Are Hi Chews Vegan?

Hi-Chews are a Japanese taffy-like candies similar to starbursts, with its unique texture and wide range of flavors, Hi-Chews are enjoyed by people of all ages.

But for those who follow a vegan diet, the question arises, are Hi Chews vegan? Let’s find out.

In this post, we’re going to examine the ingredients of Hi-Chews to determine whether or not they are suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

Hi-Chews have become a sensation in the candy world, with their chewy texture and fruity flavors.

But what makes them so special? And more importantly, are Hi Chews vegetarian or vegan? Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the facts.

Ingredients Breakdown

To answer the burning question, “are Hi-Chews vegan?”, we need to scrutinize the ingredients.

Hi-Chew’s ingredients include:

glucose syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, gelatin, natural and artificial flavors, strawberry juice from concentrate, DL-malic acid, citric acid, emulsifiers, sodium lactate solution, and natural colors (beta-carotene, carmine).

Now, let’s dissect the components one by one.

Glucose Syrup

This is a plant-based ingredient, usually derived from corn or wheat. It is vegan-friendly.


Sugar can be a bit tricky. While it is derived from plant sources, the refining process sometimes involves bone char (from animal bones).

However, this is not always the case, and there are vegan-friendly sugars available. It might be necessary to contact the manufacturer to confirm the source of the sugar used in Hi-Chews.

Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil

This ingredient is plant-based, derived from the kernel of palm fruits. It is considered vegan.


Gelatin is derived from animal collagen, usually sourced from the bones, skin, and connective tissues of cows and pigs. This ingredient is not vegan.

While there are alternative ingredients that can be used to achieve a similar texture, such as agar agar or carrageenan, they are not currently used in Hi-Chews.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

These can be derived from both plant and animal sources. Without specific details, it’s challenging to determine the vegan status of these ingredients.

It would be best to inquire with the manufacturer for clarification.

Strawberry Juice from Concentrate

This is a plant-based ingredient, derived from strawberries. It is vegan-friendly.

DL-Malic Acid

This is a synthetic ingredient, used to add a sour flavor to foods. It is considered vegan.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a natural acid found in citrus fruits, making it a vegan-friendly ingredient.


The term “emulsifiers” is quite broad, and these can be sourced from both plant and animal origins.

Without further details, it’s difficult to ascertain their vegan status. Again, contacting the manufacturer would be the best course of action.

Sodium Lactate Solution

Sodium lactate can be derived from both animal and plant sources.

It is often synthetically produced in a lab, making it vegan-friendly, but it would be wise to confirm with the manufacturer.

Natural Colors (Beta-Carotene, Carmine)

Beta-carotene is a pigment found in plants and is vegan-friendly.

However, carmine is a red pigment derived from cochineal insects, making it non-vegan.

Are Hi Chews Vegan?

Given the presence of gelatin and carmine, which are clearly non-vegan ingredients, along with other ingredients that may potentially be non-vegan, we can conclude that Hi Chews are not vegan. 

It’s always recommended to check with the manufacturer to get the most accurate information regarding the vegan status of a product.

While Hi-Chews are not vegan, there are many other candy options available that are suitable for vegans, such as gummy candies made with pectin or fruit juice.

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Final Thoughts:

Hi-Chews are not considered vegan, as one of the key ingredients in Hi-Chews is gelatin, which is derived from animal collagen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hi-Chew Have Gelatin?

Yes, Hi Chews have gelatin.

Are There Any Vegan Alternatives?

Yes, there are many vegan alternatives to Hi Chews, such as fruit gushers made with plant based ingredients.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you have any personal experiences or insights to share? Feel free to engage with us in the comments section below.

I am Jennifer, a fervent animal lover, and a dedicated vegan. Am the person behind the I offer insights, advice, and personal stories that have inspired many in their journey towards a plant-based lifestyle. My journey into veganism has also been coupled with a love for writing. I used this passion to share my vegan experiences, to educate others about the benefits of plant-based living, and to advocate for animal rights. Find out more about me on the about page.