Find out what Jolly Ranchers are, what products they offer, and if this brand of candy is safe for a gluten-free diet.
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If you love hard candy, you’re probably no stranger to Jolly Ranchers. This candy is full-flavored in mostly fruity options that come in little colorful bricks that are covered in a clear wrapping. They last a long time when enjoyed by sucking on them, and are popular year-round, but also very popular around Halloween.
Jolly Rancher is produced by the Hershey Company and has been around since 1949. In their time since becoming popular, they’ve expanded from hard candy into gummies, lollipops, chews, and even started offering seasonal options like jelly beans and candy canes.
If you love the flavors of Jolly Ranchers, you may have wondered how this candy can fit into a gluten-free diet. After all, gluten can seem to hide in some of the least obvious places like candy.
In this post, we’re going to deep dive into this popular treat and find out what Jolly Ranchers are, what their ingredients are, and what you need to know about having them in your gluten-free diet.
We’ll also talk about all their different product offerings and discuss whether or not they contain gluten, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision next time you’re picking out candy from the grocery store or convenience store.
What are Jolly Ranchers?
Jolly Ranchers are a brand of candy that has a whole line of different options like hard candy, gummies, jelly beans, lollipops, chews, bubble gum, and even candy canes. This candy is known for being intensely flavored and long-lasting, especially in their hard candy.
They come in a variety of flavors and different products, but their hard candies are by far the most popular. According to the Hersheyland website, their watermelon flavor is their most popular, along with others like cherry, blue raspberry, grape, and green apple.
Ingredients in Jolly Ranchers
Though the ingredients will vary by the different types of Jolly Rancher products, their hard candy being the most popular is what we’ll cover here.
These are the main ingredients you’ll find in Jolly Rancher hard candy according to their website:
“Corn syrup, sugar, contains 2% or less of: malic acid, natural flavor, artificial flavor, artificial color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6), mineral oil, lecithin.”
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Gluten or other wheat derivatives are sometimes added to foods as a flavoring or binder.
Are Jolly Ranchers gluten-free?
According to the Hersheyland website, the manufacturer of Jolly Ranchers, “While JOLLY RANCHER candies have not been fully evaluated to qualify as gluten-free by FDA standards, they do not include any gluten-containing ingredients.”
This means if you are following a gluten-free diet, you may be okay to enjoy these treats if you can tolerate trace amounts of gluten. Without the manufacturer testing for gluten, it’s best to assume there are some trace levels of gluten in this product since we can’t know for sure.
Read on: The Ultimate Gluten-free Candy List
Read on: Dairy and Gluten-free Christmas Candy
Are Jolly Ranchers dairy-free?
No Jolly Rancher products contain any dairy ingredients, so these are considered safe for folks who are following a dairy-free diet.
Are Jolly Ranchers vegan?
According to the Hersheyland website, their candies are not vegan.
Which Jolly Ranchers hard candy flavors are gluten-free?
While Jolly Ranchers aren’t considered gluten-free by the brand, none of them contain any gluten ingredients. Use your best judgement based on what you know about your level of sensitivity to gluten to determine if you should enjoy Jolly Ranchers hard candy knowing the gluten levels are not tested by the manufacturer.
These are the Jolly Rancher hard candy options you can find at the store.
- Blue Raspberry
- Green Apple
- Fruit ‘n Sour Blue Raspberry
- Fruit ‘n Sour Green Apple
- Fruit ‘n Sour Cherry
- Fruit ‘n Sour Watermelon
- Fruit ‘n Sour Wild Strawberry
- Golden Pineapple
- Cinnamon Fire
- Zero Sugar Watermelon
- Zero Sugar Grape
- Zero Sugar Apple
- Zero Sugar Raspberry
Read on: Gluten-free Dairy-free Halloween Candy
Are Jolly Rancher gummies gluten-free?
None of the Jolly Rancher gummies products contains any gluten ingredients, though there is no gluten-free label on this product either. Find Jolly Rancher gummies in the following flavors:
- Blue Raspberry
- Green Apple
- Sour Blue Raspberry
- Sour Green Apple
- Sour Cherry
- Sour Watermelon
- Sour Lemon
- Wild Berry
- Wild Berry
- Black Cherry
- Wild Strawberry
Are Jolly Rancher jelly beans gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher jelly beans contain no gluten ingredients in their ingredients list, meaning these are generally safe for a gluten-free diet.
These are the flavors of Jolly Rancher jelly beans you’re likely to find at stores:
- Assorted Jelly Hearts (around Valentine’s Day)
- Blue Raspberry
- Green Apple
Read on: Are jelly beans gluten-free?
Are Jolly Rancher lollipops gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher lollipops contain no gluten ingredients. You can find them in the following flavors:
- Green Apple
- Pink Lemonade
Are Jolly Rancher candy canes gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher candy canes come in blue raspberry, cherry, and green apple flavors. These do not have any gluten ingredients and are generally considered gluten-free, however there is no gluten-free label as this product has not been tested for gluten.
Read on: Are candy canes gluten-free?
Is Jolly Rancher bubble gum gluten-free?
There are no gluten ingredients in Jolly Rancher bubble gum. The only allergen warning on this product is soy.
Are Jolly Rancher chews gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher Chews in cherry, watermelon, blue raspberry, green apple, and strawberry flavors do not contain any gluten ingredients. Use your best judgement based on what you know about how your body reacts to trace amounts of gluten as this candy has not been tested for gluten.
Are Jolly Rancher bites gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher Bites that are filled-gummies in watermelon, green apple, and cherry do not have any gluten-containing ingredients.
Jolly Rancher Bites that come in Cherry-Orange and Watermelon-Green Apple are not gluten-free as they contain enriched wheat flour. See their product description here.
If you’ve been wondering if Jolly Ranchers are a good choice for your gluten-free diet, I hope this post has given you some information to help you make a decision. All but one Jolly Rancher product has no gluten ingredients, but they also don’t test for gluten.
It’s best to decide what will work for you based on how you know your body reacts to small traces of gluten, because there is always a possibility of cross contamination when testing isn’t completed by the manufacturer.
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