Are Rolos Gluten Free? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Are Rolos Gluten Free

ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy were first introduced in the United Kingdom by the Mackintosh Company, in 1937. Originally made by Nestlé, they are currently licensed to be produced in the U.S. by the Hershey’s Company. The name, ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy, refers to the way the chocolates come packaged in a roll-like shape. 

The ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy is gluten free because it does not have any gluten-containing ingredients. Gluten is a protein found in some grains, like wheat, barley, rye and triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye. A healthier gluten-free alternative to ROLO is Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets Sea Salt Caramel Squares-Dark Chocolate.

In this article we will discuss the nutritional information for ROLO caramels, as well as healthier gluten-free alternatives. Let’s get started!

What is gluten intolerance?

People with celiac disease can suffer from adverse health effects, sometimes serious ones, if they consume foods which contain gluten. With celiac disease, your small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from food. When you eat foods which contain gluten, your body’s immune system will start to attack the tiny bumps, or villi, which line your small intestine. The villi is what helps your small intestine move nutrients through your body, and when the villi has been attacked by the immune system, they are not there to work with this body’s process. 

If you have celiac disease you have to stop eating gluten. This will keep you from having symptoms of gluten intolerance, and also help to heal your damaged small intestine. This can be a challenge, as not only is gluten found in so many foods. Also, there can be cross-contamination in the production of many foods, so looking for foods which are certified as gluten free will be your best bet. 

Are there other reasons to avoid gluten?

Some people have a sensitivity or an intolerance to gluten, but do not have celiac disease. This sensitivity can cause the same symptoms that come with celiac disease, like diarrhea, chronic bloating and gas, fatigue, anemia, and osteoporosis.

Those who choose to avoid gluten also do this as a way to improve their health. Many believe that our bodies were not intended to digest grain products, much like the paleo diet. They will opt for a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy (including eggs), nuts and seeds, and beans. 

Nutritional Facts for ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy


  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Skim Milk
  • Vegetable Oil (Palm Oil, Shea Oil, Sunflower Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Safflower Oil)
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel Oil, Soybean Oil)
  • Chocolate
  • Contains 2% or Less of:
    •   Lactose
    •   Salt
    •   Lecithin
    •   PGPR
    •   Vanillin
    •   Baking Soda

Nutritional information: (per 8-count piece serving)

  • Calories – 220 grams
  • Total Fat – 10g
  • Saturated Fat – 7g
  • Trans Fat – 0g
  • Cholesterol – 0mg
  • Sodium – 75mg
  • Total Carbohydrates – 33g
  • Dietary Fiber – 0g
  • Total Sugars – 30g
    • Includes – 28g Added Sugar
  • Protein – 2g
  • Vitamin D – 0.3mcg
  • Calcium – 70.0mg
  • Iron – 0.6mg
  • Potassium – 120.0mg

Is ROLO Creamy Caramels Candy Healthy?

The simple answer to this is “no,” because it is candy. But let’s take a closer look at why the ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy cannot be considered healthy. 

1. Sugar content

The first, and main ingredient in ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy is sugar. This sugar is processed and refined and has no nutritional value. Consuming it adds only empty calories to your diet. With a total gram count of 30, plus 28 of those grams being from added sugars, one 8-piece serving of ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy gives you 57% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar intake! 

2. Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup

The fructose in corn syrup can cause a lot of health risks to people. Your body has to go through a process in order to convert this fructose into glucose in order to use it as energy. The glucose your body uses for energy is a basic form of carbohydrates and your body needs this every day for all of your cells. 

There are a large number of foods which contain both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, like salad dressing, bread, granola bars, sauces, and most fast foods. Without knowing it, you could be adding these ingredients to your daily diet. This can put you at risk for developing fatty liver disease, increasing your risk for obesity and diabetes. 

3. Hydrogenated vegetable oil

Most food manufacturers prefer to use a hydrogenated vegetable oil in order to save money, because it has a longer shelf life than most other oils. This oil is first extracted from plants, such as olives, sunflowers, and soybeans. These oils are a liquid consistency when at room temperature, and so food manufacturers use the “hydrogenation” process to make the oil more solid and easier to spread. 

The hydrogenation process puts hydrogen molecules into the oil to change the texture, stability and increase the shelf life. Basically what happens is this process makes the polyunsaturated fatty acids convert to monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. So, what started out as a healthy oil has been turned into a harmful one. 

