Find out if your favorite tangy, tart fruit-flavored candy is safe for a gluten-free diet. The answer might surprise you!
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Do you love Airheads and are wondering if this tangy, tart candy is safe for you – or your kids – to enjoy on a gluten-free diet?
You’re not alone! This popular candy is loved by both kids and adults throughout the year. While you can get them year round in the candy aisle of most grocery stores and convenience stores, this candy seems to really get popular around Halloween when kids are trick-or-treating.
If you’ve found yourself with a stash of these or saw them at the store and wondered if they would be a good fit for you while you’re sticking with your gluten-free diet, look no further!
In this post, we’re going to talk about what Airheads are, what varieties this candy comes in, what the main ingredients are in some of their most popular products, and answer the question you’re dying to know – Are Airheads gluten-free?
The answer might surprise you so be sure to read all the way through!
Ready to talk candy? Let’s get into it!
What are Airheads?
Airheads are a brand of chewy, tart candy that come in fruity flavors. This brand is well known and loved by kids, and it’s particularly popular around Halloween for trick-or-treaters.
You can find Airheads in a number of different varieties, though their standard “bars” are their most popular. They come in flat bars with an intense flavor of grape, green apple, orange, strawberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, and cherry.
People also love that Airheads offers a “mystery flavor” as it brings a fun element of surprise to enjoying this candy. This mystery flavor comes in a white package and the bar is white, so whoever is eating it has to guess the flavor without being able to guess based on the coloring.
What varieties do Airheads come in?
Airheads are best known for their original bars, but the brand also has other varieties as well. Let’s go through Airheads current product lineup:
Airheads Original Bars
Airheads Original Bars are flat chewy bars with bright colors and a variety of fruit flavors, like grape, green apple, orange, strawberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, cherry, and mystery flavor.
Airheads Bites are similar to jelly beans in that they’re a hard coated candy exterior with a chewy bite inside. You can find Airheads bites in original flavors, as well as Xtremes, Paradise Blends, and White Mystery.
Airheads Soft Filled Bites
Airheads Soft Filled Bites have an exterior that’s similar to Airheads bars that’s chewy, bright-colored, and fruit flavored with a soft fluffy interior.
Airheads Gummies are gummies that come in shapes like balloons, bow ties, and sunglasses in the signature Airheads flavors.
Airheads Filled Ropes
Airheads Filled Ropes are essentially Airheads Soft Filled Bites but longer. They have a chewy and colorful exterior and a light, fluffy interior.
Airheads Gum is simply what it’s called – it’s gum in the Airheads flavors.
What are the ingredients in Airheads?
Though the ingredients will vary between the different products offered by Airheads, these are the ingredients found in their most popular product, their Airheads Bars. This is the ingredients list for the blue raspberry flavor:
“Sugar, corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, modified food starch (corn), palm oil; contains less than 2% of: citric acid, water, artificial flavors, red 40, blue 1, yellow 6, yellow 5.”
In their Airheads Xtremes candies, you’ll find these ingredients:
“Sugar, corn syrup, wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, food starch – modified (corn), food starch modified (potato), malic acid, citric acid, contains less than 2% of: glycerine, artificial flavors, hydrogenated soybean oil, potassium citrate, salt, blue 1, red 40, yellow 6, yellow 5.”
Looking at just one more of their product lineup, here’s what you’ll find in their Airheads Bites candies:
“Sugar, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, hydrogenated coconut oil; contains less than 2% of: citric acid, modified food starch, sorbitol, artificial flavors, glycerine, rice starch, carnauba wax, beeswax, shellac, gellan gum, sucrose esters of fatty acids, red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, yellow 5.”
All the information listed here with the ingredients lists for the different types of Airheads candy, I found in this document found on the Airheads website.
Are Airheads gluten-free?
According to the Airheads candy website, they state:
“Our Airheads Bars are gluten-free. To meet FDA regulations for “gluten-free,” a finished product must have less than 20 parts per million of gluten. When tested, our Airheads Bars showed no gluten in the products.
Airheads Bites, Gum, Gummies, and Pops are not tested for gluten; therefore, they cannot carry a “gluten-free” claim.
Airheads Xtremes Bites, Xtremes Belts, Ropes, Sourfuls, and Soft Filled Bites contain wheat and cannot claim to be “gluten-free.””
At quick glance, here’s the summary of how they categorize their Airheads candies:
May be safe to eat on a gluten-free diet but do not have a gluten-free claim or label
- Airheads Bites
- Airheads Gum
- Airheads Gummies
- Airheads Pops
- Airheads Xtremes Bites
- Airheads Xtremes Belts
- Airheads Ropes
- Airheads Xtremes Sourfuls
- Airheads Soft Filled Bites
Are Airheads dairy-free?
If you also follow a dairy-free diet, you may be curious to know if this candy is safe for you as well. Here’s what the Airheads candy website says about their candy for folks who avoid dairy products in their diet:
“Airheads do not contain dairy (except Airheads Pops which may contain dairy); however, since it would not be typical for dairy to be found in our products, we perform no specific test for it. Please keep in mind that due to the fact that most of the ingredients are agricultural products and could be processed on equipment that may also handle products containing these items, we cannot make the claim that our products are free of said items.”
If you love Airheads and have been wondering if you can enjoy this candy on your gluten-free diet, I hope this post has given you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
While only one of their products is truly considered gluten-free by the brand, a few others may be safe to consume as they do not have gluten-containing ingredients. Use your best judgment when it comes to whether or not you’ll want to enjoy these treats based on what you know about your level of sensitivity to gluten and how your body reacts before going out and buying them.