If you are vegan and have a sweet tooth, this post is for you.
While plenty of vegan and non-vegan sweet treats are on our supermarket shelves, it may be confusing to know what does and does not contain animal products, which is why we are here.
Each day, people ask themselves, ‘Are M&Ms Vegan?’
Finally, we will get to the bottom of this topic a little further to answer the burning question once and for all, so stick around for the answer.
This may be useful to those who may be playing with the idea of trying out a vegan lifestyle and are curious what they will have to give up, or not for that matter, and some food products can be astonishing – it just takes a little research to find out.
Luckily, we have researched this for you, and if you are a die-hard M&Ms fan, you need to keep reading for the shocking answer to this trivial debate.
But first, let us dive right into what M&Ms are and how healthy are they for you?
What is an M&M?
Firstly, where have you been if these candy shell-covered candy drops are not familiar to you?
These delicious treats have been around since 1941 and have become a favorite snack for people worldwide.
It is very uncommon to enter a supermarket, corner store, or even a cinema without spotting the iconic brown M&Ms packet on the shelf, which has evolved to become a sharing size – which, let us face it, we don’t always share.
These days, you will find a variety of versions of the chocolate candies, including peanut M&M, spice & herb, fruit flavored M&Ms as well as crunch M&Ms.
You will also notice that at peak times of the year, M&Ms gracefully present themselves as a unique variety for Halloween, Easter, Christmas and even Valentine’s Day – the list is endless when it comes to M&M varieties.
Believe it or not, the idea for the M&M that we see today was a copy of the British candy known as Smarties, which are similar but slightly different.
Since then, the marketing strategies of the brand Mars have become world famous, with iconic adverts popping up all over our tv screens and M&Ms being featured in various movies and tv shows, not to mention the establishment of the chain of M&M World stores, which can be found in the world’s most vibrant cities, such as Shanghai and Las Vegas to name but a few.
On top of this, there are six cartoon mascots known as the ‘spokescandies,’ which can be recognized by almost everyone globally, thanks to their marketing strategies.
So now that we have determined what these colorful candies are and how long they have been living on our shelves let us dive right into how healthy they are – before we find out ‘Are M&Ms Vegan?’.
How Healthy are M&Ms?
We are yet to find a candy as colorful and tasty as these that is exceptionally healthy, so of course, there will be some ‘bad’ ingredients in there, but how bad are they?
This may shock you (or not), but M&Ms are entirely based on sugar and food dye, which makes them a pretty unhealthy snack, especially if eaten regularly.
In addition, there is very little fiber, vitamins, or protein in M&Ms, so the majority of your body is getting sugar and fat, which can lead to diabetes, tooth decay, and excessive weight gain.
Now that we know that M&Ms are mostly sugar and food dye, let us delve right in to answer the age-old question – Are M&Ms Vegan?
The answer will shock you!
Are M&Ms Vegan?
The main ingredients of these chocolate candies, according to the M&M official website, are:
- Cocoa mass
- Skimmed milk powder
- Cocoa butter
- Milk fat
- Palm fat
- Glucose syrup
- Shea fat
- An extensive list of colors and additives
*Milk chocolate contains milk solids of 14% minimum.
From the ingredients listed, it is safe to say that M&Ms is certainly NOT vegan and doesn’t claim to be.
Not only are they not vegan because of the vast amount of dairy included, but the food colorings used are tested on animals, so even if no dairy were included, this would still deem them not vegan.
If you are thinking, ‘are some M&MS vegan’?
Then we also have to answer no, because none of the varieties are vegan, as they all contain dairy, and no vegan type has been created (yet).
While the candies claim to be vegetarian, due to no meat being added or used in the process (well, that would be weird!), they are 100% NOT VEGAN, but the great news is, you are not missing out because there are many vegan alternatives out there.
With veganism emerging as a superior lifestyle choice for many, whether for health, animal welfare, or purely to protect our beloved mother earth, the demand for vegan alternatives has become as popular as ever – and that is great!
Nowadays, you can find vegan versions of many beloved food products, such as vegan shrimp, vegan jelly babies, and even vegan pulled pork, so it was inevitable that a vegan version of M&Ms has appeared on our shelves.
So, now that we have answered, ‘Are M&Ms Vegan?’, we can start to look for some healthier vegan options.
Things to know
- None of the varieties of M&Ms are vegan.
- If you are from the UK, your M&Ms will include Beeswax and carmine, which are not vegan friendly.
- Although dark chocolate can sometimes be suitable for vegans, M&Ms dark chocolate variety contains milk and is deemed unsuitable if you follow a vegan diet. Don’t be fooled!
- As mentioned, the colors do not contain animal derivatives, but they have been tested on animals, which are then used purely to make the candy appear attractive to consumers. This can be a massive issue for many vegans, so it is good to know this.
- The sugar included in M&Ms is not vegan in the way it is processed. In its purest form, it is suitable for vegans; however, it is commonly processed using bone char, which is just as bad as it contains meat. Therefore, eating white sugar can mean supporting the meat industry.
- Palm oil or Palm Fat can be a tricky one for vegans. Although it is vegan friendly, the unethical sourcing of this primary ingredient can make or break your decision to eat a product, so unless it is guaranteed sustainable and fully traceable, you can assume this palm oil is sourced unethically.
- While there are a few M&Ms vegan alternatives, the company has never mentioned any plans to launch a vegan version but never say never. So, for now, it is best to source a healthier, fully vegan version, which we have listed further on.
M&Ms Vegan Alternatives
As a vegan, you don’t need to miss out on your favorite sweet treats, so we have sourced some of the best M&M vegan alternatives. Here are just a few you need to get your hands on.
These are probably the most similar to M&Ms without any relation to animal products.
This option is fair trade, vegan, and contains no palm fat, making it an ideal choice for M&Ms fans.
Unfortunately, limited colors are available due to the companies’ plan to skip these nasty ingredients, so if you don’t care about the color variety, these are for you.
But, of course, you will still get that crunch from the shell and satisfaction from the dark chocolate center.
If you were a fan of peanut M&Ms, then this is the one for you.
These are fair trade, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, which make them a treat you can be proud to eat.
These are fantastic for anyone vegan, Gluten-free, peanut-free, or soy-free, making them ideal for almost any dietary requirement, and they certainly don’t lack in taste.
All items can be purchased on Amazon.
After answering the question ‘Are M&Ms Vegan?’ and as we close, we hope we have inspired you to try some healthy vegan options, which we have listed above.
Still, more so, we hope that it has encouraged you to take a deeper look at what foods you choose as part of a vegan diet since some are not vegan-friendly.
Furthermore, considering the food dyes used in M&Ms are tested on animals, it also encourages us to research a little deeper about ingredients in the food we choose to eat, especially when it appears vegan-friendly at first.
For example, many of us might not think twice about seeing a food coloring listed and take it as a common ingredient.
Still, by this research alone, we know that it is as vital as ever to see the source and process of the ingredients used to make the food we consume.
After all, it’s about health, morals, and transparency, which we can all appreciate.