Answer: No. Andes Mints are not vegan because they contain milk-based ingredients.
All the flavors of Andes Mints, including Toffee Crunch, Peppermint Crunch, Mint Parfait, Mint Cookie Crunch, Cherry Jubilee, are non-vegan contain dairy ingredients like non-fat milk, milk protein concentrate, and lactose. And, of course, milk products are off-limits for vegans.
History Of Andes Mints
The founder of Andes Mint, Andrew Kanelos, lived in Chicago, Illinois. He opened his first-ever candy store there in 1921 and titled it after his name, Andyâ€™s Candies, initially. Soon, he realized that men didnâ€™t like to gift candies to their loved ones with someone elseâ€™s name or, more like, with another guyâ€™s name, so he replaced the â€œyâ€ with â€œeâ€ in the title. Thatâ€™s how it became â€œAndes Candiesâ€ later on.
Approximately after 30 years, Andrew Kanelos launched the very popular â€œAndes Mints,â€ which became everyoneâ€™s favorite in no time. Tootsie Roll Industries have owned Andes Mints or the Andes Chocolate Mint Candies since 2000.
What Are The Andes Mints?
Whether or not Andes Mints are vegan is a debatable question among food lovers. Before taking up this question for discussion, it is more interesting to know what Andes Mints are.
A fascinating thing to know about Andes Mints is that this tiny candy is very popular as a post-dinner treat, especially among US citizens.
A single mint layer is sandwiched between two chocolate layers, wrapped in green foil, and imprinted with the logo. Usually, Andes Mint candy weighs 4.75g containing 25 calories each. At the same time, the large size weighs 9g containing 47.5 calories.
Ingredients Of Andes Mints
Andes Mints are a mixture of vegan and non-vegan ingredients. The ingredients that make it non-vegan are the milk-based ones.
A detailed list of ingredients of Andes Mints are given below:
- Cocoa ( processed with alkali)
- Palm kernel and palm oil (partially hydrogenated)
- An emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)
- Peppermint oil
- Non-fat milk
- Artificial and natural flavors
- Milk protein concentrate
- Added colors (yellow 5 lake and blue 1 lake)
Who Can Eat Andes Mints?
We need to make a comparative analysis of the vegetariansâ€™ diet to know who can and canâ€™t eat Andes Mints.
We can divide the people into the following categories:
1. Lacto-vegetarians: They donâ€™t consume meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, and food that even contains traces of these ingredients. However, they eat dairy products like milk, cheese, butter.
2. Ovo-vegetarians: They eat only eggs and avoid poultry, seafood, and dairy products.
3. Ovo-lacto Vegetarians: These vegetarians donâ€™t eat meat, fish, and poultry. They eat eggs and milk-based products.
4. Pescatarian: They eat fish but abstain from meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs.
5. Vegans: Vegans, contrary to all the mentioned types of vegetarians, eat none of the above-cited food. They donâ€™t even eat the foods that include any of such ingredients. In this way, they are particular and abstemious.
The worth mentioning point is that another category of people has emerged as semi-vegetarians or flexitarian. It is originally a plant-based diet but contains meat, dairy eggs, poultry, and fish, though in small quantities.
Among the different categories of vegetarians, pescatarians and semi-vegetarians do not fall under the strict definition of vegetarianism.
As mentioned earlier, the considerations lead us to the conclusion that vegans can not eat Andes Mints. On the other hand, lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and flexitarians or semi-vegetarians can eat Andes Mints.
Flavors Of Andes Mints
In addition to the original flavor of Andes Mints, everyoneâ€™s favorite candy, Tootsie Roll Industries have launched five other incredible flavors too.
- Toffee Crunch: It is made up of a delicate and thin layer of buttery toffee sandwiched between two chocolate layers.
- Cherry Jubilee: This one contains real bits of cherries bounded by two layers of rich chocolate.
- Peppermint Crunch: These delicious and creamy candies contain a center filled with peppermint bits wrapped by two chocolate layers.
- Mint Parfait: This one happens to be quite different than the other flavors as its center is made up of a rich and creamy chocolate layer while two mint layers surround it.
- Mint Cookie Crunch: These are the same Andes Chocolate Mints but just with some crunch added.
Sugar-Free Andes Mints
Good news for people with diabetes!
The Andes has now launched their Thin Mint Candy, which contains no sugar. This sugar-free Andes Mint Candy contains eight mints, which have 180 calories in total. The sweetener used in these candies is maltitol, which serves as a substitute for sucrose. It is 75-90% sweet and does not cause cavities. Maltitol contains 50% fewer calories than sugar.
Some people may be allergic to some ingredients like nuts. But the good news is that if you too are allergic to nuts or peanuts, you are in the safe zone since Andes Mints are nuts-free. It also contains no gluten.
However, if you are allergic to soy and milk, you must avoid all Andes Mints Candies because all of the Andes Candies are made according to the kosher dietary principles and contain soy and dairy.
Vegan-Friendly Alternatives To Andes Mints
Following are the best alternatives to Andes Mints:
Each of these Vegan Mint Chocolate Bars contains 5 or less than 5g of sugar. All REDD bars are free of gluten, milk or animal-derived products, soy, brown rice syrup, and GMO.
These mint chocolate bars are yet another incredible alternative to Andes Mint. They are also Vegan-Friendly and gluten, soy, dairy, refined and cane sugar, emulsifier, and stabilizer free.
It is a mixture of rich and creamy dark chocolate and fresh mints packed in the form of a bar. It contains 230 calories in total.
In a nutshell, Andes Mints are non-vegan because they include animal-derived, milk-based products like non-fat milk, milk protein concentrate, and lactose. Such dairy products are a BIG NO for vegans. However, they are gluten and nuts free.