Is Starburst Vegan?

Are Starburst candies vegan? This is a common question among those following a vegan lifestyle or looking to avoid animal-based ingredients in their diet.

In this article, we will explore the ingredients of Starbursts and whether they align with vegan principles.

Are Starbursts Vegan?

Short answer: It depends. Starburst candies made in the UK are thought to be vegan-friendly, even though they contain palm oil. On the other hand, US-made Starburst candies contain gelatin, which makes them unsuitable for vegan diets.

Detailed Answer

The ingredients in Starburst candies vary depending on where they are manufactured.

In the UK version, the main ingredients include sugar, glucose syrup, palm fat, concentrated fruit juices, several acids, and natural flavorings.

The presence of palm oil might raise eyebrows among some vegans due to environmental concerns associated with its production. However, from a purely ingredient-based perspective, UK Starbursts do not contain any animal-derived products.

Starbursts made in the United States have a different recipe. The US version includes gelatin – a protein typically derived from animal sources like skin, bones, and connective tissues. As such, Starbursts produced in the US are not considered vegan due to the inclusion of this ingredient.

Key Takeaways:

  • UK-made Starburst candies are vegan, while the US-made Starbursts contain animal-derived ingredients.
  • Vegans can enjoy Starburst candies as a sweet and fruity treat.
  • Always check the ingredient list to ensure products are vegan-friendly.

What Are Starbursts?

Starburst is a popular brand of fruit-flavored chewy candies that are loved by many. These brightly colored treats are known for their burst of fruity flavors and chewy texture.


IngredientFunctionIs it vegan?
SugarAdds sweetnessYes
Corn SyrupProvides texture and enhances sweetnessYes
Fruit Juice from ConcentrateContributes to fruit flavorsYes
Citric AcidEnhances tartness and acts as a preservativeYes
Modified Corn StarchThickens and stabilizes the candyYes
Various Artificial FlavorsAdds specific fruit flavorsYes
Artificial ColorsGives the candies their vibrant huesYes
Gelatin (US)Used for its binding propertiesNo
Palm OilServes as a natural preservativeYes (but it’s not environmentally friendly)

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Are Starbursts Healthy?

While Starburst candies can be vegan, they are not considered a healthy snack option. These candies are high in sugar and offer little nutritional value. It’s best to enjoy them in moderation as an occasional treat.

Alternatives for Starbursts

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly alternatives to Starburst candies, there are a few options available:

  • Skittles: Similar to Starburst, Skittles are fruit-flavored chewy candies that are also vegan-friendly.
  • Smarties: These sweet and tangy candies are vegan and come in various flavors.
  • Twizzlers: If you prefer a chewy licorice-like candy, Twizzlers are a great vegan option.

Examples of Dishes or Recipes Using Starbursts

While Starburst candies are typically enjoyed on their own as a sweet treat, they can also be incorporated into creative dishes and recipes. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Starburst Popcorn: Melt Starburst candies and drizzle them over freshly popped popcorn for a sweet and colorful twist.
  2. Starburst Cupcakes: Add chopped Starburst candies to your cupcake batter or use them as a topping for a burst of fruity flavor.
  3. Starburst Slushies: Blend Starburst candies with ice and some delicious almond milk for a refreshing and fruity slushie.

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Are all Starburst flavors vegan?

Yes, the popular flavors – strawberry, lemon and lime, orange, and blackcurrant are vegan-friendly as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Enjoy the variety of fruit flavors guilt-free!

Are Starburst candies gluten-free?

No, Starburst candies are not gluten-free. They contain modified corn starch, which can be a source of gluten. If you follow a gluten-free diet, it’s best to avoid Starburst candies.

Do Starburst candies contain gelatin?

It depends. UK-made Starburst candies do not contain gelatin. However, US-made Starburst products are made using gelatin.

Can vegans with food allergies safely consume Starburst candies?

While Starburst candies are vegan, they are manufactured in facilities that also handle allergens such as milk and soy. If you have allergies, it’s important to read the label carefully and contact the manufacturer to determine if there is a risk of cross-contamination.

Are Starburst candies suitable for a plant-based diet?

Yes, Starburst candies are suitable for a plant-based diet, as they are free from any animal-derived ingredients. However, they should still be enjoyed in moderation due to their high sugar content.


UK-made Starburst candies can be a vegan-friendly option for those following a plant-based diet. They contain ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice from concentrate, citric acid, and artificial flavors and colors.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Starbursts manufactured in the US – they contain gelatin. As such, vegans should try to stay away from them.

While not a healthy snack choice, they can be enjoyed in moderation.

If you can’t find fully vegan Starbursts in your area, consider going for alternatives like Skittles, Smarties, and Twizzlers.

Remember to always check the ingredient list and consult with the manufacturer if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

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