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A Haribo factory in Solingen
|GmbH & Co. KG|
|Founded||December 13, 1920|
|Founder||Hans Riegel Sr.|
|Revenue||€ 1.7–2.0 billion|
Number of employees
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 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'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.
United States presence
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. 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 areas such as drugstores, grocery stores, and discount stores. 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, and Black Forest.
Haribo plans to expand to the United States, United Kingdom, China and Brazil. In China it has launched test stores in Shanghai and Guangdong. It plans to open new production facilities in Castleford, near Leeds and Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Haribo's German catch phrase is "Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso" ("Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well"). In English-speaking countries, it uses the slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo". The German advertisements were voiced by Thomas Gottschalk from 1991 until 2015. Slogans are used in other languages.
Haribo was accused of using Jewish forced labor in its factories during World War II, but denies it. Haribo has been criticized for their sugarless Gold Bear variety which contains the sugar substitute Lycasin, which has shown to cause severe intestinal distress in those who consume a significant amount of the product. Many humorous reviews of this product on the Amazon.com website have gone viral. In 2014, Haribo's Skipper Mix was pulled in some markets because some of the candy pieces were shaped like caricatures of Asian, African, and Native American masks that some consumers considered to be racist.
- "MAOAM". maoam.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Best, Dean. "Haribo to expand in China, US, UK and Brazil". just-food.com. just-food.com. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Wallace, Charles P. (2000-07-31). "The Final Reckoning". Time Europe (Berlin) 156 (5). Retrieved 2008-11-12.
- Khazan, Olga (January 17, 2014). "What's in Those Haribo Gummy Bears?". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Licata, Elizabeth (January 18, 2014). "Haribo Pulls Skipper Mix After Racism Accusations". The Daily Meal. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
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