The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

New Formulation Skittles Are Gelatin-Free; Starbursts & GummiBursts Contain Non-Kosher Gelatins

Posted on December 30, 2010 by The VRG Blog Editor

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

The VRG recently reported that Skittles™ candy contains gelatin. We were told this information in November 2010 by a customer service representative at Wrigley, the company that manufactures Skittles™. At that time, we were told that Starburst™ and Skittles™ candy, both manufactured by Wrigley, contained the same ingredients, including gelatin (in this case, non-Kosher, beef-derived gelatin). It was explained to us that different ingredient proportions and preparation techniques resulted in two distinct candies.

A reader wrote in stating that Skittles™ had changed its formulation in 2010 and was now gelatin-free. The VRG went back to Wrigley for confirmation.

In December 2010, two other customer service representatives told us that at some unspecified date in "early" 2009, Skittles™ underwent a recipe reformulation that removed the gelatin. Since the Skittles™ shelf life is seventy-two weeks, there may still be some old-formulation Skittles™ containing gelatin on store shelves. The company could not specify where nor how much older formulation Skittles™ remain on store shelves. "Gelatin" would be listed on the label.

If gelatin is not listed on a Skittles™ label, customers can be sure that it is the newer formulation Skittles™ that does not contain gelatin. This newer formulation Skittles™ will have the phrase "gelatin-free" listed in the ingredients panel on its label.

Readers may be interested to know that Starburst™ still does contain non-Kosher beef-derived gelatin. Wrigley's GummiBursts™ contain non-Kosher pork-derived gelatin.

For more information on ingredients see
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25 to “New Formulation Skittles Are Gelatin-Free; Starbursts & GummiBursts Contain Non-Kosher Gelatins”

  1. Michael says:

    Did they give any reason why gelatin is no longer in the product?

  2. Curtis says:

    nope they didnt and i wonder why that is

  3. rewwqr says:

    thank God now every body can eat it

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Happy to hear this! Have to stay clear of Starburst, though.

  5. Suzanne says:

    But what I really want to know is why the UK Starbursts are vegan and they’re not here…

  6. stylinred says:

    BEEF GELATIN??? IT WAS BEEF GELATIN????!!!!! I stopped eating Skittles and Starbursts for over a decade because I learned there was Gelatin in it because i thought it was Pork gelatin!

  7. Jason says:

    FYI: Just because it lacks non-Kosher gelatin doesn’t necessarily make it Kosher. Until a Kosher certification agency reviews their ingredients and process it cannot be eaten by a Jew.

  8. Beth says:

    Just because it no longer has gelatin doesn’t mean it’s vegan. What are the “natural flavors” made of? What is the coloring made of?

  9. Tyler says:

    Make sure you keep checking the ingredients–just purchased a new bag of Skittles (Feb 2012) and luckily checked the ingredients before eating. They had gelatin in them. Many other bags in the past year or so have been gelatin-free, but it appears the gelatin is either back or not 100% gone from their supply. Be careful!

  10. Suki says:

    Check the e-codes in the ingredients.e441 (previously e485) is the code for gelatin. Skittles still has the gelatin but hidden in the ingredient list as an e code.

  11. Shakil says:

    When are they going to make Halal Gelatin, or Halal Starburst products. We have Kosher now, but the Muslim brothers & sisters need Halal products. any clue?

  12. Nadiyah says:

    @Shakil – Assalamu alaykum,

    It is permitted for muslims to eat kosher so what’s the problem? I’m muslim and I’d have no problem eating Kosher. If you’re in doubt say bismillah over it before eating it. However avoid fast food by non muslim companies as there’s no way of knowing who carried out the slaughter.

    “Made lawful to you this day are At‑Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them” [Quran: al-Maa’idah 5:5]

    @ VRG – A few months ago, I contacted Wrigley’s wanting to know if they were suitable for vegetarians. I was told that they aren’t, and the reason was because they contain the red colouring derived from beetles. It’s 3.34 am and I’m having difficulty recalling the name of that ingredients. I asked if it was only in the red coloured skittles, but the rep said he couldn’t confirm that and that it was best to avoid them. The good news is that he said they were looking to make Skittles suitable for vegetarians.

  13. sherilyn says:

    Skittles do use prok gelatin. That is why they are not kosher.

  14. Mike says:

    that’s great but the major problem is the sugar in these candies, which contribute to many health issues.

  15. Spencer says:

    I suppose the key to their success will be whether or not these new Skittles taste as good as the original ones do.

  16. zozo says:

    hahaha don’t you say bismilah before you do anything!! before you eat halal foods. so you are saying that if you say bismilah before you eat a haram that makes it halal. keep it to your self not every one wants to be dume and go to hell.

    so shut your freak mouth up ..!!

  17. Sophie says:

    Halal gelatine is not vegan or even vegetarian it just means that the animal was blessed before it was killed for things like meat and gelatine. They should always use vegan though. The animal probably didn’t have a brill life

  18. terry says:

    Does skittles have citric acid in them

  19. Gelatin is not listed on a Skittles label customers can be sure that it is the newer formulation Skittles that does not contain gelatin.

  20. Zaid Khan says:

    Does that mean we can still consume Starbust even though they use Kosher gelatine??

  21. Brittany says:

    Does these changes make it vegetarian?

  22. The VRG Blog Editor says:

    Note this info is from 2010. We have not looked into these products recently.

  23. Garuda Illo says:

    I have a newer packet and the ingredients do not list gelatin and there is an additional note that says “Gluten free. Gelatin free”. So unless they are lying, I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t have gelatin.

  24. Bhronda says:

    I purchased a large bag of Starbust and Skittles packaged together from my local grocery store Giant.

    There is gelatin listed in the ingredients of the Starburst but not the Skittles.

    Agh! The frustration!

  25. Sharon says:

    The gelatin is of non kosher beef.

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