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What Common Candy Is Gluten-Free?

Your guide to gluten-free candy

Do you try to maintain a best gluten-free sweets diet? You may think many of your favourite foods and candies are off limits, but that’s not always the case.

Many of your favourite candies might actually be gluten free. This means that the candy doesn’t contain protein or derivatives from the following ingredients:

  1. Wheat
  2. Rye
  3. Barley
  4. Spelt
  5. Kamut
  6. Titicale
  7. Farina
  8. Vital Gluten Semolina
  9. Malt Vinegar

Here’s your guide to some popular candy brands and their gluten-free offerings. It’s important to note that specific ingredients and formulations may change over time.

Additionally, the candies that are gluten-free in the USA and other regions of the world may not be gluten-free in the UK.

Always read your labels carefully before eating, and speak with your doctor about any specific concerns you may have.


Hershey’s

The Hershey’s list of gluten-free candy is impressively long. It was last updated in September 2015 and lists 147 different products that have been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If the food does contain any of the prohibited proteins or derivatives, their content has to be under 20 parts per million to earn the gluten-free designation.

 

NOTE: Please check the labels to see if they are gluten-free in your region before making a purchase.

Gluten-free candies include:

Almond Joy (all types except Almond Joy Pieces)
Heath Bars
Hershey’s Filled Kisses in these flavors: milk chocolate filled with caramel, milk chocolate filled with cherry cordial creme, vanilla creme, and dark chocolate filled with mint truffle
Hershey’s Kisses in these flavors: milk chocolate, special dark, Hugs, pumpkin spice, carrot cake, meltaway, and deluxe
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar (only in the 1.55 oz. size)
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar with Almonds (only in the 1.45 oz. size)
Hershey’s Milk Duds
Hershey’s Nuggets in these flavors: milk chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, special dark, special dark with almonds, and extra creamy milk chocolate with toffee and almonds
Mounds bars
Payday
Reese’s Fast Break bar
Reese’s Nutrageous bar
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (all except unwrapped minis and any seasonal shapes)
Reese’s Pieces (all except Reese’s Pieces eggs)
Rollo Caramels in Milk Chocolate (all except minis)
Skor Toffee bars
York Peppermint Patties (all except York Pieces, York Minis, and York Shapes)

Some candies that likely contain gluten include:

  • 5th Avenue bars
  • Take 5 bars
  • Whoppers

Mars Corporation

MARS doesn’t have a specific list of gluten-free candy available on its website. Its approach to sharing information is all about labelling.

MARS encourages its gluten-free customers to read their labels carefully.

Any proteins and cross-contamination risks are listed on packaging in plain terms (like wheat, barley, and rye instead of less recognisable names), so they are easy to spot.

Gluten-free candies include:

3 Musketeers bars
M&Ms (all except the pretzel, crispy, and certain holiday varieties)
Milky Way Midnight and Caramel bars
Dove (all except Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Graham and Cookies and Cream varieties)
Snickers bars

This means that the following candies likely contain gluten:

  1. Pretzel M&Ms
  2. Crispy M&Ms
  3. Certain holiday M&Ms
  4. Original Milky Way bars
  5. Dove Milk Chocolate
  6. Cinnamon Graham and Cookies and Cream
  7. Mars bars

If gluten could possibly be in the mix through processing or packaging, there should be a “may be present” statement on the label to help you avoid any cross-contamination.

Nestlé

Some of the candy produced by Nestlé have special labelling to indicate that they’re totally gluten-free. This means they have been through the FDA testing to determine that any gluten protein or derivatives are under 20 parts per million.

There are also other candies in the company’s line that don’t contain gluten ingredients, but have been processed on equipment that may or may not expose them to gluten.

The Celiac Disease Foundation shares that the following Nestlé candies are gluten-free:

  • Baby Ruth
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Butterfinger (original flavor bar only, not Crisp or Giant bars)
  • Milk Chocolate Gooobers
  • Nips regular and sugar-free varieties
  • Oh Henry!
  • Raisinets
  • Sno-Caps
  • Wonka Pixy Stix
  • Laffy Taffy

NOTE: Please check the labels to see if they are gluten-free in your region before making a purchase.

The following candies may not be gluten-free:

  1. Butterfinger Crisp or
  2. Giant
  3. Crunch
  4. Kit Kat
  5. 100 Grand Bars
  6. Nerds
  7. Wonka Bars
  8. Wonka Gummies
  9. Kazoozles
  10. Everlasting Gobstoppers

Wrigley

Wrigley makes products ranging from its popular Doublemint gum to Skittles, Starburst, and more. The company explains that some products “may contain gluten [but] the majority of our products are gluten-free.” Confused? The company goes on to explain that “ingredients and formulas may vary between regions.” Regardless, the label should give you all the information you need to know.

These candies don’t contain gluten in the ingredients list:

  • Altoids (except minis and chocolate-covered varieties)
  • Big Red gum
  • Creme Savers
  • Doublemint gum
  • Eclipse gums
  • Extra gums
  • Hubba Bubba gum
  • Juicy Fruit gum
  • Life Savers
  • Orbit gums
  • Skittles
  • Starburst

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly offers jelly beans in delicious classic flavours and in some other flavours that are certainly more for shock value (vomit, anyone?). The company explains on its website that all of its jelly beans are gluten-free. They are also peanut-free, dairy-free, fat-free, and even vegetarian friendly.

These candies do contain gluten:
  1. Chocolate Malt Balls
  2. Bridge Mix
  3. Black Liquorice Buttons
  4. Liquorice Pastels

The bottom line? Read your labels

If you don’t see your favourite candy bar or specific brand on this list, don’t panic. Reading the nutrition label on the back of the candy should help. You may get lucky and see “gluten-free” written near the ingredients list.

To have this labelling, the candy must have gone through testing with the FDA. Otherwise, scan the ingredients and pay attention to fine-print “may contain” statements about processing.

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