Are M&M’s Vegan?

M & M’s, those colorful button-shaped chocolates, have been a favorite of many for decades. You may wonder if these tasty treats align with a vegan lifestyle. As the demand for vegan products continues to rise, it has become increasingly important for consumers to understand whether or not certain popular snacks fit the bill.

Veganism is more than just a dietary preference; it is a commitment to living cruelty-free and being conscious of the sourcing and ingredients of products. When determining the vegan status of a product, we must consider its ingredients and manufacturing processes. In the case of M & M’s, a thorough examination of ingredients and potential animal byproducts is necessary to answer the question of whether they are vegan or not.

Key Takeaways

  • M & M’s vegan status depends on their ingredients and manufacturing processes
  • Some M & M’s ingredients might be controversial due to potential animal byproducts
  • Vegan alternatives to M & M’s do exist for those seeking cruelty-free options

Understanding Veganism

Veganism is a lifestyle choice that involves abstaining from consuming or using any animal-derived products. Adopting a vegan lifestyle means that you choose to consume a plant-based diet and opt for cruelty-free products. This includes avoiding meat, dairy, eggs, and other ingredients derived from animals. Veganism is often confused with vegetarianism, but they are different. Vegetarians primarily focus on excluding meat from their diet, while vegans go a step further by also eliminating dairy and other animal-derived products.

Vegan-friendly products are those that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients and have not been tested on animals. As a vegan, you’re always on the lookout for such products that align with your values and lifestyle. This can sometimes be a challenge as many items, including candies and chocolates, often contain hidden animal-based ingredients.

Vegan chocolate and vegan candies are made using only plant-based ingredients, ensuring they do not contain any animal-derived products such as milk or gelatin. In recent years, the market for vegan confections has grown significantly, making it easier for vegans to find a variety of sweet treats that cater to their dietary preferences.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with common ingredients found in candies and chocolates that are not vegan-friendly, such as milk powder, whey, casein, and gelatin. By understanding which ingredients to avoid, you can make more informed decisions when shopping for vegan treats and enjoy them guilt-free, knowing that they align with your cruelty-free values.

Ingredients of M & M’s

When you enjoy M & M’s, it is important to be aware of the ingredients in these popular chocolate candies. The primary ingredients in most M & M’s varieties include sugar, milk chocolate (which contains sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, and natural flavors), cornstarch, and less than 1% of corn syrup, dextrin, and various coloring agents.

The food coloring in M & M’s comprises artificial colors such as Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, and Blue 2 Lake. Some natural food colors like carmine are also present in specific varieties. The candies have a hard candy shell, which is mainly made of sugar and cornstarch. In addition to these basic ingredients, M & M’s also contain gum acacia, carnauba wax, and beeswax as additives to provide a smooth and shiny finish.

Different varieties of M & M’s may contain varying additional ingredients, such as peanuts, almonds, and dark chocolate. For example, peanut M & M’s include peanuts surrounded by milk chocolate and a hard candy shell, while the milk chocolate is replaced with dark chocolate in dark chocolate M & M’s.

It is essential to note that M & M’s contain milk-based ingredients like skim milk, lactose, and milkfat, making them unsuitable for vegans. If you prefer vegan-friendly chocolate candies, consider alternatives like dark chocolate peanut gems or dark chocolate crispy quinoa gems, which use dairy-free ingredients and crispy quinoa instead of milk chocolate. These vegan options use natural and artificial flavors alongside salt, food colors, and cocoa butter to create a similar taste to M & M’s.

In conclusion, M & M’s ingredients list consists mainly of sugar, milk chocolate, cornstarch, and various food colorings. Several additives are used to create a smooth and shiny finish. While M & M’s are not vegan, there are vegan alternatives available, such as dark chocolate peanut gems and dark chocolate crispy quinoa gems.

Controversial Ingredients Found in M & M’s

As you explore the question of whether M & M’s are vegan, it’s important to examine the controversial ingredients found in these popular candies.

Non-Vegan Ingredients: One notable non-vegan ingredient in M & M’s is milk chocolate, containing both milk and milk fat. Additionally, some flavors of M & M’s contain other non-vegan ingredients like whey, lactose, or casein.

Artificial Flavors: M & M’s contain artificial flavors that may have been sourced from both plant and animal origins. It can be difficult to determine the exact source of these flavors, which raises concerns for strict vegans.

Colors: M & M’s are known for their vibrant colors, but some of the dyes used in these candies may be derived from non-vegan sources. For example, carmine, a red dye, is obtained from crushed insects, while other dyes may have been tested on animals.

By considering these controversial ingredients, you can better make an informed decision about whether or not to consume M & M’s as a vegan.

Are M & M’s Vegan or Not?

When it comes to determining if M & M’s are vegan or not, it’s essential to examine the ingredients used in these popular candies. Although you might hope that they would cater to dietary preferences, the reality is a bit more complex.

