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GmbH & Co. KG
Industry Confectionery
Founded December 13, 1920
Founder Johannes "Hans" Riegel, Sr.
Headquarters Bonn, Germany
Key people
Hans Riegel
Revenue 1.7–2.0 billion
Number of employees
about 6,000
Website www.haribo.com

Haribo (/ˈhærb/ HARR-i-boh) is a German confectionery company, founded in 1920 by Johannes "Hans" Riegel, Sr. It is headquartered in Bonn and the name comes from an abbreviation of Hans Riegel, Bonn.

The Landesmuseum Koblenz created a traveling exhibition about the history of Haribo in 2006.


Haribo made the first gummi candy in 1922 when Hans Riegel, Sr. invented 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. Over the years, Haribo has expanded its operations, taking over many local confectionery manufacturers in countries all over the world. It began international expansion in the 1960s and entered American markets in the 1980s. It currently operates 15 factories which produce over 100 million gummy bears per day.[1]

Haribo was accused of using Jewish forced labor in its factories during World War II, but denies this.[2] 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.[3]

United Kingdom presence[edit]

A colorful mix of confectionery: Haribo Color-Rado

Haribo's key brands in the UK are Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix, and Maoam, with Maoam being its own line of chewy sweets.[4] 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[edit]

Haribo had been imported into the United States for many years[when?] 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 gummi 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 products, so the US market was soon flooded with German competitors such as Trolli, and Black Forest.

On March 23, 2017 Haribo announced they will be opening their first United States factory, a 500,000 sqf 400 employee manufacturing plant in Kenosha County Wisconsin scheduled to open in 2020.

International distribution[edit]

New Haribo factory and distribution centre located in Castleford, West Yorkshire, UK.

Haribo plans to expand to China and Brazil. In China it has launched test stores in Shanghai and Guangdong. The US headquarters is located in Rosemont, IL. New production facilities opened in Castleford, West Yorkshire,[5] (directly opposite the Normanton M62 Junction (J31)) in 2016 and plans to open in São Paulo, Brazil.[6]

Countries with Haribo factories in Europe


Haribo's German catch phrase is "Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso" ("Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well"). The German advertisements were voiced by Thomas Gottschalk from 1991 until 2015. In English-speaking countries, it uses the slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo". Other, similar slogans are used in other languages.


  1. ^ Oltermann, Philip (October 13, 2013). "Haribo: the confessions of a confectionery addict". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Wallace, Charles P. (2000-07-31). "The Final Reckoning". Time Europe. Berlin. 156 (5). Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  3. ^ Licata, Elizabeth (January 18, 2014). "Haribo Pulls Skipper Mix After Racism Accusations". The Daily Meal. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ "MAOAM". maoam.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Castleford Haribo plant to create 286 jobs". 10 October 2013 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  6. ^ Best, Dean. "Haribo to expand in China, US, UK and Brazil". just-food.com. just-food.com. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[edit]