Are Smarties Vegan? Here’s What You Need To Know!

are smarties vegan

Before we get to the answer, let’s first differentiate the two Smarties that exist in the market.

On one end, we have the Smarties favored in Europe, ones that highly resemble M&M’s.

They are color-varied and sugar-coated chocolate spheres that have been produced since 1937, originally manufactured by H.I. Rowntree & Company, but currently produced by Nestlé. Akin to M&M’s, they also come in various colors: yellow, red, orange, green, blue, brown, mauve and pink.

Then, we have the Smarties that are “more” popular among the U.S crowd.

They are candy rolls that come in an assortment of different flavors: orange-cream, pineapple, cherry, strawberry, grape, and orange. Also, one roll has 25 calories, which is significantly less than a tube of Smarties sold by Nestlé.

However, the real question is — are smarties vegan?

Well, one is technically vegan, and the other is not.

Are Smarties by Nestlé Suitable For Vegans?

are smarties vegan?
Ingredients:
Milk chocolate (sugar, milk ingredients, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, whey powder, lactose, soya lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate, natural flavor), sugar, wheat flour, modified corn starch, carnauba wax, and artificial colors.

Obviously, this one is a no-brainer. It doesn’t take too long to realize that these Smarties contain dairy-derived ingredients, which immediately cross them out as being unsuitable for vegans.

In addition to that, Nestlé isn’t exactly a pro-animal, environmental, and ethical company.

That’s why many vegans are against buying products from companies like Nestlé because they make a huge profit out of animal-based products. So, if you buy a product that happens to be vegan, that stream of revenue will also go into creating products that contain animal ingredients.

That is how some vegans think.

However, there are also many vegans like Gary Yourofsky that believe non-vegan companies can change from within when there’s a shift in demand.

I personally agree with his opinion.

And that view is actually proven by the fact that a company like Mars, Incorporated is the world’s first major confectionery company launching vegan chocolates.

Are Smarties Candy Rolls Vegan?

smarties candy roll
Ingredients:
Dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, natural and artificial flavors, as well as artificial colors (red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and blue 2).

The Smarties Candy Rolls don’t have animal-based ingredients so they’re vegan.

In fact, Smarties (the company) seems to be very proud of it:

“All Smarties candy made by Smarties Candy Company is vegan! There is no need to worry about your dietary and ethical choices coming in conflict with satisfying a sweet tooth. Smarties candy is the perfect solution. Smarties ingredients contain no animal products, making them a tasty and cruelty-free choice for anyone looking for delicious vegan candy.

Our Smarties products are entirely free of meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. You can rest assured that the calcium stearate is plant-derived and that no animal products were used in the processing of our candy’s ingredients.

There are many reasons people choose a vegan or vegetarian diet including for their health, for the environment, and for the animals. We are well aware of the importance of these issues, and we are delighted to offer compassionate candy to satisfy the vegan sweet tooth!”

However, they also made sure to note that there are some products with the Smarties brand that aren’t manufactured by Smarties Candy Company. So, they recommend you to always verify the ingredient label before considering to purchase.

In addition, we have to emphasize the fact that some of the ingredients in the Smarties are questionable. There are natural and artificial flavors, as well as artificial colors.

Artificial Colors & Flavors.

There is one problem with artificial colors & flavors besides being unhealthy.

Typically, anything that is artificially created in a lab and introduced in a product must have gone through a series of tests to be proven safe for consumption.

Those tests were run on animals. As a result, animals (mice, cats, and even dogs) were subjected to painful experiences, with some of them suffering from health conditions (including tumors).

Some people suggest that these tests are a necessary evil so that all of us can consume many of the products we love. But we must also realize that to guarantee the safety of these chemicals, regular tests must be conducted to ensure they remain safe.

I was under the impression that any artificial color or flavor used for food only needed to be tested and approved for safety once. However, it turns out tests are run periodically.

Here’s an example of two tests, one done in 2017 and another in 2018 for the red food coloring.

This is why artificial colors are a highly questionable ingredient.

Natural Flavors.

Most natural flavors are vegan. In fact, most of the natural flavors in food and cosmetics are usually extracted from plant-based sources.

However, here’s what the FDA has to say about natural flavors:

“the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

Animal-based ingredients are also used in some cases. In fact, one of the most notorious animal-based sources used to produce and enhance certain flavors is castoreum. Castoreum is a liquid extracted from the anal secretions of beavers in the United States and Europe.

It is mostly used to create the vanilla flavor and is sometimes used to enhance strawberry and raspberry flavors. Among the 6 flavors in the Smarties, you can find strawberry.

If you’re heavily against these questionable ingredients I’ve mentioned, feel free to contact the Smarties Candy Company.

Bottom Line

The Smarties sold by the Smarties Candy Company are vegan, but the Smarties sold by Nestlé is not suitable for vegans. This said, both the Smarties have questionable ingredients such as artificial flavors and colors, as well as natural flavors.

While many vegans are okay with consuming products with these ingredients, many other vegans that have stricter standards typically avoid them.

Therefore, depending on the type of vegan you are, this product may or may not be okay for consumption.

Thanks for reading!


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About the Author: Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!