"AisleWizard is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon."

Are Trader Joe’s Gummies Vegan? (Explained)

Are Trader Joe's Gummies Vegan

Shoppers who are excited about foods that are not only delicious, but special in that they can’t easily be found anywhere else, usually go to Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is an American grocery store chain dedicated to providing customers with groceries that are not only unique, but accessible to many different diets. The question is, are Trader Joe’s gummies vegan?

Trader Joe’s sells three different kinds of popular gummy candies: The Scandinavian Swimmers, the Trader Joe’s Sour Gummies, and the Tangy Turtles. All three of these products are free of animal gelatin or any other animal-based product, which would disqualify them from being vegan friendly. Therefore, Trader Joe’s gummies are vegan.

In this article, we will go over Trader Joe’s history, as well as how vegans can safely enjoy products like Trader Joe’s gummies and why it is so important to do so. Let’s jump right into this fascinating topic!

Overview of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a highly beloved grocery store in many parts of the United States of America, but how did they come to be that way? Trader Joe’s was founded in 1967 in Pasadena, California.

It was owned by an entrepreneur from Germany named Theo Albrecht after 1979, and is still owned by his heirs.

The founder of the company is Joe Coulombe, which is where the grocery store got it’s name. The style of the stores’ décor is based on the South Seas, and has been known to have had sales more than twice the volume of competitors like Whole Foods in modern days. 

This is probably thanks, not just to the unique, neighborhood-focused experience that the grocery chain offers, but the special dietary and niche food options it provides to customers.

Trader Joe’s owns it’s own private labels for snacks, Mexican, Asian, Japanese, French, and Italian foods, as well as bakery items. In addition to gourmet foods, frozen foods, vegetarian foods, and imported foods, they focus on offering plenty of vegan options, too.

One of their most popular products are their Trader Joe’s brand of gummies. As previously mentioned, Trader Joe’s has three different kinds of gummies offered, listed below:

  • Scandinavian Swimmers – Trader Joe’s take on Swedish Fish, these gummies actually come in multiple colors and shapes of sea life, and each of them corresponds to a different flavor for double the fun!
  • Trader Joe’s Sour Gummies – These are shaped like the letters “T” and “J” from Trader Joe’s logo, and they are sprinkled with sour sugar for a delightful balance of sweetness and sourness.
  • Tangy Turtles – On theme with the Scandinavian Swimmers, Tangy Turtles were so popular that they got their own separate package and offer, like the name says, a tangier flavor.

Veganism as a Lifestyle

Now that we’ve covered what Trader Joe’s is and how committed they are to their customer base, especially those choosing alternative diets, let’s talk about veganism as a lifestyle!

Veganism refers to a style of eating that only consumes products which have not been created from animals or animal byproduct.

This means that meats like poultry, beef, and fish are completely off the table for vegans. Additionally, eggs, milk, and, most importantly for our topic, gelatins are off-limits, too, because they’re made from animals.

Instead, vegans typically choose to eat plants, fruits, and veggies to gain nutrition for their daily lives. The reasons for selecting a vegan lifestyle vary from individual to individual.

 Sometimes, it is for the health benefits: according to research, vegans are 15% less likely to develop cancer, and the lack of red meat in a diet can greatly lower the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, muscular hypertension, and even obesity.

Other times, the vegan lifestyle is adopted out of a consciousness for the safety of animals. Many vegans would rather stop eating meat or animal byproducts altogether if it means the a percentage of livestock can escape slaughter. 

Regardless of the reasoning, it is hard to maintain a vegan lifestyle. Animal products like meat may be easy to notice and avoid while grocery shopping, but other products, such as gelatin, can seem like a mystery while actually being created from animal slaughter, too.

For this reason, it is important for a vegan to understand ingredients in their favorite foods.

Ingredients in Trader Joe’s Gummies

Below, we’ve prepared a list of the ingredients in each of Trader Joe’s gummies:

  • Scandinavian Swimmers – Invert Sugar, Cane Sugar, Sodium Citrate, Vegetable and Fruit Extracts, Citric Acid, Dextrose, Modified Cornstarch, Spirulina, Organic Sunflower oil and Carnauba Wax.
  • Tangy Turtles – Modified Potato Starch, Glucose Syrup, Citric Acid, Dextrose, Potato Protein, Invert Sugar, Fruit Juice, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Juice, Spirulina Extract.
  • Trader Joe’s Sour Gummies – Cane Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Turmeric, Veggie and Fruit Juice, Spirulina, Natural Flavors, Water, Sodium Citrate.

As you can see, many of the ingredients above are added for color, such as Citric Acid or Spirulina Extract. Others, such as Cane Sugar or vegetable and fruit juice are specifically added to maintain or augment the fruity and sweet flavors of the gummies. 

What is mainly important to note is the difference in ingredients between Trader Joe’s gummy products and others.

For example, Swedish Fish include artificial flavors, Red Dye number 40, and Corn Syrup, none of which is used in Scandinavian Swimmers by Trader Joe’s.

Even Sour Patch Kids includes artificial flavoring, Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6 and 5, an several different types of acid.

These ingredients highlight one main difference: Trader Joe’s is committed to more natural ingredients to flavor and shape their candies.

Vegan Status of Trader Joe’s Gummies

As previously mentioned, for a food to be considered of vegan status, it can’t be made with any animal part or byproduct.

Gelatin, which is commonly used in gummies, is sourced from parts of slaughtered animals like hooves, cartilage, and the like. This is why most gummy candies are disqualified from being safe to eat for vegans.

However, as you can see in the list above, none of Trader Joe’s gummy products uses gelatin from animals. What this means is that Trader Joe’s gummies have achieved vegan status and are safe to snack on for those in a vegan lifestyle!

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more info? Check out these F.A.Q.s!

How can you tell if gummies are vegan?

The main way to tell if gummies are vegan is to check the back of the packaging’s ingredient list. Look for “gelatin,” which is an animal byproduct, and research any terms you do not understand for the most peace of mind.

What Brands of Gummy Bears Are Vegan?

Though Trader Joe’s does not sell gummies shaped like bears, good alternatives are Vegan Sour Rainbow Bears, Squish Vegan Rainbow Bears, and Vegan Chili Watermelon Bears.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, Trader Joe’s offers three different types of gummies year-round. Each of these gummy products is naturally flavored and colored, but avoids the use of any animal products or animal byproducts. This means that Trader Joe’s gummies are all vegan, and safe for vegans to eat.

If you have chosen the vegan lifestyle, it is important to be sure that you read the ingredients found on any grocery store or name brand’s package and understand what each ingredient is made from.

For example, gelatin, which is usually what gummies are made with, is a vague term for animal byproduct. Stay informed and snack with peace of mind!


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

Recent Posts