Nearly 50,000 times per month, people are heading to Google Search asking the question, “are candies are gluten-free?” That kind of search volume says people just aren’t sure.
Well, you shouldn’t be.
Not every manufacturer labels gluten-free products. While it would make things much easier for consumers, sometimes brands don’t do a good job of advertising that their products are gluten-free.
Just show me to the gluten-free candy.
Well, unfortunately, even if you read the label, you might be missing out on a favorite treat because you don’t know which candies include gluten. Some definitely do! So, you have to be careful.
Take a company like Mars and its many other companies.
- 3 Musketeers
- Big Red
- Hubba Bubba
- Juicy Fruit
- Life Savers
Mars doesn’t maintain a gluten-free list of products; instead, it relies on gluten-free consumers to check labels. They claim their labels call out any wheat, barley, and rye ingredients by name. However, Hershey’s does maintain a list of their gluten-free candy. When you look at their list be sure to expand the details (click on the +) so that you don’t miss important information. For example, Almond Joy candy is gluten-free EXCEPT for Almond Joy Pieces Candy.
So, are candies gluten-free?
Always double-check the label. Check them frequently. Check the website. Not all candy is gluten-free, even when you think it might be. That’s the real answer. Yes, you might miss out on enjoying something that is gluten-free because you couldn’t identify it as such, but that’s better than consuming gluten when you are trying to avoid it for a gluten-free diet or absolutely must for health issues.
Manufacturers can change processes, ingredients, co-packers, or any component of their candy-making process, at anytime, which could cause you to consume gluten unexpectedly if you’re not paying attention.
What about Tootsie Rolls?
Tootsie Roll Industries brands include some very familiar candy names: Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Pop, Charms Blow Pop, Mason Dots, Andes, Sugar Daddy, Charleston Chew, Dubble Bubble, Razzles, Caramel Apple Pop, Junior Mints, Cella’s Chocolate-Covered Cherries, and Nik-L-Nip.
On the FAQs on their website, this is their response to whether or not their products and candies are gluten-free.
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. We do use corn and soy products in the manufacturing of our products.Tootsie Roll Industries, FAQs
Check out these other candy companies and gluten-free information.
Gluten on the conveyor belts?
Notice that Tootsie Roll Industries specifically pointed out that even the dusting on their conveyor belts is free of the ingredients they listed. This is one of the ways that gluten can get on or into a product that is supposed to be gluten-free.
So, in addition to your candy’s ingredients, you’ll also want to know if it is prepared, processed, packaged, etc. with or near machinery and materials that might include gluten.
What’s the bottom line?
If you are just starting a gluten-free lifestyle, it’s important to do your own research and maintain an updated list of products that are safe for you to consume. There are plenty of candies that do not label their products as gluten-free, but they are. It’s okay to ease into the change. Talk to friends about it. There are a ton of resources online from blogs to groups and stores. Take the time to learn about what products are safe, affordable, and flavorful.
RELATED: Browse through our Food & Drink category for recipes and more information about the things that matter to you. (Recipes on this site do not claim to be gluten-free)