Food & Drink

Twitter Trolls Lash Out At Cadbury For Selling Chocolate That's Halal

The trolls are having some trouble understanding.

Cadbury’s United Kingdom Twitter manager has been working hard to field angry comments from customers up in arms about whether the company is producing halal certified chocolates for Easter.

The chocolate company’s Twitter feed has been filled with complaints and inquiries from people who are concerned that Cadbury’s chocolates are halal ― a designation given to food that is produced according to Islamic guidelines. Some customers also accused the company of removing the word “Easter” from its Easter eggs.

Cadbury UK’s social team has been hard at work trying to tamp down the misinformation.

It seems to be a thankless job.

The trolls appear to have a problem with Cadbury’s chocolate potentially being certified halal. But their resistance doesn’t make sense.

Those complaining about the issue are apparently having a hard time understanding a simple fact about halal food ― if a Cadbury chocolate doesn’t contain traces of pork or alcohol, there’s a good chance it’s already halal.

And in non-Muslim majority countries, communities have different ways of defining what is halal and figuring out which foods are permissible to eat. It’s much more a fluid label than the trolls seem to think.

While some Cadbury products in some countries have indeed been certified halal, Cadbury said that none of its UK products are halal certified ― but that they are still suitable for those looking to eat halal food.

“We have never made any changes to our chocolate to specifically make them halal,” the company has been telling Twitter users. “They are just suitable for those following a halal diet in the same way that standard food such as bread or water.”

The company also said that it still features the word “Easter” on its packaging.

The real issue here isn’t whether or not Cadbury chocolates are halal. It’s about nativism and fear from certain segments of the population that the nearly 200-year-old British company is doing anything at all to change its customs and traditions.

The flurry of tweets apparently started after a photo of a Cadbury employee holding a halal certification resurfaced online. The picture appears to be several years old. A Cadbury representative told The Huffington Post UK that it originated from the company’s Asia-Pacific market.

The image was shared online by a Facebook group supporting the English Defence League ― a nationalist far-right organization that has a history of targeting the UK’s Muslim communities.

Apparently, even the slightest indication that Cadbury is trying to accommodate its Muslim customers was enough to inflame the racists. Some have accused the company of “Muslim appeasement.” Others are threatening to boycott the company.

Cadbury chocolate bars are seen in a shop in London June 23, 2006.
Cadbury chocolate bars are seen in a shop in London June 23, 2006.

Like Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, and people of other faiths, Muslims often follow religious guidelines when it comes to determining what foods and drinks are good to eat. Food that is “halal” is simply food that is religiously permissible.

There are a number of different Islamic organizations around the world that offer to halal certify food. In some Muslim-majority countries, companies like McDonald’s, Subway, Papa John’s already have halal foods on their menus. From a business perspective, it makes sense for companies seeking to enter these markets to seek halal certification.

The Huffington Post reached out to Cadbury UK for comment, but has not heard back.

In the meantime, Cadbury UK’s Twitter team seems to be on a roll.

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