They’re among the most popular hard candies and they come in a range of colorful flavors. But are Jolly Ranchers gluten free? Or are they not compatible with a gluten-free diet?
From grape to wild cherry to even the hard-to-find pineapple, it seems like there’s a Jolly Rancher flavor for just about everybody. My favorite is green apple!
But what if you have Celiac disease or another gluten intolerance? Can you still enjoy one of these colorful hard candies?
Jolly Ranchers are made mostly with sugar and corn syrup, along with artificial flavors and colors. None of those are gluten-containing ingredients, so these popular hard candies can be considered gluten free.
But there is some debate about this. In this post, I’ll get into the details and reveal which type of Jolly Ranchers candy is not gluten free.
What are Jolly Ranchers?
Jolly Ranchers got its start in 1949 in Golden, Colorado. Locals Bill and Dorothy Hamsen first tried to develop and launch their own ice cream brand. But they wanted to make a treat that could be successful year round, including the winter, so they invented the hard candies.
They chose the name Jolly Ranchers as a friendly nod to their Colorado home.
In 1996, the Hershey Company acquired the Jolly Ranchers brand and expanded the line to include additional flavors and styles. That includes gummies, Jolly Rancher lollipops, jelly beans, and even Jolly Rancher candy canes.
Today, these tasty treats come in a range of fruity flavors from blue raspberry to watermelon, green apple, peach, fruit punch, and more.
Do Jolly Ranchers contain gluten?
The main ingredients in Jolly Ranchers hard candies are corn syrup, sugar, malic acid, mineral oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, and artificial colors.
The Hershey Company acknowledges on its website that none of those contain gluten. But it also states that the candies are not certified gluten-free. And they have not been formally evaluated against FDA standards for what qualifies as gluten free.
According to those standards, only products with gluten levels below 20 parts per million (ppm) can officially be called gluten free.
That’s led to speculation that facilities that make Jolly Ranchers may be susceptible to cross-contamination with other gluten-containing products.
So while Jolly Rancher hard candy ingredients are gluten-free, you may want to be cautious if you have gluten sensitivity, gluten allergies, or Celiac disease.
Are Jolly Ranchers gummies gluten free?
Like their hard candy counterparts, Jolly Ranchers gummies are also technically gluten free as none of the items on its ingredients list contain gluten.
And many of those ingredients are the same, with the addition of cornstarch, sodium citrate (a flavor additive and preservative), caranuba wax (for texture), and limonene (for flavor and aroma).
It’s unclear if these candies are exposed to cross-contamination with gluten. So if you’re sensitive to gluten, it’s a good idea to be cautious if considering consuming these.
Are Jolly Rancher Bites gluten free?
These soft, chewy candies are not gluten free as one of the items listed on its ingredient label is enriched wheat flour. So these sweet treats will not be compatible with a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free candy options
If you’re looking for some other gluten-free candies, here are some options:
- Tootsie Rolls
- Hershey Kisses
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks
- Milk Duds
- Jelly Belly jelly beans
No, Jolly Rancher candies are not strictly vegan. The Hershey Company, which owns the brand, states on its website that Jolly Ranchers candies aren’t vegan, even they don’t contain animal-derived ingredients. So there could be concerns with the way the candies are processed that prevent them from being certified vegan. They also contain a natural flavor that the company can’t confirm isn’t animal-derived.
Jolly Rancher gummies are considered vegan-friendly as none of their ingredients are derived from animals, though the company does not state they are vegan certified. However, Jolly Ranchers Filled Gummies and Chews are not compatible with a vegan diet as they both contain gelatin, which is an animal product.
Yes, all Jolly Rancher products are dairy free. None of the items on their list of ingredients contain any dairy.
More gluten-related food answers
Windering whether some of your other favorite foods and beverages are gluten free? Tap the posts below.