Gluten-Free Candy List (Updated July 2016)

Wondering which candy is safe (and which isn't)? Here's the comprehensive list

which candy is gluten-free?
Which candy is gluten-free? (NOT the Twizzlers!). Mitch Diamond/Getty Images

Each year, it seems like more manufacturers identify candy as gluten-free, widening the choices for candy-loving kids and parents alike. Today, those who follow a gluten-free diet have numerous choices, including various long-time kid favorites such as Nestle's Butterfinger candy bars and Jelly Belly jelly beans.

It's usually possible to find gluten-free specialty candies, such as the gluten-free, vegan lollipops available from Yummy Earth.

But since your friends, neighbors, and school likely will pass out more mainstream treats on Valentine's Day, on Halloween night, or before the holidays, it's helpful to know which ones are safe.

Here are the latest U.S. gluten-free lists of candies, plus links to manufacturers' websites.

However, please remember to use these lists only as a guide, since ingredients and formulas can change at any time. In some cases, a product made at one location may be listed as gluten-free, while the same product made at a different location may not be gluten-free. Also, candy listed as gluten-free on the U.S. list may not be gluten-free in other countries. Always check the packaging and ingredients before consuming any candy, even if it does appear on this list.

Looking specifically for Christmas, Valentine's, Easter or other holiday candy? Head to the bottom of this list for holiday-specific links, including candy canes, Easter bunnies, and candy gift boxes.

Gluten-Free Candy List

Mars Chocolate

Mars Chocolate makes M&M's, Dove, Snickers and other products. The company does not maintain a gluten-free list of products; instead, it urges gluten-free consumers to check labels and promises to call out any wheat, barley and rye ingredients by name, as well as any cross-contamination risks, on the label.

Even if a product normally is gluten-free, in busy times of year (such as Halloween) Mars uses alternative facilities to make its candy, and some of those facilities may introduce cross-contamination risks (I've seen this occur frequently with flavored M&M varieties). "The ingredient statement on each wrapper is the best source for this information," the company said in a statement.

In the past, these Mars Chocolate products have been gluten-free. However, I can't emphasize enough that you should always check the label before purchasing any of these products:

  • M&M's (all EXCEPT for pretzel-flavored M&M's). Note that some special seasonal flavors have a risk of gluten cross-contamination because they're made in facilities that also use gluten-containing ingredients — for example, in 2016 some special Valentine's Day flavors available in some stores were labeled "may contain traces of wheat." This has been common over the past two to three years for M&Ms, so you can't just assume they're safe any longer. Always check the label!
  • 3 Musketeers Bars (all flavors)
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar (not the original Milky Way Bar)
  • Milky Way Caramel Bar
  • Dove Chocolate products (all flavors EXCEPT for milk chocolate cinnamon graham/cookies and cream)
  • Snickers Bars (all flavors)
  • Munch Nut Bar (the customer service representative urges consumers to check the labels on this one)

The following Mars Chocolate products have NOT been gluten-free:

  • M&M Pretzel flavor and some M&M seasonal flavors (see above)
  • Some packages of seasonal flavored M&Ms — in the past this has included White Chocolate, Mint and M&M Coconut flavors
  • Milky Way Bar (original)
  • Mars Bar
  • Mars Combos (a snack mix)

Again, always double-check the label. Note that plain M&Ms (in any color) actually meet the most stringent standards for gluten-free certification.

Contact Mars Chocolate at 800-627-7852.

Hershey's

Hershey's maintains a list of gluten-free candies and updates it several times each year. The following list of Hershey's candies are considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million:

  • Almond Joy (all except for Almond Joy Pieces candy)
  • Mounds (all)
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses
  • Hershey's Special Dark Kisses (but not the Special Dark candy bar; see below)
  • Hershey's Filled Chocolate Kisses (only vanilla creme and cherry cordial creme, NOT Hugs, Special Dark, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, or Cookies & Cream) NOTE: Kisses can be very confusing. Check out my specific Gluten-Free Hershey's Kisses article to safely tell the difference between safe and unsafe varieties
  • Hershey's Nuggets (milk chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, special dark chocolate with almonds, and extra creamy milk chocolate with toffee and almonds)
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, only in the 1.55 oz. size
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar, only in the 1.45 oz. size
  • Hershey's Air Delight
  • Hershey's Milk Duds
  • Heath Bars (all)
  • Payday
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (all except for seasonal shaped items, such as Valentine's hearts)
  • Reese's Pieces (all except for Reese's Pieces Eggs)
  • Rolo Caramels in Milk Chocolate (all except for Minis)
  • Skor
  • Skor Toffee Bar
  • York Peppermint Pattie (all except for York Pieces candies, York Minis, and York Shapes)

The following Hershey's products are NOT gluten-free:

  • Hershey's Special Dark Bar
  • Hershey's Cookies 'N' Creme Bar
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate Drops
  • Hershey's Miniatures
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Symphony Bar
  • Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate

Be careful as you choose between Hershey's products, as the gluten-free list can be confusing: for example, the Hershey's Nuggets Special Dark flavor is considered gluten-free, but the Special Dark chocolate bars are not.

