Wondering which candies are gluten-free and which are not? This huge gluten-free candy list covers what is and what is not safe for you to eat.
Last updated 10.10.2023
If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet for any other reason, you might be wondering which candy is gluten free (especially around the holidays!)
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It acts as a binding agent that gives elasticity and structure to baked goods.
Some people need to avoid gluten due to conditions like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or food allergies.
Those with celiac disease or a serious allergy need to be especially careful to avoid not only gluten-containing ingredients, but also cross-contact that might happen during manufacturing or packaging because even small amounts can cause damage to their intestines or a life-threatening reaction.
Tricky Gluten-Containing Ingredients
Some gluten ingredients are hard to spot, so it’s important to know what to look for (I go into this in-depth in my course Gluten Free 101). Here are a few gluten-containing ingredients you might see on a product’s ingredient list:
Barley malt is tricky because it is sometimes listed on the package labels simply as “malt” or “malt syrup”. Since barley is not one of the top 9 allergens, it isn’t required by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be listed by name on ingredient labels.
Watch for malt and malt syrup, as well as crisp rice as this usually contains malt as a sub-ingredient.
Oats are naturally gluten-free, but often cross-contaminated with wheat or other gluten-containing grains in the growing, harvesting, or packaging process.
It’s also worth noting here that about 8% of those with celiac disease also have an intolerance/allergy to oats.
Watch for treats that have a gluten free certification from GFCO and/or state they use purity protocol oats as they will be safe options.
Save this graphic to Pinterest for reference!
How to Know if a Candy is Gluten Free
Sometimes it can be difficult to know if something is gluten-free or not. Here are a few tips, in order of easiest to hardest, which can help you determine which candies are safe.
Look for a “gluten free” statement on the product label or, better yet, a logo that shows the product has been certified gluten free.
Read the ingredient list carefully to check for any gluten-containing ingredients. These include (but are not limited to): wheat, barley, rye, malt, and malt syrup.
Be mindful of cross contamination. While some candies may not contain any gluten ingredients, they might be produced on shared equipment or otherwise cross contaminated. Sometimes this becomes an issue if there aren’t proper cleaning or separating procedures, other times it is a non-issue.
I have seen products that are both certified gluten-free, and also share a warning that their products are manufactured in a shared facility with wheat. This kind of warning is completely voluntary (not required by the FDA or anyone else) and sometimes accompanies stringent cleaning procedures and separate lines.
Contact the manufacturer if you have any question as to whether their product is safe for you to consume. You can reach out on social media or through the contact info on their website.
Gluten-Free Candy List
These gluten-free candy options should only be used as a guide as manufacturers may change ingredients and policies at any time.
Also note that while some candies are gluten-free, different sizes, shapes, or holiday variations may not be.
Always check your labels before consuming and contact the company if you have any questions.
Table of Contents
Bazooka Candy Brands, founded in 1988 and headquartered in Georgia, is a candy company famous for producing iconic products like Bazooka bubble gum and Ring Pop.
Labeling: According to their allergen guide, All Bazooka products are gluten-free except the Push Pop Gummy Roll
Bazooka Gluten-Free Candy
- Bazooka gum
- Push Pops (except gummy roll)
- Ring Pops
Juice Drop varieties are manufactured in a shared facility with wheat, but listed as not containing gluten or wheat.
Ferrara is a prominent candy and snack company based in Illinois, with a history dating back to 1908. It is known for producing popular sweets like Lemonheads and Red Hots, along with a variety of other confectionery and snack products that are widely available in the United States.
Labeling: According to the Ferrara website,
“For gluten-free, product-specific information, please contact Ferrara Consumer Relations by completing the Contact Us form here https://www.ferrarausa.com/contact-us. Due to changes that may occur in the manufacturing and packaging environments, Ferrara does not provide allergen or gluten-free lists on this site.”
I haven’t received a reply from the email I sent, but here are some candies I found from Celiac.org
Ferrara Gluten Free Candy
- Atomic Fireballs
- Black Forest Gummies and Fruit Snacks
- Bob’s Sweet Stripes
- Boston Baked Beans
- Brach’s Candy Corn (plus many other Brach’s candies—check labels)
- Ferrara Gummies and Jellies (gum drops, orange slices, etc.)
