Are Annie’s Bunnies gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical or lifestyle reasons. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten-free is a necessity, while others simply prefer to avoid gluten. As the demand for gluten-free products has grown, food manufacturers have responded by producing more gluten-free options. Annie’s Homegrown, known for their macaroni and cheese and snack products, launched a line of gluten-free bunny crackers in 2014. But are Annie’s Bunnies really gluten-free? Let’s take a closer look.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. It acts as a glue that helps foods maintain their shape and texture. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the small intestine. Even small amounts of gluten can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and fatigue in sensitive individuals. The only treatment for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is adhering to a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free labeling regulations

In order for a product to be labeled as “gluten-free” in the United States, it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This threshold was established based on research showing that the majority of those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can tolerate these very low levels of gluten without reacting. Products that contain between 20 and 100 ppm can be labeled as “very low gluten,” while those over 100 ppm cannot make any gluten-free claims. These labeling regulations help consumers with gluten-related disorders identify products that are safe for them to consume.

Are Annie’s Bunnies gluten-free?

According to the product packaging and Annie’s website, Annie’s Bunnies are certified gluten-free to less than 20 ppm. This means they contain trace amounts of gluten that fall under the FDA threshold to be considered gluten-free. Annie’s states that their facilities are free of wheat, rye, barley and triticale, and they follow rigorous protocols to avoid cross-contamination with gluten. All ingredients and finished products are routinely tested to ensure they remain below 20 ppm of gluten.

Ingredients in Annie’s Bunnies

Annie’s Bunnies crackers are made with just a handful of simple ingredients:

  • Rice flour
  • Rice bran
  • Cane sugar
  • Rice syrup solids
  • Sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • Natural flavors
  • Vegetable juice (for color)
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

All of these ingredients are gluten-free, so there is no gluten intentionally added. The “natural flavors” are proprietary, but companies are required to declare if they contain any major food allergens like wheat. Since Annie’s does not list wheat or gluten as an ingredient or allergen, the natural flavors can be assumed gluten-free.

Manufacturing process

In addition to using gluten-free ingredients, Annie’s takes careful precautions during manufacturing to prevent cross-contamination with gluten:

– Facilities are dedicated gluten-free with rigorous cleaning protocols
– Separate equipment is used only for gluten-free production
– Employees follow thorough hand washing and glove change procedures
– Extensive product testing is conducted

By following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and implementing Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), Annie’s minimizes the risk of gluten cross-contact.

Third party testing

Annie’s Bunnies are sent to an independent third-party laboratory to verify their gluten-free status. The products are tested using the R5 ELISA test, which is designed to detect the presence of gluten from wheat, rye, barley and hybrid grains like triticale. This highly sensitive test can accurately detect down to 5-10 ppm of gluten. Receiving third-party certification provides added assurance to consumers that Annie’s Bunnies test below 20 ppm and meet the FDA gluten-free standard.

Are they safe for celiacs?

For most people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, Annie’s Bunnies should be safe to consume in moderation as part of a gluten-free diet. The vast majority of celiacs can tolerate oats containing less than 20 ppm of gluten. However, it’s important to note that celiac disease affects people differently. Some celiacs are highly sensitive and require diets with absolutely no detectable gluten. For these individuals, even gluten levels under 20 ppm could potentially trigger symptoms or damage to the small intestine. They may want to avoid products that contain any traces of gluten, including Annie’s Bunnies. Those with celiac disease should consult their healthcare team when deciding if gluten-free labeled products will fit their dietary needs.

Risk of cross-contamination

While Annie’s goes to great lengths to prevent cross-contamination in their facilities, there is always some risk of trace gluten exposure. Cross-contamination can occur if a few crumbs from a gluten-containing food get into the gluten-free product. This could happen during manufacturing on shared equipment, or later during packaging, storing or transportation. Some celiacs react to gluten levels so low they cannot be detected by current testing methods. For very sensitive individuals trying to avoid any exposure to gluten, cross-contamination is a concern to keep in mind with all packaged “gluten-free” products.

Other options

For those who cannot tolerate any trace gluten and wish to avoid the uncertainty of packaged foods, other options include:

  • Selecting whole, unprocessed gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts and legumes
  • Preparing meals at home using naturally gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet and certified gluten-free oats
  • Seeking out specialty bakeries that prepare gluten-free items in-house in dedicated gluten-free facilities

Focusing on fresh, single-ingredient foods reduces the risk of gluten exposure compared to eating processed products.


Here are the key takeaways about Annie’s Bunnies gluten-free status:

  • Annie’s Bunnies are certified gluten-free to less than 20 ppm and labeled gluten-free according to FDA regulations
  • Only gluten-free ingredients are used, with rigorous processes to avoid cross-contamination
  • Independent third-party testing verifies Annie’s Bunnies are below 20 ppm of gluten
  • For most celiacs, Annie’s Bunnies should be safe to consume in moderation as part of a gluten-free diet
  • A small portion of highly sensitive celiacs may still react to trace levels under 20 ppm
  • There is always some potential risk of cross-contamination with packaged gluten-free products

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should work with their healthcare team to determine their personal tolerance thresholds. While Annie’s Bunnies take appropriate steps to minimize gluten, individuals have to weigh the risks versus benefits of consuming packaged gluten-free foods. Checking with manufacturers, reading labels carefully and being aware of cross-contamination risks help consumers make informed choices.


Based on their thorough efforts to prevent gluten exposure, Annie’s Bunnies crackers can be considered gluten-free to less than 20 ppm according to FDA standards. Annie’s rigorously controls for cross-contamination and confirms the gluten-free status through independent testing. For the majority of gluten-sensitive individuals, Annie’s Bunnies present a tasty gluten-free snacking option that can likely be consumed safely in moderation. However, celiacs with higher sensitivity should use caution and consult their healthcare team when deciding if trace amounts of gluten could be problematic. Those seeking to eliminate uncertainty about exposure to gluten may prefer natural, unprocessed foods over packaged products. While no food is 100% guaranteed gluten-free, Annie’s Bunnies strive to provide a high-quality gluten-free snacking option for most members of the gluten-free community. Still, each individual must determine their personal level of comfort with trace amounts of gluten and make choices appropriate for their health needs.

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