Hydrogenated vegetable oil has been shown to: 

  • Impair blood sugar control
  • Increase inflammation, leading to chronic disease
  • Cause harm to your heart


Hmm? When a full ingredient name is not listed, one of my eyebrows always gets raised. PGPR is polyglycerol polyricinoleate, an emulsifier, or thickening agent. It’s made from the fatty acids of castor oil. (Eww.) This ingredient is basically there to make the chocolate “thick” using chemical trickery. 

It is another way food manufacturers save money in production costs, because they will use PGPR instead of cocoa butter, which is expensive to use. And while the FDA says that PGPR is “generally recognized as safe,” in small doses, it has been known to cause liver damage, when given in large doses, to animals in research. 

5. Vanillin

Vanillin is known in the food industry as “imitation vanilla.” It is a chemically-derived ingredient, usually mixed with a low-quality sweetener to make it taste better. In chocolate candies, it is used to help balance the bitterness of the chocolate with the sweetness of the sugars. Not only is this a synthetically made ingredient, with no nutritional value, the manufacturing of this can easily cause environmental pollution. 

Gluten-free alternatives to ROLO

Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets Sea Salt Caramel Squares-Dark Chocolate

The candy from Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets Company helps consumers indulge in a rich chocolate treat that is sugar free. 

  • Safe for diabetics to enjoy
  • Low in calories
  • Does not contain artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners


  • Dark Chocolate Coating [Chocolate Liquor, Erythitol, Inulin, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla, Stevia]
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Polyglycitol
  • Liquid Inulin
  • Butter
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Eversweet

Nutritional information (in 1 piece/17g serving):

  • Calories: 40g
  • Total fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugars: <1 g
    •   Includes 0g added sugars
  • Erythritol: 4 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Calcium: 7 mg
  • Potassium: 21 mg

Mrs. Call’s Naturally Gluten Free Gourmet Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels

Mrs. Call's Naturally Gluten Free Gourmet Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, Soft Caramel Premium Milk Chocolate, Old-Fashioned Family Recipe - 2 Pack x 31 oz Each This candy looks absolutely amazing. Not only is it aesthetically appealing, it just looks so fresh and natural. I can’t wait to try it! This candy is hand crafted, and made in small batches. The recipe Mrs. Call’s Candy Company uses is over 100 years old! Their milk chocolate caramels are 100% gluten free, made with butter, cream, and processed on equipment which has never been contaminated by gluten products. 


  • Caramel (Corn Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Heavy Cream, Invert Sugar, Butter, Brown Sugar, Sugar ,Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin)
  • Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk, Chocolate Liquor, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla)
  • Sea Salt

Nutritional information (in 1 piece/24 g serving): 

  • Calories: 100g
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Sodium: 80 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Total sugars: 12 g
    • Includes 11g added sugars
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Calcium: 30 mg
  • Potassium: 54 mg


The ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy is gluten free, so if you deal with celiac disease or have a gluten intolerance/sensitivity, this chocolate candy is safe for you to enjoy. Be conscious, though, about the lack of nutritional value in this product. With the high sugar content, along with artificial added sugars, this is a high-calorie food, and not a good choice for calorie-conscious diets. Consider the synthetic ingredients and how those can create health issues, as well. 

Related Questions

Are ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy vegan?

The ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy is not vegan. The candy contains skim milk, which is an ingredient derived from an animal source. It also contains lactose, which is found in the milk of mammals, so cannot be considered vegan-friendly. 

Are ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy keto friendly?

The ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy cannot be considered keto-friendly. With a high carbohydrate count of 33 grams, this amounts to 11% of the recommended daily intake for an adult. These carbs are not nutrient rich and provide none of the benefits a keto diet requires. 

Are ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy dairy free?

No, the ROLO Creamy Caramels in Rich Chocolate Candy is not dairy free. For the same reasons it cannot be considered vegan, because it contains skim milk and lactose, both ingredients which are derived from an animal’s milk source.

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Leslie Cole

Leslie C. has always been very conscientious about her health and what goes into her body. She takes pride in her physique and commits to exercising multiple times a week to keep her mind and body strong. Nutrition and intentional health choices are not only interests to Leslie, but concentrated ways of life. Leslie is a market and creator, and she also co-owns custom clothing and homemade décor online stores with her husband, which also bring out her creative side in her spare time. Leslie is mom to a husky named Lily and a kitty named Lina, and she lives in Lansing, MI.

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