Are Kraft brand caramels gluten-free?

Kraft caramels are a popular candy brand that has been around for decades. Many people enjoy the chewy, sweet, buttery taste of these caramels. However, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, an important question arises: are Kraft caramels gluten-free?

The short answer is yes, Kraft caramels are considered gluten-free. Kraft states that their original caramels contain no wheat, barley, rye, or gluten ingredients. This makes them a safe candy option for those following a gluten-free diet.

Below we’ll take a deeper look at:

  • The ingredients in Kraft caramels
  • How Kraft processes their caramels
  • Precautions for severe gluten sensitivity
  • Other allergen information for Kraft caramels

Understanding these details can help consumers make informed choices about whether Kraft caramels will fit into a gluten-free lifestyle.

Ingredients in Kraft Caramels

When determining if a food product is gluten-free, checking the ingredients label is an important first step. Here are the main ingredients found in Kraft Original Caramels:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Sweetened condensed skim milk
  • Nonfat milk
  • Palm oil
  • Whey
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Mono and diglycerides
  • Soy lecithin
  • Salt

As you can see, the ingredient list does not contain any wheat, barley, rye or malt – which are the main sources of gluten. The caramels are made using dairy ingredients, sugar, corn syrup and various natural flavors and stabilizers. This suggests the caramels are likely safe for gluten-free diets.

However, it’s also important to consider how the caramels are processed and manufactured. Cross-contamination can sometimes occur during processing even when the ingredients themselves are gluten-free.

How Kraft Processes Caramels

In addition to checking ingredients, understanding manufacturing processes is key for gluten-free consumers. Even if a product doesn’t contain gluten ingredients, cross-contamination during manufacturing can result in the presence of trace amounts of gluten.

Kraft states that their caramels are produced on shared equipment also used for other Kraft products that contain wheat and milk as ingredients. However, the company indicates that all equipment is routinely and thoroughly cleaned between production runs. Kraft also confirms that the caramels do not contain any wheat or wheat derivatives.

This rigorous cleaning regimen helps avoid cross-contamination between products. Kraft’s allergen statement provides added assurance to concerned consumers:

“Kraft Caramels are labeled as gluten-free to indicate that there is no gluten intentionally added and that appropriate procedures are in place to avoid cross-contamination.”

So while equipment is shared, Kraft seems to follow best practices to minimize cross-contamination risks. This makes it very unlikely that gluten cross-contact would occur during manufacturing.

Precautions for Severe Gluten Sensitivity

For people with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity, extra precautions around shared equipment may be advised. Even tiny traces of gluten that are unlikely to affect most gluten-free consumers could trigger symptoms and intestinal damage for those who are highly sensitive.

People with celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet and limit potential exposure to traces of gluten. For these individuals, choosing caramels produced in a completely gluten-free facility may be the safest option. Several brands of gourmet caramels today produce their sweets in dedicated gluten-free facilities.

That said, the vast majority of people following a gluten-free diet should be able to safely enjoy Kraft caramels as labeled based on their ingredients and manufacturing processes. Individuals should check their own level of sensitivity and comfort level when making choices.

Other Allergens in Kraft Caramels

In addition to being gluten-free, Kraft caramels are free from the following common allergens:

  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy

However, the caramels do contain dairy as an ingredient. The sweetened condensed skim milk and nonfat milk make these caramels unsuitable for people with dairy/milk allergies or vegans. Palm oil is also present – consumers with palm oil sensitivities may wish to avoid.

Those with any food allergy should always carefully read entire ingredients labels before consuming any product. For additional allergen and nutrition information, Kraft’s website provides complete details on all their candy products including the caramels.


Based on the ingredients list, manufacturing processes, and information direct from Kraft, their classic caramels can be considered gluten-free. They contain no wheat, barley, rye or gluten-based ingredients. While equipment is shared with other products, Kraft employs strict allergen control procedures.

Most gluten-free consumers should be able to safely enjoy Kraft caramels. However, people with celiac disease or severe sensitivities may want to exercise extra caution and choose brands manufactured in dedicated gluten-free facilities when possible. All consumers should read ingredients labels carefully, being aware that Kraft caramels contain dairy and are not vegan.

So in answer to the original question “Are Kraft caramels gluten-free?” – the answer appears to be yes, with the proper precautions taken for those with severe gluten sensitivities or allergies. Kraft caramels can be a tasty gluten-free candy option for many to enjoy as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet.


[1] Kraft Heinz, “Kraft Caramels”

[2] Kraft Heinz, “FAQ”

[3] Celiac Disease Foundation, “What is Celiac Disease?”

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