Find out if Reese’s peanut butter cups and products are gluten-free, what they’re made of, and if you can feel good about having them in your gluten-free diet.
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If you love peanut butter cups, you’re probably already a fan of Reese’s. These peanut butter chocolate cups are popular in movie theaters, convenience stores, and just about any grocery store you find yourself around the US.
This candy is manufactured by The Hershey Company, a company well known for labeling any allergens in their products. In fact, as I was researching for this post, they are undergoing a major shift in their packaging to be even more clear to call out allergens in their products.
In this post, let’s talk about our favorite chocolate peanut butter candy, Reese’s peanut butter cups, find out what they’re made of, if they’re gluten-free, and also answer this same question to some of the other popular Reese’s products.
What are Reese’s peanut butter cups?
Reese’s peanut butter cups are a candy with a sweet peanut butter center and a milk chocolate shell. They’re in the shape of cups, similar to the size and shape of the bottom of a muffin tin.
You can find Reese’s peanut butter cups in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the popular original wide and flat peanut butter cups to mini peanut butter cups that are smaller than the originals, but have higher sides.
This brand carries both milk chocolate and white chocolate peanut butter cups, as well as some seasonal items, cereal, and coated candies similar to m&m’s but with a peanut butter center instead of chocolate. They also offer some candy bars, all with their signature peanut butter in them.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods, including candy, have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives. These are used as flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Reese’s peanut butter cups ingredients
According to Hershey’s smartlabel website, these are the ingredients you can expect to find in Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Milk Chocolate [Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Non-Fat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, Lecithin (Soy), PGPR (Emulsifier)], Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, TBHQ (Preservative), Citric Acid (To Maintain Freshness)
Are Reese’s gluten-free? Are Reese’s peanut butter cups gluten-free?
The original Reese’s peanut butter cups are gluten-free, according to the Hershey Company website and we can see this by reviewing the ingredients list.
Many different types of peanut butter cups and other Reese’s products are also gluten-free, except their seasonal items. We’ll talk more about their other products later on in the post.
Official gluten-free allergen statement from the Hershey Company
The official gluten-free allergen statement from the Hershey Company, maker of Reese’s products says:
“The best way to determine if our products contain a gluten ingredient is to read our product label. This label includes an accurate, current listing of the ingredients in our products.
Because, on occasion, the list of ingredients can change, we strongly encourage you to check the ingredient label on the package each time before you make a purchase.”
The Hershey’s Company also has call-outs of allergens in their ingredients lists. You can see an example of this on their website.
Their packaging will have a “Contains” note under the ingredients stating the top allergens in the product. For example, “Contains: Wheat” will help you know if the product contains wheat or gluten.
Are my favorite Reese’s products gluten-free?
Most Reese’s products are gluten-free, but there are some that aren’t safe if you avoid gluten in your diet. Reese’s makes a ton of different products, ranging from peanut butter cups to seasonal candy to cereal.
Let’s go over some of their popular products and determine if they’re treats you’ll feel okay about enjoying once in a while.
Are Reese’s Pieces gluten-free?
Reese’s Pieces contain no gluten-containing ingredients and are listed as one of Hershey’s gluten-free items. These have a gluten-free label on the packaging, which you can look for before you buy.
Reese’s Pieces eggs are not gluten-free.
Are Reese’s Puffs gluten-free?
Reese’s Puffs cereal is made by the General Mills company. Although there are no gluten-containing ingredients listed on the package, there is a “May Contain Wheat Ingredients” note on the product. This means that there is a possibility of cross contamination of gluten during the manufacturing process.
If you’re extremely sensitive to gluten and to cross contamination, you’ll want to avoid this brand of cereal.
Read on: Gluten-free Cereal
Are Reese’s Thins gluten-free?
Reese’s Thins do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. A question on their website tipped me off that the company is in the process of switching over their labeling, so you may or may not see a gluten-free label on this product.
Are Reese’s Fast Break Bars gluten-free?
According to the Hershey Company website, Reese’s Fast Break Bars are gluten-free!
Are Reese’s Nutrageous Bars gluten-free?
Reese’s Nutrageous Bars are gluten-free, including both the standard and king sizes.
Are Reese’s Unwrapped Minis gluten-free?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Unwrapped Minis are gluten-free, including both their milk chocolate and white chocolate options.
Are Reese’s eggs gluten-free?
Reese’s eggs are considered not gluten-free by the company on their website, however in a Q&A on their product page, the company confirms there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the product. This could mean there is a possibility of cross contamination during manufacturing.
From what I understand, the company is in the middle of updating their packaging, so I would look for products with a gluten-free label and only purchase if you can find a Reese’s egg with one. Otherwise, opt for the original peanut butter cups or one of their other gluten-free Reese’s products.
Are Reese’s pumpkins gluten-free?
Reese’s pumpkins are considered a seasonal shape, and their website states that these products are not considered gluten-free. As with the other seasonal shapes, like the eggs, only purchase if you can find one with a gluten-free label.
Are Reese’s trees gluten-free?
Reese’s trees are not considered gluten-free, however they don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients on their ingredients list. This could mean there is a possibility of cross contamination with gluten during the manufacturing process. Avoid this product unless you can find one with a gluten-free label on the packaging.
Are Reese’s sticks gluten-free?
Reese’s sticks contain enriched wheat flour, making them not a safe choice if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
Are Reese’s dairy-free?
If you follow a dairy-free diet in addition to a gluten-free one, you’ll be sad to know that all Reese’s products contain dairy. They all have milk chocolate with skim milk and milk fat.
For a gluten and dairy-free peanut butter cup option, try Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. These contain no dairy products, but are produced on equipment that processes milk.
If you love Reese’s peanut butter cups and follow a gluten-free diet, you can feel confident that many of their products will fit in with your diet. Of course, as always, review ingredients lists for any hidden sources of gluten and look for a gluten-free label before purchasing.