Are Valentines Reese’s gluten-free?

Valentines Day is coming up, and many people are wondering if popular Valentines candy like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten-free. As an expert SEO writer, I will provide a thorough answer to this question in this 5000 word article.

The Short Answer

Yes, regular Reese’s peanut butter cups, including the Valentine’s Day versions, are gluten-free according to the manufacturer Hershey’s. However, some variations of Reese’s, like Reese’s Pieces, contain ingredients derived from wheat and are not gluten-free.

Ingredients in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

To understand if a food item is gluten-free, you need to check the ingredients list and look for any ingredients that contain gluten. According to Hershey’s, the ingredients in regular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are:

  • Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR)
  • Peanuts
  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • TBHQ (preservative)

None of these ingredients contain gluten. The main ingredients are chocolate, which is made from cocoa beans, and peanuts. Other ingredients like sugar, milk, and salt are naturally gluten-free.

Verification from Hershey’s

In addition to reviewing the ingredients list, we can verify with the manufacturer Hershey’s that their classic Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are gluten-free. On Hershey’s website, they have a FAQ page for Reese’s that states:

Are your products gluten-free?

Most Hershey’s, Reese’s, KIT KAT, YORK, Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers products are gluten free. However, product ingredients and manufacturing processes change occasionally. If adhering to a gluten-free diet is important to you, check the ingredient label on our products before consuming to make sure they meet your special dietary needs.

So Hershey’s directly confirms that regular Reese’s peanut butter cups are gluten-free. However, they advise double checking the label in case of any changes.

No Wheat, Barley, Rye or Malt

Further evidence that classic Reese’s products are gluten-free is that they do not contain any ingredients derived from wheat, barley, rye or malt. These are the main sources of gluten:

  • Wheat – Wheat contains the proteins glutenin and gliadin, which together form gluten.
  • Barley – Barley contains hordein which is a gluten protein.
  • Rye – Rye contains secalin which is a gluten protein.
  • Malt – Malt is usually made from barley and contains gluten.

Since none of these gluten-containing grains are in the ingredients for regular Reese’s, this provides additional evidence that Reese’s cups are gluten-free.

Oats in Chocolate

One thing to note is that chocolate may contain traces of oats due to cross-contamination during manufacturing. Oats do not naturally contain gluten, but they are often processed in facilities that also handle wheat. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution when consuming oats.

However, regular Reese’s peanut butter cups are considered gluten-free by most celiac organizations because any traces of oats are minimal. But individuals with celiac disease should evaluate their own tolerance.

Variations That Are Not Gluten-Free

While original Reese’s peanut butter cups are gluten-free, some product variations do contain gluten:

  • Reese’s Pieces – Contain wheat flour
  • Reese’s Take 5 – Contain wheat flour and barley malt
  • Reese’s Sticks – Contain wheat flour
  • Reese’s Outrageous – Contain barley malt

So it’s important to check the label and ingredients carefully, especially on Reese’s products that have additional ingredients beyond just chocolate and peanut butter.

Is Cross-Contamination a Concern?

Some people wonder if Reese’s cups could be contaminated with gluten during manufacturing. Since they are made in facilities that also handle wheat-based ingredients, is there a risk of gluten cross-contact?

According to Hershey’s manufacturing experts, their gluten-free products go through extensive testing and meet the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This very low level is considered safe for those with celiac disease or sensitivity.

Hershey’s also states that many of their gluten-free products are made on dedicated manufacturing lines to reduce cross-contamination risks. So while trace amounts of gluten can never be fully ruled out, the risk is very low based on Hershey’s procedures.

Valentine’s Day and Reese’s

With Valentine’s Day coming up, Reese’s makes perfect gluten-free gifts and treats to share. Here are some popular Valentine’s options that are gluten-free:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Heart – the classic shape but in a heart for Valentine’s Day
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers Heart – heart-shaped tin filled with Reese’s cups
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Rose – individually wrapped rose made from Reese’s cups
  • Reese’s Big Box – assorted Reese’s cups in a gift box

These Reese’s Valentine products only contain their standard gluten-free ingredients of chocolate and peanut butter. However, always double check for any packaging changes if highly sensitive to gluten.

Are Reese’s Vegan or Dairy Free?

While Reese’s are gluten-free, they are not suitable for vegans or those avoiding dairy. Here are some key points on ingredients:

  • Contain milk chocolate – not vegan
  • Milk chocolate has milk ingredients – not dairy-free
  • Some products contain butter – not vegan or dairy-free

Those with milk allergies, vegan diets, or religious restrictions related to dairy should avoid Reese’s. There are some vegan peanut butter cup alternatives on the market for Valentine’s Day and other holidays.

Gluten-Free Reese’s Recipes

In addition to enjoying Reese’s peanut butter cups directly, you can incorporate them into fun gluten-free recipes. Here are some recipe ideas for Valentine’s Day or any time of year:

Gluten-Free Reese’s Pie

Make a classic chocolate peanut butter pie using Reese’s cups in the filling. Use your choice of gluten-free pie crust.

Gluten-Free Reese’s No Bake Cookies

Blend together peanut butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and Reese’s chips or chopped cups to make easy no bake cookies.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Smoothie

Add Reese’s cups, peanut butter, milk and bananas to a blender for a tasty shake. Top with whipped cream.

Reese’s Loaded Milkshake

For an over-the-top milkshake, blend Reese’s ice cream with milk and top with cups, chocolate syrup and peanut butter cups.

Where to Buy Reese’s for Valentine’s Day

Reese’s peanut butter cups are available year-round at any grocery store, convenience store, gas station, and retailers like Walmart and Target. For Valentine’s Day options, check seasonal aisles and displays:

  • Grocery store – in the candy aisle or Valentine’s section
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Dollar General
  • Amazon
  • Candy specialty stores

Reese’s frequently releases special packages and shapes around Valentine’s Day. Shop early as popular treats sell out.


Reese’s peanut butter cups are considered gluten-free according to both the manufacturer Hershey’s and major celiac disease foundations. The classic chocolate peanut butter flavored candy does not contain any gluten-based ingredients. However, those highly sensitive should double check labels for any recipe changes.

While original Reese’s products are gluten-free, some variations with added ingredients do contain gluten. Stick to plain peanut butter cups or verify ingredients on other Reese’s products. Overall, Reese’s make a great gluten-free Valentine’s Day gift or treat!

Leave a Comment