THE Biggest A-Z Gluten-Free Candy Guide
There is a world of wonderful gluten-free candy out there. It can be a little complex and strange to navigate your way through, but we assure you that if you’re looking for gluten-free sweet hampers, there are plenty of options up for grabs for you.
In this article, we’re going to run through every single one of the major candy manufacturers around the world and talk about which of their products are gluten-free. We’re going to be sure to list all the relevant products that we can find in our research since it’s important to make sure that you’ve got all the facts when entering into a meal a a gluten-free person.
The Hershey company is one of the largest candy companies in the entire world. They initially rose to fame in the US, but they have since become increasingly popular around the world, with their sweets, candy, and similar options becoming staples in homes.
There is a long list of gluten-free candy made by the company available on their site, and we’re going to link to it here. This is a great resource if you’re considering eating any Hershey’s products at any time since it allows you to make sure things are as safe as possible.
A great example of the Hershey’s foods that are safe for gluten-free people is Reese’s assorted options. Reese’s peanut butter cups are the most famous, but there’s a whole suite of Reese’s products, almost all of which are gluten-free, aside from seasonal iterations of these candies, which cannot be guaranteed to be gluten-free.
Check out our Reeses chocolate hamper!
Compared to Hershey’s, Mars’ approach to sharing the gluten content of its food can seem a little frustrating at first glance. Rather than publishing a list with nutritional information on their site, they instead make sure to label any of their products that might contain gluten clearly - it’s all about the nutritional info on the packaging here.
To make things a little easier for you, we’re going to share a quick list here of the Mars chocolate products which are totally gluten-free:
- 3 Musketeers bars
- M&Ms (aside from the pretzel, crispy and holiday varieties)
- Milky Way Midnight and Caramel bars
- Dove products (aside from Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Graham and Cookies and Cream varieties)
- Snickers bars
As a general rule of thumb: if the product isn’t on this list, it likely contains gluten. To be as sure as possible, however, we urge you to carefully read the label, where Mars will state whether the product is gluten-free or not.
Interestingly, some of Nestle’s offerings have been through the entire testing procedure from the FDA to guarantee that they’re gluten-free candy. This means that there are fewer than twenty parts per million of gluten protein or derivatives in these products.
Aside from those options, there are some candies produced by Nestle that are produced in the same space and with the same tools as the gluten-containing candies, making them unsafe for some people out there.
Here is a list of Nestle candy that is certified gluten-free:
- Baby Ruth
- Butterfinger (original flavor only)
- Milk chocolate
- Nips, both regular and sugar-free
- Oh Henry!
- Wonka Pixy Stix
- Laffy Taffy
Nestle follows in Mars’ footsteps with the careful labeling of gluten-containing ingredients. To that end, we would suggest reading each and every Nestle label carefully to ensure that you avoid gluten wherever possible.
In a huge, sweeping win for people that live gluten-free, all of the candy that this company sells is entirely gluten-free! This is truly something wonderful for gluten-free candy lovers.
Additionally, the equipment upon which the candy is made has never processed or touched any gluten-containing ingredients, such as barley or rye. This means that all of their products are entirely safe for consumption by gluten-free people. If you see the tootsie logo, you’re good to go!
Smarties are the second in our little string of wins here - they’re also entirely gluten-free! All of the candy that the smarties company produces are completely gluten-free, which makes like rather a lot easier.
All of the products themselves are gluten-free, and they’re made in facilities that are assured of having a very low chance of cross-contamination. The only real exception to this rule is smarties gummies: these are made from gluten-free ingredients, but the problem is that the factory is also used to process wheat. Therefore, to be as safe as possible, avoid smarties gummies.
To be doubly sure that the candy you’re eating is gluten-free, look for a UPC number on the packaging. If that number begins with ‘011206’, then you’ve got the green light. That short code means that the product has been prepared in a factory that exclusively makes gluten-free products.