First, let’s take a look at the ingredients found in the classic milk chocolate M & M’s. Key ingredients include milk chocolate, sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, and coloring agents. The presence of milk chocolate adds dairy elements to the candies, making them unsuitable for vegans or people who completely avoid animal-derived ingredients in their diets.

Additionally, some food coloring agents used in M & M’s, such as Yellow 5 and Red 40, have been tested on animals, creating an ethical concern amongst vegans. Ideally, vegan products should contain no animal-derived ingredients, nor should they be involved in animal testing.

On the other hand, M & M’s might be an option for vegetarians who, unlike vegans, consume dairy products. However, it’s important to consider individual choices and preferences when evaluating the suitability of M & M’s for a particular diet.

In conclusion, M & M’s candies are not vegan due to the presence of milk chocolate and potentially animal-tested color additives. While they may be suitable for vegetarians, it ultimately depends on personal dietary preferences and beliefs.

M & M’s Versions in Different Countries

As you explore the world of M&M’s, you will find that there are different varieties available in various countries. In the United States, the most commonly known M&M’s include milk chocolate, peanut, almond, crispy, and pretzel, among others. These flavors might not necessarily be vegan due to the presence of milk chocolate.

In the United Kingdom, you will discover a slightly different range of M&M’s products. Aside from the classic milk chocolate and peanut varieties, the UK also offers limited-edition flavors like toffee, mint, and dark chocolate. Unfortunately, the majority of these flavors are still not suitable for vegans as they contain milk chocolate.

Besides the US and the UK, M&M’s continue to have a global presence, and their product offerings vary from country to country. For instance, you may come across unique flavors such as:

  • Australia: Lamington (coconut and raspberry flavor)
  • Japan: Green Tea
  • Mexico: Dulce de Leche
  • Singapore: Chili Nut

While these flavors might sound enticing, not all of them cater to vegan preferences. It is essential to check the ingredient list and research individual flavors to determine if they align with your dietary choices. In general, the world of M&M’s is vast and diverse, but finding vegan options within it may prove to be a challenge.

Vegan Alternatives to M & M’s

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly candy alternatives to M & M’s, there are several delicious options available. While traditional M & M’s contain milk and thus aren’t suitable for vegans, here are some tasty alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your values.

Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems and Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems are a great choice for vegans who want a similar chocolaty treat. Unreal offers these two vegan-friendly options made with delicious dark chocolate. They use ethically sourced ingredients, and you can find them on Amazon or various stores.

Little Secrets also provides vegan-friendly candy options. Their Dark Chocolate Pieces, Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Pieces, and Pretzel, all contain dairy-free chocolate. You can find Little Secrets’ products at many specialty stores and online at Amazon.

Another company offering vegan alternatives is No Whey! Foods. Their line of vegan and allergen-free treats includes various candies, such as Peppermint No No’s, and Peanut Butter Cups. These items are free from dairy and palm oil, making them suitable for vegans and those with dietary restrictions.

In summary, there are several vegan-friendly alternatives to M & M’s available, like Unreal’s Dark Chocolate Gems, Little Secrets’ Pieces, and No Whey! Foods’ treats. Don’t hesitate to explore these options and enjoy a cruelty-free, delicious candy experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a dairy-free version of M&Ms?

Currently, there isn’t a dairy-free version of M&Ms available. The classic M&Ms contain milk chocolate, which includes milk and other dairy-derived ingredients.

What ingredients in M&Ms are not vegan?

The primary non-vegan ingredients found in M&Ms are milk, milk fat, and milk chocolate. Some variations may contain other ingredients derived from animals, such as gelatin or egg whites.

Which M&M flavors are closest to being vegan?

None of the M&M flavors are truly vegan, as they all contain milk chocolate. However, flavors like Peanut or Almond M&Ms may have fewer animal-derived ingredients compared to the classic M&Ms.

What are some vegan alternatives to M&Ms?

Some vegan alternatives to M&Ms include Unreal’s Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems and Little Secrets’ Dark Chocolate Candies. These products are made with plant-based ingredients and free from any animal-derived ingredients.

Can I find vegan chocolate similar to M&Ms?

Yes, you can find vegan chocolate similar to M&Ms. Look for products that specifically state they are vegan, such as those mentioned above. These brands offer a similar taste and texture to M&Ms but without any animal-derived ingredients.

Are other candies by the same manufacturer vegan?

Some candies by the same manufacturer, Mars Wrigley, may be vegan or have vegan options, such as Skittles or Starburst. However, it’s essential to check the ingredients list, as recipes and formulations can change or vary depending on the region.

Are M&M's Vegan?

Here's a simple recipe using M&Ms:
M&M Cookies:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 276 kcal


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups M&Ms


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Fold in the M&Ms.
  • Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy your delicious M&M cookies!


Calories: 276kcal
Keyword are m&m's vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
How M&Ms Are Made (from Unwrapped) | Unwrapped | Food Network
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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