Are Tic Tacs Vegan?

Are Tic Tacs Vegan
Updated: August 2019. I’ve loved orange tic tacs since I was little, so I’ve been a little afraid to ask, are tic tacs vegan? The answer is, most current orange tic tacs are vegan, and so are many other flavors, but some are not. It depends on which factory made the Tic Tacs – the same flavor may be vegan in one place, and not in another.

For example, the Cherry Cola flavor on the USA website is vegan, but the one on the Australian website is not. Currently, the USA website only lists vegan flavors. However, some non-vegan flavors not listed are still available at stores in the United States.

A customer service agent for Tic Tacs’ parent company, Ferrero, wrote to me that some tic tacs contain carmine and/or shellac which are not vegan, and some candy cane Tic Tacs contain dairy, but all other flavors are vegan. They also wrote that Ferrero does not use sugar or other ingredients that have been processed through bone char or animal rennet, and they do not do any animal testing.1

Tic Tacs Vegan

Watch out for these non-vegan ingredients in some Tic Tacs:

  • Carmine – a red pigment produced by boiling certain insects.
  • Carminic Acid – the coloring agent in Carmine, a red pigment produced by boiling certain insects.
  • Shellac – resin excreted by the female lac beetle, used to create a shiny coating on candies. It is now often replaced by carnauba wax.
  • Milk – a fluid produced in the mammary glands of mammals intended for feeding their babies.

If you’re shopping online, use our free vegan ingredient search engine to paste and search all the ingredients at once.

Currently, any Tic Tacs with printed images on them, like the Despicable Me series, or the Valentine’s Day Be Mine Mix, use shellac, even if the base flavor is normally vegan.
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Vegan Tic Tac Flavors

A reader commented that they found a box of orange Tic Tacs in Australia that contained Shellac. The Tic Tacs listed as vegan below are based on the most recent information available on each country’s Tic Tac website. As of December 2017 on the Australian Tic Tacs website, orange Tic Tacs do not contain shellac. However, previous formulas may have contained it, so always check the ingredients and watch out for the non-ingredients listed at the beginning of this post. I wish it was simpler!

Non-vegan Tic Tac Flavors

  • Be Mine Mix – contains shellac
  • Berries Tic Tacs – Australia – contains carmine
  • Candy Cane Mints – contains dairy
  • Cerise Cola – France – contains carmine
  • Cerise et Fruit de la Passion – France – contains carmine
  • Cherry Cola Tic Tacs – UK, Canada, and Australian version contains carminic acid – check ingredients. United States version is vegan.
  • Cherry Passion Tic Tacs – UK – contains carminic acid
  • Citron Vert et Orange – France – contains carmine
  • Despicable Me Banana and Mandarin – contains shellac
  • Despicable Me Banana and Tangerine – contains shellac
  • Emotics Orange Tic Tacs – contains shellac
  • Emotics Peppermint Tic Tacs – contains shellac
  • Fruit Adventure Tic Tacs – UK, Australia 24g and 49g sizes – contains carminic acid
  • Grape Tic Tacs – contains carmine
  • Lime and Orange Tic Tacs – UK – contains carminic acid

More About Tic Tacs

Tic Tacs is a brand of small, hard, sucking candies, owned by Ferrero which is also the owner of Nutella, Kinder Eggs, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Tic Tacs were introduced in 1969. Around forty-five percent of the world’s tic tacs are produced in Cork, Ireland. The Tic Tacs sold in the United States seem to be made in Canada.

What About Carcinogenic Food Colorings?

One of the reasons some flavors of Tic Tacs are vegan in the United States but not in other countries is because other countries have banned synthetic food dyes that are allowed in the U.S. Those countries end up using carmine made from bugs instead of Red 40 which is made from petroleum or coal byproducts. While carmine can cause severe allergic reactions, Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 5 have links to possible health risks including cancer and hyperactivity. However, in some of their newer flavors, Tic Tac has been using vegan and “natural” colorings such as beet powder and carotene, so it seems like pretty soon we’ll be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Are Tic Tacs Vegan - two kinds of orange tic tacs

In Canada, orange Tic Tacs are actually white, and they come in a see-thru plastic container. I’d love to get my hands on some of those.


1. Customer Service E-mails:

Ferrero Customer Service, 12/5/2017:
“Tic Tac flavors with carmine and shellac are not vegan. Candy Cane mints contain dairy. All other flavors are vegan.”

Ferrero Customer Service, 12/6/2017:
“Our Ferrero products do not contain any ingredients processed through bone char, or animal rennet.”

Ferrero Customer Service, 12/13/2017:
“To answer your question, we do not do any animal testing.”






What do you think?

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  • Benno
    January 9, 2018

    A collegue at work has orange tic tacs and the ingredients clearly say shellac 🙁 Posting from Brisbane, Aus

    • rebsy
      January 9, 2018

      Very interesting. That is too bad. Thanks for letting me know! Right now on the Australian website, it lists the glazing agent as carnauba wax, and shellac is not listed. Perhaps they changed the formula recently and there are still older Tic Tacs circulating…

      • Benno
        January 9, 2018

        Ya! It’s a large packet, tic tacs are white and in glazing agents it lists both Shellac and carnauba wax

  • Brooklyn Ni
    March 23, 2018

    I am trying to find out if peppermint tic tax gum is vegan

  • Reda
    June 8, 2018

    The biggest question for if Tic Tacs are vegan is if the magnesium stearate is made from stearic acid from plants or animals. I have searched online and have not been able to find an answer. Has anyone contacted the company about this? I was disappointed to not find any mention of vegetarian or vegan on their FAQ page.

    • rebsy
      June 8, 2018

      When I reached out to Tic Tags they said, “Tic Tac flavors with carmine and shellac are not vegan. Candy Cane mints contain dairy. All other flavors are vegan.”
      I will follow-up and ask specifically where their Magnesium Stearate comes from. It seems like increasingly it is sourced from plants.

  • Aziz Ahmed Khan
    May 27, 2019

    Are Donut Flavour Mint and Blueberry Flavoured Mint are halal or vegetarian?

  • Sandra S.
    August 17, 2019

    What are natural flavorings exactly?

  • Prachi Bohra
    February 25, 2020

    Does it mean that any flavour of tic tac that does not contain carmine,carminic acid,shellac,and milk are vegan?

    • Rebecca
      February 27, 2020

      I believe that is correct. But you could always copy and paste the ingredients into our search engine on the home page to make sure they haven’t added any new questionable ingredients.

  • Razia Mooniaruth
    June 7, 2020

    Can you please let me know if coca cola tic tac vegan?

    • Rebecca
      September 30, 2020

      I see on the U.S. website shellac is listed as an ingredient which is not vegan. But the lack of commas makes it confusing. I recommend contacting the company directly to double-check. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to get to it myself anytime soon.