Generally with Hershey's, you always need to avoid seasonal items such as Cadbury Creme Eggs (both Easter and Halloween versions) and Reese's pumpkin-shaped candies — even if their ingredients are free of gluten, they likely are manufactured on shared lines or in a shared facility.

Hershey's says it will list any ingredients containing wheat, barley, rye, oats and malt on the label, and will disclose shared equipment or shared facilities on the label. Hershey's gluten-free list also includes baking chips and bars, cocoa products and syrup. Always check the list prior to buying, as items seem to change frequently.

Contact Hershey's at 800-468-1714.

Nestle USA

Nestle USA considers "gluten-free" to mean "no gluten ingredients are in the product, whether directly added or potentially present due to cross-contact. If a product label has an allergen advisory statement such as 'made on equipment' or 'facility that also processes wheat etc.,' we do not consider that product to be gluten-free. It is important to always read product labels/packaging for the most accurate information."

Nestle will label potential gluten cross-contamination, a customer service representative says. In addition, Nestle says it will disclose all gluten ingredients (not just those containing wheat) on its products' labels.

According to Nestle, the following candies are gluten-free:

  • Baby Ruth
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Butterfinger Bar (original flavor only, NOT Crisp, Giant Bar, Snakerz, Medallions, Jingles, Hearts or Pumpkins)
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Goobers
  • Nips (including both regular and sugar-free)
  • Oh Henry!
  • Raisinets (including Cranberry and Dark Chocolate flavors)
  • Sno-Caps
  • Wonka Pixy Stix
  • Laffy Taffy (including Laffy Taffy Rope)
  • Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip

The following Nestle candy products are NOT gluten-free:

  • Butterfinger Crisp Bar
  • Butterfinger Giant Bar
  • Butterfinger Snackerz
  • Butterfinger Medallions
  • Butterfinger Jingles
  • Butterfinger Hearts
  • Butterfinger Pumpkins
  • Wonka Nerds
  • Sweetarts
  • Wonka Bar (all flavors)
  • Chewy Spree
  • Wonka Gummies
  • Wonka Kazoozles
  • Everlasting Gobstopper
  • 100 Grand Bar

In some of these products, the ingredients themselves are gluten-free, but the candies are processed in a facility that also processes gluten.

Contact Nestle USA at 800-225-2270.

Tootsie Roll Industries

Tootsie Roll Industries, which also makes Charms products, says that, as of July 2016, all of the companies confections are considered gluten-free except Andes cookies. "Tootsie does not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt, or any of their components, either as ingredients or as part of the manufacturing process. Corn and soy products are used during the manufacturing process," the company says.

According to Tootsie Rolls Industries, the following candies are gluten-free:

  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Fruit Rolls
  • Junior Mints
  • Frooties
  • Dots
  • Tropical Dots
  • Crows
  • Cella's Milk Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Cella's Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Junior Mints
  • Dubble Bubble
  • Charleston Chew
  • Junior Caramels
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Peppermint Pops
  • Caramel Apple Pops
  • Fruit Smoothie Pops
  • Tropical Stormz Pops
  • Child's Play
  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Charms Super Blow Pops
  • Charms Pops
  • Zip-A-Dee-Mini Pops
  • Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy
  • Sugar Daddy Pops
  • Sugar Mama Caramels
  • Charms Squares
  • Charms Sour Balls
  • Charms Candy Carnival
  • Pops Galore
  • Andes
  • Sugar Babies

These Tootsie Roll products also are peanut-free and nut product free, according to the company.

Contact Tootsie Roll Industries at 773-838-3400.

