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Are York Peppermint Patties Vegan?

York Peppermint Patties are a popular treat enjoyed by many, known for their refreshing mint flavor and smooth chocolate coating. For those following a vegan diet, the question arises: are York Peppermint Patties vegan?

To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at the ingredients used in York Peppermint Patties, as well as the process used to make them.

Ingredients in York Peppermint Patties

The ingredients listed on a York Peppermint Patty wrapper include sugar, corn syrup, semi-sweet chocolate, invert sugar, egg whites, oil of peppermint, and soy lecithin.

Let’s break down each of these ingredients to determine whether they are vegan-friendly or not.


Sugar is a controversial ingredient among vegans. While sugar itself is derived from plants, the refining process often involves the use of bone char, which is derived from animal bones. However, many companies now use alternative refining methods, making their sugar vegan-friendly. Hershey’s, the manufacturer of York Peppermint Patties, has stated that their sugar is not filtered through bone char, and therefore, is vegan-friendly.

Corn syrup:

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn starch. It is considered vegan-friendly.

Semi-sweet chocolate:

Chocolate is made from cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. In its pure form, chocolate is vegan-friendly. However, many chocolate products contain milk or other animal products. The semi-sweet chocolate used in York Peppermint Patties does not contain any milk products and is vegan-friendly.

Invert sugar:

Invert sugar is a sweetener used in many candies and baked goods. It is made by splitting sucrose into its component parts, glucose, and fructose. It is considered vegan-friendly.

Egg whites:

This is where we hit a snag. Egg whites are not considered vegan because they are derived from animals. In the case of York Peppermint Patties, egg whites are used to create the candy’s texture. This means that York Peppermint Patties are not vegan.

Oil of peppermint:

Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant and is vegan-friendly.

Soy lecithin:

Soy lecithin is a common food additive used as an emulsifier. It is derived from soybeans and is considered vegan-friendly.

So, while most of the ingredients in York Peppermint Patties are vegan-friendly, the inclusion of egg whites means that they are not vegan.

Alternatives to York Peppermint Patties for Vegans

For those following a vegan diet, there are plenty of alternatives to York Peppermint Patties available.

One option is to make your own vegan peppermint patties. There are many recipes available online that use vegan-friendly ingredients, such as coconut oil, coconut cream, and agar agar, to create a similar texture to the egg whites used in traditional peppermint patties.

Another option is to try one of the many vegan-friendly peppermint patties available on the market. There are several brands that offer vegan versions of this classic candy, including Unreal, Justin’s, and Endangered Species Chocolate.

It’s important to note that just because a candy is vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Many vegan candies are still high in sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation.


In conclusion, York Peppermint Patties are not vegan due to the inclusion of egg whites in their ingredients. While many of the other ingredients used in the candy are vegan-friendly, the use of animal products means that they are not suitable for those following a vegan diet.

However, there are many alternatives available for those looking for a vegan-friendly peppermint patty, whether it be making your own or trying one of the many vegan-friendly options on the market. It’s important to always check the ingredients list and research the company’s sourcing and production methods to ensure that the product is truly vegan.

For those who are not strictly following a vegan diet but still want to make more conscious and sustainable choices, it’s worth considering the impact that the production and sourcing of ingredients have on the environment and animal welfare. The cocoa industry, for example, has been linked to issues such as deforestation, child labor, and exploitation of farmers in developing countries. Choosing chocolate and candy products from companies that prioritize fair trade and sustainable sourcing can help to reduce the negative impact of these industries.

In conclusion, while York Peppermint Patties are not suitable for those following a vegan diet due to the inclusion of egg whites, there are many alternatives available that are vegan-friendly. Making conscious and sustainable choices when it comes to food and candy products can have a positive impact on both our health and the planet.