Some of the best memories I have as a kid are of the taste of a sweet treat. All kids love sweets.
Among them, there was nothing as tasty as the bunch of marshmallows hidden in my pocket as I played around the yard.
As the afternoon passed, the marshmallows left slowly turned into a gooey mess. But that taste didn't fade.
Growing up, my taste for sweets shifted to chocolate, but the memories remained.
Now that I am a vegan, questions like "Are marshmallows vegan?" or "Are Kraft marshmallows vegan?" often pop up when I talk shop with others in the vegan community.
Unfortunately, the most popular brands of marshmallows found in grocery stores are not vegan.
But all is not lost. There are marshmallow Vegan options in the market.
In this article, The 10 Best Terrific Vegan Marshmallow Brands for 2023, we share the best vegan marshmallow brands that you can enjoy guilt-free.
Disclaimer: There might be some affiliate links in the content. We use them to support our full-time commitment as bloggers.
Are Marshmallows Vegan? The Vegan's Guide to Marshmallows
Ambrosia salad, rice krispies chocolate bars, marshmallow cookies, chocolate marshmallow fudge, hot chocolate, and peanut-cashew marshmallow pie: The list is endless of all the desserts, snacks, and sweets you can prepare with marshmallows.
But wait. This is a vegan food blog.
Check out the ingredient list on most mainstream marshmallow brands, and you will run across animal-derived ingredients.
The good news is that we can still make those traditional favorite sweet recipes, so there's no need to give up hope of doing so in the future.
As veganism goes mainstream, more and more food corporations are jumping on the vegan bandwagon and producing sweet vegan marshmallow versions.
And they are as tasty as regular marshmallows. So there's no need to trash your traditional marshmallow recipes just yet.
The marshmallows we consume today are very different from the ones that first existed. I won't go into the in-depth history of how marshmallows came to be what they are now in the United States, but if you're curious, you can read everything about them here.
The recipe evolved over time to become more contemporary, and animal products such as gelatin (derived from animal bones), and even egg whites became part of the main ingredients.
How Do You Know Marshmallows Are Vegan?
To determine whether the marshmallows you wish to purchase are vegan, look for a vegan certification sign on the product box.
The best-known is the Certified Vegan logo, seen below by the non-profit Vegan Action. A product is 100% vegan if it bears that symbol on its packaging.
The sign may vary depending on the country in which you live or the certification agency that the marshmallow manufacturing company collaborates with.
If the package does not explicitly state that the marshmallows are vegan or there is no certification sign, you will have to take a closer look to determine whether the product is vegan.
Ingredients to Look For
You don't need to worry about the wrong ingredients in your marshmallows if you're buying brands labeled as vegan.
You can discover a list of vegan brands to purchase further down.
If you want to do your own sleuthing to find out whether a brand not listed below is vegan or not, however, you should look for the following in the ingredient list on the label:
Gelatin: Gelatin is the main animal product in commercial marshmallows, preventing them from being vegan.
If you've never heard of this gelatinous animal protein ingredient, it is created by boiling down various animal parts, such as connective tissues, skin, etc.
Regular marshmallows' gooey, sticky, and fluffy texture nature comes from gelatin.
Eggs: Egg whites are another non-vegan ingredient to watch out for. You can also find eggs in vegan marshmallow fluff.
White Sugar: One of the main ingredients in marshmallows is cane sugar.
Unless the food company labels the sugar as "organic," it is possible that the sugar has undergone the animal bone char process.
Food Coloring: Another component to watch out for is food coloring, as many artificial colors contain chemicals derived from animals.
Artificial and Natural Flavors: Since firms don't disclose the specifics of their natural and artificial flavors, the only way to determine whether they are animal- or plant-based is to speak with the company directly.
What Are Vegan Marshmallows Made Of?
You might now be asking what goes into manufacturing vegan marshmallows.
The problem is that non-vegan ingredients seem unavoidable for manufacturing marshmallow products.
Although the ingredient list in each brand varies, some are present all over: a gelling agent, sugar, corn syrup, water, etc.
