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Sour Patch Kids

How ethical is Sour Patch Kids?

Sour Patch Kids is a brand owned by Mondelēz International which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Sweets Ratings Table.

Although Sour Patch Kids has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Sour Patch Kids if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Sweets sector and see how other brands score in our Ethical Sweets Ratings Table.

What does Sour Patch Kids do?

Sour Patch Kids is a brand of soft sweets coated with a sour sugar. Sour Patch Kids was created in the 1970s under the name ‘Mars Men’, and they were produced by the Allen Candy Company in Ontario. In 1985, the brand was renamed ‘Sour Patch Kids’. Possibly to capitalise on the popularity of Cabbage Patch Kids toys at that time. The Allen Candy Company was acquired by Mondelēz International in the 1990s.

In which areas does Sour Patch Kids perform poorly?

Sour Patch Kids was marked down under our criteria for GMO as its parent company, Mondelēz International, states that it believes GMO ingredients are safe to use. Mondelēz states that it still uses animal testing where required by law, so receives a bottom rating for Animal Welfare.

Mondelēz donated over $322k in recent election cycles which is above our threshold, so Sour Patch Kids gets a poor rating for this criterion.

Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Starburst’s record

Sour Patch Kids’ parent company, Mondelēz International, has been accused of not coming through on its promise to scale back its presence in Russia during the Ukrainian war. The company has also come under fire for contributing to deforestation and child labour through its supply chain due to a lack of transparency surrounding its cocoa sources.

There have been numerous other claims made against Mondelēz relating to child labour, land-grabs, use of harmful pesticides and destruction of forests for soya production.

In which areas does Sour Patch Kids score well for its ethics?

Sour Patch Kids’ parent company, Mondelēz International, has a report entitled ‘Snacking Made Right’ which includes lots of environmental targets, giving it a good score for its Environmental Report.

Sour Patch Kids has a vegan product with certification from The Vegan Society, giving it a high score for our Vegetarian and Vegan criteria.

We found no criticisms of Sour Patch Kids relating to Nuclear, Fossil Fuels or Armaments so it scores well for these criteria.

How can Sour Patch Kids improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Sour Patch Kids is awarded on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Sweets Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Sour Patch Kids has some issues to resolve, including  its use of GMO ingredients, support for animal testing and political donations. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Sour Patch Kids some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to attain Ethical Accreditation, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels


  • Palm Oil Free



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating