Archive for Candy
I’ve always been a fan of Jelly Belly jellybeans. And once we started the gluten-free diet, I was happy to find out that they are gluten-free. But, I noticed some Jelly Belly candy online the other day that didn’t look gluten-free, so I decided to do some research. After contacting the company about their candies, I got the following response:
“The only products we manufacture that contain gluten are listed below. All other Jelly Belly products, including Jelly Belly Beans, are Gluten free.
The following items contain Gluten:
Chocolate Malt Balls
Christmas Chocolate Malt Balls
Christmas Deluxe Mix
Classic Candies Gift Box
Classic Licorice Gift Box
Deluxe Easter Mix
Deluxe Halloween Mix
Licorice Bridge Mix
Speckled Chocolate Malted Eggs“
*****Product Update Feb. 2010 This year I found just the opposite of this post (originally posted Feb. 2009). The packages I found this year of Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (both in individual boxes and bags) did not have the allergy information statement they did last year, so they appear to be safe. However, the Wonka SweeTart Conversation Hearts did have this statement on the packages I found this year: “Made in a facility that also processes egg and wheat.” So, I have moved the SweetTart Conversation Hearts to the Unsafe Valentine Candy List.*****
Today I was reminded why it is so important to continue reading labels! After almost four years on the gluten-free diet, I feel like I know what products have gluten and which ones don’t. I’ve read labels, called companies, and checked websites numerous times. As I stated in my post on Jan. 27 I considered Brach’s Conversation Heart candy to be unsafe for Celiacs, but Necco Sweetheart valentine candy to be gluten-free. There is nothing in the ingredient list for Necco’s to indicate it contains gluten and the Necco website states: “We make the following products which do not contain gluten from wheat, rye, oats or barley: Necco Wafers, Mary Janes, Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (Valentines only), Canada Mint & Wintergreen Lozenges, Haviland Thin Mints and Candy Stix….”
So, I was surprised when I went to buy them for my daughter’s preschool class today and saw the following statement on the back of the bag of Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts: “ALLERGY INFORMATION: This product is made in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, oats, soy and milk.”
We’ve never gotten sick from eating Necco candy, but we aren’t as sensitive to gluten as some Celiacs are. It doesn’t appear that they’ve changed the ingredients, which I still believe to be gluten-free. So, why did they change the labeling? Did they actually change manufacturing plants? Or, is this just a way to avoid possible future lawsuits? Whichever, I’m disappointed. And just to be safe, I won’t be giving them to my kids. This year, they’ll be getting Wonka’s SweetTart Conversation Hearts, which ARE gluten free. Not exactly the same, but still a very tasty candy.
When shopping for gluten-free valentine candy, don’t buy Brach’s brand. Brach’s and their parent company Farley’s & Sathers do not consider any of their products to be gluten-free due to cross-contamination issues and changes to their manufacturing and packaging processes.
Find the Necco brand conversation hearts instead. According to the Necco web site they make the following products which do not contain gluten from wheat, rye, oats or barley: , Mary Janes, Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (Valentines only), Canada Mint & Wintergreen Lozenges, Haviland Thin Mints and Candy Stix. (In addition, Clark Bars, Skybars, Haviland Peppermint & Wintergreen Patties, Necco Candy Eggs (Easter), Talking Pumpkins (Halloween), Squirrel Nut Caramels and Squirrel Nut Zippers, Banana Split and Mint Julep Chews, ULTRAMINTS are also gluten free.)
*****Product Update Feb. 2009***** You may want to reconsider buying Necco Conversation Hearts. The following allergy statement on the back of the bag of Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts reads: “ALLERGY INFORMATION: This product is made in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, oats, soy and milk.”
*****Product Update Feb. 2010*****The packages (individual boxes and bag) of these Sweetheart Conversation Hearts did not have the Allergy Information statement on them this year. However, you may still find some with the statement from last year in discount stores. Check out the Valentine Candy List for information on other gluten-free candy.