HERSHEY, PA -- It has been a not so well kept secret for some time: most of the world’s chocolate production is kosher. The majority of the top 10 world producers of chocolate are certified kosher, many with only a select number of products, others are mostly kosher. Two of the companies in the latter category have recently made major moves.
The Hershey Company announced that the world’s most technologically advanced chocolate making facility – a $300 million investment in Hershey, Pa., that positions the company for its next 100 years of global growth – is officially “open for business.” The Hershey’s plant in Pennsylvania is virtually all kosher, under the supervision of the Orthodox Union (OU).
European giant Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has sold most of its retail operations. Callebaut is a major supplier of kosher chocolate, under the supervision of the OK Kosher Labs. Observers say that the move will mean even further expansion of its kosher chocolates business to the industry.
Other major manufacturers that have various kosher certifications on some or most products include Mars, Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes, Kraft Foods, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli, and Russell Stover Candies.