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10 Alternative Snack & Candy Brands

Let’s face it: candy is delicious. Of course, eating too much sugar (or anything) can have negative impacts, but you don't have to cut out sweets entirely. You can make healthful decisions like swapping traditional options for natural snack and candy alternatives when craving something sweet.

chocolate coated candy gems, similar to m&ms on a light, nearly white background.

Everyone’s natural health journey is different. Some people are keto, paleo, whole-food, plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, etc. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your natural health journey. Every day of your journey may look different, and that’s okay. There is no right way to natural health; just do your best every day, even if it isn’t “as good” as the day before. Your journey and your choices are valid, always!


That said, I am plant-based; I have a soy allergy and am sensitive to gluten. So, my dietary preference is free from animal, gluten, and soy products. I also practice the 80/20 rule, meaning about 80% of the time, I eat mostly clean. My version of clean eating means I eat minimally processed organic foods while avoiding ultra-processed options. In other words, I predominantly eat whole-food, plant-based meals and snacks.


The other 20% of the time, I give myself a little wiggle room. Although I still avoid artificial ingredients like food colors, flavors, and other food toxins, I enjoy occasional sweets, and sometimes there’s even seed oil in my snacks. I ensure seed oils are in moderation and opt for cleaner, seed oil-free options when available. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes convenience and my mental health are more important than the perfect ingredients in my snack, and that’s okay.


When we talk about eating real food, cutting out refined sugars, and avoiding food coloring, we often hear things like, “Your child is missing out, and they’re going to resent you when they grow up” or “This type of diet culture is going to cause your child to have an eating disorder.” These statements aren’t true, and you don’t need to cut everything out; moderation is key. Rest assured, whether you’re preparing for Halloween, planning party favors for your child’s birthday party, or just having a sweet tooth, there are alternative, natural candy and snack brands you can all enjoy!


Cocomels are one of my go-to brands for plant-based caramels. I love that the brand is organic with cleaner-than-usual ingredients. The only ingredient I am not a fan of (in the products I purchase, is the xanthan gum. To be transparent, some of their other products contain soy lecithin, so I avoid those due to my allergies. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Original Coconut Milk Caramels’ ingredients include organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water), organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, sea salt, and xanthan gum.

  • Madagascar Vanilla Coconut Milk Caramels’ ingredients include organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water), organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, organic vanilla extract (water, organic ethyl alcohol, organic vanilla bean extractives), sea salt, and xanthan gum.

  • Maple Coconut Milk Caramels’ ingredients include organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water), organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic maple syrup, sea salt, and xanthan gum. These are seasonal.

I enjoy savoring these delicious delicacies by popping them in my mouth and waiting for them to melt on my tongue.


DeeBee’s Organics is a frozen snacks company. I found them through their freezie pops. I remember as a child loving freezie pops on a hot summer day. As an adult, it felt good to see clean alternatives like this brand made with real food ingredients, no added sugar or colors, and organic. My favorite products from this brand include:

  • Classic SuperFruit Freezie Pops is a three-flavor variety pack including Strawberry Lemon, Mango Orange, and Blueberry Pomegranate.

    • Strawberry Lemon’s ingredients include ​​organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic strawberry puree, organic lemon juice (water, lemon juice concentrate), organic guar gum, and organic strawberry flavor.

    • Mango Orange’s ingredients include organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic orange juice (water, orange juice concentrate), organic mango puree, organic guar gum, and organic mango flavor.

    • Blueberry Pomegranate’s ingredients include organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic blueberry puree, organic pomegranate juice (water, pomegranate juice concentrate), organic guar gum, and organic berry flavor.

  • Tropical SuperFruit Freezie Pops is a three-flavor variety pack including Peach Passionfruit, Pineapple Coconut, and Raspberry Lime.

    • Peach Passionfruit’s ingredients include organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic peach juice (water, peach juice concentrate), organic passionfruit juice (water, passionfruit juice concentrate), organic guar gum, and organic peach flavor.

    • Pineapple Coconut’s ingredients include organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic pineapple juice, organic coconut milk, organic lemon juice (water, lemon juice concentrate), organic guar gum, and organic coconut flavor.

    • Raspberry Lime’s ingredients include organic apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), organic white grape juice (water, white grape juice concentrate), organic raspberry puree, organic lime juice (water, lime juice concentrate, organic guar gum, and organic raspberry flavor.

Although I am not the biggest fan of guar gum, I’m glad it’s a natural and organic source (from a bean). Just like I did as a child, I now enjoy delicious freezie pops on hot summer days, except now, they’re healthy.


Enjoy Life was one of the first brands I tried when I went plant-based. I loved that they’re free from 14 allergens, cutting my label-reading time in half. They offer chocolate, chips, and even breakfast bars. Full disclosure: some of their products aren’t the cleanest. They’re cleaner than the mainstream but contain oils like safflower, which I try to avoid. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

I wish this brand used a different sugar and was organic, but at least they’re non-GMO. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than mainstream options and is free from my allergens and sensitivities.


Evolved is a chocolate brand that’s organic and rainforest alliance certified, meaning the product respects the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. I love that! Add that they don’t use cane sugar, and you have a great natural alternative to chocolate. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Brownie Batter Filled Dark Chocolate Bars’ ingredients include organic cacao, organic Jerusalem artichoke fiber, organic almonds, organic cacao butter, organic cashews, organic tahini, organic coconut flour, Himalayan sea salt, and organic monk fruit extract.

  • White Chocolate Bars’ ingredients include organic cashews, organic cacao butter, organic Jerusalem artichoke fiber, organic monk fruit extract, and organic vanilla bean powder.

  • Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bars’ ingredients include organic cashews, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao, organic cacao butter, organic oats, organic cinnamon, organic nutritional yeast, and organic vanilla bean powder.

I believe Evolved has some of the best ingredients on the market, and I absolutely love how their candy bars taste. Although they are a bit more expensive than other brands, the flavor is so rich that I find myself only eating a small portion, saving the rest for a later day.


GoMacros is a clear alternative to snack bars. They offer organic, gluten-free, vegan snack bars for children and protein snack bar options. I love most of their ingredients, especially since there are no refined sugars; my only complaint is the natural flavors. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snack Bars’ ingredients include organic brown rice syrup, organic almond butter, organic protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic pea protein), organic fair-trade chocolate chips (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic maple sugar, organic puffed brown rice, organic natural flavors, organic fair-trade chocolate drizzle (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic coconut flour, organic almond flour, organic whole oat flour, organic coconut oil, and sea salt.

  • Peanut Butter Cup Snack Bars’ ingredients include organic brown rice syrup, organic peanut butter, organic protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic pea protein), organic fair-trade chocolate chips (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic puffed brown rice, organic peanut butter chips (organic peanut flour, organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa butter, salt), organic natural flavor, organic fair-trade chocolate drizzle (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic maple sugar, and sea salt.

  • Double Chocolate Brownie Snack Bars’ ingredients include organic brown rice syrup, organic almond butter, organic protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic pea protein), organic maple sugar, organic fair-trade chocolate chips (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic puffed brown rice, organic almond flour, organic natural flavor, organic cacao powder, organic fair-trade chocolate drizzle (organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter), organic whole oat flour, and sea salt.

The first thing I ever tried from this company was their chocolate chip cookie dough snack bar. I was blown away by the simplicity of the ingredient list and the amazing taste of the product. Although this brand is a bit more expensive than other alternatives, in my opinion, their cleaner ingredients make it worthwhile.

40% off thrive market

Go Raw is an organic and gluten-free company dedicated to healthy and raw, seed-based snacks. Full disclosure: not all their products are entirely clean; some contain seed oils and sunflower lecithin. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Sprouted Dark Chocolate Clusters’ ingredients include organic coconut (unsulphured), organic brown rice syrup, organic sprouted pumpkin seeds, organic chocolate (organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter), organic sprouted sunflower seeds, organic cane sugar, organic cacao powder, organic coconut oil, and sea salt.

  • Sprouted Sweet & Salty Clusters’ ingredients include organic coconut (unsulphured), organic sprouted pumpkin seeds, organic brown rice syrup, organic sprouted sunflower seeds, organic cane sugar, organic coconut oil, and sea salt.

  • Sprouted Chocolate Granola’s ingredients include organic dates, organic sprouted buckwheat groats, organic sprouted sunflower seeds, organic sprouted sesame seeds, organic coconut (unsulphured), organic hemp seeds, organic cacao powder, organic chocolate (organic cocoa, organic coconut sugar, organic cocoa butter), organic vanilla extract, and sea salt.

The first product I ever tried from Go Raw was their snacking seeds, which I used as salad

toppers. I loved the simplicity and the healthful crunch it added to my salad without any

added oils. That product influenced my ongoing love for their clean options.


MadeGood is an organic and gluten-free company dedicated to being free from the top

eight allergens. Although not everything from this brand is completely clean, the fact that

they’re free from artificial flavors and colors immediately makes them a better alternative

to mainstream options. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies’ ingredients include organic gluten-free flour blend (organic oat flour, organic brown rice flour, organic potato starch, organic ground chia seeds), organic cane sugar, sustainably sourced organic palm fruit oil, organic chocolate chips (organic cane sugar, organic unsweetened chocolate, organic cocoa butter), organic sunflower oil, organic natural flavor, sea salt, baking soda and vegetable extracts (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms).

