Gobstoppers are a type of hard candy that was extremely popular among British schoolboys amidst World War 1 and World War 2. They consist of a number of different layers, each one dissolving to reveal a new color, and a new flavor.
Gobstoppers are also called jawbreakers because they’re too hard to bite, so they’re not exactly a good match for your teeth. At the same time, it is the type of candy that takes you on a journey to the past, in a time where visiting traditional sweet shops were the norm.
Part of the reason why Gobstoppers are so popular is that they take a long time to dissolve in the mouth, which is why a lot of children took a liking them.
Are Gobstoppers vegan? Since the Gobstoppers do not contain any animal-based ingredients, one has to technically consider it vegan.
However, vegans that have stricter standards probably don’t agree with my assessment.
Why Gobstoppers May Not Be Vegan.
In fact, here are the ingredients typically found in Gobstoppers:
Despite the different varieties of Gobstoppers, the list of ingredients remains identical and without animal-based ingredients.
What’s most concerning for stricter vegans, is the use of some ingredients, which include calcium stearate, artificial flavors, and added colors.
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, calcium stearate is an anti-caking agent used in a variety of foods, not just hard candies like the Gobstoppers.
They mention finding in some resources (such as websites and books), that calcium stearate was primarily derived from cows and pigs.
However, they also found out (from food ingredient manufacturers & suppliers) that most calcium stearate used in today’s food products comes from vegetable oils. In addition, they also say that calcium stearate was more common in foods 20 years ago, since nowadays alternatives like silicon dioxide. Feel free to read about this issue here.
Artificial Flavors & Added Colors
The issue with artificial flavors and colors is typically the same. While both artificial flavors and colors are considered vegan because they are made synthetically in a lab, there are serious health concerns associated with the use of such substances in our food.
Because of this, researchers conduct recurrent experiments on animals to figure out if these substances are actually safe for consumption.
As you know, animal testing is something most vegans are heavily against, even though you have vegans that are okay with consuming foods containing colors.
However, It’s also worth mentioning, that some companies use vegan-friendly alternatives (when it comes to adding colors or flavors to foods), so there is probably no need to support certain brands that use ingredients that have undergone animal testing.
This is especially true when you know you can find an actual VEGAN-FRIENDLY alternative.
This being said, if you are heavily against animal testing, then perhaps the Gobstoppers are simply not vegan in your dictionary.
Bottom Line: Technically, The Gobstoppers Are Vegan.
Indeed, we can consider the Gobstoppers to be vegan because it doesn’t have any of the animal ingredients we vegans usually avoid.
However, it does have some questionable ingredients, the most questionable ones being the artificial flavors and colors. We know that animal testing was (and is still) conducted to prove the safety of such ingredients, and as such, animals suffer and sometimes die in that process.
So while you may look at Gobstoppers and affirm that it doesn’t have an actual ingredient derived from animals… there are ingredients that are still associated with animal cruelty.
In the end, it all comes down to each one’s definition of veganism, I believe.