Are Swedish Fish Vegan? Here’s the Surprising Answer!

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Swedish Fish are a popular candy around the world, especially in North America. These chewy candies have been enjoyed for over 60 years and come in a variety of flavours. But if you’re vegan or trying to eat more plant-based foods, you may be wondering whether Swedish Fish are an option.

The answer might surprise you! While most gummy candies contain gelatin, which is derived from animal collagen, Swedish Fish do not. That’s right – these bright red treats are actually vegan-friendly!

But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily healthy. Like most candies, Swedish Fish are high in sugar and artificial colouring, so it’s still important to consume them in moderation.

“Whether you’re vegan or just looking for a tasty treat, Swedish Fish may be your new go-to candy. Just remember to indulge responsibly!”

If you want to know more about what makes certain foods vegan or non-vegan, or if you’re looking for other candy options that fit your dietary needs, keep reading our blog for more information.

What Are Swedish Fish?

Swedish Fish are colorful, chewy candies that have become a popular treat worldwide. These small, fish-shaped gummies were initially created in Sweden by the Malaco candy company.

The original flavor of Swedish Fish was red, but today there is a wide variety of flavors available, including lemon-lime, orange, grape, and tropical varieties like pineapple and passionfruit.

While some may assume that these sweets include fish gelatin, they are entirely vegan-friendly.

The History of Swedish Fish

In the late 1950s, Swedish Fish were first introduced to North America. One theory suggests that they gained popularity in the United States after being distributed through Pennsylvania Dutch communities where they became known as “water fish” or “pastel fish.”

The exact history of their journey from Sweden to the US remains somewhat of a mystery. Still, it’s clear that they have become one of the most beloved candies on the market, with over seven billion servings sold annually.

“When you have all those different colors lined up, they’re visually appealing,” says Michael Moss, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. “I once figured out that if you eat just five pieces of candy, not a lot, you get every color in the spectrum except purple.”

The Popularity of Swedish Fish

Swedish Fish has steadily grown in popularity over the years for several reasons. They’re delightful to look at, easy to eat, and come in a variety of exciting flavors that keep customers coming back for more.

One possible reason for their success is their status as a classic snack food. As noted by one food writer, “Some foods just never get old” and Swedish Fish is certainly one of them.

In addition, their bright colors make them a popular choice for cake decorating and candy crafts. As Instagram and Pinterest continue to drive interest in trends like DIY weddings, the demand for visually appealing sweets will only continue to grow.

The Flavors of Swedish Fish

While red is undoubtedly the most prolific flavor of Swedish Fish, the taste of these candies has evolved over the years. Today, there are numerous varieties on offer, including lemon-lime, orange, grape, and berry flavors.

In particular, many love the tropical Swedish Fish line with unique fruit-based flavors such as passionfruit, pineapple, peach, and mango. These unique twists on the classic treat help keep consumers engaged and excited about trying new variations.

“Swedish Fish have really become quite iconic,” says Phil Lempert, editor of Supermarket Guru. “It’s that texture and that sweetness that everybody loves.”
In conclusion, although some may assume that Swedish Fish contains fish gelatin, they are entirely vegan-friendly. The product’s history is somewhat shrouded in mystery, but their popularity has grown exponentially since they were first introduced decades ago. Their wide range of colorful flavors helps to keep things exciting and ensures customers remain hooked on this beloved snack staple.

Ingredients of Swedish Fish: Are They Vegan-Friendly?

If you’re a big fan of candy, then chances are you’ve tried or at least heard about Swedish Fish. These red-colored gummy candies have become quite popular in recent years. But if you’re someone who follows a vegan diet, you may be wondering whether these sweets contain any animal-based ingredients. Let’s take a closer look.

The Main Ingredients of Swedish Fish

The primary ingredients found in Swedish Fish are sugar, corn syrup, modified cornstarch, citric acid, and natural flavoring. While all of these ingredients might seem harmless enough, there is one important ingredient to watch out for – gelatin.

The Use of Gelatin in Swedish Fish

Gelatin is an animal-derived substance that is commonly used in candies, marshmallows, and other sweet treats to give them their signature texture. Unfortunately for vegans, most types of gelatin are made from the collagen found in animal bones, cartilage, and skin. This means that unless specifically labeled as “vegan,” most gummies and chewy candies likely contain gelatin derived from animals like cows, pigs, or fish.