Wrigley break from trend here, saying that their products may contain gluten, though the majority of the products are gluten-free. This odd and weasel-like statement hides a very simple truth: the recipe for their assorted snacks changes depending upon where the snacks are made. This makes a lot of sense, really: some ingredients are more plentiful in some regions than others.
Check the label to be sure whether or not a Wrigley product is gluten-free.
According to the label, the following Wrigley options are entirely gluten-free:
- Altoids (except minis and chocolate-covered iterations)
- Big Red gum
- Creme Savers
- Doublemint Gum
- Eclipse Gums
- Extra gums
- Hubba Bubba gum
- Juicy Fruit Gum
- Life Savers
- Orbit gums
You might be a little surprised to learn this, as we were when we did the research for this article: jelly belly makes more than jelly beans! If this isn’t a surprise, then we humbly bow to your candy knowledge.
Jelly belly makes a wide range of jelly beans, of course, in a range of different flavours. With all the variety, you’d be forgiven for thinking that at least some of them must contain gluten. Somehow: not so!
Every single jelly bean that jelly belly produce is completely gluten-free, as well as handily being peanut-free, dairy-free, fat-free, and vegetarian friendly.
However, as we mentioned before, jelly belly makes more than just beans! The following jelly belly candies contain gluten, so be a little wary of them:
- Chocolate Malt Balls
- Bridge Mix
- Black Licorice Buttons
- Licorice Pastels
Necco is a wonderfully long-established company, with its first candy being produced in 1847. That’s an awfully long time ago, which means that a lot of their candy has faded into pop culture popularity without making too much of an impression on most people.
The place that you’re most likely to know them from is the little hearts that you get on Valentine’s day, which have cute sayings on them. These are also sometimes called sweethearts or love hearts, depending upon where you’re buying them.
Necco’s site has a long list showing you which products are gluten-free, which is wonderfully handy for a situation such as this one. We’ve taken the liberty of taking a look at this list so that we can share the following gluten-free options with you:
- Necco Wafers
- Necco Chocolate Wafers
- Candy Buttons
- Canada Mints and Canada Wintergreen
- Mary Jane
- Banana Splits Chews
- Mint Julep Chews
- Haviland Thin Mints
- Haviland Wintergreen Patty
- Sky Bar
- Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
The Ferrara Candy Company makes some lovely candy, though the actual reality of their helpfulness with gluten-free candy options is quite frustrating. There is no allergen list on their site since, according to them, ‘changes that may occur in the manufacturing and packaging environments’ could affect the gluten content of any of their candy.
With that said, here are the candies in their range that don’t have any gluten in their ingredients list:
- Assorted Candy Canes
- Atomic Fireballs
- Boston Baked Beans
- Branch’s Candy Corn
- Cinnamon Disks
- Conversation Hearts
- Lemon Drops
- Cherry Sours
- Jelly Beans
- Juju and Jujy
- Lemonheads (specifically the Tropical Chewy, Chewy, Berry Chewy, Cherryheads, and Grapeheads options)
- Now & Later
- Red Hots
To be sure of the gluten content, check on the ingredients list to see if any gluten-containing ingredients are listed. However, these candies may be cross-contaminated during manufacturing and packaging. We’d recommend steering clear of these options if you’re exceptionally sensitive.
Just Born, as with a number of companies on this list, is a company that we hadn’t heard of before writing this article. However, we had heard of their most famous product: peeps!
A great number of their products are gluten-free, with the company altering their packaging over time to be sure that the labeling reflects this as clearly as possible. Always check the label on these products since they’re made in several locations, and the gluten content can change with different methods and locations.
Here are some gluten-free options from Just Born:
- Hot Tamales (except liquorice bites)
- Just Born Jelly Beans
- Peanut Chews (except original dark)
- Peeps (except rainbow pops)
- Teenee Beanee Jelly Beans
With all of these companies, we would urge you to read the label on the back of the pack to make sure that something is gluten-free, even if we’ve featured it here. It may seem a little overcautious, but it’s good practice to ensure your safety as much as possible.