Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are one of the most popular Easter treats on the market, and store shelves sell out every year.
The delicious egg-shaped chocolate balls are filled with sweet peanut butter and are a dream come true for chocolate-peanut butter addicts like myself. Are Reese’s Eggs gluten-free, though?
Sadly, Reese’s Eggs are not recommended on a gluten-free diet. Although the larger eggs don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients, they’re processed on the same equipment that’s used to make the smaller Reese’s holiday varieties that do contain gluten. This means that there’s a lot of cross-contamination, meaning that Reese’s Eggs usually have gluten.
However, the good news is that most other Reese’s products are gluten-free and are perfectly safe for those with gluten sensitivity! If you’re curious about the difference, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, I’ll break down what makes Reese’s Eggs different, what Reese’s products are safe to eat, and how to read your Reese’s labels to make sure they’re good to eat.
Reese’s Eggs: Not Safe For A Gluten-Free Diet
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Okay, well, I’m sure there are some of you out there who don’t… But I’ve been eating Reese’s since childhood and they’re one of my favorite candies in the world.
I thought I was going to have to give up on all Reese’s when I first started my gluten-free diet. The symptoms of my gluten sensitivity had gotten so bad that it was hard to make it through my daily routine without experiencing discomfort after almost every meal. Headaches, stomach aches, brain fog, and tiredness were getting the best of me.
That’s when my doctor told me that I could be sensitive to gluten and may benefit from trying a gluten-free diet. So, I gave in and decided to try it.
Thankfully, one of the first things I found out was that most Reese’s products are perfectly fine on a gluten-free diet. There was one exception – Reese’s Eggs. Unlike Reese’s other gluten-free products, the egg-shaped chocolates are a no-no.
The reason why Reese’s Eggs aren’t recommended for a gluten-free diet is that they’re processed on the same Hershey’s equipment that some of their other gluten-containing candy is made with.
According to the FDA, to be gluten-free, the product must “contain less than 20 ppm (parts-per-million) of gluten.” Why such a specific number? Well, that’s the lowest measurable amount that modern food testing equipment can detect. If the gluten content is less than 20 ppm, it’s practically nonexistent.
If you’re curious as to how much 20 ppm really is, then this video by the Children’s National Hospital provides a really simple breakdown:
Apparently, after being tested, Reese’s Eggs have more than 20 ppm of gluten, meaning that they legally cannot be advertised as gluten-free.
What Are the Ingredients In Reese’s Eggs?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the most important aspects of a gluten-free diet is learning how to read your food labels. No matter who tells you that a certain product is gluten-free, you should always do your due diligence and double-check every food label.
Aside from checking for gluten content, it’s just a good idea to know what you’re consuming on a daily basis. So, here’s a detailed list of the ingredients used in Reese’s Eggs:
|Main Ingredients:||Less Than 2% Of:|
|Milk Chocolate (Cocoa Butter, Sugar, Chocolate, Milk Fat, Nonfat Milk, Lecithin, Lactose, PGPR)||Vegetable Oil|
|Nonfat Milk||TBHQ (As A Preservative)|
Now, based on a quick once-over, you’ll probably notice that there seem to be no gluten-containing ingredients. As I mentioned earlier, though, the reason why Reese’s Eggs aren’t gluten-free is that they’re made on the same equipment and machinery that other gluten-containing candy is made on.
In a nutshell, even though Reese’s Eggs aren’t specifically made with gluten, there’s a 99% chance that they’re contaminated with gluten. If you’re living with celiacs or even a moderate gluten sensitivity, sometimes a trace amount of gluten is all it takes to trigger an allergic reaction.
Are Other Reese’s Holiday Shapes Gluten-Free?
Okay, so no Reese’s Eggs… That’s not too bad, right?
Before you go grab the Reese’s Christmas Trees or Reese’s Pumpkin off of the shelf instead, think again!
Unfortunately, ALL of Reese’s special holiday shapes and varieties are not acceptable on a gluten-free diet.
For some reason, all of Reese’s holiday shapes are made on gluten-contaminated machinery and equipment. I have no idea why this is the case, but I can only assume it’s because they’re made in another Hershey/Reese’s factory that manufactures gluten-containing candy.
Are Any Reese’s Products Gluten-Free?
All of this being said, though, there is one piece of good news! Namely, most other Reese’s varieties are, in fact, gluten-free! So, when it comes to Reese’s classic Peanut Butter Cups, Fastbreak bars, and even Reese’s Pieces, go ahead and eat your heart out!
Long story short, most Reese’s candy is perfectly safe to eat on a gluten-free diet. However, Reese’s Eggs and all of the brand’s other holiday/seasonal shapes are not and should be avoided.
They’re cross-contaminated with gluten from other candy that’s made on the same assembly line.
If you’re looking for a full list of gluten-free Reese’s products, make sure you check out my latest post here! With over 100 products bearing the Reese’s label, it can get a bit confusing. I went through all of the most popular Reese’s products so you wouldn’t have to do any of the hard work yourself.