If you are vegetarian like me but are still looking for some great sugar free candy. It can be difficult to to work out which sweets one can eat.
The most common ingredient of sugar free candy that is not Vegetarian is gelatin. Gelatin is used in some toffee and jelly style sweets to provide the right texture. Gelatin is a by-product of the meat industry and normally originates from cows or pigs. It is possible to use gelatin substitutes such as modified starch or Agar which comes from sea weed.
The de Bron wine gums and sweet liquorice both use modified starch but are coated with bees wax so are vegetarian but not vegan. All the other de Bron "gum" sweets use gelatine so are not vegetarian. We now have the Free From Fellows range of sugar free candy that includes vegan Cola bottles and Gummy Bears .
Our Toffees from Thorne's, Stockleys and Werther's are vegetarian. To get that lovely creamy taste that we expect from a toffee, they also contain milk or butter so they are not suitable for vegans. For various reasons some people also like to avoid palm oil; the Thorne's toffees do not contain this but the Stockleys and Werther's do.
Sadly for vegetarians, the delicious fruit and Juice toffees from de Bron contain gelatine as do their mint toffees.
If you are looking for fruit chews or spearmint chews , I have yet to find any that are suitable for vegetarians as they all contain gelatin.
If you fancy boiled sweets it is all much easier. Most are Vegetarian but you do need to be a bit careful of some E numbers. For instance E120 is cochineal (which is made from beetles!)