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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical and sustainable is Reese’s? 

Reese’s is a Hershey company brand that can be found in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Chocolate Ratings Table. Reese’s receives one of the lowest scores in our chocolate ratings and therefore does not currently meet the ethical benchmark that we have set for this industry. However, we hope that it can make changes within its business to become more ethical in the future.

Read more about why Ethical Chocolate is so important and see a comparison with other brands in our Ethical Chocolate Rating Table.

What does Reese’s do?

Reese’s was created by H. B. Reese in his basement in the 1920s. In 1928 the iconic Reese’s peanut butter cup was introduced and was the only product sold by the Reese’s company for a time when business was hard, as this product always remained popular! Reese’s chocolate was made with Hershey chocolate as H.B. Reese worked as an employee at Hershey. After he died in 1963, his son merged the Reese’s company with Hershey. As of 2019 the company was operated as a subdivision of the Hershey company. Reese’s sells a large range of peanut butter chocolate, cookies, cereals and spreads. This brand has now had success in over 60 countries around the world.

For which criteria does Reese’s perform poorly? 

Reese’s was marked down in our research criteria for Genetic Modification, Animal Welfare, Political Donations and Public Record Criticisms.

Although animal testing within the company was banned in 2019, Hershey consistently scores poorly in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW). The benchmark report stated that animal welfare within the company was ‘on the business agenda but limited evidence of implementation’.

Hershey also receives a bottom rating for Public Record Criticisms and Public Record Criticisms+, due to alleged involvement in unethical practices such as greenwashing, unsustainable palm oil consumption, workers’ rights abuses and deforestation.

In what areas does Reese’s score well for its ethics?

Reese’s performs well for its Environmental Report due to Hershey’s sustainability targets and updates how progress is being made on these.

How can Reese’s improve its ethical rating?

To establish a brand’s Ethical Score, The Good Shopping Guide considers three major criteria: the Environment, People and Animals. Read more about How We Rate here. Reese’s must improve on its bottom ratings in order to achieve a better score, which includes areas such as Public Record Criticisms, Political Donations, Animal Welfare, Fairtrade and more.

Why not explore Ethical Accreditation with The Good Shopping Guide if you work for or with a chocolate company that places ethics at its core? This certification of sustainability and ethics has benefited chocolate companies including Seed & Bean, Alter Eco and Raw Living. Get in touch with us to learn more, or complete our brief initial evaluation form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels


  • Palm Oil Free



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating