Does Mamba Candy Contain Pork? The Truth on Its New Non-Vegan Recipe

Mamba fruit chews have long been a go-to candy for vegans. Their soft, chewy texture and burst of fruity flavors make them an irresistible treat. But in 2019, parent company Storck shook up the recipe, leaving many to wonder: does Mamba candy contain pork now?

As a vegan myself, I was as shocked and disappointed as anyone to learn about this recipe change. I decided to dig into the details to uncover the truth about pork in Mamba candy. Keep reading to learn what I found.

A Brief History of Mamba Candy

First, a quick history on this nostalgic candy. Mamba was created in Germany by the Storck candy company in the 1950s. The classic line-up includes five fruit flavors

  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Cherry
  • Pineapple

In 2018, new flavors like Apple Raspberry and Summer Fruits were added to the lineup.

Why Mamba Was Originally Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly

Vegans fell in love with Mamba largely thanks to its short and simple ingredient list:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Citric acid
  • Artificial flavors and colors

With no animal ingredients like gelatin, Mamba was considered both vegetarian and vegan. The candy quickly became a staple treat for anyone avoiding meat, dairy, and related animal products.

Mamba’s Shocking Recipe Change in 2019

In 2019, Storck announced it was moving Mamba production to a new facility. This move also brought an unexpected recipe change.

Gelatin, derived from collagen found in animal bones and tissues, was added to the ingredients.

For ethical vegans and vegetarians, this addition of an animal-based ingredient was devastating news. It removed Mamba’s status as a vegetarian, vegan, and pork-free candy.

Why Gelatin Makes Mamba Candy Non-Vegan

Gelatin deserves a closer look to understand why it’s problematic. Here are a few key facts:

  • Gelatin is made by boiling animal bones, skins, and connective tissues to extract collagen. It acts as a gelling agent in foods.

  • The most common sources are pig skins and cow hides. But gelatin can also come from horses, fish, and other animals.

  • Kosher gelatin uses only fish rather than pork, but is still not vegan.

  • For vegetarians, vegans, Hindus, and others avoiding animal foods, gelatin is not considered permissible due to its origin and processing method.

So in one recipe tweak, Mamba candy went from vegan to non-vegan for millions of consumers. But what about specifically containing pork?

Does New Mamba Contain Pig-Derived Gelatin?

Since pigs are a common gelatin source, many wonder if Mamba now contains pork-derived gelatin. Let’s analyze the possibilities:

  • Possibility #1: Mamba’s new recipe uses pork-based gelatin. If true, it’s absolutely non-vegan and non-halal.

  • Possibility #2: Mamba uses kosher gelatin from fish only. This would make Mamba vegetarian but not vegan or halal.

  • Possibility #3: Mamba’s gelatin comes from cattle only. While now non-vegan, it would still be halal.

Without insight into Mamba’s actual gelatin sources, we can’t know for sure. Storck declined to provide this proprietary information when I inquired.

Why Companies Add Gelatin to Recipes

You might wonder why Storck added non-vegan gelatin to Mamba’s recipe at all. Here are two main reasons:

  • Texture – Gelatin helps provide a chewy, gummy texture that holds up over time. It prevents candies from drying out.

  • Cost – Gelatin is an inexpensive stabilizing and gelling agent. Replacing it with vegan alternatives can raise costs.

But many vegans argue the cost savings don’t justify excluding ethical consumers. It’s a controversial topic on both sides.

How Vegans Are Reacting to the Recipe Change

The vegan community widely condemned Mamba’s recipe change in 2019. Here are a few common reactions:

  • Shock – Because Mamba was vegan for so long, many felt blindsided by the gelatin addition.

  • Betrayal – Devoted Mamba fans felt betrayed that the company abandoned its vegan base.

  • Call for boycott – Some vegan influencers and organizations called for a boycott of the formerly vegan candy brand.

  • Anger – Vegans expressed anger at Storck for not considering ethics in its decision.

  • Disappointment – Mamba’s affordability and accessibility made it a popular vegan candy option.

While Storck stated the change was due to “overall recipe improvements”, vegans made clear that for them, it was a change for the worse.

Top 5 Vegan Mamba Candy Alternatives

Luckily for vegans, many gelatin-free candy options exist:

  1. YumEarth Organic Fruit Snacks
  2. Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
  3. Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
  4. Unreal Vegan Gummy Bears
  5. SmartSweets Sour Blast Buddies

While not identical, these gummy candies offer the same soft chew and fruit flavors vegans loved in Mamba. And they are 100% gelatin-free!

The Takeaway: Mamba No Longer Meets Vegan Diet Standards

For vegans like myself, it’s disappointing to lose such an iconic candy. But we can channel our frustration to continue advocating for more ethical and inclusive business practices.

What Candy Has Pork In It?


Is Mamba candy halal?

Mamba Candy does not meet Halal standards due to the inclusion of gelatin in its ingredients.

What is mamba candy made of?


When did Mamba add gelatin?

Do Mamba products contain gelatin? The new recipe includes gelatin for an improved intensity and eating experience. As of December 2019, Mamba stick packs do contain the ingredient gelatin.

Is mamba candy kosher?

Is Mamba Kosher? Mamba is not certified kosher.

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