October 22, 2009

Candy Brands: HARIBO


Maybe it’s our sense of whimsy … Maybe it’s our roots as hunter/gatherers … whatever the explanation, whether you prefer a handful of cheesy goldfish or a fresh box of animal crackers, there is no denying the fun in biting into something that could bite you back.

The gummi bear is arguably the king of critter-shaped snacks, and HARIBO, a German confectionary company founded in 1920, proudly distinguishes itself from the candy masses as the original creator of these malleable mammals. Today, HARIBO is the biggest manufacturer of gummy and jelly candies in the world.

The gummi bear, (known as Gummibar or rubber bear in German), was created after World War II and introduced in the 1960s under the brand Gold-Bears. An instant success, the product has since seen several flavor and shape variations, with brand extensions such as Snack-packs, Roulettes, and Happy Cola. More intriguing sub-brands like Starmix, Tangfastics, Kiddies Supermix, Maoam and Strawbs can be found abroad. The candy even inspired a late 80s television show, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (though I personally found that to be the least palatable of the brand’s many extensions).

Although Trolli and many others have created formidable gummi competition, the original Gold Bears, with their iconic gold, red and black packaging, have dominated their space for a half-century and show no signs of slowing down. After all, as the tagline says, “kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of HARIBO.”

And if you were wondering, there is a reason why HARIBO appears in all-caps; the name is an acronym–borrowing the first two letters of the founder’s first and last name, Hans Riegel, as well as the first two letters of the location of the corporate headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

Contributed by: Maghan Cook

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