This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be used as medical advice.
As one of the most popular candy bars on the planet, peanut and nougat filled Snickers products can be found at just about any grocery store. The question is, are Snickers safe to eat on a gluten-free diet? Let's find out.
Snickers is a popular candy brand worldwide, owned by parent company Mars. Classic Snickers bars feature a nougat base topped with caramel and crushed peanuts, enrobed in a milk chocolate coating. Their most popular catch phrase is, "You're not you when you're hungry". In fact, Snickers was the most consumed chocolate bar in the US in 2020.
Despite its popularity, is Snickers suitable for a gluten-free diet? Keep reading to learn the facts.
What are Snickers?
Snickers is a well-loved candy bar containing nougat, caramel, and peanuts, all coated in milk chocolate. The Snickers brand is owned by the Mars company who also make popular candies such as M&Ms, Twix, and Maltesers. Snickers have been in production since the 1930's. (Source)
The following are the listed ingredients of a classic Snickers single bar from their website:
INGREDIENTS: MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, MILKFAT, SOY LECITHIN), PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, PALM OIL, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, SALT, EGG WHITES, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. CONTAINS PEANUTS, MILK, EGG AND SOY. MAY CONTAIN TREE NUTS.
Now let's dissect this...
If you are familiar with reading labels (which you likely are when on a gluten-free diet!), then you'll notice that none of these ingredients are alarming or apparently gluten-containing.
It is a labelling requirement for companies to disclose if a product "may contain" the top gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, or rye—as seen here with the tree nuts. None of these gluten-containing grains are mentioned in the may contain statement. Which leads me to believe...
Are Snickers Gluten-Free?
By my analysis of Snickers ingredients above, and by many others on the internet, I would classify Snickers bars to be "accidentally" gluten-free.
Now, what does that mean? Accidentally gluten-free means that a product was not intended to be gluten-free and may not have a gluten-free certification, yet there are no gluten-containing ingredients within the product.
Of course everyone will have their own level of comfort in consuming such product, but by this research, it could be said that the original Snickers bars are gluten-free.
Are Snickers Celiac Safe?
Based on the above research, and the fact that no gluten-containing grains are listed in the Snickers ingredient list, it is fair so say that Snickers bars are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. But are they celiac safe?
It is important to note that Snickers bars are not certified gluten-free. This means that they have not been lab tested by the appropriate governing bodies to contain less than the recommended 20ppm of gluten. Not that Snickers bars do contain that, just that it has not been tested and confirmed.
A reassuring resource comes from goodforyouglutenfree.com, where she tested a Snickers bar using the Nima Sensor, a small device that can test for gluten presence in food. If you visit her article on Snickers, you'll see a photo of the Nima Sensor indicating that the Snickers bar does not contain gluten. Woo!
The Final Verdict
Based on the above research, it looks like the original Snickers bars are in fact "accidentally" gluten-free and safe to consume on a gluten-free diet.
As usual, it is important to read the label before consuming a packaged product, as formulas and ingredients may change at any time.
It is important to note that this analysis is based on the original Snickers Singles Size Chocolate Candy Bar (1.86 oz). There are many varieties of Snickers products including mini bars, ice cream bars, and bars with different nuts and flavours. If you're interested in trying those, let's look at them below.
Other Snickers Varieties
I had no idea just how many versions of Snickers products there are. According to the Snickers website, they have over 28 varieties of Snickers! As with the original Snickers bar, none of the products are certified gluten-free. But let's see if more products are accidentally gluten-free based on their ingredients list.
Snickers products with NO gluten-containing ingredients
- SNICKERS Singles Size Chocolate Candy Bars, 1.86 oz
- SNICKERS Milk Chocolate Candy Bar Sharing Size, 3.29 oz
- SNICKERS Chocolate Candy Bars Fun Size Bag 10.59 oz
- SNICKERS 2 To Go Almond Candy Bar, 3.23 oz
- SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared 4 To Go Candy Bar, 3.56 oz
- SNICKERS White Chocolate Share Size Candy Bars, 2.84 oz
- SNICKERS Peanut Brownie Squares Share Size Chocolate Candy Bar, 2.4 oz
- Yes! Even this brownie flavour does not contain and gluten ingredients. Read here.
- SNICKERS Dark Chocolate Almond Brownie Candy Bars, 2.52 oz
- SNICKERS 100 Calories Chocolate Candy Bar, 0.76 oz
- SNICKERS Almond Fun Size Chocolate Candy Bars, 10.23 oz
- SNICKERS Almond Singles Chocolate Candy Bars, 1.76 oz
- SNICKERS Creamy Peanut Butter Square Candy Bars, 7.7 oz
- SNICKERS Creamy Peanut Butter Square Share Size Candy Bars, 2.8 oz
- SNICKERS Creamy Peanut Butter Square Single Size Candy Bars, 1.4 oz
- SNICKERS Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares Fun Size Bag, 11.5 oz
- SNICKERS Ice Cream Cup With SNICKERS Bar Pieces, Caramel Swirl & Chocolatey Peanuts, 6 oz
- SNICKERS Ice Cream Pint, 16 oz
- SNICKERS, Milk Chocolate Fun Size Bars, 3.4 oz (6 Count)
- SNICKERS Minis Chocolate Candy Bars Bag 9.7 oz
- SNICKERS Minis Size Chocolate Candy Bars Bag, 40 oz
- SNICKERS Minis Size Chocolate Candy Bars Family Size Bag, 18 oz
- SNICKERS Original Chocolate Minis Size Bars Bag 4.4 oz
- SNICKERS Peanut Brownie Squares Full Size Chocolate Candy Bar, 1.2 oz
- SNICKERS Peanut Brownie Squares Fun Size Chocolate Candy Bars Sharing Size Bag, 6.61 oz
- SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared Singles Size Chocolate Candy Bar, 1.78 oz
- SNICKERS White Chocolate Singles Size Candy Bar 1.41 oz
Snickers products that are NOT gluten-free
- SNICKERS Ice Cream Bar, 2.8 oz
- May contain wheat
- SNICKERS Peanut Brownie Ice Cream Bars, 2 oz (6-Count Box)
- Note that these actually contain enriched wheat flour
So, apart from some ice cream bars, the majority of the Snickers product line does not contain gluten ingredients. Score! As always, use your own judgement based on your level of gluten sensitivity when choosing to consume a packaged product. I hope that this article will give you some comfort in enjoying Snickers products!
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