Cadbury Creme Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs are an incredibly popular Easter candy, but are Cadbury eggs gluten-free? Find out if this classic Easter treat is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
About Cadbury Eggs
The first Cadbury Easter egg was produced in England in 1875. They were made with dark chocolate and filled with sugar coated chocolate drops, called dragees. The creme eggs we know today didn't hit the shelves until 1971. The Hershey Company acquired the Cadbury name in 1988 and has been producing the chocolate ever since.
If you're on a gluten-free diet though, you may wonder if these treats are safe to eat! Let's dig in and find out!
Are Cadbury Eggs Gluten-Free?
At the time of posting, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and Cadbury Caramel Eggs do not contain any gluten ingredients.
While they do not have the Hershey's "gluten free" label on the package, this does not necessarily mean they are unsafe to eat for someone who is strictly gluten-free. It just means that the product has not gone through the extra step of internal testing and validation by Hershey's to put the label on the package.
Hershey's states the product labels include an accurate, current listing of the ingredients in each product. Consumers should take a careful look to determine product safety.
What Does Hershey's Say?
I have reached out to Hershey's multiple times for clarification on this and similar topics because there is so much conflicting information online. Each time Hershey's response is similar to this:
"Thanks for contacting The Hershey Company about gluten-free labeling. We would like to explain that we have robust programs in place for products that make gluten free claims and the ingredients that go into those products. Even if products meet the regulatory definition of gluten free, we do not market items with a gluten free claim unless the claim has been substantiated under our internal program."
They went on to elaborate:
"Please keep in mind, this list is not all-inclusive, as we have other products that do not have any gluten-containing ingredients. The best way to determine if our products contain gluten ingredients is to read our product label. This label includes an accurate, current listing of the ingredients in our products. Because on occasion, the list of ingredients can change, we strongly encourage you to check the ingredient label on the package each time before you make a purchase."
So basically, they admit they have more products that are gluten-free but they are not labeled as such simply because they have not tested them in accordance with their internal validation procedures.
And another response, when I asked for further clarification about products without gluten ingredients and not labeled gluten-free:
"We do understand how important accurate labeling is for gluten-free claims. We know that consumers with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or those with a preference to avoid gluten depend on these claims, which is why we take them very seriously.
This is why we have strict criteria for making any gluten-free claim. In addition to our robust food safety procedures for all products, products that bear the gluten-free claim have an additional layer of requirements to substantiate the claim. This means that whenever you see the gluten-free claim on our packages and/or listed on our website, you can be assured that these products have gone through this additional internal testing and verification criteria.
Although there are products that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients and would meet the FDA definition of gluten free (which does not require testing), we do not use the claim unless the product has been subjected to our strict verification procedures."
You might wonder about the risk of cross-contamination. Hershey's addressed that as well:
"We would also like to explain that Hershey does not automatically add statements for shared facility or shared equipment as a default practice.
Hershey uses voluntary allergen labeling statements (e.g., “Manufactured on the same equipment that processes…”) to provide meaningful information and thus reflect a real potential for sporadic, low-level cross contact despite following our robust procedures and controls."
So Hershey's tells us they use the voluntary "may contain" statements to provide useful information. If you see a statement that says processed in a facility with wheat or made on the same equipment as wheat, that is Hershey's telling you that there is a potential for cross contact.
If the statement is not there, either the product is made in a separate facility or Hershey's does not have a concern for allergen carry over due to their robust procedures in place.
Hershey's Gluten-Free Protocols
The statement below is from the Hershey company website, found on their gluten-free page reiterates what they sent me via email:
"The best way to determine if our products contain a gluten ingredient is to read our product label. This label includes an accurate, current listing of the ingredients in our products. Because, on occasion, the list of ingredients can change, we strongly encourage you to check the ingredient label on the package each time before you make a purchase."
Hershey's Allergen Protocols
On their allergen page, Hershey's again states it's best to read labels for the most accurate information:
"The best way to determine if a product contains an allergenic ingredient is to read our product label. When a product contains a major allergen, it is listed as an ingredient—the label includes an accurate, current listing of ingredients in the product."
They also had this to say about cross-contact:
"As a company, we have strict procedures in place to prevent crossover of allergens into other products that do not contain the allergen. In instances where we have a concern about possible cross contact of an allergen, we will include precautionary allergen labeling, such as "Manufactured on the same equipment that processes..."
Again, Hershey's uses allergen statements to relay useful information, not just as blanket statements.
Ingredients in Cadbury Eggs
Note: The below ingredient information was taken from the Cadbury website and was accurate at the time of posting. The same information applies to the large eggs and smaller eggs. Always check labels before purchasing, as ingredients can change.
Cadbury Mini Eggs Ingredient List
Milk Chocolate Sugar (Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Lactose, Lecithin, PGPR , Natural Flavor , Artificial Flavor) Sugar Contains 2% or Less of: Cornstarch, Gum Acacia, Corn Syrup, Artificial Color (Yellow 5, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 2, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40), Milk Fat, Invert Sugar, Skim Milk, Artificial Flavor, Baking Soda, Salt.
Allergens listed: Contains Milk, Soy, Yellow #5.
Cadbury Creme Eggs Ingredient List
Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Milk Fat, Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains 2% or Less of:, Artificial Flavor, Calcium Chloride, Egg Whites, Artificial Color, Yellow 6.
Allergens listed: Contains Milk, Soy, and Eggs. Made in Shared Facility with Peanuts and Tree Nuts.
Cadbury Caramel Eggs Ingredient List
Milk Chocolate, Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Milk Fat, Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Contains 2% or Less of: Sodium Carbonate, Salt, Lecithin, Artificial Flavor.
Allergens listed: Contains Milk, Soy. Shared equipment with Eggs. Shared facility with peanuts and tree nuts.
According to the current information available, Cadbury eggs are free of gluten-containing ingredients. If the Easter bunny happens to put these treats in your Easter basket, they are likely safe to consume, provided a double check of the label.
- According to Hershey's, you can trust the label for the most accurate information.
- Just because an item doesn't have the gluten-free label, does not necessarily mean it's unsafe. Always check the label for gluten ingredients or allergen statements of concern and make a decision from there.
- Hershey's claims to have robust allergen protocols in place with strict protocols to avoid carryover of allergens into other products.
- They have a strict internal validation process in order to make gluten-free claims, which is why not every product that could be labeled gluten-free is labeled as such.
- If you still feel unsure, you're always welcome to only consume products with gluten-free claims, but you may be missing out on some items that are actually safe to eat.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out these similar resources:
No. Cadbury creme eggs, mini eggs, and caramel eggs are all free of gluten-containing ingredients. Always check labels to ensure nothing has changed.
Yes. Cadbury eggs are safe to eat as they do not contain gluten. Always double-check labels to ensure nothing has changed.
Hershey's states that the most up to date and accurate information can be found on the product label. At this time, none of the Cadbury Easter products contain gluten-ingredients.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is the personal opinion of the author and is not medical or nutritional advice. Please consult a doctor or medical professional before making changes to your diet or regarding any health related decisions. Ingredient information was accurate at the time of posting but should always be verified by the consumer by checking the product ingredient label for the most up to date information.