No longer do vegans have to suffer the torture of sweet-free cinema visits, healthy Halloween treats or gummy bear-free lives, because vegan pick and mix is a real thing.
If you’re more of a savoury person, this won’t be a life-changing announcement, but for everybody else, the news that vegan pick and mix is finally available means veganism is creeping that little bit closer to mainstream shopping ease.
If you’re wondering how it’s taken a while to get to this point, it all comes down to cheap ingredients that had, sadly, become the norm in sweet production.
What makes pick and mix not vegan?
There are a few key players that feature heavily in regular pick and mix options, making plant-based confectionary lovers steer clear:
Gelatine: A derivative of collagen, most sweets contain either pork or beef gelatine to give them a squishy texture. Look for sweets that list pectin as the gelling agent instead.
Animal-based colours: Watch out for anything with carmine or cochineal, as these are made from crushed insects to give a red hue. It seems strange that this is still used, when beetroot is a natural and effective alternative.
Beeswax: Derived from bees, this is used to add shine to finished sweets and though vegetarian, it is not suitable for vegan sweets.
Lactose: Derived from milk, this is a double-whammy of badness as it is a common allergen as well as an animal-based ingredient.
Check out the best Halloween sweets of 2020.
Where can you find vegan pick and mix?
There are so many companies now offering plant-based sugary selections and you don’t even need to be ordering a wholesale amount, as most have online stores, many powered by Shopify, that make it as easy as picking, clicking and snacking.
Some companies worth taking a look at include:
Little Suckers: A good option here is to create your own mixed bag by checking the boxes next to your favourite sweets. Be aware that choosing a selection results in a full page refresh, but your choice will have been saved.
Vegummies: Don’t forget to check out other delicious products after the pick and mix, because there are plenty of fudges and chocolates to enjoy too.
Conscious Candy: The name says it all; Conscious Candy can be found for sale in a number of independent vegan shops throughout the UK.
There are plenty of super healthy vegans out there who might tell you that fruit is ‘nature’s candy’, but we all know nothing beats a pick and mix selection when you’re in the mood for a dose of nostalgia and a sugar hit. So pass the gummies.