|Type||GmbH & Co. KG|
|Founded||December 13, 1920|
|Founders||Hans Riegel Sr.|
|Key people||Hans Riegel|
|Revenue||€ 1.7–2.0 billion|
Haribo made the first gummy candy in 1922 when Hans Riegel, Sr. made the first Gummibärchen (little gummy bears). After Hans Riegel, Sr. died during World War II, his son, also named Hans Riegel, took over the company. Haribo expanded its operations, taking over many local confectionery manufacturers in countries all over the world.
Haribo is one of the biggest manufacturers of gummy and jelly sweets in the world, with its products mainly consisting of gummy bears, other jelly sweets and liquorice. The company has five factories in Germany and 13 throughout the rest of Europe, and sales offices in almost every country in Europe, as well as in the United States and Australia.
The Landesmuseum Koblenz created a traveling exhibition about the history of Haribo in 2006.
Haribo's German catch phrase is "Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso" ("Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well"), and in English-speaking countries, it uses the slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo". The German advertisements have been voiced by Thomas Gottschalk since 1991. Slogans used in various languages around the world seem to be variations on the same theme, written to rhyme in most languages.
Haribo's key brands in the UK are Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix, and Maoam, with Maoam being its own line of chewy sweets. They were once the distributor of Pez products in the United Kingdom, but this is no longer the case. Haribo makes Pontefract Cakes at their factory in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, and other locations. The Fraise Tagada is one of the best-selling varieties in France. Another Haribo product is Happy Cola.
Haribo had been imported into the United States for many years by German food importers and sold at German and other gourmet stores at "gourmet prices", mostly in bulk. At home in Germany, Haribo was not an exclusive gourmet product, but a mass market candy. When Haribo of America was incorporated in the 1980s in Baltimore, Maryland, Haribo's gummy candies were introduced to the US mass market through drugstores, grocery stores, discount stores, etc. The packaging was translated into English, and package weights were adjusted to match U.S. candy price points and package sizes. A laydown bag was developed for the US supermarket trade, instead of the hanging bag commonly found in German supermarkets, and a boxed product was developed for theaters.
Once this was done and Haribo products in US-style packaging were introduced at confectionery and fancy food shows, Haribo became a popular item. Sales soared the first year, and gummy bears became so popular in the US, Haribo in Germany could not supply enough product, so the US market was soon flooded with German competitors such as Trolli, Black Forest, and others.
Haribo was accused of using Jewish forced labor in its factories during World War II, but denies it. Additionally, Haribo has come under fire for their sugarless Gold Bear variety which contains the sugar substitute Lycasin, which has shown to cause severe intestinal distress in those who consume significant amount of the product. Many humorous reviews of this product on the Amazon.com website have gone viral.
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