Everything You Need to Know About Plant-Based Sweets
Few people in the UK don't enjoy a delicious treat now and then. Sweets are probably one of the most popular snacks, and they're a staple when it comes to visiting the cinema or chilling out at home in front of the TV.
Until a few years ago, vegans were very limited in confectionery, but statistics from The Vegan Society show that plant-based products grew 451% in Europe in only four years!
If you're vegan or just want to try something new, plant-based candy may be for you. In this article, we take a look at the benefits of eating plant-based candy and how it's made.
Why Eat Plant-Based Candy?
There are lots of reasons to try plant-based candy. The Vegan Society states that it's better for the environment and being kinder to animals and healthier than ordinary confectionery.
Plant-based candy also has a lower carbon footprint because vegan products don't need animal feed or fertiliser, which uses up valuable resources and decreases soil fertility.
Additionally, vegan candy is also made without animal testing; your treat's only ingredients are plant-based! This means you can enjoy sweet treats with a clear conscience.Improve Your Health
Switching to a vegan diet can make you healthier because meat-eaters get a significant amount of their calorie intake from meat - instead of vegetables and nutrients.
While vegans can still consume an unhealthy diet, most people switch to a plant-based diet and become more aware of their consumption.Save the Environment
It requires a lot of water, land and energy to raise livestock and produce their feed. The Vegan Society states that "the water used to produce just one cow's body weight in beef could float a ship the size of the Queen Mary".
Not only that, but livestock are responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions - making them the most significant contributors.Promote Animal Rights
As gelatine is derived from animals, consuming it means you're supporting the meat industry. By choosing vegan products, you're cutting out animal exploitation and cruelty from your diet.How Is Plant-Based Candy Made?
Traditional confectionery is pretty simple: sugar and fat (usually palm oil) are heated to high temperatures until they form a caramel, which is then mixed with other ingredients.
Gelatine plays a big part in the manufacturing process of confectionery, and you'll notice it's one of the main ingredients in some of the worlds biggest sweet brands, including Haribo.
The problem with gelatine is it's made from animal bones, which is why it's not vegan friendly. However, new plant-based alternatives are now available. They offer the same texture and look like regular candy without animal byproducts.
However, plant-based candy isn't made the same way because one of the main components doesn't exist for vegans: animal fat. Instead, vegan candy makers use coconut oil or sunflower oil as an alternative.
These oils need to be heated to a lower temperature to form the same consistency you see in traditional confectionery, so the process takes a bit longer.
Another popular alternative is Agar-Agar, which is similar to gelatine in many ways - apart from the fact that it's not an animal-derived product.
Agar-Agar is made from red algae and is both odourless and tasteless, so it integrates into candy mixtures effortlessly.How Is Vegan Chocolate Made?
Chocolate is a bit different to regular candy, as it contains cocoa butter which is derived from the cocoa bean. Cocoa beans are not vegan because they're processed using an alkaline solution that separates the fatty acids from the protein.
This process isn't harmful to animals and doesn't involve any cruelty. However, some vegans still don't consider chocolate to be vegan because of the use of animal products at some point in the manufacturing process.
Fortunately, there are now a few vegan chocolate brands available that don't contain any cocoa butter. These chocolates are made with coconut oil or vegetable fat, and they taste just as delicious!The Best Vegan Sweet Brands
So, now you know why vegan confectionery is an environmentally friendly choice for those with a sweet tooth, it's time to reveal some of the best vegan sweet brands in the UK.Vidal Sweets
Vidal certainly delivers when it comes to vegan sweets. The famous confectionery brand recreates some of the nations favourite flavours, but they're completely cruelty-free.
Popular options include sour apples, fizzy strawberry pencils and sour dummies. We've tasted the entire range and guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Better still, Vidal offers excellent prices on all of their wholesale vegan sweets, perfect for confectionery shops that want to cater to a plant-based audience.Rowntree
You might be surprised to learn that Rowntree makes vegan sweets now, and the most popular products in their range are suitable for animal lovers. Both Fruit Pastilles and Jelly Tots are vegan friendly, so why not stock up?Candy Kittens
Candy Kittens are relatively new to the market, but they've already made a big impression on everyone with a sweet tooth. With a range of exotic flavours, including dragon fruit, cherry and blood orange, these sweets are sure to please.What About Vegan Chocolate?
Most popular chocolate brands offer some form of vegan chocolate to consumers, including Cadbury and Galaxy. Moo Free is also a popular alternative if you want to try vegan chocolate from a company that only offers cruelty-free products.Final Thoughts
The best thing about being a vegan now is enjoying some delicious products and not having to make a considerable sacrifice. In fact, choosing a plant-based lifestyle couldn't be easier, so what's stopping you?
At Appleton Sweets, we go out of our way to provide the best confectionery for sweet shops and people that just love stocking up on cheap, delicious wholesale candy.
We constantly add new products to our range, so keep your eyes peeled for the newest vegan confectionery. You can also check out our complete list of vegan sweets here.
Don't forget to follow our blog for the latest confectionery news and tips on starting your own sweet shop.