Reese’s (owned by Hershey’s) recently surpassed all of its competitors as the top-selling candy in the United States, with over $2 billion in annual sales.
One of the brand’s best-selling candies is its famous Reese’s Pieces. If you have celiacs or a gluten sensitivity, though, you’re probably wondering, “Are Reese’s Pieces gluten-free?”
As it turns out, Reese’s Pieces are indeed gluten-free. This means that absolutely no gluten-containing grains are used in the creation of the delicious little peanut butter bites. So, the next time you’re at the movie theater or you want a sweet treat, go ahead and indulge.
When I first started my gluten-free diet a few years ago, I was afraid that I’d have to give up all of my favorite candies.
While I certainly had to give up a few, I was incredibly thankful that I didn’t have to give up on my Reese’s. Today, I’ll show you exactly what makes Reese’s Pieces gluten-free, outline the key ingredients, and explain why most Reese’s products are gluten-free!
What Makes Reese’s Pieces Gluten-Free?
I’ll be honest, my first few months following a gluten-free diet weren’t exactly perfect. At first, I just thought that I had to avoid bread, cake, crackers, and pasta. You know… the usual suspects. That was a great start, and it definitely reduced some of the symptoms that I was experiencing as a result of my gluten sensitivity.
For the most part, the headaches went away and my everyday stomach cramping became a once-weekly ordeal. However, I still wasn’t completely satisfied. From my research, I knew that if I really was on a 100% gluten-free diet, I shouldn’t be experiencing symptoms at all.
That’s when I really started to do more research and got serious about my gluten problem. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was still consuming gluten-containing products on a near-daily basis.
I just wasn’t aware because I’d never scrutinized my food’s ingredients list before. It’s also part of what inspired me to create the Gone Gluten blog.
Anything that had any trace of wheat, wheat flour, barley, or rye had to go, including some of my favorite candies like Crunch bars. Thankfully, though, I got to hold onto a few of my favorites like Reese’s Pieces!
So, what makes Reese’s Pieces gluten-free?
Well, the primary ingredients are sugar, peanuts, corn syrup, and vegetable oil. If you look at the total ingredients list, you’ll find absolutely no trace of any gluten-containing grains or byproducts.
Reese’s Pieces Ingredients List
One thing you’ll learn about being on a gluten-free diet is that you shouldn’t just take anybody’s word on whether or not something is gluten-free (even if it comes from me). Always double-check your ingredient labels! You never know when a brand might decide to change or modify its ingredients. It’s rare, but it’s still possible.
So, for those of you who still aren’t 100% sure, here’s a complete list of the ingredients contained in Reese’s Pieces, according to the manufacturer’s site:
|Main Ingredients:||Less Than 2% Of The Following:|
|Soybean or Palm Oil||Palm Oil|
|Corn Syrup Solids||Confectioner’s Glaze|
See? No wheat flour, wheat starch, or any other pesky gluten-containing ingredients!
Are Reese’s Pieces Certified Gluten-Free?
Wouldn’t it be nice if every gluten-free candy had a nice, easy-to-read label on the side that said “gluten-free”? Given the popularity of gluten-free diets, you’d think things would be a lot simpler.
While Reese’s Pieces are labeled “GF” you will never see the certification (below) on the side. That’s because Reese’s are not certified gluten-free.
What’s The Difference Between Certified and Non-Certified GF Food?
“But wait… Didn’t you just say that Reese’s Pieces were gluten-free?”
I know what you’re thinking; but before you jump to conclusions, let me explain a little bit more. Even though Reese’s Pieces contain no gluten and are even listed on Hershey’s official gluten-free candy list, they have never been officially tested for gluten.
Why haven’t they officially tested their products for gluten levels? Well, it could be for several reasons, such as:
- Mass-testing of products can be costly.
- The manufacturer doesn’t feel the need to because they trust their ingredients.
Despite the lack of an official gluten-free logo, Reese’s Pieces don’t contain gluten. I’ve eaten them on numerous occasions with no symptoms, as have thousands of others on gluten-free diets.
If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes for a brand to be certified gluten-free, check out this video by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation):
As you can see, the NSF is pretty rigorous when it comes to auditing facilities to ensure that products are gluten-free.
While it’s incredibly helpful for gluten-free dieters like us, it’s a lot of work for a large multi-national company like Reese’s (that has factories around the world) to go through. This is the most likely explanation of why they haven’t pursued an official GF certification.
Are All Reese’s Products Gluten-Free?
Here’s another fun fact: almost all Reese’s products are gluten-free!
The only exceptions to the rule are the seasonal flavors and shapes, such as Reese’s Eggs (including Reese’s Pieces Eggs), Reese’s Trees, Reese’s Pumpkins, and other seasonally-shaped specialty items.
These almost always contain a small amount of gluten, and should not be consumed by anybody with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
If you’re a Reese’s fanatic (like myself) then be sure to check out my last post detailing all of Reese’s gluten-free products.
Just because you’re on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few of your favorite candies and treats. The next time you’re in the candy aisle, remember that Reese’s Pieces are one of the safest options and are 100% gluten-free. Just remember to avoid the seasonal Reese’s Pieces Eggs!