Smarties

Most of Smarties' line of products (with some exceptions, see below) is considered gluten-free and vegan in the U.S. (see note below for information on Canada), and is made in a gluten-free facility, according to the company. However, Smarties sells its products to different "re-baggers" as well as various retail outlets. Since a re-bagger buys products from many companies and then places them in different packaging, only re-baggers can verify whether their manufacturing plants are free of gluten or other allergens. "If the UPC number on the packaging begins with '0 11206,' you can be assured that the product was packaged in one of our manufacturing facilities," which means it should be gluten-free," the company says. Smarties Gummies contain no gluten ingredients, but are manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat-containing products (along with peanuts, milk and soy).

Note that Smarties sold in Canada contain wheat flour — always check the label to make sure you're buying the gluten-free type.

Contact Smarties through the company's website.

Wrigley

Although Wrigley's online gluten-free statement is pretty cagey (saying most products are gluten-free but some might not be, and failing to specify which is which), a statement provided to me by a customer service representative says that all Wrigley products in the U.S. are considered gluten-free except for Altoids Smalls Peppermint Mints (which always have contained gluten in the form of wheat maltodextrin).

Wrigley also makes:

  • Creme Savers
  • Lifesavers
  • Skittles
  • Starburst

and in the U.S., these products are free of any gluten sources, according to the company.

Contact Wrigley at (800) 974-4539.

Justin's Nut Butters

I was pretty excited when I saw these in a store right before Halloween: gluten-free-certified peanut butter cups. The products include

  • dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • milk chocolate peanut butter cups
  • white chocolate peanut butter cups
  • mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups

Justin's is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which requires products to have less than 20 parts per million of gluten in them.

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly makes jelly beans in an ever-expanding array of colors and flavors. According to the company, "all Jelly Belly beans are gluten-free, dairy-free, gelatin-free, vegetarian and OU Kosher." This includes licorice-flavored gluten-free Jelly Belly jelly beans (in most cases, licorice candy contains wheat). Jelly Belly also makes gluten-free candy corn for Halloween.

However, other Jelly Belly candies, including Chocolate Malt Balls, Chocolate Bridge Mix, Licorice Bridge Mix, Black Licorice Buttons and Licorice Pastels, are NOT gluten-free. In addition, seasonal mixes sold around the holidays contain the malt balls, and so are not gluten-free.

Contact Jelly Belly at 800-522-3267.

Necco

Necco probably is best known for its small sugar Valentine heart candies – the pastel-colored ones that say "Be Mine" and "True Love" – but my daughter's candy stash often turns up a few Necco products every Halloween, as well.

According to Necco, the following products do not contain gluten from wheat, rye, oats or barley:

  • Necco Wafers
  • Necco Chocolate Wafers
  • Candy House Candy Buttons
  • Canada Mint, Wintergreen and Spearmint Lozenges
  • Mary Jane
  • Mary Jane Peanutbutter Kisses (available for Halloween only)
  • Banana Splits Chews
  • Mint Julep Chews
  • Haviland Thin Mints, Wintergreen Patty, Nonpareils and Chocolate Stars
  • Skybar
  • Sweethearts (for Valentine's Day only)
  • Conversation Hearts (available for Valentine's Day only)
  • Mary Jane peanut butter kisses (for Halloween only)

Contact Necco at 781-485-4800.

Ferrara Candy Company

Ferrara makes such brands as Bob's (well-known for candy canes) and Brach's. According to the company, the following candies contain no wheat, rye, barley or oats:

  • Candy canes (Bob's, Brach's, Lemonhead & Friends, Red Hots) — these also are considered allergen-free
  • Atomic Fireballs
  • All gummies (Black Forest, Ferrara, Sathers, Trolli)
  • All jellies (Gum Drops, Orange Slices)
  • Bob's Sweet Stripes
  • Boston Baked Beans (contains peanuts)
  • Brach's Wild 'N Fruity Gummi Worms
  • Brach's Candy Corn (processed in a facility that also processes wheat)
  • Brach's Cinnamon Disks/Imperials
  • Brach's Conversation Hearts
  • Brach's Jelly Bean Nougats (processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Brach's Lemon Drops (Kosher)
  • Brach's Halloween Mellowcremes (processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Cherry Sours
  • Fruit Snacks (Ferrara, Black Forest, Trolli)
  • Gumballs
  • Jawbreakers/Jawbusters
  • Jelly Beans
  • Juju's
  • Jujy's
  • Lemonheads
  • Lemonheads & Friends Conversation Hearts
  • Tropical Chewy Lemonhead
  • Chewy Lemonhead & Friends
  • Berry Chewy Lemonhead
  • Cherryhead
  • Grapehead
  • Now & Later
  • Red Hot's

Impact Confections Inc.