Gelatin is the main ingredient to replace. The gelling agent for this is occasionally a plant-based substance called agar-agar or agar powder (it's algae, but don't worry, it has no taste!).
Some manufacturers that don't use agar substitute tapioca syrup, tapioca starch, or other plant-based substances for the gelatin in their products.
In addition to the ingredients listed above, some vegan marshmallow manufacturers also use cassava syrup, soy, soy protein, rice protein, carrageenan, guar gum, natural vanilla flavor or extract, xanthan gum, or corn starch (among others).
What Brands of Marshmallows Are Vegan?
Always check the ingredient list before buying anything, especially if there are any components you are allergic to or are unsure about.
A list of vegan marshmallow manufacturers is shown below, in no particular order.
I make a few comments about each company besides providing links.
Keep in mind a couple of things as you go through the list:
- 1Although these manufacturers produce vegan marshmallows, this does not imply that all of their products are also vegan. It is your responsibility to read the labels, and if you have any doubts, you should contact the business.
- 2If you are concerned about cross-contamination, search for cross-contamination statements on the package. It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to buy that specific product, depending on your degree of comfort. If in doubt, contact the business directly.
US grocery store retail chain Trader Joe's offers vegan marshmallows under their brand name, but they are only offered during the summer. If you enjoy them, stock up as soon as they become available.
It's no big deal if you can't get them unless you obsess over them. After all, there are nine more vegan marshmallow brands on this list.
The vegan marshmallows from Trader Joe's are gluten-free. This is perfect for people who require a gluten-free diet because of allergies
Dandies manufactures both regular-sized and miniature marshmallows. Given its popularity, this brand is probably the easiest to locate.
Additionally, Dandies manufactures marshmallows with a maple flavor and seasonal flavors, including pumpkin in the fall and peppermint in the winter. Dandies marshmallow products are gluten-free.
Mallow Puffs makes delicious chocolate-covered vegan marshmallows rather than the regular marshmallows you would use to make rice cereal treats or cook over a campfire.
Despite being based in Belgium and only offering direct shipping to several EU nations, they also sell in Canada.
I couldn't locate any US merchants carrying this brand, but you can always order them online from Canada.
Cross-contamination is possible because the plant that produces these marshmallows also handles milk, almonds, peanuts, and gluten products.
Sweets from the Earth is a Canadian manufacturer. They make delicious vegan goods, and marshmallows are one of those goods! Their marshmallow products are gluten-free.
Although Yummallo sells a variety of marshmallow goods, not all of them are vegan. As such, you should carefully examine the label.
In the US, Yummallo sells through Walmart and other internet merchants.
Yumallo's marshmallows are also gluten-free.
Their massive 1.5-pound vegan marshmallow bag is perfect for big-time marshmallow lovers. Their only sales outlet seems to be Amazon.
Goodland products have no gluten.
Max Sweets has a variety of marshmallow flavors, but only one of them is vegan. They are based in the US and ship anywhere.
They use allulose as a sweetener in their vegan marshmallows, so they are sugar-free.
Additionally, their products are gluten-free.
Ananda's has a wide selection of flavor-infused vegan marshmallows appropriate for any celebration.
Despite being a UK company, they ship internationally. You'll need to contact them directly to acquire a shipping estimate.
Another gluten-free brand.
Freedom makes several flavors of marshmallows, including chocolate-coated ones for chocolate lovers.
Another UK-based business, although they ship everywhere. If you are allergic to gluten, you should have no problem since their products are all gluten-free.
Despite the sexy name, this manufacturer produces a variety of excellently flavored marshmallows. However, they aren't all vegan.
Although located in the UK, they ship internationally, including to the US and Canada.
Question and Answers
Are Kraft Marshmallows Vegan?
Kraft does not currently produce any vegan marshmallows.
All Kraft marshmallows have gelatin as the main ingredient.
Are Marshmallows Dairy-Free?
In general, marshmallows don't contain any dairy, but always check the ingredient list on the label.
Look out for dairy in specialty marshmallows like novelty flavors, limited editions, or chocolate-covered marshmallows.
Carefully read the package for cross-contamination statements.