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Is jello vegan?

vegetable dish in white ceramic bowl

Is jello vegan?

What is Jello?

Jello, also known as gelatin dessert, is a popular sweet treat that is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a translucent, gel-like substance that is made by boiling animal bones, skin, and connective tissues. The resulting collagen is then processed and mixed with sugar, flavorings, and colorings to create the familiar jiggly dessert. However, the use of animal-derived ingredients in its production raises the question: is jello vegan?

The Ingredients of Jello

To determine whether jello is vegan or not, it is essential to examine its ingredients. Traditional jello contains gelatin, which is derived from animal sources, making it unsuitable for those following a vegan lifestyle. Gelatin is a protein obtained from the collagen found in animal connective tissues, such as bones, skin, and tendons. It provides the characteristic texture and consistency of jello.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in Jello

Here are some common non-vegan ingredients found in traditional jello:

  • Gelatin: As mentioned earlier, gelatin is derived from animal sources and is a key ingredient in jello.
  • Carmine: Also known as cochineal or carminic acid, carmine is a red pigment derived from crushed cochineal insects. It is used as a coloring agent in some jello products.
  • Beeswax: Beeswax is a substance produced by bees to build their honeycombs. It is sometimes used as a glazing agent in jello candies.

Vegan Alternatives to Jello

Fortunately, there are several vegan alternatives to traditional jello that allow individuals following a vegan lifestyle to enjoy a similar dessert experience. These alternatives are made without animal-derived ingredients and are often referred to as “vegan jello” or “gelatin-free jello.”

Here are some common vegan alternatives to traditional jello:

  • Agar-Agar: Agar-agar is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. It is a popular vegan substitute for gelatin and can be used to create a similar texture in desserts.
  • Carrageenan: Carrageenan is another seaweed-derived ingredient that can be used as a gelling agent. It is often used in vegan jello products.
  • Pectin: Pectin is a naturally occurring substance found in fruits, particularly in their peels and cores. It can be used as a gelling agent in vegan jello recipes.

Vegan Jello Brands

As the demand for vegan products continues to rise, several brands have introduced vegan jello options to cater to those following a plant-based lifestyle. These brands offer gelatin-free jello products that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Some popular vegan jello brands include:

  • Jell-O Simply Good: Jell-O offers a line of gelatin-free jello mixes under the “Simply Good” range. These mixes are made with real fruit juice and do not contain any artificial flavors or colors.
  • Simply Delish: Simply Delish is a brand that specializes in vegan and gluten-free dessert mixes. They offer a variety of gelatin-free jello flavors, including strawberry, raspberry, and orange.
  • Jeannie’s Gelatin-Free: Jeannie’s Gelatin-Free is a small, independent brand that produces vegan jello mixes. Their products are made with plant-based ingredients and come in various flavors.


In conclusion, traditional jello is not vegan due to the presence of gelatin and other animal-derived ingredients. However, there are numerous vegan alternatives available in the market that allow individuals following a vegan lifestyle to enjoy a similar dessert experience. Brands like Jell-O Simply Good, Simply Delish, and Jeannie’s Gelatin-Free offer gelatin-free jello options that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. By choosing these vegan alternatives, individuals can indulge in a delicious and cruelty-free jello dessert.