle, it is advisable to reach out to Mars Wrigley for further clarification on the sourcing of their flavors and palm oil.