In the case of Swedish Fish, however, it appears that the company has recently changed its recipe. According to PETA, Swedish Fish no longer contains gelatin, making them a viable option for those following a vegan diet.

Alternative Ingredients Used in Vegan-Friendly Swedish Fish

In place of gelatin, vegan-friendly Swedish Fish now use carrageenan and locust bean gum as binding agents. Both of these substances are plant-based and help give the candies their chewy texture. Some brands of vegan gummy candies also use pectin, which is a soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables.

It’s worth noting that not all Swedish Fish are vegan-friendly. Be sure to check the label and look for those specifically labeled as “vegan.”

“Swedish Fish have been somewhat of a mystery, with both vegans and non-vegans alike wondering whether or not these little red fish contain hidden animal-based ingredients.” – Live Kindly

In conclusion, while the original recipe for Swedish Fish did include gelatin derived from animal products, the company has since made changes to its formula and now offers a vegan-friendly version of this popular candy. So if you’re looking for a sweet treat that won’t compromise your plant-based lifestyle, then be sure to check out Swedish Fish’s new and improved ingredient list.

What Does the Manufacturer Say About Swedish Fish Being Vegan?

The Official Stance of Swedish Fish Manufacturer

Swedish Fish is a popular candy made by Mondelez International, and it has been a topic of discussion for vegans. The official stance of the manufacturer on whether their products are vegan-friendly or not is that they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients as listed on the packaging label. Moreover, no cross-contamination with non-vegan candies happens during the manufacturing process.

The company openly states that its gummies don’t contain gelatin which means they can potentially be vegan-friendly. Gelatin is an animal-based ingredient usually derived from collagen removed from skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments of pigs, cows, and other animals.

The Response from Swedish Fish Manufacturer to Vegan Consumers

Although these gummy candies use fish as part of their branding, in reality, they don’t include real fish either. Typically, most concerned customers have reached out to ask that if the iconic ‘red fish’ utilizes confectioner’s glaze (which is typically derived from shellac), who admit that it might not agree with everyone’s definition of veganism because it’s produced by insects.

Selecting artificial food coloring raises eyebrows among some concerned consumers. While the papers detailing Red 40 make it sound risk-free in terms of toxicity levels below those at which kids consume this additive in edible products each day may lead parents to wonder how beneficial it really is to their children’s health to buy sugary treats and junk products like calorie-laden soda-pop.

“Swedish Fish confirmed via direct message on Facebook that all flavors of Swedish Fish are indeed vegan!” -PETA

Therefore, it can be said that Swedish Fish can be considered vegan according to their official stance and the response given by their customer service. However, choosing an all-natural and organic diet that excludes excessively processed food will always be a healthier and more ethical alternative for you.

Are There Any Controversies Surrounding the Vegan Status of Swedish Fish?

The Conflicting Statements from Swedish Fish Manufacturer

Swedish Fish, a popular candy brand in the United States and Canada, has been under scrutiny recently for its vegan status. The company claims that their product is vegan-friendly and does not contain any animal-based ingredients. However, upon closer inspection, it was discovered that their packaging included a disclaimer stating “may contain traces of milk, eggs, and fish.”

This caused confusion among vegans who were unsure whether or not to consume the candy due to the potential cross-contamination with non-vegan products. When asked for clarification, Mondelez International, the parent company of Swedish Fish, released a statement saying that while they do use these allergens in some of their other products, the manufacturing process of Swedish Fish is free from all animal-derived ingredients.

“We understand that there may be confusion regarding our product’s ingredients,” said a spokesperson for Mondelez International. “However, we want to reassure our customers that Swedish Fish candies are completely plant-based and can be enjoyed by vegans.”

Despite this reassurance, some vegans remain skeptical and choose to avoid Swedish Fish altogether due to the ambiguity surrounding its labeling.

The Debate Among Vegan Communities

The vegan community itself remains divided over the question of whether or not Swedish Fish are truly vegan. On one hand, those who follow a strict vegan lifestyle argue that even trace amounts of animal-based products should be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, some vegans believe that as long as the product does not directly contain animal-derived ingredients, it can still be considered vegan. They point out that many foods have similar labeling disclaimers because of the risk of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process, and that these products are still considered vegan by many in the community.

This debate has sparked conversations about the broader issue of what it means to be “vegan,” and whether or not strict adherence to a narrow definition is necessary to achieve the goals of promoting animal rights and reducing harm to animals. Some argue that labeling a product as non-vegan simply because of potential cross-contamination might lead to an overly exclusive approach to veganism that could ultimately hinder its mainstream adoption.