Impact makes Warheads sour candies, which always seem to wind up in our Halloween stash. Many of the company's products are considered gluten-free, but be careful, as multiple candies have similar names but very different allergen profiles:

  • Carousel/Color-Blaster Pops (considered gluten-free)
  • Lollipop Paint Shop (considered gluten-free; made on equipment that processes soy)
  • Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy (considered gluten-free; contains soy; equipment shared with peanut and milk products)
  • Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy Minis (considered gluten-free; equipment shared with milk and soy products)
  • Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes (considered gluten-free; equipment shared with peanut products)
  • Warheads Sour Jelly Beans (made in facility shared with wheat, peanuts, milk, egg and soy)
  • Warheads Super Sour Double Drops (considered gluten-free; facility shared with egg products)
  • Warheads Super Sour Spray Candy (considered gluten-free)
  • Warheads Sour Dippers (considered gluten-free; equipment shared with soy products)
  • Warheads Sour Candy Canes (contain soy; made in facility shared with wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, and soy)
  • Melster Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow (considered gluten-free; contains milk and soy, made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
  • Melster Compound-Coated Marshmallow (considered gluten-free; contains milk and soy, made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
  • Melster Chocolate-Covered Creme Drops (considered gluten-free; contains milk and soy, made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
  • Melster Compound Coated Creme Drops (considered gluten-free; contains milk and soy, made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
  • Melster Salt Water Taffy (considered gluten-free; contains milk and soy, made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
  • Melster Peanut Butter Kisses (considered gluten-free; contains peanuts, milk and soy)
  • Melster Circus Peanuts (considered gluten-free; contains peanuts, made on equipment that processes milk and soy)
  • Melster Sanded Marshmallow (considered gluten-free; made on equipment that processes peanuts, milk and soy)
  • Melster Coconut Toasties (considered gluten-free; made on equipment that processes peanut, milk and soy)

Impact Convections products that are NOT gluten-free include:

  • Warheads Sour Twists (contains wheat)
  • Warheads Sour Coolers (contains oat fiber)

As I said, many of these have very similar names, so be very careful to double-check labels — it's easy to make a mistake!

Contact Impact at 303-626-2222.

Tic Tac Mints

Tic Tac mints are produced by the Italian confection manufacturer Ferrero, and have been sold for more than 40 years.

According to the company, Tic Tac mints do not contain any ingredients derived from the gluten grains wheat, barley, rye, oats or triticale (a form of wheat).

Contact Ferrero at 732-764-9300.

Just Born

Peeps marshmallow treats, made by Just Born, used to appear only at Easter, but in recent years, we've seen Halloween Peeps shaped like pumpkins and ghosts, Christmas Peeps in the shape of trees, and heart-shaped Peeps for Valentine's Day.

According to Just Born, as of July 2016 all the company's marshmallow candies that are safe from cross-contamination will state "gluten-free" on the package by the ingredients listing (Note: recently, I've run across numerous packages of Peeps that carry this warning: "May contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy and wheat." The ones with this warning are usually the more exotic flavors. Definitely double-check the packaging on all Peeps, even if the product is something that has stated "gluten-free" in the past.). The modified food starch used in the products is corn starch, according to the company. Just Born also makes Mike and Ike Candies.

According to Just Born, the following candies are gluten-free:

  • Mike and Ike Berry Blast
  • Mike and Ike Italian Ice
  • Mike and Ike Jolly Joes
  • Mike and Ike Lemonade Blends
  • Mike and Ike Original Fruits
  • Mike and Ike Redrageous
  • Mike and Ike Tangy Twister
  • Mike and Ike Tropical Typhoon
  • Mike and Ike Zours
  • Mike and Ike Jelly Beans
  • Mike and Ike Hot Tamales
  • Goldenberg's Vintage Peanut Chews

Contact Just Born at 888-645-3453

Sweet's Candy Co.

Sweet's Candy makes salt water taffy, chocolate jelly sticks, jelly beans, gummy bears and other candies. All are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. A customer service representative tells me that Sweet's makes only gluten-free products, but does package other products (some of which may contain gluten) in the same facility.

Contact Sweet's at 855-772-7720.

Gourmet Chocolate and Holiday Candy

As you've no doubt realized, some chocolate candies are gluten-free while others are not. My article Is Chocolate Gluten-Free, or Does Chocolate Contain Gluten? explains this confusing phenomenon. Still, if you're in doubt about the gluten-free status of a product, contact the manufacturer's customer service personnel directly at the numbers listed with each entry above.

Finally, check out these lists of different candies and holiday products:

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