The short answer is no, most Hershey products are not considered halal. Hershey’s uses ingredients and manufacturing processes that do not comply with Islamic dietary laws. However, some specific Hershey products may be halal certified.
Halal Guidelines for Food Products
According to QURAN and Sunnah, for a food product to be halal it must meet the following criteria:
- It must not contain pork or pork by-products
- Meat and poultry must come from animals slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines (zabihah)
- Alcohol is prohibited
- Animal products and by-products must come from halal animals
- Food preparation equipment must be free of contamination from non-halal foods
Additionally, the food manufacturer should have halal certification from an accredited Islamic organization. This ensures proper monitoring of ingredients and processes.
Hershey’s Use of Non-Halal Ingredients
Hershey’s has not pursued halal certification for the majority of its products. An examination of Hershey’s ingredients lists shows the use of non-halal ingredients:
- Gelatin – Derived from pork or non-zabihah slaughtered beef. Not halal.
- Natural Flavors – Can contain alcohol. Requires investigation.
- Emulsifiers – Often animal-based. Requires investigation.
- Shared Equipment – Cross-contamination risks from non-halal foods.
Some examples of popular Hershey’s products containing these ingredients include Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s chocolate bars, Whoppers, Almond Joy, and Milk Duds.
Hershey’s Lack of Halal Slaughter and Certification
Hershey’s does not slaughter animals according to zabihah Islamic guidelines. The meat and poultry-based ingredients are sourced conventionally.
Additionally, Hershey’s does not have halal certification from an accredited organization for the majority of its products. Only a small number of products are halal certified, such as Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry Flavor.
Are Any Hershey Products Halal?
Given Hershey’s standard ingredients and lack of halal oversight, most products are not considered halal.
However, some specific Hershey products are halal certified:
- Brookside Dark Chocolate – Several flavors contain a halal logo, such as Acai with Blueberry.
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate – Made in Malaysia – Bears a halal logo.
- Kit Kat – Made in Malaysia – Has Malaysian JAKIM halal certification.
So Muslims should look for a halal logo or country of origin to determine if a Hershey’s product is halal. Contacting Hershey’s directly can also provide clarification.
Hershey’s Position on Halal Certification
Hershey’s has made few public statements regarding pursuing halal certification. Some key points:
- Hershey’s indicates that all products are “kosher dairy” and many are “kosher pareve”. However, kosher does not equal halal.
- Hershey’s has obtained halal certification for some products made in Malaysia. This indicates a willingness to accommodate Muslim consumers overseas.
- Hershey’s does not promote its halal certified products, suggesting halal certification is not a priority in its mainstream marketing.
Are M&Ms Halal?
M&Ms are one of Hershey’s most popular brands. Unfortunately standard M&Ms are not considered halal due to the use of non-halal ingredients:
- Gelatin (pork)
- Natural flavors (may contain alcohol)
However, some varieties of M&Ms produced in Malaysia are halal certified. These feature the halal logo on the package and include:
- M&Ms Chocolate Candies
- M&Ms Peanut
So Muslims should look for the halal certification logo when purchasing M&Ms.
Better Halal Options Than Hershey’s
Given Hershey’s limited halal offerings, Muslim consumers may prefer to choose halal-certified chocolate and candy brands such as:
- Ziyad Brothers – Wide range of halal chocolate and confections.
- Saffron Road – Halal-certified chocolates and treats.
- Madecasse – Organic halal chocolate produced in Africa.
- Kinnerton Confectionery – Popular halal chocolate brand in the UK.
These brands adhere to QURAN and Sunnah dietary guidelines and are dedicated to halal integrity.
In summary, the majority of Hershey products are not considered halal due to ingredients and manufacturing processes. However, some products produced in Malaysia do carry halal certification. Consumers should check packages for halal logos. For greater assurance, Muslims may want to choose chocolate and candy brands that are completely halal certified.
Is Hershey’s chocolate halal?
No, the majority of Hershey’s chocolate products are not halal. They contain non-halal ingredients like gelatin and do not undergo halal slaughter and certification procedures. Only some products made in Malaysia carry halal logos.
Can Muslims eat Hershey’s chocolate?
It is best for Muslims to avoid most Hershey’s products because they contain non-halal ingredients. However, some specific products with halal certification, like Hershey’s Malaysia chocolate bars, may be permissible for Muslims to eat.
What chocolate brands are halal?
Some popular halal-certified chocolate brands include Ziyad Brothers, Saffron Road, Madecasse, and Kinnerton Confectionery. Muslims should look for the halal logo to ensure chocolate meets QURAN and Sunnah dietary guidelines.