As we are preparing for Halloween, the environmental impact of candy did not cross my mind until I saw a tweet from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. They have put together a guide for consumers who might be concerned about conservation and deforestation due to non-sustainable palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is a very common ingredient in candy. This list has companies who are committed to using certified sustainable palm oil. Before I clicked on it, I was nervous that my favorite candies would be no-no’s, but I was pleasantly surprised.

If you’d like to check it out (or print it for reference), please visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Halloween Guide. I read old articles saying my personal favorite, Snickers, were using unsustainable palm oil. This must have changed in the last few years, since they are on the OK list here.

The Issue With Palm Oil

When non-sustainable palm oil (from the oil palm, a native of Africa which happens to grow well in Southern Asia) is used, many orangutans die due to burning of forests and clear-cutting of rainforests. They are endangered and if non-sustainable practices are continued, they could be extinct as early as 2015.

Palm Oil-Free Candy

The best way to find out if your candy is palm oil-free, if that makes you more comfortable, is to check the ingredients on the bag or bar. However, I found this list of palm oil free candy on a save the orangutan Facebook page and am not sure how reliable it is:

100 Grand Nestles
Airheads Extreme Sour Bursts Perfetti Van Mili
Airheads Perfetti Van Mili
Annabelle’s Big Hunk (similar to snickers) Annabelle Candy Co.
Baby Bottle Pops Topps
Blow Pops Charms / Tootsie Roll Industries
Boston Baked Beans Ferrara
Cadbury Carmello Cadbury Schweppes
Chewy Sweetarts Wonka
Dots Tootsie Roll industries
Fruit Rollups General Mills
Fruit Snacks Kellogs
Gobstoppers Wonka
Gummy Bears Brachs
Hershey Kisses – Chocolate Hersheys
Hershey Kisses – Dark chocolate w/ Cherry Hersheys
Hershey Nuggets – special dark Hersheys
Hershey Nuggets – xtra creamy with almond Hersheys
Hershey Nuggets w/ Almonds Hersheys
Hersheys – creamy milk chocolate w/ caramel Hersheys
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars Hersheys
Hersheys Special Dark Chocolate Hersheys
Hershey’s w/ Almonds Hersheys
Hersheys Xtra Dark Assorted Squares Hersheys
Hot Tamales Just Born Quality Confections
Jelly Beans Members Maker
M&Ms – Chocolate Mars/Masterfoods
M&Ms – w/ Peanuts Mars/Masterfoods
M&Ms – Raspberry Mars/Masterfoods
Mini M&Ms Mars/Masterfoods
Mike & Ikes Just Born Quality Confections
Mint Patties Pearsons
Mounds Mars
Nerds Rope Wonka
Nestle Crunch Nestles
Push Pops Topps
Raisinettes Nestles
Red Vines Licorice Red Vines
Reeses BIG cups Hersheys
Reeses Peanutbutter Cups Hersheys
Ring Pops Topps
Runts Wonka
Salted Nutroll Pearsons
Skors Hersheys
Sour Punch Straws
Too Tarts
Tootsie Pops Tootsie Roll industries
Tootsie Rolls Tootsie Roll industries
Tootsie Rolls – Fruit Tootsie Roll industries
Utz Halloween Pretzels Utz
York Peppermint Patties Hersheys
Zoo Animal Fruit Flavors Members Maker

If you haven’t bought your Halloween candy yet, this is something to think about. Or, use it as a teaching moment for your kids.

*Photo credit: istockphoto/USO

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. Hi LJM,

    We can confirm that no Palm Oil is used in the production of the BIg Hunk candy bar from Annabelle Candy.


    For more information about Annabelle Candy bars, connect with us at:

  2. Reeses Peanut Butter Cup does have Palm oil in them. They use to be my favorite kind of candy. I eat them no more.

  3. Hi there – thanks for your post. My daughter just confirmed (by showing me the candy wrapper) that tootsie rolls do have palm oil. Any chance you could update your post? Thank you!