Gummy Bears: The Chewy Candies That Charmed the World
Fruity, chewy, and cute as a button, gummy bears are a surefire hit with anyone who has a sweet tooth. While many brands of gummy bears exist today, the original gummy bears were invented almost a century ago by the founder of one of the biggest candy companies in the world.
The story begins in 1920 in Germany with Hans Riegel, a candymaker from the small city of Bonn. Tired of his job, Riegel dreamed of starting his own candy company. So with nothing but a copper kettle and a marble slab, he began making hard candy in his kitchen, and Haribo—so named to abbreviate "Hans Riegel, Bonn"—was born.
While the candies sold fairly well, they didn't quite take off like Riegel had hoped. He needed an idea, something with a sense of fun! Riegel often sold his candy at local fairs and festivals, and one of the most popular attractions at these events was the dancing bears—bingo! Riegel began making little fruit-flavored sweets shaped to resemble those beloved bears.
The new candies were a huge success! By the end of the 1930s, Haribo had over four hundred employees, producing 10 tons of candy each day.