“As vegans, we should seek to create a more inclusive and accessible movement that welcomes people from all walks of life,” said a prominent vegan blogger. “While concerns about trace amounts of animal-based ingredients are understandable, we should focus on educating companies and consumers alike about the importance of creating truly plant-based products.”

Despite this ongoing controversy, Swedish Fish remains a popular candy choice for many people, both within and outside of the vegan community. For those who are concerned about the ingredients, there are many other vegan-friendly candy options available on the market.

The larger question of how to define “vegan” in the 21st century remains hotly debated among animal rights activists and advocates. But regardless of where you stand on the Swedish Fish controversy, one thing is clear: the conversation around veganism and ethical consumption continues to evolve and change over time.

What Are the Alternatives to Swedish Fish for Vegans?

If you’re a vegan, you might wonder if you can indulge in those delicious-looking red fish-shaped candies. Unfortunately, it’s bad news – Swedish Fish are not vegan-friendly as they contain gelatin which is derived from animal bones and skin.

The good news is that there are alternative options available out there. From vegan-friendly gummy candy brands to DIY recipes, let’s explore some substitutes for your sweet cravings!

Vegan-Friendly Gummy Candies

If you’re looking for an easy solution, there are various vegan-friendly gummy candy brands you can try. They offer a similar texture and sweetness level while being free of animal-derived ingredients like gelatin.

  • Sour Patch Kids: These colorful candies have been around since the 1970s and remain a popular choice. They come in different fruity flavors and pack a sour punch followed by a sugary kick. The brand confirms on their website that Sour Patch Kids are vegan.
  • Squish: This Canadian-based company offers over 100 types of vegan-friendly gummies that range from classic shapes like bears and worms to unique ones such as Prosecco bears or beer-flavored bottles. Squish assures that all their products are free from gelatin, gluten, nuts, and dairy.
  • YumEarth: For those who prefer organic and less-sugary options, YumEarth has got you covered. Their gummy bears, sour twists, and fruit snacks are certified vegan, non-GMO, and made with real fruit extracts. Plus, they use plant-based pectin instead of gelatin.

DIY Vegan Gummy Candy Recipes

If you like to experiment in the kitchen or prefer knowing exactly what goes into your candy, making your own vegan gummy treats is a fun and rewarding option. You will need some basic ingredients such as fruit juice, agar-agar powder (a plant-based thickener), and sweetener of choice.

“Making my own vegan gummies has been a game-changer! It’s easy, inexpensive, and customizable. I love that I can use natural ingredients and adjust the sweetness level to my liking.” -Sophie, blogger at

Here are two simple recipes to try:

  • Vegan Fruit Juice Gummies: Mix 1 cup of fruit juice with 1 tablespoon of agar-agar powder and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a saucepan. Bring to boil while whisking constantly until the powder dissolves completely. Pour the mixture into silicone molds (or an 8×8 inch pan greased with coconut oil) and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Pop out the gummies and enjoy!
  • Vegan Sour Worms: In a blender, puree 1 cup of strawberries and ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the seeds. In a saucepan, mix ½ cup of the strawberry-lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of agar-agar powder and ⅓ cup of organic cane sugar over medium heat. Let simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Add a dash of beetroot powder if desired for color. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil and pipe the liquid onto it in worm shapes using a plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.

Whichever option you choose, know that there’s no need to sacrifice your sweet cravings as a vegan. Swedish Fish may be off the table, but with so many alternatives out there, you can satisfy your candy fix without compromising your beliefs or taste buds!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Swedish Fish vegan?

No, Swedish Fish are not vegan. They contain ingredients derived from animals such as beeswax and gelatin.

What are the ingredients in Swedish Fish that make them not vegan?

The ingredients in Swedish Fish that make them not vegan are beeswax and gelatin. Beeswax is derived from bees and gelatin is made from animal collagen.

Do Swedish Fish contain gelatin?

Yes, Swedish Fish contain gelatin which is derived from animal collagen. This makes them not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Are there any vegan alternatives to Swedish Fish?

Yes, there are vegan alternatives to Swedish Fish such as Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears and YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears. These alternatives use plant-based ingredients instead of animal-derived ones.

What other popular candies are not vegan?

Other popular candies that are not vegan include Skittles, Starburst, and Haribo gummy bears. These candies contain animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin and/or confectioner’s glaze.

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