Are Reese’s Vegan? The Answer May Surprise You

Are Reese's Vegan?

Although Reese’s are best known for their Peanut Butter Cups, America has consumed all the other Reese’s products with just as much enthusiasm. The Peanut Butter Cups are absolutely delicious, and so are Reese’s Peanut Pieces, Crispy Crunchies, and Puffs. But are Reese’s vegan?

Unfortunately, your beloved Peanut Butter Cups are not vegan. Likewise, some of your other favorite products from Reese’s may not be vegan. We have elaborated upon the non-vegan constituents of each product.

Are Reese’s vegan? All Reese’s delicacies may not be vegan

Reese's peanut butter cups

Reese’s produce several heart-warming sweets that nobody wants to bid goodbye to. As fate has it, some products are vegan and some contain non-vegan ingredients.

Peanut Butter Cups

These utmost popular Peanut Butter Cups are not vegan. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups may be the absolute best, but they contain milk chocolate along with a few other dairy-based ingredients: milk fat and nonfat milk. Processed sugar and palm oil are controversial ingredients that are also a constituent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Reese’s Peanut Pieces

Unfortunately, the widely loved Reese’s Peanut Pieces are not vegan. This is because they contain whey and resinous glaze as ingredients. Whey is a milk product. The resinous glaze is also known as confectioner’s glaze.

You may have earlier assumed resinous glaze to be a plant-derived or artificially made ingredient. This is not true. An insect called Kerria Lacca is farmed for its bodily secretions. The collected secretions are filtered and refined to form a glaze that is widely used in caramel candies. 

Since insects are animals, this product cannot be classified as vegan. Although, not all vegans consider resinous glaze to be non-vegan.

These Peanut Pieces also contain some controversial ingredients: processed sugar, artificial colors (blue 1 lake, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, red 40 lake), and palm oil.

Reese’s Puffs

It is hard to tell whether Reese’s Puffs are vegan or not. They contain natural flavors as an ingredient. It is popularly known in the vegan community that natural flavors could be derived from both plant or animal sources. 

As the company hasn’t clarified the source of their natural flavors, it is difficult to assume they are vegan. Although, Reese’s Puffs don’t contain dairy products. The only controversial ingredient present is processed sugar.

Reese’s Crispy Crunchy

Reese’s Crispy Crunchy are clearly not vegan. The non-vegan ingredients include milk, whey, milk fat, and nonfat milk. As these are all dairy products, Reese’s Crispy Crunchy is not vegan.

Processed sugar and palm oil are the other problematic ingredients in this product.

Reese’s Sticks

Reese’s Sticks are not vegan because they contain dairy products: whey, milk, and milk fat. Environmentally conscious vegans may not like the presence of palm oil. Processed sugar is also an ingredient. 

Reese’s NutRageous

Reese’s NutRageous are not vegan because of the presence of whey, whey protein concentrate, sodium caseinate, and nonfat milk, which are all dairy-based ingredients.

Mono and diglycerides and processed sugar are the other doubtful ingredients in this product.

Reese’s Dark Peanut Butter Cups

Unsurprisingly, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also not vegan. The chocolate in these butter cups contains milk fat. The only other problematic ingredient is processed sugar.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Sauce

Lucky you. Reese’s Peanut Butter Sauce is completely vegan. There are no dairy or animal-derived ingredients in this delicious Peanut Butter Sauce. The only environmentally unsustainable ingredient in this product is palm oil.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Topping

This is good news. Reese’s Peanut Butter Topping is also vegan. No dairy or animals derived products are a constituent of this sauce. Processed sugar is the one slightly problematic ingredient. 

So far, the only vegan products by Reese’s are the Peanut Butter Topping and the Peanut Butter Sauce. 

A few problematic ingredients may define all of Reese’s Products as non-vegan

There are two problematic ingredients in the two apparently vegan varieties of Reese’s. Reese’s Peanut Butter Topping contains processed sugar while the Peanut Butter Sauce contains palm oil. If you’re wondering, these ingredients are essentially problematic.

We never know where the processed sugar in our food comes from

More than half of the sugar factories in America utilize bone char to filter and whiten their cane sugar. 

Bone char is a product derived by burning cattle bones at high temperatures until they become porous and absorbent. This high absorption property of bone char comes handy in whitening the originally brown cane sugar. 

