Skittles are a small fruit-flavored candy that is popular in Europe and North America. When going vegan, it may be hard to find suitable treats that contain no animal products. However, when it comes to Skittles, you might want to know, are Skittles vegan ?
Skittles has a rich history when it comes to whether or not the product is vegan. For instance, up until 2015, Skittles were vegan in the US but was not vegan in the UK. This is because they contained the ingredient E120, also known as cochineal but recently has been removed.
What Is Cochineal And Why Is It Added To Candy?
Cochineal is an insect that was harvested, dried, and crushed into a fine powder. This was used to make Carminic acid from female beetles, and from that Carmine is made. Carmine is a red dye that was commonly used in candies to give them a deep red color. However, since the advent of artificial coloring, it has become unnecessary to harvest the beetles.
What about Palm Oil?
One ingredient that is really up for debate on whether or not it is vegan would be Palm Oil. This oil contains no animal products in it at all, so it is technically vegan. However, in order to make it, they have to cut down rain forests. Palm oil is by far one of the biggest causes of deforestation in the world.
However, whether you find it vegan or not depends on where you draw the line. Many otherwise vegan foods cause environmental harm. It just seems silly to eliminate them all as vegan foods, as it makes veganism look hard. However, eliminating them can help many animals.
Are Skittles Vegan ?
Skittles in the US have always been vegan, as artificial dyes have been used here for awhile. However, they were still not vegan until 2015, when Wrigley decided to change the ingredients in the UK. They have even gone as far as to add a “suitable for vegetarians” label on the packaging.
According to an email from Wrigley, the company that owns the Skittles products:
“We are constantly seeking to improve our products for our consumers. We have changed the formula for Skittles Fruits, Skittles Wildberry and Skittles Confused to make them suitable for a vegetarian diet by removing the E120. Please be aware that there might still be product in the market that is not suitable though so you should always check the ingredient line for the words ‘Suitable for vegetarians’.”
So yes, if you were wondering, Skittles are vegan. They make a great treat and can be great for stocking stuffers and celebrations. However, they may not be depending on whether or not you consider palm oil to be where you draw the line.