We’re celebrating the spookiest day of the year with scary movies, pumpkin carving, and our favorite vegan candy. VegNews editors conducted a thorough search of the Target candy aisles, inspecting each shelf for animal-free sweets—right down to the ingredients label.
Is candy vegan?
While not all candy is vegan, this doesn’t mean vegans don’t have plenty of options when it comes to these sweet treats. Thankfully, companies have started displaying “vegan” logos on packaging as plant-based eating has become more mainstream. Still, not all vegan-friendly candy will be labled as such.
When there’s no vegan label to be found, it’s best to read the ingredients. You could be missing out on a lot of accidentally vegan candy if your only guide is a vegan marker. When reading candy labels, keep your eyes peeled for these common animal ingredients:
- Dairy: Often listed as milk, milkfat, and whey
- Confectioner’s glaze: Derived from insects, also known as “shellac”
- Carmine: Derived from insects
- Gelatin: Commonly used in gummy candy, made from boiled tendons, ligaments, or skin of pigs and cows
Vegan candy at Target
Thankfully, this big box retailer has countless vegan options in the candy aisle. Grab a cart (you’ll need one) and fill it to the brim with these 26 vegan-friendly treats.
1 Dum Dums
These mini suckers have stood the test of time—every generation loves them. With 17 flavors, there’s a lollie for everyone.
2 Jolly Ranchers
One of the original candies that taught us “blue” is a flavor, these classic hard candies remain a staple for any Halloween celebration.
Half the fun of these stretchy sweets is molding them like silly putty. Think of it as treating yourself with a toy you can snack on.
Sour Patch Kids
4 Sour Patch Kids
There’s no gelatin or animal bones in these gummies! Munch on these sour bites while enjoying your favorite scary movies.
5 Ring Pops
Really, Ring Pops are just ordinary suckers … yet they somehow taste ten times better because they’re candy bling.
Fruit by the Foot
6 Fruit by the Foot
Rolled into a ball or eaten straight off the lining, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this sweet treat.
7 Fun-Sized Laffy Taffy
This candy can be a bit polarizing—particularly the banana flavor. Even if you’re not a fan, at least read the wrapper for a good pun. Note: only the fun-sized varieties are vegan—the regular sizes contain eggs.
As of 2015, the family-run company was selling 2 billion Smarties rolls a year. Apparently, Smarties are here to stay.
This might not be what the doctors mean when they say “eat the rainbow,” but we’re going to ignore that thought for the sake of the holiday.
10 Individually-wrapped Strawberry Twizzlers
These packaged single-serve Twizzlers will do the trick for licorice-lovers.
11 Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Justin’s nut butter cups are the vegan equivalent of Reese’s. Target sells both full-sized and minis. And you deserve full-sized treats.
12 Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks
If kids had the opportunity to create their own dietary guidelines, gummies and fruit snacks would definitely be a food group.
Nineties throwback! While our palates have matured, there’s no doubt these squishy artificially flavored snacks will thrill anyone under the age of 12.
14 Gogo Squeez
Squeezable fruit is all the rage at the lunch table. Vegan-friendly flavors of this applesauce brand include apple, apple cinnamon, apple strawberry, apple banana, and a special Halloween pack in Raspberry Rush and Berry Madness.
15 Mamma Chia Squeeze
The parents might steal these from their kids. The fruity flavors include Blueberry Acai, Strawberry Lemonade, and Wild Raspberry. With all the candy we’ll be consuming, we could use a little fruit.
16 Annie’s Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
We know Halloween is all about the candy, but who doesn’t love mini chocolate chip cookies?!
17 Oreo Minis
No one can pass up milk’s favorite accidentally vegan cookie.
18 Fig Newtons
Were we the only ones who loved Fig Newtons as kids? These figgy bars aren’t just for old people!
19 Barnum’s Animal Cracker Mini-Packs
These classic animal-themed cookies are so old, they’re officially retro.
With flavors such as Cherry Pie, Apple Pie, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, you can bet these fruit-and-nut bars will be gone before the night is over.
21 Clif Bars
Go for the nut-butter filled varieties or the minis. They’re still sweet but offer a more robust nutritional profile than your standard Halloween candy.
22 Clif Z-Bars
Like the originals, these kid-focused bars come in nut-butter filled and minis. Pick up a few boxes of the Double Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter for a kid-friendly Halloween snack.
23 Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
Candy can be divisive. Everyone loves kettle corn. The choice is obvious.
24 Utz Halloween Bats & Jacks Single-Serve Pretzel Snacks
It’s an unspoken rule that every Halloween haul must include a pack of holiday-themed pretzels.
25 Kool-Aid Jammers
This Halloween, we’re filling our cauldrons with Kool-Aid.
26 Surf Sweets Organic Spooky Shapes
Pumpkins, witch hats, and skulls, oh my! These vegan gummy treats are a true delight.