Due to the ethically wrong method of sugar production, vegans are suspicious about the type of sugar in their food. 

It is possible that the sugar in Reese’s products has been filtered and processed by other means, but the lingering doubt makes many strict vegans avoid such products. 

Sugar is often derived from coconut and beetroot. Many factories now prefer to use granular activated carbon in the whitening process. 

On a personal note, we’d suggest you not worry about what type of sugar goes into factory-made food. This will have you make endless efforts without making any more impact. Total avoidance of meat, dairy, and eggs makes a very large impact. Focus on adhering to what brings maximum change.

Palm oil is environmentally unsustainable and unethical 

Technically, palm oil is obtained from plants. But this process is not simple. Vast areas of forest lands are cleared to cultivate palm plantations that suck the soil of all its nutrients in order to serve capitalist demands. 

Thousands of acres of non-replenishable rainforests in countries like Indonesia have been destroyed at a time when our planet is battling global warming. This has resulted in the loss of numerous endangered varieties of flora along with habitat loss for several wild animals. Palm plantations are solely responsible for pushing many species of wild animals into the endangered list.

Apart from deforestation, these plantations also contribute to global warming by releasing peat into the soil. Peat eventually makes the soil release methane which is another important greenhouse gas.

Get lucky with these Vegan Peanut Butter Cup alternatives

Being vegan comes with a responsibility to strictly avoid products derived from the exploitation of animals. This list strictly includes meat, eggs, and dairy. As most products by Reese’s are not vegan. It is important to consider other options that are vegan as well as delicious. 

Unreal Nut Butter Cups

Unreal Nut Butter Cups

There are three fantastic varieties of Unreal Butter Cups. These include:

  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

There are no dairy or animal-based ingredients in these irresistible butter cups. They are certified vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Along with this, Unreal Nut Butter Cups are also ethical. They are processed in factories that follow fair trade regulations.

Free2b Sun Cups

Free2b Sun Cups

Marveling in three varieties, Free2b Sun Cups are a safe and delectable vegan treat. While being perfectly vegan, they are also essentially free of all major allergens. They come in three flavorsome varieties:

  • Dark Chocolate Sun Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Mint Cups
  • Rice Chocolate Sun Cups 

There are no non-vegan or problematic ingredients in this product.

Justin’s Butter Cups

Justin’s Butter Cups

Justin’s offer tasty butter cups that are vegan friendly. The ingredient list suggests that there are no animal-based constituents in this product. 

But a small note on the packaging says “may contain traces of milk”, which only means that their butter cups may be processed on the same equipment that processes products containing milk. This implies that you should not consume them if you are allergic to dairy. 

Justin’s Butter Cups come in the following varieties:

  • Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups
  • Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

No Whey! Seed Butter Cups

No Whey! Seed Butter Cups

As the name suggests, this mouthwatering alternative to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups does not contain whey or any other dairy-based ingredient. The producers have incorporated sunflower butter instead of the usual peanut butter that many people tend to find allergic. This product is also supposed to be gluten-free. 

Go Max Go Butter Cups

Go Max Go’s completely vegan butter cups are peculiar in the sense that they are the only vegan butter cups in milk chocolate flavor. This is absolutely true. 

Their products specialize in not containing dairy, eggs, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, or cholesterol. Despite the complete absence of dairy, their two main flavors are:

  • Go Max Go Traditional Peanut Butter Cups
  • Go Max Go White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Go Max Go Butter Cups can be purchased at Vegan Essentials.

So is Reese’s Vegan? 

Most of the products offered by Reese’s are not vegan. The Peanut Butter Sauce and the Peanut Butter Topping are considerably vegan because they don’t contain animal and dairy-based products. The only problematic ingredients in these two items are processed sugar and palm oil which may only be avoided by stricter vegans.

Some vegans avoid Reese’s entirely because the company belongs to Hershey’s. It is known that Hershey’s utilizes milk-based ingredients in all their products. Stricter vegans are not in favor of letting a dairy dependent company earn profits through their alternative products. 

We personally recommend you to focus on being a perfect vegan by avoiding the essentially non-vegan foods and not making the lifestyle complicated.

Joe became a vegan after watching Cowspiracy. He always knew something was off with the way we consume animal products, but watching the documentary made him realized how bad it actually is. Joe is now making sure that every product he buys is 100% vegan!