Are Starbursts Vegan? Let’s Find Out!


If you’re someone who follows a vegan lifestyle or is considering making the switch to a plant-based diet, you may be wondering whether your favorite candies, like Starbursts, are vegan-friendly. In this article, we’ll delve into the ingredients of Starbursts and explore whether they align with vegan principles.

Understanding Veganism

Before we answer the burning question of whether Starbursts are vegan, it’s important to understand what veganism entails. Vegans abstain from consuming or using any animal products. This includes avoiding not just meat, poultry, and fish, but also products such as eggs, dairy, honey, and even gelatin. Veganism is often driven by ethical, environmental, and health concerns.

Starbursts Ingredients

To determine whether Starbursts are vegan-friendly, we need to analyze their ingredients. The primary ingredients of Starbursts include:

  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Less than 2% Citric Acid
  • Tapioca Dextrin
  • Gelatin
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Color Additives (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 1)

The presence of gelatin in Starbursts is what raises concerns for vegans. Gelatin is derived from animal collagen, typically sourced from the skin, bones, or connective tissues of pigs or cows. As it is an animal-derived ingredient, many vegans choose to avoid gelatin altogether.

Are Starbursts Vegan?

Unfortunately, Starbursts are not considered vegan-friendly due to the inclusion of gelatin in their ingredients. Gelatin is derived from animals and does not align with the vegan principles of avoiding animal products. Therefore, strict vegans should steer clear of Starbursts.

Vegan Alternatives to Starbursts

If you’re craving a chewy and fruity candy but want a vegan-friendly option, you’re in luck! Several companies produce vegan candies that are similar to Starbursts. Some popular vegan alternatives include:

  • Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
  • Sweet & Sara Vegan Marshmallows
  • YumEarth Organic Fruit Snacks
  • Goody Good Stuff
  • Squish Vegan Candy

These alternatives offer delicious fruity flavors without the use of gelatin or any other animal-derived ingredients.

Label Reading for Vegans

When navigating the world of vegan candies, it’s essential to check the labels of products before purchasing. While some candies may seem vegan-friendly at first glance, hidden animal-derived ingredients can often be found in the fine print. Always look out for substances such as gelatin, honey, carmine (a red dye derived from crushed insects), and confectioner’s glaze (derived from shellac).

An easy way to ensure that the candy truly aligns with your vegan principles is to look for products that are specifically labeled as “vegan” or those that bear the Vegan Society’s registered trademark.


In conclusion, Starbursts, unfortunately, cannot be classified as vegan due to the presence of gelatin in their ingredients. For avid vegans or those following a plant-based diet, several alternative candies are available in the market that deliver similar chewy and fruity experiences, without the need for animal-derived ingredients. Remember to always read labels carefully and opt for products labeled as vegan to enjoy your favorite candies guilt-free!