Are Reese's Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups vegan? Reese's Pieces, manufactured by the Hershey Company, are one of the most popular candies of all time. The sweet peanut buttery candies with the crunchy shell are a favorite of peanut butter lovers. But are Reese's Pieces vegan? How about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Let's check out the ingredients which can be found on the Hersheyland website.
Reese's Pieces Ingredients: Sugar, Partially Defatted Peanuts, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel Oil, Soybean Oil), Corn Syrup Solids, Dextrose, Contains 2% or Less of: Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Salt, Confectioner's Glaze, Modified Cornstarch, Lecithin, Artificial Color (Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake), Vanillin, Carnauba Wax, Milk.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients: Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Skim Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, Lecithin, PGPR), Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, TBHQ, Citric Acid.
Unfortunately, Reese's Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups contain milk and Reese's Pieces also contain confectioner's glaze which are non-vegan ingredients.
What is Confectioner's Glaze?
But what is confectioner's glaze and why isn't it vegan? According to tasteforlife.com, "Confectioner's glaze, also known as pharmaceutical glaze, is used by numerous candy companies to add a shiny, smooth finish on their products. It's made using shellac, but shellac is made of bug secretions" from the lac bug. It's a lot more appetizing for a company to list confectioner's glaze instead of lac bug secretions. Want to learn more about confectioner's glaze? Click HERE to read more about it.
Other Reese’s Products and Candies
Reese's Pieces aren't the only Reese's products made by Hershey's. There are MANY other Reese's candies and products...over 100 different kinds. Let's check out the list below to see the products and if any of them are vegan. Note: I didn't include every type of the "same" candy. For example, there are peanut butter eggs, peanut butter pumpkins, peanut butter trees etc. I just included one form of each.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Big Cup
- Reese's Big Cup Peanut Brittle
- Reese's Big Cup Stuffed with Crunchy Cookie
- Reese's Big Cup with Potato Chips
- Reese's Big Cup with Pretzels
- Reese's Blossom-Top Miniatures
- Reese's Chocolate Lovers Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Crunchers
- Reese's Crunchy Peanut
- Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Dipped Pretzels Milk Chocolate
- Reese's Dipped Pretzels Dark Chocolate
- Reese's Miniatures
- Reese's White Creme Miniatures
- Reese's Fast Break
- Reese's Franken-Cup
- Reese's Glow in the Dark Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's White Creme Ghosts
- Reese's Peanut Brittle Miniatures
- Reese's Mallow-Top Marshmallow Creme Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Eggs
- Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Mix
- Reese's Take 5
- Reese's Peanut Butter Bar
- Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Nutrageous Candy Bar
- Reese's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
- Reese's Pieces Eggs
- Reese's Pieces Shake & Break Milk Chocolate Egg
- Reese's Snack Bar
- Reese's Sticks
- Reese's Stuffed with Pieces Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Thins Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Thins Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Thins White Cream Peanut Butter Cups
- Reese's Zero Sugar Miniatures Peanut Butter Cups
Unfortunately, ALL of the Reese's cups and candies contain dairy products and do not fit in with a vegan diet. This also includes the dark chocolate varieties. Often, dark chocolate does not contain any milk products but these candies do.
Reese’s Vegan Options
All of the Reese's candies contain dairy products and aren't vegan. There are however a few Reese's products that are vegan. They are not candy though. Let's check out the ingredient list.
Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Shell Topping Ingredients: Sugar, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Cocoa, Peanut Oil, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavor
Reese's Peanut Butter Topping Ingredients: Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, Cornstarch, TBHQ (Preservative), Citric Acid (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS)
Reese's Peanut Butter Sauce Ingredients: Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Cottonseed, and Soybean Oil), Cornstarch.
These toppings and sauces do not contain any ingredients from animal products and are vegan!
Vegan Alternatives to Reese's Peanut Butter Candy
There are other chocolate and peanut butter candies that are similar to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that are vegan and contain more natural ingredients.
- UNREAL Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- UNREAL Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups
- Justin's Nut Butter Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups
These vegan options will make you forget all about Reese's!
Homemade Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
Want to make your own homemade peanut butter cups? They are easy to make. Check out Vegan Peanut Butter Cups by It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken to learn how to make your own in only twenty minutes. You'll only need the following ingredients plus muffin tin liners:
- peanut butter
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- vegan chocolate chips
Super Quick Chocolate and Peanut Butter Treats
If you're craving the amazing combination of chocolate and peanut butter, here are two options that take only minutes.
- Grab a spoonful of natural peanut butter and put some vegan chocolate chips on top.
- Make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Mug Cake. Ready in less than 5 minutes.
Is sugar vegan?
Some vegans worry about white sugar because of the use of bone char. According to Peta.org, "Bone char—often referred to as natural carbon—is widely used by the sugar industry as a decolorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve its desirable white color." So cane sugar doesn't technically contain any animal products. But, the desire for sugar to have a pure white color makes some companies use animals bones in the production of it. It's up to you whether or not you consume regular sugar.
Are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups gluten-free?
Good news! According to About Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, "All varieties of REESE'S peanut butter cups are gluten-free except for seasonally shaped items."
Who created Reese's Candies?
Harry Reese created Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in 1928. Other varieties came later.
Before I went vegan, Reese's Pieces and Reese’s Cups were my absolute most favorite candies. While I no longer eat the originals, there are vegan alternatives out there. There are also plenty of vegan chocolate and peanut butter desserts that satisfy the peanut butter cup cravings. You can also make your own vegan chocolate cups with peanut butter filling!
Wondering if other candies are vegan? Check out: