Naked Skittles might debut in the US this year. Yes, you read that right – Skittles Chewies, a UK-exclusive vegan candy that’s essentially Skittles without the shell, are a thing.
The vegan-friendly candy launched in the UK last July. According to Delish, Skittles’ newest sweet has a chewier texture and less of a fruit flavor than the classic. At the time of the launch, Skittles Chewies were available at Asda, but were so hard to come by that many resorted to buying it online.
Each candy is about the same size as traditional Skittles and comes with the signature “S” imprinted where it would normally be on the shell. A bag comes with five flavors – lemon, lime, orange, blackcurrant, and strawberry.
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What Candy Is Vegan?
While there’s yet to be an official word from Skittles on when its Chewies candy will arrive in the US, the hype is strong. Peeling the shell off of classic Skittles, which are also vegan, might not do the trick. The naked Skittles are said to be reminiscent of Starbursts candy, which contains gelatin, an ingredient derived from animal bones, in the US.
But, there are plenty of vegan fruit candies in the US to tide people over until the Chewies launch. Sour Skittles are vegan. So are Sour Patch Kids and iterations like Strawberry and Watermelon there’s even a Sour Patch Kids Cereal on the way. AirHeads taffy is also completely free from animal ingredients.
Dots and Swedish Fish, both staple movie theater candies, are also vegan. Other options include Twizzlers, Blow Pops, Nerds, and Smarties – the current co-president of the latter is an ethical vegan and founder of an international group for women, Vegan Ladyboss.
The demand for vegan candy is on the rise, driven by consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods or those eschewing animal products for ethical or environmental reasons.
Vegan candy launches increased 140 percent globally between 2013 and 2017, according to data from market research firm Mintel. “After a boom in other categories, the vegan and vegetarian trend can now be seen in both chocolate and sugar confectionery,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, food and drink director of insight at Mintel.
Skittles Chewies does not yet have a US release date.