  • Vanilla Crispy Squares’ ingredients include organic brown rice crisps, organic invert cane syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic vegetable glycerin, water, sustainably sourced organic palm fruit oil, organic inulin, organic pea protein isolate, salt, organic natural flavor, organic tapioca starch, vegetable extracts (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), xanthan gum, and vanilla extract.

  • Chocolate Chip Granola Bars’ ingredients include organic pure gluten-free oats, organic agave syrup, organic chocolate chips (organic cane sugar, organic unsweetened chocolate, organic cocoa butter), organic brown rice syrup, organic sunflower oil, organic invert cane syrup, organic brown rice crisps, vegetable extracts (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), organic natural Flavor, organic agar, and salt.

This brand may be a cleaner option than mainstream choices, but the brand is not perfect.

I’m not a fan of natural flavors or sunflower oil, but I don’t mind consuming them

occasionally. Everything in moderation!


Simple Mills is a pretty well-known brand in the natural community. This brand is not certified organic, but they have some of the cleanest ingredients, and some are organic. I have never read one of their labels and have been concerned with the ingredients they use. Additionally, they’re non-GMO and gluten-free, with many accidentally vegan options. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Cocoa Cashew Crème Sandwich Cookies’ ingredients contain cashews (cashew flour, cashew butter), organic coconut sugar, organic palm shortening, tapioca starch, organic buckwheat flour, alkalized cocoa powder, carrot fiber, arrowroot, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, and rosemary extract (for freshness).

  • Honey Cinnamon Sweet Thins’ ingredients include seed & nut flour blend (watermelon, cashew, sunflower, flax), tapioca starch, arrowroot, coconut sugar, organic coconut oil, honey, honey extract, organic cinnamon, baking soda, rosemary extract (for freshness), sea salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract.

  • Chocolate Mint Sweet Thins’ ingredients include seed & nut flour blend (watermelon, cashew, sunflower, flax), coconut sugar, tapioca starch, arrowroot, cocoa butter, dutch cocoa powder, cocoa extract, baking soda, rosemary extract (for freshness), sea salt, peppermint extract, and cream of tartar.

UNREAL is a company dedicated to chocolaty snacks. Although they’re not organic, they use fair-trade and sustainable ingredients. Although their ingredients aren’t perfect, their products are gluten, soy, and GMO-free. They also offer several vegan-friendly options. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups’ ingredients include dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), organic peanuts, organic cane sugar, organic palm oil (sustainably sourced), organic peanut flour, organic blue agave inulin, sea salt, and sunflower lecithin.

  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems’ ingredients include dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), roasted peanuts (peanuts, peanut oil), organic cane sugar, gum acacia, colored with (beet juice, spirulina extract), organic tapioca syrup, and carnauba wax.

  • Dark Chocolate Quinoa Gems’ ingredients include dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), organic cane sugar, organic quinoa crisp, gum acacia, colored with (beet juice, spirulina extract), organic tapioca syrup, and carnauba wax.

Although I wish they used a different sugar, and I’m not fond of sunflower lecithin, I occasionally enjoy this cleaner-than-usual brand in moderation.


Yum Earth is probably one of the most commonly recognized natural snack and candy brands. Although they’re not perfect, they don’t use artificial colors or flavors; they’re organic and free from the top 9 allergens. Some of my favorite products from this brand include:

  • Fruit Flavored Giggles’ ingredients include organic cane sugar, organic rice syrup, organic palm oil, citric acid, organic flavors, turmeric (color), sodium citrate, organic sunflower lecithin, malic acid, (radish, sweet potato, carrot, blackcurrant) color, organic carnauba wax, spirulina (color), and pectin.

  • Fruit Snacks’ ingredients include organic rice syrup, organic cane sugar, pectin, citric acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavors, organic color from concentrate (apple, carrot, pumpkin, blackcurrant), organic sunflower oil, and organic carnauba wax.

  • Lollipops’ ingredients include organic cane sugar, organic brown rice syrup, citric acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavors, colored with organic concentrate (carrot, apple, blackcurrant, radish), and turmeric (color).

Of course, these ingredients aren’t perfect, but I enjoy their snacks occasionally. They’re also a great option to hand out during Halloween to help those with allergies and sensitivities feel included in the fun.


Then, of course, as its own little category, I had to mention my personal favorite candy, peanut butter cups. There are a few better-than-mainstream brands out there. Aside from the previously mentioned UNREAL Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, I also enjoy Justin’s (peanut-free) and Free2b (peanut and tree nut-free).


Not every option from this list was perfect, and some may not be suitable for your natural health journey, and that’s okay. But, if you’re like me, utilizing the 80/20 rule, maybe you were lucky enough to find a few snacking options to enjoy.


What's your go-to natural snack or candy alternative?

Sarena-Rae Santos

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