Mints are the kind of thing that should always be vegan. The minty flavor itself comes from plants like peppermint and spearmint. But as with many other products, it’s possible for milk, egg, gelatin, beeswax, and other crazy insect ingredients to get in the recipe.
Out of 35 brands of mints analyzed, 25 brands were vegan, 5 were not vegan, and 5 varied by product. Peppermints and mint imperials (Scotch mints) were found to be consistently vegan. Meanwhile, Junior Mints, Andes Mints, and most Altoids are not vegan.
Below, I’ll share the full list of popular brands of mints and whether they’re vegan. I’ll also dig into different kinds of after-dinner mints and whether they tend to be vegan across the board (or not)!
Are Mints Vegan?
Most mints are vegetarian and vegan, as they do not contain obvious animal ingredients. However, there are some non-vegan mints which contain gelatin, carmine, beeswax, shellac (confectioner’s glaze), egg, or milk ingredients.
Below, I’ll lay out which common kinds of mints and mint brands are vegan and vegetarian. But first, let’s look at what mints actually are made of.
What Are Mints Made Of?
Mints are typically made “minty” by some kind of mint oil, such as peppermint oil, spearmint oil, or wintergreen. This applies to all different kinds of mints, even including chocolate mints.
Magnesium stearate is also a common ingredient in many mints—and a controversial one for picky vegans, as it can be animal- or plant-derived (and you don’t know just from reading the label).
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Which Brands of Mints Are Vegan?
Alright, now let’s take a look at some of the specific popular brands of mints. This will give you a bird’s-eye view of which mints tend to be vegan, and which brands to look at more closely.
|Brand||Are They Vegan?||Animal Ingredients|
|After Eight||Not Vegan||Butterfat (source)|
|Altoids||It Varies||Gelatin in most; Smalls look okay (source)|
|Andes Mints||Not Vegan||Nonfat milk, milk protein conc. (source)|
|Bendicks Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Breath Savers||Vegan||None (source)|
|Dentyne Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Eclipse Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Eskimo Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Excel Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Extra Chewy Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Fox’s Glacier Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Ice Breakers||Vegan||None (source)|
|Jila Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Junior Mints||Not Vegan||Confectioner’s glaze (source)|
|Kool Mints (Allen’s)||Not Vegan||Egg white (source)|
|LifeSavers Mints||Not Vegan||Animal-derived stearic acid (source)|
|Mentos Mints||It Varies||Beeswax in many flavors (source)|
|Orbit Mint Gum||Vegan||None (source)|
|Polo Mints||Vegan||None (source)|
|Smint||It Varies||Carmine in strawberry flavor only (source)|
|Tic Tacs||It Varies||Carmine, shellac, or milk in some (source)|
|Trebor||It Varies||Gelatin in some, not others (source)|
Which Kinds of Mints Are Vegan?
Alright, now let’s look at some overall common types of mints and whether they tend to be vegan or not.
Are Peppermints Vegan?
Peppermints are generally vegan. While it would possible to make peppermints with animal ingredients like gelatin or carmine, this does not seem to be common. The vast majority of peppermints do not contain animal ingredients.
Below, I surveyed several popular brands of peppermints. I found that none of them had any clear animal ingredients. They just contain ingredients like sugar and Red 40, which only the pickiest vegans would avoid:
- Starlight Peppermint Mints are vegan. (source)
- Star Brites Peppermint Candy by Brach’s are vegan. (source)
- Bob’s Sweet Stripes Soft Peppermint Candy is vegan. (source)
- Dr. John’s Peppermint Pop Hard Candies are vegan. (source)
Are Mint Imperials or Scotch Mints Vegan?
Mint Imperials (a.k.a. Scotch Mints) are typically vegan. These mints are popular in Great Britain and are commonly used as after-dinner mints there.
I surveyed six popular brands and found no animal ingredients in any of them:
- Glisten Mint Imperials are vegan. (source)
- Cartwright & Butler Mint Imperials are vegan. (source)
- Lichfields Mint Imperials are vegan. (source)
- Sainsbury’s Mint Imperials are vegan. (source)
- Kerr’s Scotch Mints are vegan. (source)
- RealMint Scotch Mints are vegan. (source)
Are Thin Mints Vegan?
Thin Mints are generally considered vegan. Both the Girl Scout brands, ABC Baker’s Thin Mints and Little Brownie Bakers Thin Mints, are vegan. (source)
In addition, I can confirm that I’ve checked some similar products in the store before—and I’ve easily found other brands of Thin Mint alternatives that are also vegan.
That said, beware of Keebler’s cookie in the same style as Thin Mints. These “Fudge Shoppe Grasshopper” mint cookies are not vegan, as they contain whey (a milk ingredient). (source)
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