- Lemonheads (Regular and Chewy)
- Now & Laters
- Rain-Blo Gumballs
- Red Hots
- Sathers Cherry Sours
- Sathers Gummies
- SweeTarts (original variety is gluten-free, check labels on other varieties as some contain wheat)
- Trolli Gummies and Fruit Snacks (all except Sour Brite Bites and Twisted Sour Brite Crawlers)
Hershey’s is a well-known American chocolate company, famous for its wide range of chocolate products, including bars, candies, and syrups.
Labeling: You will see a “gluten free” statement on Hershey’s products if they are gluten-free. You can easily sort through all of Hershey’s Gluten Free Products on their website (thank you Hershey’s!)
Hershey’s Gluten-Free Candy:
- Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, 1.55 oz only (other sizes are not labeled gluten-free)
- Hershey’s Nuggets (all!)
- Reese’s Cups (all except seasonal shapes. Franken-Cups are gluten free!)
- Some Hershey’s Kisses (there are some exceptions so be sure to check the label)
The following Hershey’s candies are NOT gluten-free: Some sizes of Hershey’s bars; Reese’s Cups seasonal shapes; Reese’s Pieces Eggs, Reese’s Take 5, and these Hershey’s Kisses: milk chocolate kisses with almonds, sugar cookie, cookies ‘n creme, rose-filled meltaways, birthday cake, strawberry ice cream cone, hot cocoa, vampire foils, and Valentine lava cake; Cadbury products
Jelly Belly Candy Company
Jelly Belly Candy Company, founded in 1976 in California, is renowned for its gourmet jelly beans, offering a wide array of unique and flavorful jelly bean varieties, known for its innovative approach to candy-making and fun, vibrant packaging.
Labeling: According to the Jelly Belly Candy Company website, “All our candies are gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, fat-free and vegetarian-friendly” This applies to all flavors of the jelly beans, see below for additional info.
Jelly Belly Gluten-Free Candy
- Candy Corn
- Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (all varieties)
*Scottie Dogs Licorice are not labeled gluten-free but do not contain any gluten ingredients
The following Jelly Belly candies are NOT gluten-free: Chocolate Malt Balls, Chocolate Deluxe Mix, Seasonal Malt Balls, Licorice Bridge Mix, and Licorice Pastels.
Just Born, founded in 1923 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a beloved candy company known for its classic marshmallow treats, including Peeps and Mike and Ike candies.
Labeling: According to the Just Born website, “we are in the process of updating package labels to include gluten-free statements where appropriate. The modified food starch that we use in our candies is corn starch. However, because some of our products may be manufactured and/or packaged in a facility that may also handle non gluten-free products, we encourage consumers to read the labels carefully for the most up-to-date ingredient and allergen information.“
Just Born Gluten-Free Candy
- Hot Tamales
- Mike and Ike
- Peeps (check the labels as new flavors are emerging all the time)
Mars Wrigley is a major confectionery company founded in the early 1900s that produces popular sweets like M&M’s, Snickers, and Wrigley’s gum, among others.
Labeling: Mars Wrigley does not label most of their products as gluten-free, but will list any gluten-containing ingredients on the packaging. Consumers can use this information to decide if a treat is suitable to their individual dietary needs.
Mars Wrigley Candy with No Gluten-Containing Ingredients
***Some may not find Mars Wrigley candies to be celiac safe due to high risk of cross contamination
- 3 Musketeers
- Some Dove Chocolates (see below and be sure to check labels!)
- Lifesavers (gummies, hard candies, and mints)
- Milky Way Caramel (original is not gluten free)
- M&Ms (according to Celiac.com, the following M&Ms are gluten-free: milk chocolate, peanut, peanut butter, and almond)
- Skittles (labeled gluten-free)
- Starburst (labeled gluten-free)
The Mars Wrigley candies are NOT gluten-free: Twix, Mars Bars, Milky Way original, Some varieties of M&Ms including crispy and pretzel, Dove milk chocolate cinnamon graham/cookies and cream, and some holiday varieties, such as milk chocolate truffles
Mondelez International, established in 2012, is a global snack food conglomerate headquartered in Illinois. They produce a diverse range of popular snacks including Oreo and Tate’s Bake Shop cookies, Cadbury chocolates, and the recently acquired Enjoy Life Foods, making them one of the world’s largest snack companies.
