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If you are a vegetarian or you are looking to cut down on eating products that come from animals, then you might be wondering about which sweets you are still able to eat.

Here, we have put together a list of the best vegetarian sweets alternatives, so that you do not have to miss out on a sweet treat!

Which sweets are not suitable for vegetarians?

Traditionally made marshmallows and jelly sweets are not suitable for anyone who is following a vegetarian diet.

This is because both varieties of sweets are made with gelatine, which is a thickening and gelling agent, made from the skin, bones and hooves of animals.1

So are there sweets that vegetarians can eat?

Of course! Luckily there are vegetarian alternatives to both marshmallows and jelly sweets and there are lots of other sweets suitable for vegetarians.

Vegetarian marshmallow alternatives

Freedom Mallows Mini Marshmallows are free from gelatine and so suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

They are also gluten free, so no one has to miss out on these fluffy little treats! They are perfect as a topping for a delicious hot chocolate.

These marshmallows do not contain any artificial colours and they have a natural, delicate vanilla flavour. You might say they are the perfect marshmallow!

Dandies Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows are a full size marshmallow alternative. They are ideal for toasting on a firepit or for making smores.

Simply toast one of these marshmallows and then pop it between two digestive biscuits with a square of chocolate and enjoy!

Vegetarian gummy bear alternatives

The Treat Kitchen Vegan Teddy Bears are a great alternative to jelly teddy bear sweets.

Although these jelly sweets are in the shape of bears, they do not contain any animal products and so they are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. They are deliciously sweet and come in a reusable glass bottle, so they also make a perfect gift.

Free From Fellows Gummy Bears are delicious bear shaped gummy sweets, which come in lemon, apply, orange and cherry flavours.

They are made without gelatine, so vegetarians and vegans can enjoy them and they are also made without sugar, for complete guilt-free snacking!

Vegetarian jelly sweets alternatives

Candy Kittens offers a range of flavoured vegetarian jelly sweets including Wild Strawberry, Blueberry Bliss and Sour Watermelon.

These veggie sweets are made with fruit juice, natural colours and flavours and are also suitable for vegans.

Cola bottles are a staple of any pick and mix and so luckily there is a vegetarian version. Holland & Barrett Cola Bottles are made with real fruit and have a delicious cola flavour. Perfect for both adults and children alike, these are ideal for a sweet treat. Midget gems are another favourite at the sweet shop and the Free From Fellows Midget Gems are not only vegetarian but they are also made without sugar, for a bit of a healthier sweet.

Theses veggie jelly sweets are also gluten free and come in pomegranate, raspberry and blackcurrant flavours.

Vegetarian boiled sweets

Most boiled sweets are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Some boiled sweets may contain dairy and so will not be suitable for anyone following a vegan diet.

Sula Mint Humbugs is made from natural ingredients that are free from artificial flavours and colours, hydrogenated fats, aspartame, acesulfame and preservatives.

They are also sugar free. These sweets are suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans.

Ricola Cranberry Swiss Herbal Sweets are free from sugar, instead being sweetened with stevia. Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than normal white sugar and yet has fewer calories.2

These sweets are a unique blend of 13 natural Swiss herbs and they do not contain any artificial colours or flavours. They are also available in a mint flavour.

Pear drops are another treat which were popular in old-fashioned sweet shops. Sula Pear Drops are sugar free sweets which are made with all natural ingredients and do not contain anything artificial. Perfect for popping in your car or coat pocket.

Vegetarian chewing gum alternatives

Although most chewing gum nowadays is suitable for vegetarians, there are still some varieties which use gelatine in the formula.

Peppersmith Fine English Peppermint Chewing Gum is made with 100% xylitol and can be chewed every day to protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque as well as to keep your breath minty fresh.

This chewing gum is suitable for vegans and is approved by the Vegetarian Society.

Shop Sweet Snacks

Last updated: 27th January 2021


  1. 1 https://ohmyveggies.com/foods-vegetarians-cant-eat-but-dont-know-it/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287251
Bhupesh Panchal

Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.