Haribo is a German confectionery company that was founded by Hans Riegel Sr. in Kessenich, Bonn, Germany. The name "Haribo" is derived from the founder's name and the location of the company. Haribo is credited with creating the first gummy candy, known as Gummibärchen, in 1922. Today, the company's headquarters are located in Grafschaft, Germany.

History

Founded on December 13, 1920, by Johannes Riegel, Haribo had humble beginnings with Gertrud Riegel, his wife, as the company's first employee. Johannes Riegel's initial resources included basic equipment like a sack of sugar, a copper pot, and a marble slab. The company's first production facility was established in a house on Bergstraße in Kessenich. Two years after its inception, Hans Riegel invented the precursor to the iconic Goldbear, initially named Tanzbär (Dancing Bear). This early version was larger and softer, utilizing gum arabic instead of gelatin.

Expansion

Haribo has since expanded globally, acquiring numerous local confectionery manufacturers. International expansion began in the 1960s, with entry into the American markets occurring in the 1980s. By 2013, Haribo operated 16 factories worldwide, producing over 100 million gummi bears daily.

Product Line

Goldbears, Haribo's signature product, are fruit gums shaped like bears, approximately two centimeters in size. They consist of sugar, sugar syrup, colorants, flavorings, acidifiers, coating agents, water, and a gelatin mixture. Since 1960, Haribo has branded its gummi bears as Goldbears. These candies are produced in 15 establishments across Europe, generating the company's largest revenue share. In Germany, Goldbears are colored using natural fruit extracts. Despite modern possibilities to create new colors, Haribo maintains the traditional appearance of its products.

Special Editions

Haribo has released special editions of Goldbears to coincide with events such as the UEFA Euro and the FIFA World Cup. These editions feature unique flavors and colors inspired by national flags or tournament themes.

Haribo entered the United States market in 1982. While in Germany it was viewed as a commonplace candy rather than an exclusive gourmet product, the establishment of Haribo of America in the 1980s in Baltimore, Maryland, marked its introduction to the US mass market. Gummi candies were distributed through various retailers including drugstores, grocery stores, and discount outlets. Packaging was translated into English and adjusted to match American candy prices and sizes. Unique packaging formats were developed for the US market, such as laydown bags for supermarkets and boxed products for theaters.

The popularity of gummi bears surged in the US, leading to increased competition from brands like German Trolli and American Black Forest. In 2015, Haribo of America relocated its headquarters to Rosemont, Illinois, in the Chicago area. Subsequently, on March 23, 2017, Haribo announced the opening of its first US factory in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. The 500,000 square foot facility, employing 400 workers, began construction in 2020 under the supervision of Gilbane Building Company.

 

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