Labeling: Mondelez International encourages consumers to check package labels to determine if an item is gluten-free. On their website you can find the following statement, which isn’t entirely helpful but better than nothing:
We understand many of our consumers have food allergies, and we take the necessary steps to make our products safe for everyone. We look at the possible sources of major food allergens and clearly include that information on our product labels.”
Mondelez International Gluten-Free Candy
- Sour Patch Kids
- Swedish Fish
Nestlé is a multinational food and beverage company, one of the largest in the world, offering a wide array of products including baby food, bottled water, cereals, coffee, dairy, and confectionery items.
Labeling: Nestle labels some of their products gluten free, but not others even though they might not contain gluten ingredients.
It is really difficult to find specific lists or allergen statements from them, so I had to search for individual candy websites such as Butterfinger to find the ones that are gluten-free.
Nestle Gluten-Free Candy
- Butterfinger (original only)
- Milk Chocolate
- Oh Henry!
- Wonka Pixy Stix
- Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
Smarties Candy Company
Labeling: According to the Smarties website, “Smarties® and our entire line of products are gluten free” They also specify that any product with a UPC number beginning with 0 11206 is also made in a dedicated gluten-free and peanut-free facility.
Spangler Candy, established in 1906 in Bryan, Ohio, is a well-known candy manufacturer celebrated for iconic candies like Dum Dums lollipops and Circus Peanuts.
Labeling: The vast majority of Spangler candies are gluten-free and according to their website, they will always declare gluten and/or wheat on the label.
All Spangler products are made on lines which are free from the top 9 allergens, with the exception of a small amount of soybean oil. Most people with a soy allergy can tolerate soybean oil, but there are a few who cannot so it’s good to be aware of this possibility.
There are a couple packaging options of Circus Peanuts that are not made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, and you can read more about that and their allergen info on the Spangler allergen page.
Spangler Gluten-Free Candy
- Dum Dums
- Circus Peanuts (except UPC number 0 30800 52100 9 and 0 30800 52200 6)
- Necco Wafers
- Spangler candy canes
Surf Sweets was founded in in California in 2008 and specializes in organic and allergy-friendly sweets. Their product line-up includes gummy bears and jelly beans, and offers amore inclusive approach to traditional candy.
Labeling: According to the Surf Sweets website, “All of our products are made without the top 8 allergens and are Certified Gluten-Free”
Surf Sweets Gluten-Free Candy
All Surf sweets candies are certified gluten-free and allergy-friendly.
Tootsie Roll Industries
Tootsie Roll Industries, founded in 1896 in New York City, is a well-established American candy manufacturer famous for its iconic Tootsie Rolls and an assortment of other confectionery products like Tootsie Pops, Dots, and Junior Mints.
Labeling: Good news! According to the Tootsie Roll Allergen Statement, “At this time, all of our confections are gluten free. We do not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt or any of their components and that includes our dusting on our conveyor belts“
Tootsie Roll Gluten-Free Candy
- Andes Mints
- Candy Blox
- Cella’s Cherries
- Caramel Apple Pops
- Charleston Chew
- Cry Baby
- Double Bubble
- Fluffy Stuff
- Fruit Chews
- Junior Mints
- Sugar Babies
- Sugar Daddy
- Tootsie Pops
- Tootsie Roll Mini Bites
- Tootsie Rolls
Gluten Free Candy Cheat-Sheet
Which Candy is NOT Gluten Free?
- 100 Grand
- Almond Joy Pieces
- Butterfinger Crisp or giant bars
- Most gummy bears
- Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream bar
- Hershey’s Kisses: milk chocolate kisses with almonds, sugar cookie, cookies ‘n creme, rose-filled meltaways, birthday cake, strawberry ice cream cone, hot cocoa, vampire foils, and Valentine lava cake)
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars (only the 1.44 oz size is gluten-free)
- Milky Way
- Reese’s Cups seasonal shapes
- Reese’s Pieces Eggs
- Reese’s Take 5
- Rolo minis
- Whoppers or any other chocolate malt balls
- York minis and some shapes
- Some seasonal and size variations of regularly gluten-free candies/bars
Recipes Using Gluten-Free Candy
Looking for a fun way to use up that leftover holiday candy? These gluten-free recipes have been kid-tested and are approved by the whole family, even the gluten-eaters!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (swap out the chocolate chips for any chocolate candy!)